Some Crazy Fun Stuff is Being Made in South Tacoma

Pay attention as you drive past Visual Options, just off of South Tacoma Way, and you just might see one of their creations being picked up and shipped out.

If your timing is extra great, you may even catch their regular UPS driver hamming it up for the camera.

These Instagram photos caught my eye, so we got in touch and took a tour of their facility.

Turns out all kinds of things, from signage to packaging and displays are produced there, in buildings I’ve driven by countless times but never stopped to wonder about.

All the equipment they have on hand means virtually endless possibilities.

Employees are encouraged to dream big and push the boundaries of what can be made. Sometimes that means fancy etched blocks or fun stool covers, other times it means super-sized versions of childhood toys.

We took a particular liking to the etching machine and quickly pieced together that Visual Options might be able to help us out with a project.

If you’ve seen our second hard copy magazine you’ll remember Sierra Hartman’s story “WTF is a Centroid, and Where is Tacoma’s?”

Turns out a centroid is the exact geographic center of a shape. One way to find it is to cut the object out and wherever it balances on a point is its center. As Sierra noted:

“The centroid of Tacoma, as best as our team of dedicated scientists can tell, lies at the northeast corner of the intersection of Sheridan and South 19th Streets, right in the heart of Hilltop.”

Though there’s currently nothing marking the “belly button” of the City of Destiny, it’s still a fun bit of trivia to know.

Check out our map being made:

Many of you stopped at the Tacoma Night Market to ask about getting a map of your own. Etching all of Tacoma’s streets takes quite a long time though, so Visual Options came up with the idea to also create a Tacoma map with the streets printed on.

The 2’x2′ maps run $435 for etched and $170 for printed. Both are available via custom order in our shop.

It isn’t often one stops to ponder where a lot of the stuff we see every day comes from, but the next time you notice a retail display (or an enormous Starbucks cup) consider there’s a chance it was made just off South Tacoma Way.

To see what Visual Options creates next give them a follow on Facebook and Instagram.

Photos via Visual Options and by Sierra Hartman

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