Tag Archives: Advertising Specialties

Vegetarian Corn Dog?

Webster’s dictionary defines “Vegetarian” as a person who does not eat meat : someone whose diet consists wholly of vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, and sometimes eggs or dairy products.  Webster’s defines “Corn Dog” as a frankfurter dipped in cornmeal batter, fried, and served on a stick.  Webster’s defines Frankfurter” as a cured cooked sausage (as of beef or beef and pork) that may be skinless or stuffed in a casing.  Each of these disagree with one another and they do it on the same sign.

When you take a good Look at this sign it’s pretty easy to understand how confusion with signage happens.  It also explains why some signs bounce between out front office, you and our graphic designer.  How someone sees a sign is influenced by their point of view and how they read a particular sign.  I want to think this is where the idea of KISS came from.  KISS stands for Keep It Simple Sign person and we agree.

We will often see the final price of a sign overly influenced by redesign costs and much of this happens due to visual confusion and removing confusion is possibly the biggest reason we have signs.  I have seen signs that tell the reader No Stopping while telling you on the same sign to come to a complete stop.  The sign was professionally done and someone wasn’t paying attention!  We go out of our way to read your sign, determine how we can read your sign in a different manner and then and only then move on to creation.

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!

In Elk Grove “Herd Is The Word”

At Visual Solutions Group we love sharing things that give back to the community and have the side benefit of making where we live seem just a little more community oriented.  We recently installed this banner on the building front of the Law Office ofGuenard & Bozarth.   This is the oldest personal injury law firm in Elk Grove and they are huge supporters of the students of Elk Grove.

Student athletes have told the attorneys there how much they appreciate the support of fans and the sponsors of their efforts.  This business and many others also pay for banners on the sidelines during games with the proceeds going to the Quarterback Club and eventually flowing through to the students.  Some of this money helps to pay for the cost of uniforms and many of the required items the players need.

The attorneys from this law firm and many of the business owners with sideline banners played sports in high school and college and they know what being involved with sports has meant throughout their academic and business pursuits.  The coaches make certain their athletes understand the contribution signs like this make and have the students acknowledge those efforts.  This helps to teach appreciation and the idea of paying it forward.  No one in this office has a student attending Elk Grove and they have the sign and banner simply because it’s the right thing to do for the students and the community.  It’s an honor every time we install a new banner.

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 Does Too Much Mean Not Enough?

toomuch

At times people try to do too much then instead of getting something great done they aren’t able to accomplish anything at all.  This beach sign attempts a lot and I suspect gets little done aside from confusion and even a little upset.

When time permits I love going to the beach and so does my family.  The reason and goal I have for going to the beach comes down to having as much fun as possible.  I will submit that most of us feel the same way about the beach… no one I know goes there to have a horrible time.  What happens when you finally get to the beach and you’re met with a sign telling you about the 12 to 14 things you can’t do, even though most don’t apply to you?   How would you react?  Signs convey meaning… even if they don’t apply 100% to you they still bring intent with them.

This sign tells you no alcohol, no diving, no motor vehicles, no boats, no fires, no glass and the list goes on and on.  Unless you learned to skill of shorthand or have a photographic memory there is little chance you will remember everything on this list and you may develop a stubborn streak and see how many you can violate on your way to having your definition of a good time.  I will admit they lost me when they showed a picture of someone on the beach wearing a suit and tie with the caption “No Vendors”… seriously… What beach vendor wears a tie?

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!

Familiarity And Affinity

Frogs dogs

Whenever possible it’s smart to include images that people recognize and can relate to.  In these signs we have pictures of dogs, the word frog and the easily recognized blue and white wheelchair logo to identify an area the physically challenged can access.  The frog reference has the built in advantage of asking some people to see the word “Toad” and get the dual and cute meaning of towed.

Using images such as these are what we call a pattern interrupt and this can be wildly effective.  With the Frog sign you get people to ask themselves why a frog would need a parking area and that goes on to reference toads.  Great connection and it invites people to think outside of the box many of them live in.

The sign about using the ramp has a lot going on.  You are instructed how to get to the lower plaza, you are invited to have animals which are on leash, it’s clear you are not allowed to smoke (I will assume smoke anything even though that is not clear and it’s also not clear if you are allowed to vape) and they really don’t want you to feed the rats, squirrels or even the birds.  What images do you have that can be reasonable incorporated into your visual communication that will add readership and drive response?  Many national corporations find linking these images to be a serious game changer… Why not you?

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!

Where Are We Eating Tonight?

About the last thing I want to do is explain to the people in really tall buildings they are making a mistake but I find myself doing just that more and more often.  This time I will confine what I have to say to the executives at the International House Of Pancakes… Formerly IHOP.

There has been much written recently about a name change from IHOP to IHOB.  I cannot imagine the millions of dollars spent on branding the name IHOP and it’s even more difficult to estimate the number of people who associate the IHOP name with breakfast.   Like many of us I was moderately surprised to wake up and find out the House of Pancakes had become the House of Burgers.

The switch in the sign isn’t really all that noticeable and yet the change in focus is.  I wonder if they have given up on pancakes and have decided to shift their focus to burgers.  Big companies do this with the best of intentions and often the worst in results.  In the corporate world dramatic change is seldom positive.  Many of us remember the new Coke and the debacle that caused their company.

Whenever we are asked to make a dramatic change we carefully weigh both the consequences and desired impact.  Not for a minute do I think the impact was a move away from pancakes and article after article I have read suggests just that result.  We named our company Visual Solution Group and to be honest I don’t see this change as a desired solution.  I would love to hear your opinion.  Please e-mail me at mike@visualsolutiongroup.com and tell me what you think.

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!

