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GRAPHIC ART AND ILLUSTRATION
In the beginning, J. Thow Designs opened as a commercial art, illustration and custom automotive pinstriping, lettering and graphics shop. I was mostly doing murals, hand lettering racing cars, painting car club windows, and adding pin-striping or artwork to a wide variety of hot rods, show cars, trucks and motorcycles. Basically, I was having a great time playing with other people’s toys, while helping to create their dream projects. Simultaneously I was also creating art used on everything from business cards and t-shirts to posters and magazine ads.
At the time, using a computer to help in the creation of graphics was still very much a fledgling idea in its very early stages of becoming a reality. So at that time, all of my art was created using traditional mediums, pens, paper, paints, and illustration boards filled my work space. Upon the completion of a painting or illustration, the original had to be photographed and printing plates were made from those films to reproduce and print the finished product.
Today, while I still love to draw and paint traditionally, I create and complete the great majority of my work digitally. Much of that digital art is still created freehand, using a digital drawing tablet and stylus, which allows me to draw and paint directly in the computer. I believe it is this combination of traditional techniques and today’s technology that enables me to create my best, original, commercial work. The ability to create and use “original” digital files, eliminates many of the in-between steps in the reproduction processes of old and ensures that your projects reproduce as closely to the original work as possible. They are far more accurate than the printed works of the past.
Another great area of change has come in Photography. Today we simply take for granted that digital cameras, including those in our cell phones, can provide us with the images we want. But how about when the image has to look its very best across a wide variety of platforms? I get asked constantly if an image taken from a cell phone is good enough to place in a web site, catalog or ad. In some cases these work fine, and their quality is improving constantly as new models arrive. In general however, you just can’t beat a properly lit, properly photographed image from a professional camera/photographer. These images have a much higher resolution, allowing them to be best optimized for a wider variety of high-quality applications.
“When created properly, the same images can be used on your web site, catalogs, brochures, posters and banners, in high definition videos and movies, or just about anything else, while retaining the crisp image quality that makes you stand apart from the crowd.”
In addition the use of your own custom created images ensures that your site and printed pieces are originals, unique to you and your business, and don’t just look like the same rehashed stock photos that are so common in the marketplace today. After all, if your ad doesn’t stand out and bring you the attention and response desired, what’s the point?
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Interested in becoming a better photographer? Check out some of our Pro-Tips and Gear Recommendations.
I built my first professional website in 1995. I remember speaking to several friends and would-be clients who told me things like “I have a fax machine, what do I need a web site for?” Or “those things will be like a Betamax, in a couple years, no one will care.” Obviously these people were very wrong, some understood and others just didn’t. Just a couple of years later, many of these same people wanted my attention to build them a site as quickly as possible. They had caught the vision and finally understood that the web was an important way to reach their current customers and potential new clients alike.
Today the web not only remains the way to reach a vast group of potential new clients, it is often also the BEST way to reach, serve and maintain the attention and needs of your current customer base. Unlike traditional forms of advertising, we can measure how your ads are doing. We can see how many people respond, what they are looking at on your site and how long they stick around, not to mention what they buy. Track these actions from your visitors enables us to be able to respond in the areas your audience is most interested in, ensuring you greater returns on your advertising investment.
Learn More About Building Your Ideal Web Site.