Tag Archives: Gender

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!

 

A New Play On A Familiar Sign…

McDonalds W

Thursday March 8th was International Women’s Day.  This is an annual event held to celebrate women’s achievements throughout history and across nations.  It’s also known as the United Nations (UN) Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace.

Many companies celebrate the day and the contribution women make to the world in both loud and quiet manners and few got the attention of McDonalds Corporation.  In a direct salute to women franchisees they turned the iconic McDonalds sign upside down to create a W where the M once stood.  Just a quick glance may not be sufficient and a longer look makes the change clear.  Why was this done and what’s the impact?

This was likely done to create a media impact and if that was the intent they hit a home run with runners on base.  This was only done at restaurants where the franchisee is female and in those markets press releases were issued to draw attention to those owners.  That attention drew media interviews and more than a few spotlights on those franchisees on local news reports.  This media stunt also told the world that anyone who is driven can succeed and we don’t have artificial barriers to that success.

On the other hand I saw this as a pattern interrupt and that is exactly what it sounds like.  We are lulled into a sense of almost sleep and when something is changed it wakes us from that slumber and forces us to pay attention.  Keep in mind it was McDonalds who started their signage with the idea of “Over 6 Billion Served” and they would update that number as they needed.  Seems to me they learned a lesson.

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!

Which Way Is The Best Way?

either way

We spend a lot of time over here at Visual Solutions Group working to eliminate confusing signs.  The sad reality is they seem to multiply faster than we can eliminate them.  Possibly the biggest question we have boils down to “is anyone paying attention?”

This is an example of a sign a client sent to us from Southern California and the picture was taken in a private parking lot.  What would you do?  How would you proceed?  The issues we have with this sign are twofold.  The first issue is the obvious confusion it creates and the results of that confusion.  While that’s bad enough the second aspect of this sign that disturbs us is the potential liability which could result from the use of a sign that can only be described as intentionally confusing.  If you saw this sign what would you do?  How would you react?

Signs like this are a result of multiple failures and not the least of which comes down to peoples inability to properly communicate.  As more and more of our communication transitions to the digital world less communication happens.  The next time you are at a stop light take a look at the drivers around you and see how many of them are looking at their phones.  Those are the folks your signs need to reach and get their point across in a few split seconds… Much like digital communication is delivered.

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

“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!

Life Is Lived In 3 Dimensions… Your Signs Can Be The Same Way!

farrells sign

Is Today the day to take your company name or logo 3D with dimensional lettering?  More and more companies, hospitals and colleges are saying yes it is.  The reasons and benefits are clear and where every sign doesn’t need to be a dimensional letter it’s clear some should be.

Dimensional lettering is found almost everywhere and while the impact is clear you may not even know what these are.  What they are is an extremely popular way to advertise and promote what you need promoted.  These letters are constructed from aluminum, acrylic, laminated acrylic, steel, foam, laminated foam and even formed plastic. Durability varies depending on material but metal lasts the longest along with costing more and aluminum letters are a more cost-effective material and worth considering if you want the metal look without the higher price.

The use of these letter takes most people back to a simpler time and the best example I have with the most relevancy is Farrell’s Ice Cream.  The signage they used could be placed almost anywhere and was ideal for their company’s name and as a result it also enhanced and cemented in the mind of their customer their logo. Above and beyond the value of the logo this type of signage can be perfect for giving directions and overall way finding signage and can be used both indoors and out.

There are lots of options so choosing which direction to go might be one of the biggest questions you have.  I can answer that!  I can show you the impact the signage will have and why spending the additional money is at time the best investment possible for your sign dollar.

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!

Why Use 6 Signs When You Can Use 1?

multisigns

Here is a group of signs we happened upon on a beach and I needed to share this with anyone and everyone who was willing to stop and look.  We all know how distracted people are these days and there is no reason to think things are going to get better any time soon.  Cell phones have social media, text message ability, the internet, Amazon Prime and some phones can even send and receive calls I am told.

These signs on this beach take distraction to a whole new level.  Imagine you are with your family as I was and you see a bright, inviting and sandy beach in the back ground.  Further imagine it’s a warm day and it appears you are going to have the beach almost to yourselves.  Pretty picture so far!  You park the car and get ready for the short hike to a gorgeous day and you are confronted with not one but six signs telling you about every possible peril that lies ahead.  Imagine further that each sign speaks of a different danger and each is for real and has meaning and value!

Why did someone go out of their way to create confusion and place signage in such a manner as this?  We all know it’s hard enough to get humans to read and comprehend a single sign and here someone went the path of 6 signs to communicate with beachgoers.  It’s evident that missing one warning could cause serious injury or even death and whoever did the sign went that way anyway.  What is the person making the signs used only a signle sign, highlighted the dangers and then took the final and possibly most important step of telling you who to call if you have a problem.  In my estimation this is what a pro would do and I know because I am that pro!

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!