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Twenty Years in Graphic Design Sees Massive Changes


Tara Ingalls started Tingalls Graphic Design in the millennium year of 2000.

It was also the year Google became a household name, and the first iPod hit the market. Print advertising needed to keep up. Because of this, a minimalist approach dominated the design industry Ingalls was entering. The look was extremely image-based, with a reliance on sharp graphics.

Two decades on and change is the only thing that remains certain for a graphic design entrepreneur. “There continue to be more ways than ever to connect with busy, distracted, customers for one,” says Ingalls. The need to hold people's attention with fresh looks and ideas is harder than ever. Search engine and social media advertising have brought businesses more choice on where to put their marketing dollars, and designers must keep up.

"There will always be a need for good design," maintains Ingalls.

She points to signs of more growth and development for Madison, and also to rapid change in marketing overall.

"Digital advertising, attention to search engine algorithms and a more targeted approach is becoming the norm, but along with that, good local content and marketing that is well-executed remains in demand,” she said.

Tingalls Graphic Design celebrates 20 years in business this summer. As a graphic design firm in the Madison area for over two decades, they have grown from a staff of one to a full-service team of seven, with an office now located in Fitchburg.

Ingalls noted that the city she has based her life around has also evolved. "Now, more and more businesses are choosing Madison as a place to start a business. There's a strong talent base here where young people can grow their careers."

A University of Wisconsin, Madison Alumnus, she strives to support the giving nature of the community.

Providing services to local non-profits in Madison is particularly important for Ingalls, who sits on the board of the 100+ Women Who Care group and is President-Elect of Madison South Rotary. Her firm's commitment to giving back shines through with a regular slate of pro bono work and through a series of free educational events.

Known for creating custom websites for non-profits and small businesses throughout Dane County, Tingalls received last year's InBusiness Magazines Executive Choice Award for best website development company for the fifth year in a row.

"Receiving the best web development award is a true badge of honor as it is awarded by Madison's community of business owners who are hiring design, development, and other graphic professionals for their marketing projects," said Ingalls. "The award recognizes that good design continues to be appreciated by that community. From my first collaboration over two decades ago to my 1000th customer served, design has always been at the heart of each partnership."

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