Category Archives: Kaiser

A Distinction Without A Difference

garbage sign

I have to say I needed to take a step back when I saw this sign for the first time.  I will also tell you I have been around long enough that I remember the term “One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure” and I am still at a loss what the intent of this sign is.  This is not a sign Visual Solution Group created for anyone.

Garbage is defined as “wasted or spoiled food and other refuse as from a kitchen or household” and Trash is defined as “discarded matter… Refuse”.  After looking up these definitions we are lead back to the starting point of asking what the difference is!  A great follow up question is how often will someone have a thesaurus with them and will take the time to look these words up?

Someone needed to stop and read this sign for content and meaning before it was created and installed.  What did they intend to define as garbage and what is considered as trash in their world?  There is little doubt the person who wanted the sign had a clear idea of what they wanted to convey and in our opinion they fell short.  What means one thing to you might mean something completely different to me and that is before we start to climb the language barrier mountain.

What did the customer who wanted this sign want to convey?  They had a definition of both garbage and trash that likely disagreed with one another.  This is an area where their point did not come across clearly!

We are the Visual Solution Group.  We help you create communication that gets your point across clearly and concisely.  Call us at 916-225-6931 or visit us at www.visualsolutiongroup.com  We get your point across!

Not Having “PMS” Was Causing Issues

PMS

Before anyone goes off on a tangent we need to be on the same page.  It’s true that not having PMS was causing issues so we got it.  The Pantone Matching System (PMS”) allowed us to give every color you have an exact number and with this number everything matches like it should.

Have you ever wondered how fire trucks all the same uniform color of red from one end of the country to the other?  The PMS system allows agencies nationwide to coordinate and get a definition of what a particular red actually looks like in the visible light spectrum.  Did you know there are 285 different and discernible colors of red the naked eye can differentiate?   Without a system how would you ever get an exact match?
With more and more companies taking on a nation or international branding the color we use matters more than ever.  Having all of your signs match shows at minimum an attention to detail and in the long run supports and protects the branding your company is spending money positioning.  The Pantone Matching system consists of several different guides and each lists different colors.  The Formula Guide, for example, consists of 1,677 solid colors and gives printing formulas for various types of paper stock.  The CMYK Guide for print processes has 2,868 colors that can be created using a four-color print process. Additional guides are available for the apparel, home furnishing, interior design and plastics industries.  If you have ever wondered how Disneyland, Visual Solution Group or Apple computers always have the same colors wonder no more.

We are the Visual Solution Group.  We help you create communication that gets your point across clearly and concisely.  Call us at 916-225-6931 or visit us at www.visualsolutiongroup.com  We get your point across!

 

Stolen Letters

stolenletters

My daughter likes to cook. I like to eat. The other reality is I like to eat many of the things my doctor tells me I shouldn’t like to eat.  This is a great relationship on many levels with the exception of my doctors!

I recently asked my daughter to make me a cake and she was more than happy to do so.  I was extremely disappointed when I arrived home I found no cake… It turns out I really wanted cake.  When I asked why she explained we had no eggs and thus no cake.  I wanted her to improvise and go another route.  She was able to find an egg like product in the ice box and used that.  The result was not a good one.  The best description I have for this result is at best incomplete.

This sign was completed with an egg like product.  The best grade I can give it is an incomplete although the person who figured out which letters to substitute gets an “A” for effort. A better solution for this could be an electronic digital sign.  No one loses the letters and you can change the display on a week to week or even hour to hour basis.  The cost is very reasonable and at the end of the day the lack of finger pointing in regards to who lost the letters could be worth the investment all by itself.  Give us a call.

We are the Visual Solution Group.  We help you create communication that gets your point across clearly and concisely.  Call us at 916-225-6931 or visit us at www.visualsolutiongroup.com  We get your point across!

Inattention To Detail

restaurantsigns

I was driving past a local fast food restaurant the other day when I saw these signs.  This restaurant just underwent an extensive remodel which involved closing for well over a month and the relocation of a Manager.  They were able to afford the revenue loss because the relocated Manager had built the business up to a great extent.

When they reopened they were dressed the part.  New crew, new uniforms for the crew, the place was spotless and in fact it was so clean and the new signs out front announced what many were waiting for a “Grand Opening.”  I think we’ve all seen the cloth banners that blow in the wind to attract attention and this place was lined with them.

