Tag Archives: Braille

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!

 

 

 

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!

Gentlemen… This Is A Football

The famous football coach Vince Lombardi loved to take his players back to the basics after any loss.  He started every post loss practice with the phrase “Gentlemen, this is a football.”  His thought was that managing the most basic element of what you were responsible for made you better than most everyone else.  Today I want to review what a sign is.

The word sign comes from the 13th century and means gesture or motion of the hand, especially one meant to communicate something.  The term comes from the Latin word signum “identifying mark, token, indication, symbol, proof, military standard, ensign, a signal, an omen, SIGN in the heavens or constellation.  Keep in mind this is from the 13th century and the term is still being used in its same basic form today!

This is where the idea of Visual Communication originated.  When the term was initially agreed on the language the world used was very different and much less developed than it is today.  With language being more developed today we have far more ways to confuse the most basic level of communication.  Scholars say that the English language is one of the more difficult languages to learn due to multiple meanings for the same sounding word.  There, their and they’re are excellent examples of that difficulty.  When spoken they can be confusing and they get more clear when written if the reader is paying attention, understands the difference and isn’t engaged on social media.  I mention social media due to what has become acceptable spelling and syntax errors.  Some of the errors redefine what a sign is and must be taken into account when a sign is designed.

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!

Who’s Minding The Store?

Clients send me interesting, confusing and disturbing signs and I appreciate that.  This sign was sent in recently and belongs in the confusing category.  The sign on the left tells the reader pretty clearly what the Winter hours are.  That’s helpful.  The sign on the right informs you they are closed for maintenance.  Only one of them is likely correct.

Situations like this come up more often than owners or managers realize.  This company had no intention of placing a sign telling you they’re open and closed at the same time.  How does this happen?  I recently came upon a sign on a door that clearly identified that door as an evacuation route and another sign on the same door that said “Do Not Enter”.  Listing both of those things are at best conflicting and at worst could get someone injured.

Avoiding conflicting signs comes down to paying close attention to what you’re doing and might even mean going an extra step by having someone who isn’t associated with what you want to communicate reading your signage. This person would read the sign, tell you what they see and then you compare their understanding to what’s written.  Both the “Do Not Enter” and the evacuation sign are perfect messages…when they are combined the meaning becomes unclear.  Take a minute right now and look at the signs you have posted and read them for content and consistency.  You may find signs that don’t belong together or signs that confuse more than they educate.  The next step is yours!

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!

Signs That Lighten The Mood

More and more intersections feature signs designed to elicit the specific behavior of getting drivers to slow down and pay attention.  Sometimes they want you to slow down due to way too many collisions and other times they want you to slow down because someone died there.  Either way the creator of the sign wants your attention for what they consider to be a good reason.

In this blog I’m going to concentrate on a single place where multiple accidents have happened and where a little extra caution might be of value.  I frequently use the term “Mother Nature is undefeated”.  I told this to a friend recently after his home was damaged by a storm.  No one was hurt but it was obvious who was in charge.  Here I’ve attached a picture where someone near a wall is keeping track of walls won/loss record as it relates to cars.   So far… Undefeated!

This is kind of a fun way to get you to slow down and pay closer attention.  In reality the wall doesn’t care if you hit it reminding you avoid doing so goes a long way!  The record of this particular wall is better than it states.  In the nine years this planter has been in place it’s been hit over and over.  The City has documented 23 repairs and damage levels have ranged from $461 to $2.626 for a total of at least $25,745.  The first crash happened during the initial construction process and most repairs are listed as happening for unknown reasons.  The biggest takeaway from signs of this type are slow down, pay closer attention and live longer!    

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!

Today I Am Sharing A Sign A Client Sent In…

I love sharing unique signs with you and today I’m sharing a sign I never got to see personally.  This sign image was captured by a client who was recently on holiday in Palm Springs.  Part of the story she shared was looking at what the sign said then looking at those who responded.  The entire group was comprised of men, all were having a beverage of some sort and about half were smoking cigars.  The sign said what they had, what they were looking for and where to gather.  Brilliant!

No matter anyone’s opinion on smoking cigars, wine bars or micro- brews we can all relate to the idea of day care.  In this case day care became evening care for men who apparently had spouses who wanted to shop with minimal desire to have their significant other tag along.  The lady who snapped this picture related she was going to come back the next day, drop her husband off and go shopping with her girlfriend.

This sign is very smart as it tells the reader in short order what they have (Cigar Bar, Wine Bar and Micro-Brews), who the service is offered to (husbands, not wives) and what they can do for them (Day Care).  The simplicity is incredible and they eliminate an entire group of shoppers without offending anyone walking by.  The next question is how can this be applied to your business or organization as elegantly as this place does?

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!

You Say Potato And I Say What?

As our area and nation becomes increasingly diverse, we are tasked with being able to communicate with more and more people without using English.  This melting pot we call America, and especially California, has people from all over the world and we need to factor in everyone to the greatest extent and level of inclusion possible.

According to the Los Angeles times there are currently 220 languages used in California and 44% of all residents speak something other than English in their home.  The reality is that communication challenge continues when they leave their home and engage the rest of the world.  We are asked to create a sign recently in English, Spanish and Chinese.  Our follow up question was met with a blank stare.  The question was “What Chinese dialect do we represent on the sign?”  This matters greatly and since this sign was in a medical facility it took on an even greater level of importance.

As the picture we used demonstrates, there are different ways to talk to groups of people even here in the states so we cannot be so cavalier as to ignore this actual need.  The reality was the person ordering the sign needed to do more homework before the actual order was placed and the sign created.  Once we had the dialect (there ended up being 2!) we were able to meet with our team, get the translation and graphics done and solve the issue.  At the end of the day we must be sensitive to the person reading the sign!

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!

Using Humor To Engage And Inform

Most signs are created for a specific intent and convey a specific message.  This is the nature and goal of signs.  Signs exist to communicate visually in much the same way as someone would use sign language to communicate with a person who doesn’t have the gift of hearing.  This is a sign we saw recently and the creator went in a different direction.  While the direction they chose has a limited range it worked here and I wanted to share.

Few people like being solicited and I’m included in that group.  This sign enters the conversation the person who is being solicited might have going on in their head.  We don’t have enough money to buy what you are selling.  We are voting and have decided who to vote for.  We have a religious faith so we are all set for the here-after.  If, on the other hand you are selling thin mints we want to talk to you.  Other than that please go away!

This would get the attention of most people and if nothing else it gives us a reason to smile.  Humor tends to cross all boundaries and many consider humor, in it’s most basic form to be a universal language.  This sign spells out no soliciting in a fun way without being overly mean or confrontational.  I love its simplicity and when was the last time humans didn’t want to have at least a little fun?  Now, about those Thin Mints…

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!