OracleGraphics Interview - Miguel Ortiz
Person Interviewed: Miguel Ortiz
Company Position: Owner
In any business quality should be first and foremost. Many companies start out with the sole purpose of collecting a dollar with total disregard for quality; they do this because they know that they will not be there for the long haul. They will simply fade away once they get flooded with complaints or start over under a new name which is very sad because the customers are the ones that pay the real price in the end. The quality at Oracle Graphics is unparalleled.
What was your first reason for starting Oracle Graphics?
We started Oracle Graphics because we wanted to be a part of the ever growing computer ?Modding? industry. We noticed that people were used to the same things as far as appliqu?s are concerned and we also knew that we could provide what no one else could. What better way to contribute to computer enthusiasts than that?
How long has the company been doing business?
Oracle Graphics has been on the web for a little under a year but we have been working as graphic designers for well over 15 years. The technology for sign making and automotive graphics are pretty much the same. We only needed to make minor adjustments in order to participate in the computer ?Modding? industry.
When you started oracle graphics did you expect to end up doing case appliqu?s as well as car decals?
Actually it was the other way around. We started a graphics company dedicated to signs, banners and automotive graphics. Some of our work includes custom graphics for our local D.A.R.E. program, police car graphics for several counties in our area and signs for several franchises such as Texaco, Cottman Transmission, AAMCO, etc? We decided to do the case appliqu?s because of my love affair with computers. Don?t look at me like that?I think we have all fallen in love with our computer.
Was there a reason you went into doing both decals and appliqu?s?
Our reason for that is because decals were not available for people that were ?Modding? their computers. The only option you had was to buy an appliqu? for the window, if you didn?t have a window than you couldn?t customize your case. With the option of a decal you can customize your case in your choice of designs to give that unique touch.
Many of the appliqu? designs I?ve seen on the site I have never seen before. Does the company do most of the appliqu? designs themselves?
Oracle Graphics does all of its design work. We also do the work for some of the competition. We are all engineers with degrees in graphic design and CAD technology. We are constantly developing new designs for our distributors; many of them are available only through them, and great deal of others are available only through us. We can even convert photographs of your favorite person or character into an appliqu?. Name another company that can do that.
Do you ever get unique requests for designs? If so do you often seek out and hire new artists for your company to do custom designing of any sort or do you find it easy and sufficient for the company to do any designing you require by yourselves?
We get unique requests every day. We have not had a need to subcontract to anyone nor will we. At Oracle you will always get the personal attention you deserve. Currently we have two graphic designers, one with a master?s degree in CAD design and one with a bachelor. If we ever get to the point where we need to hire another graphic design person they will need to have the same qualifications mainly because we will not sacrifice our quality. But as of now Oracle Graphics is a family business and will continue to be one until the time comes for it to go through that change.
What kind of skills are required or would you suggest to get into this kind of business?
First off you need to have a knack for art; there is no way around that. Second you need to have the know how to convert paper graphics into digital media and finally onto vinyl media. Of course you need to have people skills. If you are in this business to suite your needs and not the needs of the customer do something else?become a lawyer. LOL
Is there a certain amount of work experience to do this kind of work or is it a learn and become professional over time kind of job?
I would have to say that it is a combination of both. You can?t just wake up one morning and decide to start selling graphics. You need to have some type of educational back ground in this field and as far as the experience goes, you will get better at anything you do in life if you?ve been doing it long enough. Fortunately we have them both.
What would you recommend for any modders or car fans who want to get into this kind of business or are interested in studying to do it themselves?
My suggestion would be to get educated first. Why start doing something without understanding it to its fullest first? That is the case with a couple of the new graphic suppliers on the net today. The worst thing in the world is to have a reputation for being mediocre. Surround yourself by people that can point you in the right direction and finally be ready to listen to the customer because without them there will be no you.
Do you plan on having new services or new products from Oracle Graphics in the future?
Absolutely; Oracle graphics will continue to cater to the customers needs. In order for us to continue to do that we have no choice but to change by providing new products and services. Suggestions are always welcome. The custom computer industry is always changing and we will continue to adapt and change with them.
Random Question.... Have you ever tried applying decals or doing bodywork with a butane pocket torch? If you are wondering, um..... I haven't tried it, I'm just curious. How has technology aided you in Oracle Graphics?
Well?I haven?t done the body work but I have done the decals like that. You get that very coveted char broiled deco look. It is very popular in the western Europe. As far as the technology goes?it aids us every day. Try making an appliqu? or a decal of your girl friend or favorite character armed with only an exacto knife and contact paper. Not a pretty site. But from what I gather some of the competitors?
From the time you have had the company, how have you seen technology advance in this kind of business?
New programs come out along with new equipment all the time. We like to stay on top of those things. We constantly update our software along with the necessary machinery that it runs for the final stages of the appliqu? making process. We use everything from Photo Shop to CAD link, Auto Desk and Cimmetry technology. As far as equipment goes we use Roland, Epson and Ioline plotters. We have the ability to produce over 200 appliqu?s in less than 4 hours. (That is a record Time for a company our size). That time is from the moment we input the finished design to the time we have the finished product on our hands. Design time is a little longer and is estimated on a case by case basis but never more than a day.
Has it been a dramatic change or has it been gradually changing?
I would have to say that it has been gradual changes?thank God. But all of the changes have been welcome because they have all enabled us to put out a better product. And of course it has allowed us to maintain a very completive price if not the best. In order to do that you have to stay in a state of constant learning and change.
Last question. How do you think Oracle Graphics will benefit the graphics industry in the next 5 years?
By continuing to provide what no one else does. Million dollar graphics at a price that we can all afford. Whether you want something common or you want something unique you will be able to find it at Oracle Graphics. Right now many suppliers are following our lead in the form of imitation. However they lack the skill. They might be able to fool some of their customers some of the time but they won?t be able to fool all of the customers all of the time. Inevitably they will fade away. Oracle Graphics will continue to be here setting the standard. That is the best legacy we can ever hope to leave in an industry such as this one. Oracle Graphics hit the web a little less than a year ago and we already supply over 70% of the suppliers. Our goal is to be the only source for suppliers and the general public alike.