Now a few weeks later and the signs have fallen into a state of something more than disrepair.  These signs are actual eyesores and no one at this place of business including the Manager have taken the time to notice.  When I see this being overlooked I wonder what else is being overlooked.  From what I can tell everything is running fine and yet I still ask.  When you see a sign being ignored, trash in the lobby or filthy restrooms do you wonder?  I know I do.  If you have something that needs to be taken care of, even if VSG didn’t install it call me so I can make it look right.

We are the Visual Solution Group.  We help you create communication that gets your point across clearly and concisely.  Call us at 916-225-6931 or visit us at www.visualsolutiongroup.com  We get your point across!

A New Play On A Familiar Sign…

McDonalds W

Thursday March 8th was International Women’s Day.  This is an annual event held to celebrate women’s achievements throughout history and across nations.  It’s also known as the United Nations (UN) Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace.

Many companies celebrate the day and the contribution women make to the world in both loud and quiet manners and few got the attention of McDonalds Corporation.  In a direct salute to women franchisees they turned the iconic McDonalds sign upside down to create a W where the M once stood.  Just a quick glance may not be sufficient and a longer look makes the change clear.  Why was this done and what’s the impact?

This was likely done to create a media impact and if that was the intent they hit a home run with runners on base.  This was only done at restaurants where the franchisee is female and in those markets press releases were issued to draw attention to those owners.  That attention drew media interviews and more than a few spotlights on those franchisees on local news reports.  This media stunt also told the world that anyone who is driven can succeed and we don’t have artificial barriers to that success.

On the other hand I saw this as a pattern interrupt and that is exactly what it sounds like.  We are lulled into a sense of almost sleep and when something is changed it wakes us from that slumber and forces us to pay attention.  Keep in mind it was McDonalds who started their signage with the idea of “Over 6 Billion Served” and they would update that number as they needed.  Seems to me they learned a lesson.

We are the Visual Solution Group.  We help you create communication that gets your point across clearly and concisely.  Call us at 916-225-6931 or visit us at www.visualsolutiongroup.com  We get your point across!

Which Way Is The Best Way?

either way

We spend a lot of time over here at Visual Solutions Group working to eliminate confusing signs.  The sad reality is they seem to multiply faster than we can eliminate them.  Possibly the biggest question we have boils down to “is anyone paying attention?”

This is an example of a sign a client sent to us from Southern California and the picture was taken in a private parking lot.  What would you do?  How would you proceed?  The issues we have with this sign are twofold.  The first issue is the obvious confusion it creates and the results of that confusion.  While that’s bad enough the second aspect of this sign that disturbs us is the potential liability which could result from the use of a sign that can only be described as intentionally confusing.  If you saw this sign what would you do?  How would you react?

Signs like this are a result of multiple failures and not the least of which comes down to peoples inability to properly communicate.  As more and more of our communication transitions to the digital world less communication happens.  The next time you are at a stop light take a look at the drivers around you and see how many of them are looking at their phones.  Those are the folks your signs need to reach and get their point across in a few split seconds… Much like digital communication is delivered.

We are the Visual Solution Group.  We help you create communication that gets your point across clearly and concisely.  Call us at 916-225-6931 or visit us at www.visualsolutiongroup.com  We get your point across!

Another Way We Serve The Community We Live In

Doris & Desiree

My bride Desiree and I along with about 600 of our closest friends recently attended and co-sponored the Sacramento Pacific Asian Chamber Of Commerce 25th Anniversary event at the Hyatt Regency.  This was a chance to get together as a community and celebrate the economic impact we have on the region we live in and support.

The event also took time to honor the Matsui Family and what they have done for our region over the past 25 years.  After Representative Bob Matsui unexpectedly passed away his wife Doris picked up where he left off and she did so without missing a beat.  Representative Matsui (pictured here with my beautiful wife Desiree) spoke about what Sacramento means to her family and even took the time to recognize some of the many dignitaries in the audience.  Mayor Steinberg introduced Representative Matsui because he has worked side-by-side with her family with both State Government and Sacramento City.

Visual Solution Group was a sponsor of the event and this came about from much of the work we have done with the Sac Asian Chamber.  We have worked with this chamber for the last decade and have been honored in the past as the “Business Of The Year” and as a Chamber Ambassador.  I have seen businesses grow and as a result job growth due to the effort of the Chamber and its members.  Whenever we get the chance to help the Chamber out we know it means another job is going to be created and more people prosper as a result.  Here’s to another 25 years!

