Tag Archives: Student signs

Things We See When We Do A Sign Audit…

We started the idea of “Sign Audit’s” when someone asked us to see if there were any issues that needed to be addressed. At the end of the audit it became a question of what to do first and what could wait. Some items were important and other items were urgent. The attached picture is on the urgent list.

This is a picture of a hand written sign someone placed over an emergency phone that had been identified as “Non-Operational” for in excess of 3 weeks! Whoever placed this was no doubt trying to be funny. Imagine if someone was in a dire emergency, the phone was their only option and they’re met with this sign. Someone knew there was a problem, someone likely reported the problem and then someone dropped the ball. We charged nothing to fix this problem. We identified the problem and got the people responsible to put this high on their priority list. We imagined the long term cost of doing nothing. This is just one of the ways we add value.

When we see something like this we take it to the next logical level. “What If” is a question we ask and when we don’t like the answer we draw a line in the sand and do whatever we can to get the issue handled. In a case where an Emergency Phone line is down we keep asking questions until we get an answer about what’s being done. We view ourselves as your partner in all of this and that means a second set of eyes. Frequently we locate problems that we cannot fix so we bring it to the attention of someone who can and will.

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 I decided I wanted to work for myself and serve the public I thought I knew what to expect.  So far it’s been more interesting and at times even more exciting than I had reason to believe it would or could be.  These days when I’m asked “Can You Do That?” my initial reaction is to say “Yes” and then figure it out.  The best hotels in the world pride themselves on their ability to say yes and figure the rest out from there.  This story is about starting with “Yes” and going to the next step.

In the last few months we’ve been asked to help with installing bollards, speed bumps, chain link fencing and even an 8’ high iron fence.  We’ve never proactively told anyone we do these things… they tell us they need help, ask for that help and we’re programmed to figure out how to help.  A long time ago I learned my life would be easier if I knew people who could get things done.  It turns out I know people who can do each of these things and many of my customers need help from time to time.

Sometimes I get calls from an Engineer who has an issue in front of them they need solved immediately.  I’ve always promised when it’s a sign issue just call VSG, tell us what you want and consider it’s complete.  I love telling someone who is frantically looking for a solution “I Got This” and then handle it.  I was given a problem recently with a sign that was an important part of a safety system.  The sign was damaged beyond repair and with inspectors coming in within the following week it needed to be dealt with.  I was called on a Saturday morning and an hour later I met with the engineer, understood what was needed to solve the issue and by 5:30 Monday evening the situation was dealt with.  I love being that company for so many of you.  Thank you for letting it be VSG!

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!

Gentlemen… This Is A Football

The famous football coach Vince Lombardi loved to take his players back to the basics after any loss.  He started every post loss practice with the phrase “Gentlemen, this is a football.”  His thought was that managing the most basic element of what you were responsible for made you better than most everyone else.  Today I want to review what a sign is.

The word sign comes from the 13th century and means gesture or motion of the hand, especially one meant to communicate something.  The term comes from the Latin word signum “identifying mark, token, indication, symbol, proof, military standard, ensign, a signal, an omen, SIGN in the heavens or constellation.  Keep in mind this is from the 13th century and the term is still being used in its same basic form today!

This is where the idea of Visual Communication originated.  When the term was initially agreed on the language the world used was very different and much less developed than it is today.  With language being more developed today we have far more ways to confuse the most basic level of communication.  Scholars say that the English language is one of the more difficult languages to learn due to multiple meanings for the same sounding word.  There, their and they’re are excellent examples of that difficulty.  When spoken they can be confusing and they get more clear when written if the reader is paying attention, understands the difference and isn’t engaged on social media.  I mention social media due to what has become acceptable spelling and syntax errors.  Some of the errors redefine what a sign is and must be taken into account when a sign is designed.

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!

Bumper Stickers Are Mini-Signs

As we drive down the road we’re accustomed to seeing signs for fast food, gas stations and even points of interest.  Actually, when it comes to points of interest you need to pay really close attention or you’re likely to miss a point of interest as these are disappearing from road side signs.  Some of my personal favorite activities when driving involve looking at bumper stickers and then I compare and contrast the occupant with the sticker.  Just doing the comparison can be worth the price of admission!

You might have a sticker on the window or bumper of your car telling the world about your child getting on to the Honor Roll or the fact that they were the Student Of The Month at their school.  I’ve attached one of my personal favorites when it comes to the message the driver wants to send.  I spotted this on the back of an SUV in Mid Town Sacramento and it tells a rich and complete story about the driver.  Vietnam Veteran, Member of the Infantry, Member of the Airborne and you also know they Proudly Served.  There is a lot of communication on one window of one SUV.

If you were going to use the Bumper Sticker method of communication how would you go about doing it?  Single sticker with a single message or would you go the multi message route and tell as much as possible about who you are and what your interests are?  I know when election time rolls around I get tired of reading the sticker and comparing and contrasting!  How 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!

Placement Matters

Oops!  This was my thought when I rolled up on this sign the other morning.  So many things were going great and one thing detracted from what was going on.

There I was… on my way to see a client and I hit a traffic slowdown.  No one likes to hit traffic but something good came out of it.  Road repair was happening in front of me and the crew from Elk Grove was seriously hard at work like I’ve seen them work in the past.  They were patching potholes that morning (Who doesn’t hate potholes?) and while I was stopped I saw this sign.  They were evidently so busy getting to work that sign configuration was a minimal consideration.  This is a familiar story.

