Category Archives: Restaurant

Funny Sign… Serious Business

This is a funny method to communicate something serious and I personally love it. Recently a client was in San Diego and they took a picture of a sign they loved and they’re already working to use something like this in what they do in their business. Since they are the owner they have a bit more latitude than some folks but almost anyone can use something from this in what they do.

Humor – No Smoking Allowed on pier especially e-cigs and the fine is $250! Then it goes on to tell you to please smoke… the City needs the money. You have an option and it gets expensive!

Walking Barefoot – this saves the City from that pesky task of picking up the fish hooks while warning people that the danger is there.

No Jumping From The Pier – this isn’t smart in the best of cases and here if you do the closest land is in a direction you might not consider. Choose carefully!

Don’t Feed The Birds – When you do this you feel good and the birds get sick. I line up on the side of the birds and many people aren’t aware that feeding birds will make them sick.

This sign has it all and presents everything from a very different point of view. They liked it a lot and I like it a lot because it’s one of those signs that tends to actually get read and people take action on the information provided. It’s your call… A little boring or a little funny. What message do they want to hear?

We are the Visual Solution Group.  We help you create communication and we get your point across clearly and concisely.  We can also help with banners, graphics, apparel, printing and most anything else related to communication.  Call us at 916-225-6931 or visit us at www.visualsolutiongroup.com   We get your point across!

Some Signs Tell You Why They Were Needed In The First Place

Often times we see signs that appear to be intuitive or just naturally lend themselves to their respective positioning. This is a sign from a local McDonalds and it appears at many places throughout the restaurant. From my point of view I ask why the sign is there in the first place. Let’s explore.

I start by telling you I have teenage children and the free toy they offer with a Happy Meal doesn’t hold the same level of magic with my girls it once did. I don’t value McDonalds toys that much either any more. I then asked myself if anyone was using McDonalds as a place to spend large amounts of time and it turns out there are 4 groups of people doing this. Kids after school that are hanging out spending minimal money, students doing homework, using the internet and spending some money, people in business eating food and using the internet between appointments and people who are in an unfortunate living situation.

My observation boiled down to McDonalds working to keep their restaurants as a place where their guests are comfortable and those guests are spending money while there. My limited visit showed minimal people taking advantage of the hospitality but I talked with a manager who assured me their goal was to keep the place inviting for those who wanted to eat, drink and maybe use the internet. The sign placement actually makes a lot of sense.

We are the Visual Solution Group.  We help you create communication and we get your point across clearly and concisely.  We can also help with banners, graphics, apparel, printing and most anything else related to communication.  Call us at 916-225-6931 or visit us at www.visualsolutiongroup.com   We get your point across!

Too Much Information Or Just Trying To Get The Desired Result?

As a family we saw this sign and it spurred a fair amount of conversation among us and even other people. The differing points of view on this sign were of great interest and I want to share what others were saying and my big takeaway.

The first thing one of my daughters asked was “who doesn’t know how to pick a strawberry?” This was a great point of view and a reasonable one provided the person already knew how to pick a strawberry. One of the people working there overhead her question and chimed in “everyone knows how they pick a strawberry. This explains to them how to properly pick a strawberry!” She went on to explain “this sign also tells them how to keep a berry in the refrigerator and keep it fresh for the longest time possible.” Someone else over heard this and when the worker stepped away leaned over and said “It doesn’t really make any difference at all how you pick a berry.”

My takeaway is we all know what we think we know to the limits of what we know. Most people will do something the way they were initially taught to do something. The next question is whether they were taught the correct way to do that thing. People learn to do many things incorrectly and until they are taught the correct way they are doomed to failure. This often comes down to directing where a line begins, how tall you must be to get on a ride or many other things. There is a way people do things and a right way people do things.

We are the Visual Solution Group.  We help you create communication and we get your point across clearly and concisely.  We can also help with banners, graphics, apparel, printing and most anything else related to communication.  Call us at 916-225-6931 or visit us at www.visualsolutiongroup.com   We get your point across!

From Boring To Exciting.

When someone goes on a diet and loses 50 pounds you can be certain it’s made a difference in how they look and how people see and judge them. There are typically changes in their face and their waistline and even how they interact with other people. You may or may not notice these changes depending on how well you knew the person before they went on the diet. This is when before and after pictures can make a difference.

These are pictures of a law firm we worked with and how we changed their conference room. The before picture is quite nice and looks professional. The obscure glass delivers an adequate level of privacy so people can meet in confidence and conduct their business. The law firm wanted a better solution and they called us.

