Tag Archives: Installation

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!

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!

Modern Day Solution With Worn Out Display…

Bitcoin

I saw this sign on a business in Nevada City over the weekend and someone I was with didn’t have a clue what a “Bitcoin” actually is. I explained what I knew by telling them it’s a “Cryptocurrency” and a lot has been written about it in the news. All I know is the Bitcoin has had a huge increase in value and most people think it’s in a “bubble.”  The idea is both new and somewhat controversial.

With the advent of Bitcoin and other new currencies I would never expect to see worn out signage telling me they accept this in of all places Nevada City in a gift shop but they did! Accepting one of these new currencies tells me you are on the leading edge of technology and once I see the sign I have a different point of view.  What they choose to tell me is their reality doesn’t match my reality and it’s my reality I care about.

This happens all the time. I recently saw a client at a trade show who was using poorly printed hand-outs in an attempt to lure new customers to use their business.  They spent very little time viewing these and instead relied on what they had to say.  The hand-outs are what’s taken home and viewed at a later date.  I helped them my updating the piece with a little design work and some small enhancements and had them printed and the result was astonishing.  Oh, by the way… The product I created cost less than printing them out of their own.  I can explain this in person if you have something I can help 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!

How Visual Solution Group Prefers To Complete A Job

We were called back to a customer’s business recently to answer questions about how to complete an incomplete job. The question seemed odd because VSG was only contracted to build and deliver the actual signs.  Once we returned and met with the Engineer the issue became clear.

A short history of this job showed VSG was hired to build gender neutral bathroom signs and directory signs for a small medical complex and deliver them by a specific date. This was done according to the agreement and we even have a picture of where they were placed upon delivery.  So far so good!  The Engineer called up confused about why they were left where they were and what our plan was.

After checking our records and talking with the person who ordered the signs it was determined they wanted their own staff to install the signs as opposed to having VSG do the installation. We had done everything expected of us and it was the client who didn’t take the next step.  After a short meeting the awesome VSG installers retrieved the signs and completed the installation.  Of course, when they were done they took another picture of the completed work and the client was thrilled.

Our installation team prefers to install the signs we build for the sake of both continuity and completion. Taking the burden off the shoulders of our client is why we’re here and it’s what we’re best at.  When we take the project from start to finish our name is on every aspect of what we’ve done.  We took the order, got the signs built right and they are installed in compliance with the local laws.  Got a problem… Call me and I handle it. In the words of the leader of the A-Team “I love it when a plan comes together!”

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!