IHOB

Working In The Fire Prevention Department

I met someone recently who was new in their position and as the story ended up we had more to talk about than we initially imagined. By the time we were done with our meeting our introduction was good for both of us.

This story is told with the permission of the engineer. I made the decision to withhold their identity.  I was asked by a current client to call someone who was new on the job and it sounded important. The person asking me to call was a seasoned Hospital Engineer who wanted me to call a new Hospital Engineer.  The current client had set up the phone meeting and the potential for the face to face meeting.

Since the phone meeting went well I changed my schedule and met with the newly appointed Hospital Engineer. This person’s previous position was as a Facilities Engineer for a software company.  He knew the rules in a hospital were different and had no idea how different.  As we walked we saw in excess of 50 plain paper copier printed signs in various places for various reasons held in place with tape.  These signs were not laminated and while they looked ok they were not what the hospital higher ups wanted their patients to see.  While we may not always notice, hospitals are in fact in a competitive arena and appearance matters.  As I explained… simple paper signs from an office printer like this go beyond cosmetics.

The Federal Government and the State of California have rules on almost everything that happens in a hospital. Signs made from copy paper and unlaminated are potential fire hazards and not acceptable.  In fact, these are not acceptable at the level of fines and other penalties.  The reality is there was the potential for him to lose his new position… not acceptable from his point of view.  After he did some checking (I suggested he call the man who arranged the meeting) I moved his facility to the front of the list and handled the issues under his authority.  Having the freedom and ability to help someone is one of the best aspects of what we do here at VSG.  As I tell people… Yes, we do a lot more than just signs.

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!

Heard Of The Lockeford Little Rascals? You Will…

Liberatorslittle rascals

Have you heard of the Lockeford Little Rascals?  How about the Lockeford Liberators?  Remember Roller Derby?  Casey Lara and Michelle Cioli saw a need to get kids and adults up and off the couch and invited the community to get active and get involved.

The reality is most communities and cities have sports like Soccer, Baseball, Softball, Football and other activities to keep the many of the kids moving… Lockeford not so much.  Ok, the reality is Lockeford has nothing of any of the sort to keep the kids active.  These 2 coaches went a step further.  Looking at communities who have these other sports it seemed the kids were active and the parents were left to drive them around and watch.  Casey and Michelle wanted more.

By forming both an adult and youth league the parents and the children are involved and they share what each other is doing.  The league game competes with teams from San Luis Obispo to Chico and places in between.  There are currently 10 adults and 16 at the youth level involved and they encourage fun AND healthy competition.  Because of the diversity of the leagues and the lack of business sponsors they were having an issue generating what they needed to run this group so coaches, parents and fans reached out to whoever they thought might help out.

When they called us at Visual Solution Group and told us about the concept we knew we had to help.  So did Capri’s, The Wood Shaper and others who were not stepping up to potentially get business but were sponsoring to make a difference.  After talking to the coaches and a couple of the players in appears we are doing just that!

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!

Getting A Text Is A Sign

I must disclose I have teenagers.  One of the reasons I need prayer is they’re daughters and pretty.  They’re also technologically driven and very intelligent.  They’ve trained me to text them first and call second.  I wouldn’t have believed, until it happened to me, how important and valuable text messaging would become in my professional life.

I take pride in adapting to what my clients need and then “finding a way” to help them out with unusual solutions to interesting problems.  I’ve been trying to get a message to a client for about 3 weeks with no luck whatsoever.  I’ve called, left multiple voice messages and I’ve left at least 5 e-mails and I hear nothing.  While this is frustrating me to a certain degree it was frustrating him to an even bigger degree.

This man’s assistant had a moderate heart attack and the result for my client is doing 2 jobs at the same time with high expectations on both, high need for completion, minimal help and close to zero time at his desk.  I’ve never been a big fan of texting in a professional environment and yet when I finally texted him I got an almost immediate response!  This reminded me of trying to reach one of my daughters.  Calling might mean hearing back in between 10 minutes and 6 hours and often when I call I get a text asking “What do you want?”  My thought process is answer and find out!

My client was happy to handle everything by text message because he could do it on the fly without communication regarding anything other than the task at hand.  I guess this is one of the things my kids like.  I now know it’s one of the things he likes.  If you need to text me feel free!  Text me 9162256931 and please include your name when you do.  If you want a call back that’s great and aside from a specific request I will simply text my response!  Thanks kids!

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!

New Calendar’s Will Be Required In A Few Days… Ready?

As hard as it is to imagine, Thanksgiving is just a few days away and Christmas and New Years are just a few days after that. Or so it seems.

As you get busy planning your end of year activities like forecasting, budgets, staffing, maintenance, projections, vacations, and even parties don’t forget that January 1, 2018 will eventually arrive. Without a physical calendar to track things you may be dead (or at least injured) in the water.  While some things can be tracked and managed on line or electronically there is still no replacement for a physical item that can be seen by everyone.

Some of the most productive people I know use all three… wall calendars, desk calendars and electronic calendars to monitor what is going on and to keep them on task. Electronic calendars are excellent for keeping track of birthdays, anniversaries and other things that repeat predictably… so is Facebook!  The greater your lack of predictability at works means the great need for a physical calendar.

The best time to think about ordering a calendar is before you need one. Most people I talk to start needing a new 2018 calendar starting about the 10th of December because things need to get put down in ink!  Reminders matter and the old adage of if you want to get something done ask someone who is already busy… They know how.  Studies repeatedly show that the most productive among us use a physical means to know what’s next.  If you make list’s you should use a calendar.  VSG can help.  We can make custom calendars of most any type you desire.  Want to know more?  Call me at 916-225-6931 and we’ll get it done!

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!