The Renaissance Man
Travis Estes has problems. He likes to design – everything. This has led him to a life of varied experiences and makes him a great trivia partner. If there’s something he doesn’t understand, you better bet he’s going to dive right in, figure out how it’s done, and then “make it better”. From brewing beer to pricing indexes for national telecommunications companies, if it’s inefficient Travis will be all over it.
He’s also an actor, no really, not the clown around guy, but a legitimate union actor who has been on stage and screen coast to coast and around the world. In fact, much to his chagrin, his face and voice are better traveled than he himself.
He is the proud father of two boys, Charlie and Simon. Charlie is an American Tabby and Simon is a toothless-Siamese and together they are two of the most spoiled cats in the U.S.
Of course an introduction to Travis would be incomplete if you didn’t mention food. He loves it, everything about it (that’s not a chunk of tomato). Travis has cooked on Food Network – another story if you have the time. And got so into food preparation that once he started to redesign a kitchen and it led to six years of designing kitchens, baths and historic home renovations. Remember what we said about his penchant for wanting to make it better? He now still dabbles in the historic renovation of his own 1880s second empire home in the St. Louis south city area called Benton Park and is always up for a cook off if one is offered.
Somewhere in there he managed to spend years working in marketing and advertising on both the agency and client sides. He honed his skills in New York and Chicago and now happily brings his skills together with Jeff Hirsch and the greater Graphic Panacea family.And that is why he’s a designer. From your logo to marketing strategies you can bet that he’ll dig in, understand and define the why behind the what, before he delivers your special something that has already been “made better”.
A digital imaging specialist with 25 years experience in the field, Jeff splits his time between graphic design, photography, and Macintosh tech support. He also teaches Photoshop and Lightroom to individuals and groups. He is the company guru for all things that involve ones and zeros.
The son of a life-long photographer, Jeff learned to develop black and white film in his father's darkroom at a very young age. It wasn't long before he was on the staff of his high school yearbook and newspaper where he spent long nights in the darkroom mastering the chemistry of light.
It was during his high school years that Jeff was first exposed to the earliest personal computers. Mesmerized by the crude 1-bit graphics he was curious to learn more about these strange devices and how they might reproduce an image on screen. At the time, he did not make the connection between photography and what he was seeing on the computer. But before long, the two pursuits began to merge into one — that of digital imaging.
And as digital imaging technology progressed. So did Jeff's understanding and skill set.
From the earliest crude digital cameras and scanners to today's mega-pixel monsters, Jeff's knowledge has kept pace with the latest imaging technology.
So too has it been with production technique and tehcnology. From the earliest 9-pin dot-matrix line printers to today's 9 color wide-format inkjets with pico-litre sized droplets, Jeff has worked to preserve the highest possible image quality throughout the process.
The same evolution was also happening with image editing and page layout software. From Digital Darkroom and 'Ready, Set, Go' all the way up to Photoshop, InDesign, and Lightroom Jeff has continued to grow and learn new processes, techniques, efficiencies, and skills.
When he isn't on a photo shoot, in front of his computer or cramming more information into his already cluttered noggin, Jeff maintains a blog he has been writing for the last eight years (now clocking 200,000 hits a year). He also enjoys hiking, cycling, live music, travel and cooking.
But nothing gives Jeff greater satisfaction or happiness than his family. Along with his parents and sisters, his wife Donna, step-daughter Caroline and kitty Huxley are the bedrock of Jeff's existence. He is grateful every day for the love and support they provide.
" A stunning, grasping and creative layout. The black backdrop and mirrored gallery presentation, in and of itself, creates a superb chiaroscuro--an artwork of its own standing--to highlight Tom's outstanding photography."
—Retired USAF Colonel
"Graphic Panacea has given us products far beyond our expectations.
As a publishing company, we know the importance of book covers. In our 22 years, Graphic Panacea's cover designs are, by far, the best, most exciting we've ever produced. In the full process of cover production — from brainstorming to photography to font selection — Graphic Panacea has been invaluable.
Our Web site, created under Jeff Hirsch's direction, has proven highly effective and user-friendly.
