Tag Archives: Student signs

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!

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!

What Can A Sign Explain?

 

From time to time I run across a picture of a sign doing its job in an uncommon manner.  I’ve attached a sign going above and beyond what it’s designed to do and while I wish this was my sign I have to be up front and say this is just a picture.  As far as I know this is a real picture taken after an event and much can potentially be learned from this sign.

If I am a personal injury attorney I see proof of a threat to the public and something to put in front of a jury to garner sympathy.  If I’m designing a place for people to move around I know I need a safer place!  No matter who I am or what I’m doing it appears there is a hazard I need to look at and determine the next logical step to take.

I recently witnessed a work crew installing “No Smoking” signs.  While watching the installation process it was hard to breathe due to the number of people smoking and reading the signs at the same time.  This was happening in front of a Bay Area Medical Center!  The next time you stop to read a sign, any sign at all, take a minute and ask why that sign had to be placed at that place.  Often there is a reason and the reason might either surprise you and might even disappoint you!  When you need us we will be there!

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!

Clearly Understood Or Intentionally Mis-Understood?

Imagine you are driving your Green automobile and you’re in desperate need of a parking spot.  Thank goodness you’re not handicapped and if you were you would have had a space 10 minutes ago.  You happen on this sign… “Reserved For Green Vehicles” and all of a sudden you remember your automobile is green.  Perfect!  Problem solved!

Even the most complete and clear sign can cause confusion in the wrong (or right) hands and this is a clear example.  The space is reserved for green vehicles and even though the sign maker and property owner meant something different it wasn’t made abundantly clear.  When Tesla decided to create charging stations they were very clear and made them Tesla Electric Vehicle Parking.  Zero confusion and from what I have been told almost 100% compliance from other drivers.

Sign confusion can be very expensive, time consuming and can be eliminated with effort.  The nice folks at Tesla could have easily created a sign saying Electric Vehicle Parking only and that would have included every other electric car driven and that wasn’t their goal.  Tesla went a step further and this is where the magic lies.  Having a sign that includes their logo makes it seem almost like Tesla owns the parking spots and parking there is a privilege.  If you’ve ever looked at where Tesla’s are parked and seen a row of them it certainly appears there is safety and some lack of confusion in numbers.  Wherever possible be as complete and specific as possible.

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!

 

Vegetarian Corn Dog?

Webster’s dictionary defines “Vegetarian” as a person who does not eat meat : someone whose diet consists wholly of vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, and sometimes eggs or dairy products.  Webster’s defines “Corn Dog” as a frankfurter dipped in cornmeal batter, fried, and served on a stick.  Webster’s defines Frankfurter” as a cured cooked sausage (as of beef or beef and pork) that may be skinless or stuffed in a casing.  Each of these disagree with one another and they do it on the same sign.

When you take a good Look at this sign it’s pretty easy to understand how confusion with signage happens.  It also explains why some signs bounce between out front office, you and our graphic designer.  How someone sees a sign is influenced by their point of view and how they read a particular sign.  I want to think this is where the idea of KISS came from.  KISS stands for Keep It Simple Sign person and we agree.

We will often see the final price of a sign overly influenced by redesign costs and much of this happens due to visual confusion and removing confusion is possibly the biggest reason we have signs.  I have seen signs that tell the reader No Stopping while telling you on the same sign to come to a complete stop.  The sign was professionally done and someone wasn’t paying attention!  We go out of our way to read your sign, determine how we can read your sign in a different manner and then and only then move on to creation.

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!