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When Joe Zeller founded ZGraphics, Ltd. in 1989, he had no idea how much the graphic design industry—or his company—would grow in the coming years.

Zeller started out in college with an initial investment of $1,100 for a Chromatech kit, which he used to help other art students punch up their portfolios. More than 20 years later, ZGraphics has gone worldwide thanks to the Internet. “That’s where it’s all at: being able to provide marketing communications solutions for a group of clients that stretch from Toronto to Florida and Dallas to Newark,” he said. “GoToMeeting has changed our business!”

ZGraphics is a full-service marketing communications agency that provides complete brand development services from strategy to logo development and comprehensive brand design. Clients can choose to work on a retainer or a project basis to develop print, TV and direct mail campaigns, annual reports or a full suite of Web solutions. ZGraphics excels at delivering award-winning designs for clients that include a top Chicago real estate firm on the North Shore, the nation’s second largest home security company and many B2B clients.

Zeller started with just one partner, and now has a staff of 11. But company size is not the best indicator of overall growth for ZGraphics—instead, it is the company’s increasing capabilities and ever-lengthening client list. Zeller says that the lagging economy has actually helped his company reach new customers.  “People are looking around for marketing that works and we have success stories few others can match,” he explained.

The team at ZGraphics keeps abreast of the changing business landscape through self-education and industry seminars, and Zeller knows he’s lucky to have employees who are eager to stay current. Though learning new techniques can be stressful, it is that thirst for knowledge that has kept Zeller himself interested through the years. “Things are constantly changing, but that’s fine,” he said. “It keeps it exciting.”

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