The Interview Series: David Milisock President Custom Graphic Technologies Inc

My Interview series continues with David Milisock, Custom Graphics technology, Lancaster, PA. USA. I interview people I have come to know through Corel forums, and who are fellow beta testers of and fellow CorelDRAW users. And some of us have met in real life.

David Milisock is the one I personally trust when it comes to colour management, and is considered one of ”the” top notch experts on Colour Management and ICC complience. He is not only owner of Custom Graphics Technology, but also a writer of books and seminars on the subject of Colour Management. As a fellow Beta tester and Corel Advisory Council member its no doubt he had some impact on the development as a consultant/advisor when Corel made CorelDRAW and PHOTO-PAINT (CorelDRAW Graphics Suite) the almost only fully ICC – complient graphic software in the world. Photoshop users may not know this… David Milisock is a great person with lots of knowledge to share, which he does from time to time on the official Corel Community forum

Your Name:

David Milisock President Custom Graphic Technologies Inc


Style & type of work you produce?

The answer is complex because I do so much, we offer full print
capabilities, offset, digital and inkjet as well as signs of a wide variety,
cut vinyl, standard poster type, architectural and artistic. Currently my
work is involving quite a bit of project management with all concepts
designed in CorelDRAW X5. Refitting old neon to LED is currently really
active do to the energy savings, so we redesign the electrical systems and
use many varied aerial lift trucks and this work spins off posters, banner
and new channel letter work.

My preferred work is professional level CorelDRAW Graphics Suite support,
specializing in color management, GDI (graphic device Interface) and
Postscript compliant file creation. We provide computers, software and
networking support.

You like myself are a user of CorelDRAW Graphics Suite. What was it that made you discover, and drew you to CorelDRAW Graphics Suite?

That’s easy, Eric Whitmore of Whitmore Printing, I owned a small print shop
and needed a good general purpose graphics program and Eric suggested
CorelDRAW version 4 which was just being released. Eric provided what was
life changing advice, I use CorelDRAW everyday and can’t imagine making a
profit in the graphic industry without it.

What year was it?

Hard to believe that was 1993

Which Programs do you use, Corel and none-Corel programs?

My core 99% use program is CorelDRAW X5, Corel Photo-PAINT X5, then I use Corel Paint Shop Pro, I use Adobe CS5 when I’m forced to, ( however Adobe Acrobat 9 and Distiller 9 with PitStop Pro are a must), Versaworks, Gerber, Flexisign.

Do you use any analogue tools in conjunction with your work?

If you mean design tools I would say only straight edges and cutting tools.

Which year was it you started your business, your work?

I started in graphics in 1975, worked my way to being the production manager of a $5 million dollar a year company and in 1991 started my own business which was the best thing I ever did. Three years of working myself to death but 18 years of great work. The only problem is the boss is an idiot!

Would you recommend CorelDRAW Graphics Suite?

Absolutely, especially if you’re in business to make a profit. If you’re in the sign business and creating work for digital devices., RIP driven or driver based forget using anything else for design.

What, more importantly, made you begin working with the work you do today? After all you could have made a career as a hairdresser or something in that line instead, like any other human being.

It was by accident, my degree is in electronics but after the military and during a recession I took any job I could get and it was at a tin can printing company where playing volleyball at lunch ( I play a full contact version) I spiked the two color pressmen in the face he fell and broke his arm. So instead of a work men’s compensation claim they made me his apprentice, it was fun and the rest is history.

The entrance to Custom Graphics technology in Lancaster, Pensylvania, USA. Photo by David Milisock, 2012.

What is that you like with your work?

Something different everyday and due to the types of projects very complex.

In an interview in the Digital Artist Magazine, who interviewed me a few years back, I was asked what I would like to see in future versions of CorelDRAW Graphics Suite. Is there anything you would like to see?

If we’re talking the near future I would say an increase in speed and stability, full 16 bit image support especially 16 bit LAB color and the removal of the node limit. The removal of the node limit is now required because of the poor quality of the stock clip art on the web and the creation of overly complex brushes and art.

Do you drink coffee or tea in the morning?



What do you think is important to think about running your own business or in your line of work, to think about. Is it discipline or and something else?

I can only speak from a U.S. perspective but I would say first, understand your technology, never over spend, understand people and never do anything complex without consulting your accountant and attorney.

For someone just starting out, what do you think they should think about?

If they really have the fire in their belly for it. Working for yourself is nothing like anyone says, it will be what you make of it. You must be able to take a punch, there will be disappointment as well as success.

Is there any big change in how and what you worked with when you first started out. Have the business changed in any way?

Great question! I reinvent myself every few years, everything has changed and is continuing to change at an even faster pace. The graphics industry in the U.S. has been and in my opinion is being devastated by the poor quality of management today. A reduction in the number of producing companies at a 12% annual rate and in my opinion it is all due to poor management not the diversification of technology. In 1975 a company could afford to make an error and buy a non or less than productive piece of equipment because profit margins were double digit. Now with public companies posting profit margins under 1% and private companies posting single digit (low 3% to 5%) a manager that does not know good from bad will contribute to you death quickly. This is one of the reasons that CorelDRAW is a core part of my company.

Thank you David. Love talking with you as always.
Stefan Lindblad, 
January 2012
Copyright David Milisock & Stefan Lindblad

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