If I was to write a story on signs that were improperly installed by others I could write for a long, long time.  Signs not level, signs not actually affixed, signs placed where they increase confusion and signs placed in places they shouldn’t be placed.  This sign was upside down and this happens because someone gets busy and makes a mistake.  While I waited in my truck I watched people point at the sign and laugh.  How much of their laughter is directed at the sign and how much at the work crew who put the sign in place?  That answer is impossible to say but figures in to the entire equation.  VSG installers spend a little bit more time to create a better result.  We fix mistakes others have made and we dot I’s and cross T’s.  If VSG was the last one there and failed to act when acting should have happened, that’s on us.  Placement matters!

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!

Who’s Minding The Store?

Clients send me interesting, confusing and disturbing signs and I appreciate that.  This sign was sent in recently and belongs in the confusing category.  The sign on the left tells the reader pretty clearly what the Winter hours are.  That’s helpful.  The sign on the right informs you they are closed for maintenance.  Only one of them is likely correct.

Situations like this come up more often than owners or managers realize.  This company had no intention of placing a sign telling you they’re open and closed at the same time.  How does this happen?  I recently came upon a sign on a door that clearly identified that door as an evacuation route and another sign on the same door that said “Do Not Enter”.  Listing both of those things are at best conflicting and at worst could get someone injured.

Avoiding conflicting signs comes down to paying close attention to what you’re doing and might even mean going an extra step by having someone who isn’t associated with what you want to communicate reading your signage. This person would read the sign, tell you what they see and then you compare their understanding to what’s written.  Both the “Do Not Enter” and the evacuation sign are perfect messages…when they are combined the meaning becomes unclear.  Take a minute right now and look at the signs you have posted and read them for content and consistency.  You may find signs that don’t belong together or signs that confuse more than they educate.  The next step is yours!

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!

Who Is “That Guy?”

We talk about us, them, those people and in this case we talk about “that guy.”  Who is “that guy” and why does he sometimes have a shorter life span than “other guys?”  Let’s explore that is some detail.

I personally snapped this picture from a sign I saw near Cambria.  My beautiful bride and I took a short trip to visit San Simeon to see Hearst Castle and Cambria and we happened on this sign near a large group of seals.  Seals are massive animals who appear to be docile to the uninformed.  The locals understand the sometimes aggressive nature of these animals and even after they explain what they have seen there are some people who discount what they hear.

This warning picture shows the result when someone hears the warning and then ignores the warning.  Experience tells me the initial sign used to discourage people interacting with seals was the written word.  Anyone who deals with the public understands the written word will suffice for most people and others needs additional interaction.  This sign goes the extra mile in my opinion and tells the viewer to “not feed or touch the animals” and further states it’s “harmful and illegal.”  The sign then speaks to the small percentage who were not reached with the initial signage by showing legs and a fishing pole underneath a massive animal.  While the sign is quite graphic it gets the job done and might even save the life of “that guy!”

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!

Using Humor To Engage And Inform

Most signs are created for a specific intent and convey a specific message.  This is the nature and goal of signs.  Signs exist to communicate visually in much the same way as someone would use sign language to communicate with a person who doesn’t have the gift of hearing.  This is a sign we saw recently and the creator went in a different direction.  While the direction they chose has a limited range it worked here and I wanted to share.

Few people like being solicited and I’m included in that group.  This sign enters the conversation the person who is being solicited might have going on in their head.  We don’t have enough money to buy what you are selling.  We are voting and have decided who to vote for.  We have a religious faith so we are all set for the here-after.  If, on the other hand you are selling thin mints we want to talk to you.  Other than that please go away!

This would get the attention of most people and if nothing else it gives us a reason to smile.  Humor tends to cross all boundaries and many consider humor, in it’s most basic form to be a universal language.  This sign spells out no soliciting in a fun way without being overly mean or confrontational.  I love its simplicity and when was the last time humans didn’t want to have at least a little fun?  Now, about those Thin Mints…

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!

Sneaky Little Signs

 

Some signs are big and bold and leave no doubt what they are trying to convey.  Think of a sign on a major freeway informing you of an upcoming fast food place or a place to fill your car up with gas.  There is seldom any doubt where to exit.  These signs are there to draw your attention to something.  What about signs that get posted with the hope you will ignore or just gloss over them.

This is an example of a “Warning Sticker” on a Bird e-scooter.  This sticker tells you what the rules of the road are and what the rules of the particular scooter you are riding on are.  This is posted near the base of the handlebars in a place you are unlikely to look.  The biggest takeaway for me is the terms license required and helmet required.  Like motorcycles, this is a 2 wheeled mode of transportation and that leaves me to wonder what class of license is required.  I also wonder what form of helmet is required.

The next item, and possibly the most important thing I’m looking for are instructions on how to ride this.  They did a good job of telling me where I cannot ride it (sidewalks) and who can ride it (18+ years old) but I don’t know how to ride it or any of the actual rules of the road.  This sign is placed on e-scooters and it’s these scooters that are one of the leading causes of hospital visits from motor vehicles right now.  This is a really sneaky little 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!

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!