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Alex Ross Art - http://www.alexrossart.com/

ALEX ROSS ART

Alex Ross is an American comic book painter, illustrator, and plotter, highly acclaimed for the photorealism of his work. He is praised for his realistic, human depictions of classic comic book characters. Since the 1990s he has done work for Marvel Comics and DC Comics (e.g. Marvels and Kingdom Come, respectively), as well as being involved in creating independent works featuring superheroes (e.g. Astro City and Project Superpowers. Because his painting style is time-consuming, he primarily serves as a plotter and/or cover artist.

Integrated Web Solutions has worked with Alex Ross since 2002, revamping his web site completely in 2006. "During the web site redesign we wanted to completely rethink the site in terms of making it work better for both art buyers and fans alike," said Integrated Web Solutions Creative Director, John Schwarberg. "Although the web site's primary purpose is to sell original artwork, there is a tremendous amount of traffic on the site that is simply fans who want to revisit the older works of Alex Ross as well as find out what he's working on currently via the news that we provide. We wanted to use larger images throughout the site and bring a far more graphic intensive experience to the homepage as well.. We also wanted to streamline maintenance of the site in order to significantly reduce ongoing annual costs. All of this became doable by custom developing a SQL database interface on the backend of the web site. Now, all images are stored and archived in a database and displayed as appropriate. If a piece of original artwork has been sold, it remains on display in the appropriate gallery. If a piece of artwork is for sale, we mark it as such and it displays in its proper gallery as well as being listed amongst the art for sale and it gets rotated into the homepage regularly for more visibility. More often than not, these are also Alex's newest pieces and many of them haven't been seen by the public yet, so ultimately that becomes a feature for both art buyers and fans alike."

"Revamping Alex's site was a massive undertaking," said Sal Abbinanti, Alex Ross art representative. "Thankfully, IWS was not only familiar with the comic art industry but they knew how Alex and I liked to do business, what our processes were and they used that as a starting point for everything that came after. They worked from the business need first rather than start with a design or try to force feed us 'what we need' as so many web designers tend to do. IWS was also sensitive to the fact that almost 40% of the traffic on our web site came from an international audience and in those cases, it was important to build fast-loading web pages for the relatively slower connection speed they have in Europe and many parts of Asia. Given the nature of the artwork and the medium, it would be easy to overlook the basics and simply build a technology and design showcase, but to do that, you'd polarize the audience and fail to meet business objectives."

Thousands of images were optimized for the web site and recategorized and an archive of literally hundreds of news articles spanning seven years were databased and archived as well. Video was added during a process wherein the content of the web site was expanded by over 40%. Due to the high volume of traffic received on alexrossart.com, Integrated Web solutions provided dedicated hosting services for the web site along with domain services and server monitoring.

"As soon as the new site was launched, we saw a sizeable uptick in traffic and response and the site grows year after year. What I didn't expect was something that IWS promised us from day one which was significantly lower maintenance costs thanks to the databasing aspect they incorporated. Our maintenance costs are down about 35-40% each year now compared to what it was and on top of that, we're adding more content than ever each year," said Abbinanti. "IWS treats our business as if it were their own, they have been our go to web designers and developers for years now and it's been a great partnership."

"Sal and I conceived on the web site more than a decade ago as the internet was just blossoming," said Alex Ross. "And from our initial launch, the fans have really embraced it and I think it provided them a great deal of enjoyment. What Integrated Web Solutions has brought to the table for so many years now is ongoing support for what we do. They take the lead and do fantastic things with the technology that are right for us, our buyers and our fans. If it doesn't meet those criteria, they won't do it. Integrated Web Solutions minds my web site so that I can mind my artwork. I recommend them highly."

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