zentao.com logo and trademark



graphic art

book cover graphic art catalog
pre-made, available book covers, price includes text additions and typesetting.

graphic art & images catalog
suitable for CDs, DVDs, book covers, advertising, promotional efforts, t-shirts, wall art, card art, websites. ($5 & up)

  • foundations, backgrounds
  • figures & objects
  • decorations

business card graphic art catalog
business card blanks--backgrounds upon which your text can be laid.

graphic art estimate
describe your project needs &, if any, your deadline

help for your art project
use the form's message area to request help with your graphic art project, whether it's just processing help or help bringing the project up to professional quality


digital graphic art
comments and viewpoints about digital art by a graphic artist & designer



how to do graphic art yourself
the basics you need to know



All About Art
a professional graphic artist talks about art fine art, digital art, & graphic art



graphic art for websites & webpages

Signature Series website design
with D.L.Keur of zentao.com

a webmaster's blog
on website design and website development








visit me on facebook





who we are



zentao.com logo and trademark







I used to work on the basis of the size of the image, a throw-back to the days of doing it all by hand with rulers, protractors, angles, French curves, Rapidograph pens, masking, and razor knives. With the advent of computers, especially ones capable of handling large files, that's changed. I now base the work on both a flat rate charge and the number of hours needed to create the final image. Ultimately, this means it costs you a lot less. In fact, the better the software and hardware gets, the lower the price becomes because a lot of that gnarly work that required hours upon hours to complete has been taken over by good computers and great software tools.


Vector Imaging versus Raster Imaging

Vector images use formulaic mathematics to create lines, curves, and shapes. Raster images use pixels. A lot of advertising art and promotional artwork produced for businesses requires it to be printed in large, medium, and small formats--large meaning up to billboard size. This means the work must be a vector graphic. A relatively crisp, simple image such as this

CY logo, graphic art help, image recreation, logo recreation

is relatively easy and inexpensive to create--about $30 USD. However, an image that is very detailed will require extensive work, which means it will be extremely time-consuming to create.

A while back, a client referred someone to me who wanted a very detailed image set recreated from poor quality samples and hand sketches. My quote, while very reasonable, was rather upsetting to the gentleman because, though he wanted vector images that would reproduce up to billboard size, he didn't realize that it would cost him accordingly, in this case, $960 USD for one of them and $1540 USD for the other. A word to the wise: The longer it takes, the more it's going to cost. Vector graphics cost more than rastered images when the image requires intense hours of work to produce.





I'm not a specialist in logos. Sometimes I get lucky and hit what you want right away. Other times we both get frustrated. Your best bet is to go to a graphic artist who is a specialist in logos. There are some very good ones around the Internet. Of course, they are expensive, and, of course, if you are looking for "cheap," there are lots of "insta-logo" websites around where you can whip one out in no time.

I'll slip some logos I've done in here when I get around to digging them out of the archive.



Letterhead is a fomula, really: Take your name, address, phone number, email. Design the layout to match your business or personal persona and translate it into font, and embellishment, add logo, and you're done. Remember you can use the footer area and, if you want to get fancier, the margins, a full bleed background, and a watermark.


Office Forms

You are usually better off doing these in Word, Excel, or Access or similar types of programs so you can change them as needed by the business. Just slip your business letterhead in on top and print your terms of service on the back. Terms of service are usually printed in small type in a color just a few shades darker than the paper color. This isn't to drive readers crazy, though there are some unscrupulous benefits to making it difficult to read. It's done so that the print doesn't show through the other side of the page.

You can see one I did for Michelle below.



Vector graphics ONLY here. Your logo designer should have your master logo saved in vector format which can be shipped to any printer who can add whatever text you like. Save yourself some money and do it that way. Of course, I can do them, and charges are the same: $60/hour



Built to specifications provided by the client, this order form was originally designed to be printed by the client on standard 8 1/2 x 11 paper with 1/4 margins. It was then modified to print on 8 1/2 x 14 sized paper to allow for extensive product additions. Print-sized closeups are below this image. PRINTED BY: SELKIRK PRESS




Graphic Art For Advertising And Promotion


General Information about Advertising and Promotional Artwork

Effective advertising and promotion relies heavily on knowing your target market and what that audience finds engaging. If you know that, then an artist can design to that audience for you. Otherwise, it's just guess work. That said, though, sometimes pure guess work can result in something going very big. The public is not entirely predictable in what it will or won't find appealing, so, sometimes, something completely "different" can work strong magic.



If you want me to recreate your artwork, bringing it up to a quality level that will print well, send me a sample of the art. If I think I can and want to do it, it will cost you $60 an hour.

If you want original artwork and design, send me a description of what you are looking for and, if you can, something that shows the style of work you envision.

Brochures are folded many ways, includng some very unique ones. Design is critical. So is the paper you print on and how it is folded. Remember that cut-outs are always an option, too. BUT. The more unique you make it, the more expensive it is going to be to produce.



The trick is to make them so they develop your company "brandname recognition." They should be designed to the tastes of your demographic target customer. They should be difinitive and eye-catching. Otherwise, you're wasting your advertising dollar.