We are the Visual Solution Group.  We help you create communication that gets your point across clearly and concisely.  Call us at 916-225-6931 or visit us at www.visualsolutiongroup.com  We get your point across!eventsign

“Danger” Should Garner Sufficient Attention

Dont Get Caught redo

We happened on this sign on a recent vacation.  What this sign communicated did its job for us.  The reality is signs like this don’t always work so the person making the sign has to place themselves in the place of the reader of the sign and take on new information from a new point of view.

One of my clients manufactures golf carts for a living.  He tells me that if a golf cart is going to last it must be designed and built for the golfer who is easily frustrated and is looking for an outlet for that frustration.  Signs that do their job are really quite the same.  Appealing to the lower common denominator to some extent is important.  The reason to have a sign is to communicate something to someone and that communication has to be done at a level the reader understands.

This is not meant to be insulting or demeaning to anyone.  The Wall Street Journal is written at the 5th grade level of comprehension and once you know that a logical next question is what level should a sign be written at.  The end result I want from a sign I build for you is to communicate what you want communicated with the minimum human interaction possible.  Limiting the number of questions a sign creates, and we have all seen signs that confuse us, create more of a free flow of what we want to get done.  This is just part of the reason for the names Visual and Solution.

We are the Visual Solution Group.  We help you create communication that gets your point across clearly and concisely.  Call us at 916-225-6931 or visit us at www.visualsolutiongroup.com  We get your point across!

Some Habits Hurt More Than Others

Habit

It seems like my life’s work boils down to communication and I have to take the next step and make certain the communication I create will impact a different part of the brain and elicit a different and unique response.  I make this happen in a variety of ways with a variety of images.

The image in this sign was found in Hawaii when I was on vacation with my family.  I’ve had the conversation with my daughters about the dangers of smoking and now vaping and here is a shore bird not making a sound and doing an admirable job of saying the same thing.  Simply remarkable.

The brain has many ways of interpreting things and one of my jobs and a reason I use the graphics people I use is to reach as many of those ways and possible to convey the message.  Don’t smoke is a worthwhile message and don’t make your habit my habit has multiple messages that need to be said.  The goose has a discarded cigarette in its mouth.  This has the message don’t smoke and don’t litter in the same place.  You may see one message or both and you will see something.  Signs like this interrupt the thought process by making you stop and think.

The additional reality is if we make the reader stop and think too long the effect is not only diminished but may be lost altogether.  Leaving some area for interpretation in some signs is a critical step and one that is often overlooked.  Don’t Smoke and Don’t Litter are valuable messages!

We are the Visual Solution Group.  We help you create communication that gets your point across clearly and concisely.  Call us at 916-225-6931 or visit us at www.visualsolutiongroup.com  We get your point across!

We Remove Issues Daily

issues sign

I am blessed and honored to help so many people do the things they have to do and many of those things help people when they feel the most vulnerable.

Imagine you’ve been told you have cancer and have to go to your first Chemotherapy appointment.  You are stressed, confused, you feel victimized and the last thing you need are directions that are difficult to follow.  I was recently asked to help an engineer out with signage that was unclear and very difficult to follow and comprehend.  The other factor was the sign needed to be a bilingual sign.  I worked with my team and in less than 48 hours had a solution making everyone happy.  We helped eliminate the issues he needed eliminated.

When I show up at a customer’s place of business (retail location, school, hospital or non-profit) my eyes and ears open up.  The biggest question I ask is how can I be of the most help possible and take as much off of someone else’s plate as I can.  Often times it comes down to things I can fix without approval and without compensation.  One of my installers recently repaired a fire exit sign which had fallen off of a wall.  Even though VSG had nothing to do with the installation we knew this could cause a problem or even a liability issue.  We had the time so we repaired the sign.  When my installer told the building engineer what he’d done he learned that was on his list to be repaired.  Issue solved!

Our job is to help you do your job.  We are all in this together and every issue we solve Is an issue you don’t need to deal with.

We are the Visual Solution Group.  We help you create communication that gets your point across clearly and concisely.  Call us at 916-225-6931 or visit us at www.visualsolutiongroup.com  We get your point across!