Tag Archives: Gender

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!

“Now That Was An Attention Getter!”

In the movie “Smokey And The Bandit” Sheriff Buford T. Justice played by Jackie Gleason said early in the movie “Now That Was An Attention Getter” shortly after getting the attention of a teenager attempting to vandalize a car.  A great sign can divert your attention from what you’re focused on and get you to change that focus.

I was on the freeway the other day and this van was in front of me.  I had my daughter get my phone out and take this picture so I could share it. This moving sign accomplishes a lot.  Since it’s on a van you see the words and that forces a change in what you were doing.  My first thought was very different than what the sign was actually saying.  Working in the medical industry further anchored my attention to this sign.  By then my mind changed what it was paying attention to and was now locked into the message in front of me.

The challenge I had with this type of sign is how much attention someone might pay while in the process of driving.  Diverting attention in this manner could lead to an accident… no one wants that.  This sign might be better placed in a diabetic clinic or on a direct mail piece however doing that might diminish the impact.  Is it possible this sign could offend some?  Yes.  Is taking that chance worthwhile?  Maybe yes and maybe no.  I’d be willing to risk that depending on where the sign was going to be placed.  I can tell you it got my attention.  What about you?

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!

 

A Contradiction In Terms On Display

There are times in life when we encounter something so clear its easy to miss.  Some people use the phrase “You can’t see the forest for the trees” which means the trees are in the way.  In this week’s example someone took the time to create and post a sign to alert others that no sign should be posted there.  This is like passing a police officer on the freeway while speeding and talking on your phone which makes no sense at all!

This sign almost begs someone to post a sign if for no other reason than someone else did.  There’s no authority on this sign so no real reason to respect what it says.  Had they taken the time to state who controlled the space and who was forbidding the posting of a sign it might go a long way to getting others to comply.  Since they were making a sign why not get it done right the first time?

Signs in schools or health care facilities have an even higher standard to serve.  Signs need to be as concise as reasonable while explaining what they need to explain.    Explaining everything there is to explain on one sign is seldom an attainable goal.  The “Post No Signs” should have explained who made the demand and left it at that.  Anything else isn’t necessary or helpful information and may lead to confusion.

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!

Is Common Sense All That Common?

Common sense is getting less and less common so the existence of a sign warning you to keep your arms and hands away from an incoming train explains a lot.  One of the first things I know is this was an issue for someone who didn’t keep either their arms, hands or both away from an incoming train.  The follow up question is did the train hit someone and if so how hard?  Was there a lawsuit?  Can further injuries realistically be prevented?  Signs alerting you to potential hazards save injuries, lives and even embarrassment.  When someone is standing on a train platform the reality is a train will eventually arrive and in many cases this lowers your awareness even though the natural reaction would be heightened awareness.  Those who placed the sign know you are likely to be more concerned when the train will arrive and the hazard of the train may take a back seat.

There is a complex matrix of laws that surround the placement of signs including why they are placed where they are placed.  Imagine you have sight issues and rely on Braille to find your way around.  This includes the ability to find and enter the proper doorway.  Wouldn’t it be helpful to understand where the information on that door will be located every time you need to know?  It turns out there is and this is why our installers attend educational classes.  This education isn’t something you see and no degrees are granted.  If you have vision issues the world can be an intimidating place and having something located in a spot where you can commonly find it is life changing.  We think that’s just common sense!

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!