"Commercial artist"? The term has been out of common use for so long, it would seem to describe someone who handletters signs, or who uses watercolors to produce layouts for magazine ads. Those who make commercial art today refer to themselves as graphic designers, art directors, creative directors, typographic designers or production artists -- and now, of course, Web designers. Just as medical doctors all seem to specialize, there are now few "general practitioners" of commercial art. I pride myself on being a commercial artist, as the term speaks to me of a broad knowledge of, and rich experience with, many aspects of the trade.

I've long been enthralled by all the activities that comprise the field of commercial art, from conceiving ads to designing typefaces to montaging photos. I love thinking about marketing and product positioning even as I relish considering the human-computer interface. But here's the thing: While the skills required in art directing a photograph or writing a headline might appear to be worlds apart from those used in kerning typefaces or rendering a logo, many of the same fundamental considerations are weighed. (To read more about these considerations, click here.)

Apart from my interest in all the disciplines associated with the profession, I like the term "commercial art" to describe what I do because it is, at its highest level, an art, while existing to serve a business function.

At this site I present several pieces of commercial art I have created or helped create. I do not claim to have achieved Art in any of them (like Beauty, it's in the eye of the beholder!). Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy looking at them a tenth as much as I enjoyed making them.

Michael Diehl

(818) 552-4110