Graphic Panacea has been gratifyingly accommodating. They're able to expand on our ideas, with creative intuition and innovation. Their thorough knowledge of state-of-the-art digital-reproduction and design technology is unparalleled. And their prices are certainly reasonable."
— Time Being Books, St. Louis, Missouri
"Jeff Hirsch has been the designer for Precision Plating Co for more than 10 years and his range of expertise has been of a huge benefit to a company who has a minimal marketing budget and has maximum expectations as far as the results derived from that spend.
Jeff’s ability to translate the requirements of a marketing program using the voice of the organization and keeping that consistent throughout the communication piece is very impressive. Jeff was able to produce high quality photography, logo design, trade show booth graphics, 100 Anniversary Program, html email templates as well as a brand guidelines.
Jeff works hard, and cares as much about the end result as you do. His honesty and straight-forwardness are refreshing in the marketing space."
—Jeffrey Belmonti, Precision Plating Company
"Sweet! Gorgeous! Beautifully done!"
—Art Zemon, Hen's Teeth Network
"In a burgeoning website design field,
Jeff Hirsch stands out. He has a grasp of structure that
enabled the innovative, new design of a comprehensive and
user friendly system providing easy access to information
about our many projects. He worked patiently and enthusiastically
with us through several prototypes to arrive at a website
that beautifully conveys who we are. For the first time in
our history, I am really proud of our website and happy to
refer people to it. And it is such a time saver, which is
important for a small company. It provides a lot of preliminary
answers about our process and work. Equally important, Jeff
is a really nice guy so working with him is a pleasure. Thanks,
Jeff, for making us look so good."
—Joan Lipkin, That Uppity Theatre Co.
As a photographer for over 40 years it was a daunting task to design a website that would reflect both my work and my attitude towards my work.
Most of the web designers understood the technical aspects of building a site, but few if any understand the artistic aspect of presenting one's work and on'es temperment towards one's work and art. In working with Jeff one finds two unique talents... a computer guru of grand proportion, but more importantly for me at least is a "computer guru" who is also a talented photographer and someone that has grown up in the digital age of photography. (An age that some of us have had to be pulled into- and sometimes not so gentlely.)
He understands the artistic nature of his clients and does not force them into preconceived notions of what a website should look like.
The process of developing the website was an artistic endevour unto itself, with give and take and learning by both the client and the provider — and this is the way it should be.
—Stewart Halperin, photographer
Jeff is quick on the uptake of my art direction. He always has ideas of his own to add to the mix and works with impressive command of the computer. He adds originality, speed and good humor to the process and is always a pleasure to work with.
—Sarah Linquist, Scene Shop Director for the St. Louis Muny Opera
I have collaborated with Jeff for decades and it is always a pleasure, a learning experience and an opportunity to create at a much higher level than I could do alone. Jeff is an artist in his own right and genuinely loves to share his vast expertise in the realm of high tech. The combination means that anyone working with Jeff will have the best of both worlds: someone who appreciates and produces quality graphic work, can make magic happen by adding computer savvy to artistic creations.
Jeff has helped my advance my work in many areas -- creating comic books, developing websites, up-grading my skills in animation, imovie production, making short videos, to name a few. I am sure Jeff doesn't know everything about computers, but I haven't run into a challenge he couldn't tackle, a question he can't answer.
What I appreciate in addition to Jeff's continuously up-dated skill set is his patience in helping non-techies like me learn enough to create what we want. He enjoys sharing what he knows, knows how to convey comprehensivble steps, and when needed can jump in and quickly polish and finalize the job. Although I live in the San Franciso Bay Area and have access to many creative people who live nearby, I depend upon Jeff because there is no one better.
—Nancy Margulies, MindMapper and Facilitator
As a small shop, we don't have the luxury of single-purpose employees. We say: "Speciazation is for insects!" Our designers are multi-skilled, multi-disciplinary, multi-taskers with all of the technical, creative, and communication skills needed to complete your job.
We utilize the single concept of the “Why behind the what.” Too many graphics companies are out there producing great looking images that don’t really mean anything. To be truly effective, there needs to be a reason behind everything, from illustration and photography through color palettes and font choices. (..more...)