This result provided a greater level of privacy and it takes the start of the meeting to a new level. I call this the “L. A. Law” approach to branding. Imagine the new client walking into the office for the first time and they see this level of branding on a conference room window. This creates the perception of a huge law firm just because it’s done like this. Their name is in huge letters and tells the client they’ve arrived someplace ready to take care of their issue. This is a simple change that can be made and it changes how you’re viewed. When you see the before and after pictures of your friend that lost 50 pounds and your perception of them has changes just imagine what a change VSG can make in what the world sees from you!

We are the Visual Solution Group.  We help you create communication and we get your point across clearly and concisely.  We can also help with banners, graphics, apparel, printing and most anything else related to communication.  Call us at 916-225-6931 or visit us at www.visualsolutiongroup.com   We get your point across!

When Even The Best Sign Won’t Matter

There are times when someone can create the perfect sign with the perfect message and somehow it can still fall short of the intended message. We’ve seen more than one hand made sign placed in a position to warn someone about something critical (like an evacuation route) and in an emergency the likelihood of actually seeing the sign is minimal. Then we have this one…

When you initially look at the sign it looks perfect. You have a visual warning to “Give Cyclists Space.” In case you didn’t know there is a 3 foot law on the vehicle code mandating that separation in California (section 21750 CVC). So far so good! Going just a little deeper we see the sign was proactively placed in the middle of the designated bike lane and that placement required a bike rider to swerve into traffic due to a lack of space! Do you suppose that was intentional? We don’t.

We create and install a lot of signage for hospitals and schools. We know both the laws and we understand the ramifications of our actions. We know if a sign won’t get the job done to not install it and work with whoever is in charge to resolve it. The sign above has only one job and we label this as an epic failure. If a bike rider is forced to swerve into the traffic lane and is involved in an accident you wonder who is at fault. This could have been done in a different manner and that alone could solve the collision question and potentially answer many other questions no one wants to ask.

We are the Visual Solution Group.  We help you create communication and we get your point across clearly and concisely.  We can also help with banners, graphics, apparel, printing and most anything else related to communication.  Call us at 916-225-6931 or visit us at www.visualsolutiongroup.com   We get your point across!

Things We See When We Do A Sign Audit…

We started the idea of “Sign Audit’s” when someone asked us to see if there were any issues that needed to be addressed. At the end of the audit it became a question of what to do first and what could wait. Some items were important and other items were urgent. The attached picture is on the urgent list.

This is a picture of a hand written sign someone placed over an emergency phone that had been identified as “Non-Operational” for in excess of 3 weeks! Whoever placed this was no doubt trying to be funny. Imagine if someone was in a dire emergency, the phone was their only option and they’re met with this sign. Someone knew there was a problem, someone likely reported the problem and then someone dropped the ball. We charged nothing to fix this problem. We identified the problem and got the people responsible to put this high on their priority list. We imagined the long term cost of doing nothing. This is just one of the ways we add value.

When we see something like this we take it to the next logical level. “What If” is a question we ask and when we don’t like the answer we draw a line in the sand and do whatever we can to get the issue handled. In a case where an Emergency Phone line is down we keep asking questions until we get an answer about what’s being done. We view ourselves as your partner in all of this and that means a second set of eyes. Frequently we locate problems that we cannot fix so we bring it to the attention of someone who can and will.

We are the Visual Solution Group.  We help you create communication and we get your point across clearly and concisely.  We can also help with banners, graphics, apparel, printing and most anything else related to communication.  Call us at 916-225-6931 or visit us at www.visualsolutiongroup.com   We get your point across!

 

Did Someone Move Your Cheese?

Recently a client passed a book on to me titled “Who Moved My Cheese.” The book is all about A-mazing ways to deal with change in your life and work. We’d shared some of the personal and professional changes we’ve had recently and he thought the book and its lessons would be of value. People rarely share books anymore so I took the share seriously and read the book cover to cover… Then I read it again!

Any Engineer or owner/managers of a business is well acquainted with the pace of change… that pace only seems to accelerate every year. Getting comfortable with the speed of change is hard to do and a required skill. The book talks about 4 mice who saw the source of their food drying up and how 2 of the mice accepted that and changed while the other 2 mice refused to accept that things had changed.  The book shows what happens to each of them.

The book uses a maze to illustrate how we all have to navigate change. In talking to many of the people we serve I hear how much their position and responsibilities have changed over the time and how that has impacted their life. Most of us can relate.  For me much of the change comes down to how VSG does what we do and being adaptable to the new opportunities we are offered.  Each of us will have opportunities that came disguised as work and very often accepting these opportunities will mean the difference between success and failure.

