Tag Archives: Braille

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!

 

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!

“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!

“Stop” Me If You’ve Heard This One…

Shuttle Stop

If you’ve ever wondered why I take the time to wander around the hallways of a business, school or medical facility this is what the lawyers call an “on point” example. By “on point” they mean what everyone should be talking about.  The sad reality is I see this more often than most would imagine.  I was challenged by this statement recently and this was my response.

I was challenged by a manager (not going to reveal who) who thought I was over emphasizing the issue so we made a professionals bet of lunch as to who was right. The bet was we could go to a place I had never been and find more than one sign that appeared like this.  I had to find more than one and they were the final decision maker.

The person I bet with was right and they still had to buy lunch. They became tired of looking at out of date signs, weathered signs, incomplete signs, broken signs, incorrect signs and signs that reflected poorly on the place we visited.  They took the next step to help me talk to the director of the place I was and they are now a customer.  I won lunch (I tried to buy) and have a new customer.  I call that “Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!”

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!

Reminding, Entertaining Or Both?

Tipsy

I keep an eye out for creativity in the business world and some folks surprise me with what they come up with. When I saw this sign I wasn’t completely taken aback until I saw what folks were actually leaving in this tip jar.  Once I made a more critical observation my point of view changed in a hurry.

This was in the Honolulu airport wine store where they only offer to go items and my observation was this sign was a message/market match. Some folks drink wine for the sole purpose of feeling a “Little Tipsy” and that resonated with the patrons of this shop.  In fact I stopped and watched what was going on for about 10 minutes or so and my takeaway was huge.

In this shop every single transaction I saw was with either a credit card or a debit card and they were busier than I ever considered they could or would be. In about 6 of 10 cases the person buying would look at the sign and smile and then reach in to their pocket and tip between $1 and $5 before leaving.  Since everyone paid with a credit or debit card there was no way I could tell if the others were “Feeling Tipsy” but the odds are they were.  The tip jar being there told the customers that tipping is not only acceptable but others are doing it at the point of purchase.  Since others were doing it they were in the norm for following along with the majority.  This is a great way to communicate what others are doing and a subtle way to get people to join in.

How can this add to your place of business and I’m not talking about getting tips. What about customer compliance of just engagement?  If you write it they may join!

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!

How Can A Sign Be Part Of Your Office Décor?

I was watching a re-run of a 1980’s show called L.A. Law recently and right there in front of me was a timelessly classic example of a sign created to be part of an office décor. While I cannot verify it I would go so far as to say the sign was created to engender the feeling that you are in a safe place and the people here take care of things like no one else can.

You may not even know you have that feeling you do. Remember the first time you saw the Disneyland sign when you were a child?  For most adults that memory will never be erased and most adults have the same feeling today.  The feeling today will cost us a lot more money but people happily spend that money in order to get the associated feeling.  The sign is where it starts and the park is where it happens.

When you first see the sign in the L.A. Law office the next thing you see is the perfectly appointed flowers and the director of first impressions. You know you are in a special place and expect to be treated that way.  When you look at how the rest of the office is designed you now expect the best.  Memorable to say the least… remarkable when you consider it all started with a sign.  Want to make this happen?  Talk to VSG!

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!

Modern Day Solution With Worn Out Display…

Bitcoin

I saw this sign on a business in Nevada City over the weekend and someone I was with didn’t have a clue what a “Bitcoin” actually is. I explained what I knew by telling them it’s a “Cryptocurrency” and a lot has been written about it in the news. All I know is the Bitcoin has had a huge increase in value and most people think it’s in a “bubble.”  The idea is both new and somewhat controversial.

With the advent of Bitcoin and other new currencies I would never expect to see worn out signage telling me they accept this in of all places Nevada City in a gift shop but they did! Accepting one of these new currencies tells me you are on the leading edge of technology and once I see the sign I have a different point of view.  What they choose to tell me is their reality doesn’t match my reality and it’s my reality I care about.

This happens all the time. I recently saw a client at a trade show who was using poorly printed hand-outs in an attempt to lure new customers to use their business.  They spent very little time viewing these and instead relied on what they had to say.  The hand-outs are what’s taken home and viewed at a later date.  I helped them my updating the piece with a little design work and some small enhancements and had them printed and the result was astonishing.  Oh, by the way… The product I created cost less than printing them out of their own.  I can explain this in person if you have something I can help 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!