Tag Archives: Roundabout

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!

 

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!

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!

 

 

Have You Heard About The Neon Museum?

neon museum

Las Vegas… Also known as Sin City, has an incredible tourist attraction focusing on Neon. There is perhaps no place in the world that has meant so much to both neon and signs in general than Las Vegas.  Signs in Las Vegas and for that matter Nevada attempt to lure you in with .99 steak dinners and free drinks.  These signs can mean the difference between life and death for a casino or restaurant.

In California we aren’t so lucky. Neon was used sparingly here years ago at places like Shakey’s and the occasional buffet but for the most part we were relegated to what are called dimensional letters.  These were used and in some cases are still used as signage and while not as cool or unique as neon they still served a purpose.  The reality is they still serve a purpose for many businesses in our region.  The other fact is they are a dying breed.

Here are some dimensional letters I found in a thrift store the other day and I wonder what story they could tell if we could listen. What business did they grace?  Why were these used specifically?  What did the owner want to convey?  Did they make someone money or just get a point across?  I find it interesting that letters like these are making a small comeback.  These communicate something different and done right they are very eye catching.  Sadly, most of the signs like this  I have seen are in such dis-repair the only thing they communicate is a lack of interest.  What does a sign in dis-repair say to 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!

Signs That Put You At Risk

lot #1 Lot #2

I was pulling onto Laguna Blvd the other day in my wifes car and noticed something I’ve never noticed before. Today I snapped a picture of the monument sign in the parking at Laguna & Bruceville.  While I typically drive a truck and the view is clear on this day here is what I saw.

How has this not been repaired?  This sign causes an almost complete obstruction of the traffic on Laguna as you attempt to merge onto the street.  The cross traffic is moving at about 45 miles per hour and this sign makes it a blind intersection.  I looked at this today and wondered what I might have done differently and still maintain the integrity and signage value.

This sign could have been raised about 4 feet to allow the driver of a car to see underneath it.  The other reality is that could interfere with the person driving a truck.  The sign could have been moved back to allow a car or truck driver earlier vision of Laguna Blvd and this was not a great option as it reduces the visibility of the sign.  The best option I came up with was decreasing the height of the sign by about 14”.  Doing this would allow the sign to remain effective while increasing the safety of the driver and their passengers.

Signs like this are much like signs we use for exits and ADA access in that placement and design matters!

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 That Tell A Story

McDonalds

From the time when we were still children most of us loved hearing a story. As the roles changed we became the story teller.  Many parents spent their initial evenings as a parent reading to their children and telling the story they want to tell.  Stories can have a big impact.

I was in McDonalds recently and they have this story posted.  The manner in which it was done gets their point across without anyone saying a word.  Ever wonder where your Big Mac comes from?  To tell the truth I never thought about it and now that I know it matters. This sign tells you where they get the basic parts and since it’s all pretty local I feel even better about eating a Big Mac.  Knowing the ingredients in my Big Mac come from Stockton, Gilroy, Salinas, Fresno and L.A. County makes me feel like freshness might be a big issue with McDonalds and encourages me to eat there more often.  Places like Salinas and Fresno are known to us all as places where they grow crops and I feel good about that as well.

What story do you want to tell with your signage?  How can we incorporate this idea and make it part of your story?

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 Sign Of Frustration?

Parking Warning

Signs don’t change themselves… the behavior of people doesn’t change itself either. This sign (actual sign by the way!) was born of frustration.  This sign came about after someone or a group of someone’s didn’t understand or respect parking restrictions.

The reality is we see this example daily. This sort of problem can be handled in a proactive manner and handled without raising anyone’s blood pressure.  This person or group decided to go with some level of humor and some level of directness. Don’t Even THINK Of Parking Here is anything but subtle.  Its apparent subtlety wasn’t getting the job done.  Another one of the signs we see violated consistently is in a pharmacy where they request people remain behind a certain line to maintain patient confidentiality.  People constantly crowd the counter and patient consultations were anything but confidential.  This is more than a social nicety it’s also required under the new tenants of HIPPA.  HIPPA mandates privacy and violations of the HIPPA act place workers in an impossible position.

The solution was direct and anything but subtle. A sign saying Wait Here Or You Will Be The Last To Be Called got the point across.  The reality is people found the humor in the sign and the intent to maintain confidentiality.  You may not have the confidence to move to this solution but it worked elegantly.  Some may call this a sign using humor when in scientific reality this is called having a pattern re-direct and it works.  Problem solved!

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!

Creating Maximum Confusion When Seconds Matter

confusion

Some signs inform and do a very good job of doing just that. A sign telling you “Do Not Enter” is hard to mistake what your action should be. When you see a sign that tells you “Vehicle Traffic Only” it’s hard to mistake that as a pedestrian walkway.

I recently drove by this sign and my first impression/reaction was one of complete and total confusion. Signs meant to convey a warning or policy tell you what is not allowed, not what is allowed. The main reason for this is when you don’t explicitly say what you mean people take advantage of both nuances and ambiguity and insert their own understanding. Another problem I saw with this “exit” was contradicting signs letting you know vehicle traffic is acceptable and you cannot enter there.

Wording and clarity of signs is of critical importance especially when you have the potential of both vehicle and pedestrian traffic. When conveying a message clarity matters and taking sufficient care to avoid leaving much room for interpretation makes a difference. Most people don’t take the time to stop and think about signs they just saw and instead they just react with the as much information as is available to them and interpret in the manner they choose. With signs like this it can lead to disaster!

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!

What A Sign Tells You About The Ones Who Posted it…

free ice cream

A Visual Solution Group customer was in line to buy ice cream in the Bay Area recently and snapped a picture of a sign above a door.  “Free Ice Cream For Active U.S. Military Personnel” explained a lot about the ice cream parlors ownership to her.

This customer is retired military and currently works in the medical field.  She values her time in the service and counts it as the most important time of her life with the exception of the time she spent raising her children.  She witnessed people who entered the military barely able to function because they were away from home for the first time and a year later some of those people were leaders and even entry level officers.  She related to me that being in the service made her a better mom when the time came.

She saw this sign as an owner who wanted to give something back in a small way and recognize others that gave something back.  This owner is, in a very real way giving something back.  The reality is the active military person is going to get a $4 dollar scoop of ice cream and much like a small token gift at Christmas it’s the thought that counts.  Someone took the time to order the sign, install the sign and then offer the promotion.  While this person was in the parlor they witnessed 4 people take advantage of this offer.  Each person was in uniform and no I/D was requested.  If 4 people per day take advantage of this and a scoop of ice cream is $4.05 that means they give way $5913 of ice cream in a year.  I love this country!

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!