Tag Archives: Dogs

Placement Matters

Oops!  This was my thought when I rolled up on this sign the other morning.  So many things were going great and one thing detracted from what was going on.

There I was… on my way to see a client and I hit a traffic slowdown.  No one likes to hit traffic but something good came out of it.  Road repair was happening in front of me and the crew from Elk Grove was seriously hard at work like I’ve seen them work in the past.  They were patching potholes that morning (Who doesn’t hate potholes?) and while I was stopped I saw this sign.  They were evidently so busy getting to work that sign configuration was a minimal consideration.  This is a familiar story.

If I was to write a story on signs that were improperly installed by others I could write for a long, long time.  Signs not level, signs not actually affixed, signs placed where they increase confusion and signs placed in places they shouldn’t be placed.  This sign was upside down and this happens because someone gets busy and makes a mistake.  While I waited in my truck I watched people point at the sign and laugh.  How much of their laughter is directed at the sign and how much at the work crew who put the sign in place?  That answer is impossible to say but figures in to the entire equation.  VSG installers spend a little bit more time to create a better result.  We fix mistakes others have made and we dot I’s and cross T’s.  If VSG was the last one there and failed to act when acting should have happened, that’s on us.  Placement matters!

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!

Before And After… A Window Into An Office

Some transformations are easier than they appear and make more of a difference than was originally planned.  Witness the office door at the Visual Solution Group world headquarters.  What was an ordinary office window that provided no level of privacy or security was transformed into an advertisement, office location and has an added level of security.

The change here is significant to say the least.  This is an application to an existing office window with the original window left intact.  This is a specialty sticker that is applied to a window with  logo overlay.  When we want to remove this it only requires a razor blade and a little time.  Since you cannot see into the office no one knows what or who is in the office and only shadows appear when the occupant is moving around.  When someone is looking for our world headquarters we stand out from everyone else and the quality tends to enhance what we do.

Others can use this cost effective and fairly simple solution in their own world.  We recently helped a law office obscure the partners offices and this increased the overall confidentiality for their clients.  Since you can see shadows through the glass it can show activity.  Possibly the best part of this comes down to the people viewing it from the outside.  They will likely wonder what in the heck is happening behind the glass and they will also know that steps are being taken to ensure privacy.  This is an elegant solution for many situations and we can help!

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!

Confused? Go Ahead And Study This Sign… We Can Wait!

This is an example of a sign where they wanted to do everything at the same time and ended up doing nothing at all.  Here we are warning of drones, bikes, pets, wind, night time and even scooters.  This is a common mistake made by those who need to do a lot and see the task as being pretty easy.

We understand that signs may have a certain amount of potential liability attached to them.  While a sign maker prints what’s ordered we also know we are often the final set of eyes between what was ordered and what was actually sought.  This sign needed to be broken up into signs in a manner that makes some sense.

There are multiple references to things related to walking on or near the bridge.  A single stand alone sign listing the rules and responsibilities for pedestrians such as the side of the bridge to walk on, the acceptable hours for walking, the stairs to use and warning regarding gusty winds.  As far as warning about things with wheels create a sign that includes skateboards, rollerblades, scooters and bicycles.

Doing less with one sign typically allows you to do much more with additional signs.  The minute a sign causes confusion is the same minute the average reader quits reading and moves on.  This can be controlled in advance and can mean the difference between a sign that matters and a sign that is little more than a collection of words and pictures.  The sign we attached gets a badly failing grade and lives as an example of what to not do,

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!

Visual Communication You Can Almost Taste!

Have you ever been driving down the road and you knew you wanted something and weren’t sure what that something was? I think we’ve all been there and in California you might see an In-N-Out sign or even a set of Golden Arches. Either of these signs tell you what’s ahead and you likely know what you can expect to find. In-N-Out opted to use words to convey what you will find and McDonalds used an image they have branded. Both are solid options.

Here we have the Burger Lounge and the option they used. The image shows an ice cold beverage spilling over in corner with a great looking burger and fries. They use the word lounge and this infers they might have adult beverages and the backdrop suggests down home food in a quaint setting. They included the web site to allow you to learn more if you choose. About the only shortcoming is the lack of an area code on the telephone number and possibly hours of operation. This is an example of a great visual communication in our opinion.

There is a space in the brain that organizes images and sounds and we keep that in mind when we design signs. If someone tells you to imagine what a school bus looks like most people think big yellow vehicle with kids in it on their way to or from school. When someone tells me Burger Lounge on a frosty mug with something spilling over I think delicious and prepare to eat! There is a lot of inherent science going on here we should all be using!

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!

Not A Missile Drop Area…

The more specific a sign is the more likely it’ll be read and the directions followed.  Often the reader will read between the lines and take an extra moment and determine what prompted the sign to be erected.  I saw such a sign on the Rio Vista Bridge recently.  My initial suspicion was missiles!

There’s a lot going on with this sign… that presents both opportunities and problems.  When we try to communicate too much we often communicating nothing.  Confusing words like;

– Penal Code Violation

– Willfully Drops

– Missiles

– Misdemeanor

– Under Surveillance

This sign is primarily aimed at pedestrians based on size and placement.  It would be difficult to drop something from a bridge and it would be ever more of a challenge to drop a missile from the bridge if you were driving over the bridge.  As far as a warning about a missile goes… that’s a first for me.

Surveillance is quite a different warning.  Surveillance is something we’ve become used to in our society and is commonplace.  I’ve had customers place signs like this without the ability to watch anyone in any way.  They are piggybacking on what others are doing and are either saving money or placing themselves at risk.  When someone wants a sign saying something is happening they aren’t really doing I advise them to rethink their position.  If something happens where a video would have helped prove or disprove something and it’s found out they don’t have a video a legal issue could crop up (This has happened and been litigated) and someone could be on the legal hook over a 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!