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Greetings from Minnesota (USA)


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#1
Derek Tonn

Derek Tonn

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Hello everyone!

Per a request from Hans van der Maarel, I thought I would quickly share an introduction about myself, as well as hopefully open the lines of communication with other CartoTalk participants in the weeks and months to come.

My name is Derek Tonn. I am the President and Co-Owner of tonnhaus design, a custom mapping firm based in Springfield, Minnesota, USA. Our firm has seven designers working out of home-based offices in Minnesota, Iowa, New York and Virginia, and our specialties include:

2D perspective campus/area maps - 99+ percent vector
3D perspective (oblique/illustrated) campus maps - 45 percent vector, 30 percent raster, 25 percent hand-rendered
Building Interior Diagrams for end-users (you are here kiosks, emergency evac routes, etc.) - 99+ percent vector
**Virtual Tours** (launching new division in 2006) - 50 percent Flash, 40 percent HTML/javascript, 10 percent "other"

We have approximately 150 clients from across 36 U.S. states and three countries, and are rapidly growing our client bases and design staff. We essentially function as a sort of quasi-"Artist's Rep" in the mapping community....bringing several formerly-independent map designers under one collective marketing "umbrella", if you will. The power of our collective marketing efforts, as opposed to competing independently as 4-5 smaller independent firms has proven to be a formidable strategy that has made us on of the 3-4 largest collegiate mapping firms in North America.

Roughly 70 percent of our annual revenues come from college and university clients, with the remainder of our revenues coming from industries such as health care, special events (conference centers, convention centers, etc.) and for-profit corporations.

2005 has been a tremendous year for us, and our recent success has created one primary problem: a shortage of design staff who can assist with the creation of 3D perspective vector maps, using software such as Corel Draw and Adobe Illustrator. I am hoping my involvement at CartoTalk will help me possibly locate a designer or two that we could bring into our team while working out of their home. I am also hoping that any other very small, independent firms out there who love design but HATE the marketing, legal or financial aspects of running a small business might consider bringing their firm "under our umbrella".....further-diversifying our product lines while all hopefully benefiting from a stronger collective marketing voice. Two areas I am particularly interested in finding new partners include:

1. True 3D mapping/modeling of downtown areas and collegiate campuses, using applications such as AutoCAD and 3D StudioMax.

2. Anyone out there who has expertise in both vector/raster map creation and Flash/XML web development (in support of our virtual tours launch in '06).

Sorry for the long introduction! However, I hope I'll get a reply or two.....and hopefully make a few more friends in the industry! Things can get a little "lonely" sometimes for all of us vector/raster campus/area map designers out there...as I have found fewer than 150 firms in North America that specialize in our particular genre of map design.

Thanks!

Derek Tonn

tonnhaus design
datonn@tonnhaus.com
www.tonnhaus.com
Derek Tonn
Founder and CEO
mapformation, LLC

datonn@mapformation.com
http://www.mapformation.com

#2
Nick Springer

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Derek,

I ran across your web site months ago when I saw I was getting links from your site. I was impressed with your page about "Design Cartography" and the generous listing of essentially competeing firms in the interest of raising awareness.

You company's organization sounds like a good way of solving some of theissues people tend to have with freelance cartography, mainly marketing and overhead.

Glad to have you on board here.

Nick Springer

Director of Design and Web Applications: ALK Technologies Inc.
Owner: Springer Cartographics LLC


#3
Derek Tonn

Derek Tonn

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Derek,

I ran across your web site months ago when I saw I was getting links from your site.  I was impressed with your page about "Design Cartography" and the generous listing of essentially competeing firms in the interest of raising awareness.

You company's organization sounds like a good way of solving some of theissues people tend to have with freelance cartography, mainly marketing and overhead.

Glad to have you on board here.

Thanks Nick!

I actually always encourage our clients to check out some of the sites on our "Design Cartography" page before making the decision to hire our firm, as I want to make sure that they know what other options are out there before making the decision to hire us. It's part of making sure our clients are "educated" and will be happy with the end results that are delivered to them.

Yes, our business model is working well for us. We've essentially acquired a few smaller, one-person design shops....serving as a sort of "artist's rep" for their services while allowing those designers to focus on why they entered the business to begin with: design! I actually love the sales and marketing work as well, so it's a nice fit all-around, as many of the designers I encounter would rather spend a few days in the dentist's chair as opposed to having to sell their services to prospective clients..... ;)

At any rate, I hope to make some new friends around here, as well as maybe find another designer or two that I can work with on projects going forward. We are working to become known as one of "THE" campus mapping firms in North America (if not the world), so any help I can find will be greatly appreciated.
Derek Tonn
Founder and CEO
mapformation, LLC

datonn@mapformation.com
http://www.mapformation.com




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