We are the Visual Solution Group.  We help you create communication and we get your point across clearly and concisely.  We can also help with banners, graphics, apparel, printing and most anything else related to communication.  Call us at 916-225-6931 or visit us at www.visualsolutiongroup.com   We get your point across!

 

Things Better Left Unsaid Sometimes Needs To Be Said…

As youngsters we learned every action had a potential opposite reaction.  Personally I taught my daughters to consider the impact of their actions on others.  This applies to many areas of life.  Things like hold doors open for people, don’t litter, look your best at all times and don’t dispose of things in a careless manner.

One of the basic areas of this comes down to where some of us throw trash.  When I go to athletic events I often see beer cups thrown into urinals.  Who could possibly think this is either a good or even appropriate place to throw trash?  Someone has to remove that from the urinal and dispose of it properly.  Was the person who threw it there actually taught that a urinal was the proper place to throw this away?  Other than the fact someone has to remove this and throw it away what are the other potential impacts of this behavior?

I asked an Engineer about the impact of small pieces of trash in a urinal they explained when small bits of trash collect in filters and enough debris collects in one of these filters a spill is the result.  If the debris gets past the filter there is potential damage to the plumbing system and that results in increased labor, material, down time and costs for everyone.  The down time resulting from this results in a closed restroom and this impacts us all… Especially the elderly and infirmed.  At the end of the day the sign is asking that we all consider the other person and act accordingly.  Simple message and a great result!

We are the Visual Solution Group.  We help you create communication and we get your point across clearly and concisely.  We can also help with banners, graphics, apparel, printing and most anything else related to communication.  Call us at 916-225-6931 or visit us at www.visualsolutiongroup.com   We get your point across!

 

 

When I decided I wanted to work for myself and serve the public I thought I knew what to expect.  So far it’s been more interesting and at times even more exciting than I had reason to believe it would or could be.  These days when I’m asked “Can You Do That?” my initial reaction is to say “Yes” and then figure it out.  The best hotels in the world pride themselves on their ability to say yes and figure the rest out from there.  This story is about starting with “Yes” and going to the next step.

In the last few months we’ve been asked to help with installing bollards, speed bumps, chain link fencing and even an 8’ high iron fence.  We’ve never proactively told anyone we do these things… they tell us they need help, ask for that help and we’re programmed to figure out how to help.  A long time ago I learned my life would be easier if I knew people who could get things done.  It turns out I know people who can do each of these things and many of my customers need help from time to time.

Sometimes I get calls from an Engineer who has an issue in front of them they need solved immediately.  I’ve always promised when it’s a sign issue just call VSG, tell us what you want and consider it’s complete.  I love telling someone who is frantically looking for a solution “I Got This” and then handle it.  I was given a problem recently with a sign that was an important part of a safety system.  The sign was damaged beyond repair and with inspectors coming in within the following week it needed to be dealt with.  I was called on a Saturday morning and an hour later I met with the engineer, understood what was needed to solve the issue and by 5:30 Monday evening the situation was dealt with.  I love being that company for so many of you.  Thank you for letting it be VSG!

We are the Visual Solution Group.  We help you create communication and we get your point across clearly and concisely.  We can also help with banners, graphics, apparel, printing and most anything else related to communication.  Call us at 916-225-6931 or visit us at www.visualsolutiongroup.com   We get your point across!

When Was The last Time You “Wet Your Plants?”

Done at the right time and in the right situation a simple play on words can be extremely powerful and drive the exact behavior you are looking to drive.  With the advent of spring I have a picture from a nursery reminding you that spring is here. You may need to water your plants as a result and that the landscape department is open for business.  There is actually a lot going on here.

The most important takeaway from this sign is what’s called a pattern interrupt.  It should be “Wet Your Pants” and with the simple addition of the letter “L” the entire meaning has changed.  Changing the meaning in both a subtle and dramatic way causes the brain to work and respond in a much different manner. This is much like what happens when you re-arrange words.  “The Dog Bit Johnny” use the same words and “Johnny Bit The Dog”.  We are using the same words and have a very different meaning and causing the brain to reconsider the entire premise.

Using technology like this is clearly not a great fit for every project or in every setting.  The reality is we place visual communication in an effort to garner attention.  Consider this…  We’ve all seen “No Parking” signs and recently I saw a sign that said “Don’t Even Think About Parking Here!”  Both say No Parking and one is overly demanding and I would imagine much more effective!

We are the Visual Solution Group.  We help you create communication, we get your point across clearly and concisely and we help you solve problems you didn’t even know you had!  We can also help with banners, graphics, apparel, printing and most anything else related to communication.  Call us at 916-225-6931 or visit us at www.visualsolutiongroup.com   We get your point across!