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How I Got My Start as a Web Developer and Graphic Artist

Dustin-Lee Casey

Creative Director at DL48 Studio

I love pumpkin pie, autumn leaves & the British telly. I also create pretty things for people.

Let us journey back to a time when AOL was still sending out disks for 90 minutes of free internet. It was a magical time filled with the sounds of dial-up, Ross and Rachel charmed us on Friends, the Spice Girls were still together, and MTV still played music videos, like Chumbawamba’s classic hit, Tubthumping. Yes, the 90s were a wonderous time, and it was also when I got my first taste of the design world.

You see, I was apart of the first generation to have computer classes beginning in kindergarten, and it wasn’t hard to become fond of such gems as KidPix Studio — a 90s kid version of Photoshop — or Yahooligans — a game filled educational website by Yahoo. Overall the internet was a new and exciting frontier waiting to be explored.

When I built my first website I was 10-years-old. I had no idea what I was doing or how anything worked. I just knew the world needed an ‘I Love Lucy Fan Page’ built with GeoCities and I was gonna be the one to do it. And once I had finished with my tribute to the Queen of Comedy, I sat back and got all kinds of giddy seeing all the parts of the design come together to create something whole. To my 10-year-old self, it was enchanting.

I then moved on to build such sites as a Pokemon fan page, a design/production site for myself and an online radio station that I never quite got to work. After that, I was hooked, forever chained to a life of design. Creativity had indeed taken hold.

I eventually begged my parents for Macromedia’s Dreamweaver (Adobe hadn’t bought them yet) and of course Adobe’s Photoshop. I spent the next 14 years studying and working in web development and graphic design. I taught myself everything I know, learning the fundamentals from the ground up. And during this time I accrued a vast amount of experience doing endless odd jobs for friends, family, and acquaintances.

I learned that when it comes to websites, coding and design have to have a symbiotic relationship. You can’t have one without the other, or you’ll end up with something less than exceptional. Obviously, that sounds like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised at how many developers and designers fail to recognize or achieve this.

Ultimately, my love for design pushed me to learn new things as a graphic designer, which in turn, pushed me to learn more as a web developer. It was a give and take relationship, continuously feeding one another. This “Salt & Peppa” routine has made me the artisan I am today. And that “push it, push it real good” cycle still continues.

In 2010, I finally took the plunge and went full-time as a designer, and in 2012 I started my design company, DL48 Studio. I’ve won a few design awards along the way and have gotten to know and work with some amazing people from all around the world. It’s truly been a rollercoaster of an adventure so far, (think ShondaLand without the death) but I wouldn’t change it for anything.

Today, a lot has changed since the days of baggy pants and the Backstreet Boys on TRL. But one thing has not changed, I still get all kinds of giddy when a design comes together. And it makes me ecstatic hearing clients feel that same giddiness when they see the designs for their businesses come together. It’s the best compliment in the world.

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Handcrafted in the Midwest
Digital Craftsmanship. Graphic Artistry. DL48 Studio. Art Dept. Dublin Lights Dist. 48. A Digital Supply Company. Est. 2012. We will handcraft a design that is tailor-made for your brand Web Development, Web Design, Graphic Design, or Print work, no matter what it is, DL48 Studio will handcraft a design that is tailor-made for you and your brand. Serving Lincoln, NE, Omaha, NE, as well as the greater Nebraska. Whether you need a website developed, graphic design, print work, copy writing or even product or stock photos taken for your project, we’ve got your back, Jack. Web design that is simple, yet imaginative; elegant, yet eclectic; Functional, yet fashionable. DL48 Studio’s goal for web design is to bring your style and personality to a sleek, web 2.0 interwebs. Using a mix of real patterns, textures, images and photo manipulation, DL48 Studio creates unique, artistic designs that capture the essence of what your brand represents. From product photography, stock and artistic photos, all the way to photo editing, retouching and full-on manipulation, DL48 Studio has a passion to create beautiful photographic moments. We’ll write or edit your copy to make the best cohesive narrative that shows off you and your brand. Old Fashion Craftsmanship. Modern Artistry.