How about someone who has been doing it since dial-up modems were a thing but who has adapted to endless change and continues to innovate and create bold, clean websites for an array of businesses and organizations?
That’s Minkin Design’s pitch.
Bob Minkin grew up in Brooklyn, NY and got his degree in graphic design in 1981 from the attended the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, where he met his eventual wife, Anne Minkin, a wine ambassador for the Boissett Collection who also plays a key role at Minkin Design. “I was just amazed when the web came into being. I immediately dove into it and quickly made the transition into electronic design. When I was a kid there was no such thing as “tech,” he says with a laugh.
As anyone who grew up in those early years of the fast-changing tech industry knew, websites couldn’t handle large file sizes or anything that would slow down the time it took for sites to load on dial-up modems.
But the speedier connections of the modern era have spiked demand for photo-heavy, clean designs, and Minkin’s got an ace in the hole when it comes to photography: himself. While he was developing his design business many years ago, he was also becoming a burgeoning concert photographer.
Like many teens of the late 1970s, Minkin was hooked by the explosion of music coming from the Bay Area: Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Janis Joplin, Santana, and of course, Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead. Minkin turned that love into another profession. He’s regarded as one of the Bay Area’s preeminent music photographers, including serving as the house photographer for the Sweetwater Music Hall, and in 2018, he released “The Music Never Stopped,” his latest photography book, this one entirely focused on Marin County’s music scene.
So when Mike Altman was set to open his Iron Springs Public House in San Rafael in 2018, he knew who he wanted to turn to for great photos to grace the home page of a new site that would send customers to the new place and the longstanding Iron Springs Pub in Fairfax. When he found out that his friend Minkin also designed great websites.
“Bob has always had great aesthetics with his photography – the way he photographs is just phenomenal,” Altman says. “But when he let me know that design was also part of his skill set, we ran with it. What we have now compared to what we had before is just night and day.”
The music that drew Minkin to the Bay Area remains a huge part of his life, and his two-pronged careers continue to thrive.
“Our bread and butter has really become creating clean, uncluttered modern websites that are easy to navigate, and get the point to across to the end user,” he says. “The sites we create are totally owned by our clients. with no monthly service contracts, and since they’re created in WordPress, the world standard web platform, our sites are relatively easy to update and we often train our clients to update their own site if they desire.”