Expensive -- very. I have to be absolutely meticulous and the quality has to be at the extreme high-end -- 4800DPI. That takes lots of resources and lots of time and care. You can request a quote, but, chances are my fees will be based on an hourly rate of $60 per hour. Listen, if you are spending money for an ad in a glossy magazine (hundreds, thousands, and tens of thousands of dollars), you should use a top advertising agency's services for the upper end and someone in your local area where you can see the printed proofs for the lower end. Why? Starting from scratch, not knowing your company or being able to sit down face-to-face with you to get a feel for your perspective makes doing this cold via the Internet a bit of a challenge. Chances are, you are going to have better gains by using someone physically nearby. Then you're going to let that graphic artist deal with the magazine specs one on one with that magazine, and that artist might have to call you in for consultations about LAST MINUTE PANIC changes. You are also going to grab proofs from the artist and the magazine before the ad goes to print so that, if the magazine publishes something less than what your artist sent and you and your artist approved, you get your money back or another ad run free from that magazine. And, remember, an artist has a trained eye that can see flaws where you don't.



Yeah, I do them. Mostly I work for local customers. Right up front, I don't do "Carpet Sale" or "Blow Out Prices" ads, though. I won't do commodity sales spreads. I do elegant, bold, startling, or outagious eye-catchers. If you want a quote, contact me, but you should try a local graphic artist first. Ask to see their portfolio -- things they've done for others which are similar to what your require.



Word to the wise: Unique, bold, targeted. I'm good at them, have a running track record of success with Verizon Information Services and some regional publications, but, again, you're easiest option is using a good local graphic artist. My rates for this run either by column inch or by the hour ($60/hr). If you have a design in mind and want me to make it better, I can do that.



PULP: When building an ad for pulp, check how your image looks on halftone screen. If it doesn't look good that way, it isn't going to look good on pulp. Redesign it until it does look good on halftone screen. Use the fonts the publisher uses or send your fonts along. Always send a proof, and make sure you get a signature that shows they got the package.

GLOSSY: When building an ad for glossy, use the highest DPI your program can handle. Start with the absolute best quality images. Don't forget to outline your text (see your graphics program's help index because this isn't "outline" like you did with a crayon when you were a kid), and send your fonts along when your send your ad in. And ALWAYS send a proof that's exactly the quality and color accurate to what you want it to look like once published. Send it all SIGNATURE REQUIRED and KEEP THE RECEIPT.

EVERYBODY: Always good if you aren't seasoned at this to run your ad past a professional for their opinion. Be up front and pay them that $30 they ask in exchange. Nothing worse than having something go to print and see the problem once it's gone out to untold millions of potential customers, something that a pro could have spotted because he/she is fresh to the work (Yes, everyone's eyes and brain stale after working on an ad or image.) and has the expertise and knowledge.




If you want me to recreate your artwork, bringing it up to a quality level that will print well, send me a sample of the art. If I think I can and want to do it, it will cost you $60 an hour.

If you want original artwork and design, send me a description of what you are looking for and, if you can, something that shows the style of work you envision.

Straight out, posters can wind up not costing you a whole lot, or they can cost enough to make your brain bleed.

We're working with HUGE FILES here. We're working with them down on the pixel level with the stylus and Wacom. Going through 1496 square inches of pixels even at a lowly 300 DPI is, in a word, tedious.

If you have your own design, and I decide I can tackle it, great. Cheap...relatively speaking.

If you see some of my work you like and I'm just laying your photos in, under, around, and through the base image design, then, again, it's not going to leave you missing and arm or leg...with a but on both those instances, as well as when I create the entire concept and design.

So here's the "BUT."

If, like many people, you have change-mind-itis, don't start complaining when the clock hours start running away with themselves. I'm not the one causing it. It's the disease that's guilty, and change-mind-itis is very hard to cure. ;)



DO-IT-YOURSELF POSTER HINTS: If you are using a vector graphics program, you're safe and don't have to worry about size. Just don't raster anything or use a rastered graphic in your work. If you do or if you are using a raster image program like Photoshop, start with the largest sized image you are ever going to need, or weep when you have to recreate the work, because you can't take an image UP, only down, in size. Then, always start with a nice HIGH DPI, and give yourself plenty of margin for bleed. Use overlays for images which are going to have margins. Don't forget that masks are your best helpers. Save your work often. Separate version saves will avoid wailing and tears because you overwrote a previous version that you liked better. Drives come in gigabytes now, so space shouldn't be an issue, not like it used to be. Never save as a compressed file. You need your full version. Zip or rar them if you need to load them to server. Don't expect to send them via e-mail, because, even double zipped, they are going to be much too big.



TERMS: 1/2 down nonrefundable, balance on approval and completion.


graphic art for posters



t-shirts, cups, guitar picks, doggy diapers (kidding), gizmos, wizmos....

If you want me to recreate your artwork, bringing it up to a quality level that will print well, send me a sample of the art. If I think I can and want to do it, it will cost you $60 an hour.

If you want original artwork and design, send me a description of what you are looking for and, if you can, something that shows the style of work you envision.

Most of the t-shirt and ancillary artwork I've done has been using images that were part of larger projects -- CD Album releases, full campaigns for rock groups who were going on tour, business grand openings, non-profit organization fund raisers.... Usually the projects are huge. If yours is, use the main graphic art and design form located on the bottom of: graphic art & design project main page.



Templates are your friends. Any good print shop -- the people who are producing the printed product -- has templates.

Spec sheets are your friends. Get them from the print shop you are going to use before making your files.


javascript must be enabled for this button to function







previous logos, letterhead, office forms, signs page

previous version of brochure page

previous magazine ads and newspaper ads page

previous posters page

previous t-shirt and ancillary art page

Copyright 1997-2011 D. L. Keur, zentao.com