Tag Archives: Floor

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!

Signs And Their Backdrop

river level

At Visual Solution Group we don’t see the same sign many others do.  Artists don’t see that same sculpture others do.  I remember reading about a sculptor who said all he did was look at a hunk of granite and remove everything that didn’t look like Micheangelo.  This is an overly simplistic statement with a lot of power.

I was recently hiking with my bride in the Auburn area and we came upon this sign and it contains a high level of subtle drama.  Being residents in this valley we read frequently about river drowning and who gets impacted.  The victims tend to fall into those who are poor swimmers, those who were impacted by the temperature of the water and those who were caught off guard by changing water levels.

Certain areas of the rivers have issues that are unique to them.  The area where this sign is positioned is near a place where water is released from a dam.  The releases aren’t advertised or always at the same time and if you didn’t frequently this area the odds are you could be caught off guard.  Being caught off guard here could lead to a fatality.

Look at this sign and you will see the warning in the forefront and surrounding the sign you see evidence of a wild and rapidly flowing river.  The background of the sign supports the forefront of the sign and makes the entire package very real.  The viewer might never consciously associate the sign and the background but their subconscious likely will.   The goal they were after was to cause a certain level of alert and a certain level of danger.  Mission accomplished!

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!

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!

Stolen Letters

stolenletters

My daughter likes to cook. I like to eat. The other reality is I like to eat many of the things my doctor tells me I shouldn’t like to eat.  This is a great relationship on many levels with the exception of my doctors!

I recently asked my daughter to make me a cake and she was more than happy to do so.  I was extremely disappointed when I arrived home I found no cake… It turns out I really wanted cake.  When I asked why she explained we had no eggs and thus no cake.  I wanted her to improvise and go another route.  She was able to find an egg like product in the ice box and used that.  The result was not a good one.  The best description I have for this result is at best incomplete.

This sign was completed with an egg like product.  The best grade I can give it is an incomplete although the person who figured out which letters to substitute gets an “A” for effort. A better solution for this could be an electronic digital sign.  No one loses the letters and you can change the display on a week to week or even hour to hour basis.  The cost is very reasonable and at the end of the day the lack of finger pointing in regards to who lost the letters could be worth the investment all by itself.  Give us a call.

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!

Another Way We Serve The Community We Live In

Doris & Desiree

My bride Desiree and I along with about 600 of our closest friends recently attended and co-sponored the Sacramento Pacific Asian Chamber Of Commerce 25th Anniversary event at the Hyatt Regency.  This was a chance to get together as a community and celebrate the economic impact we have on the region we live in and support.

The event also took time to honor the Matsui Family and what they have done for our region over the past 25 years.  After Representative Bob Matsui unexpectedly passed away his wife Doris picked up where he left off and she did so without missing a beat.  Representative Matsui (pictured here with my beautiful wife Desiree) spoke about what Sacramento means to her family and even took the time to recognize some of the many dignitaries in the audience.  Mayor Steinberg introduced Representative Matsui because he has worked side-by-side with her family with both State Government and Sacramento City.

Visual Solution Group was a sponsor of the event and this came about from much of the work we have done with the Sac Asian Chamber.  We have worked with this chamber for the last decade and have been honored in the past as the “Business Of The Year” and as a Chamber Ambassador.  I have seen businesses grow and as a result job growth due to the effort of the Chamber and its members.  Whenever we get the chance to help the Chamber out we know it means another job is going to be created and more people prosper as a result.  Here’s to another 25 years!

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!eventsign

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!