About Mark Rhodes

Mark Rhodes

I started my drawing career back in High School after winning the Texas A&M Technical Drawing Competition in 1971, my senior year. With three years of High School drafting classes under my belt, I didn’t really intend to be a draftsman, but one thing led to another, and soon after I found myself drafting surveys and civil engineering drawings for various firms.

An opportunity opened up for me while I was working for a pump manufacturer in Minneapolis in 1980. An Engineer there named John Gondek held several patents for his many years of engineering efforts, not the least of them being the invention of the torpedo launcher for WWII submarines. I was very impressed, as was he with my drafting, and he introduced me to the world of patent illustration by introducing me to his attorney who gave me my first few jobs (undoubtedly a favor called in) and I was on my way.

Waaaaay back in the old days (that is, before computers) we did all of our patent drawings on 8 1/2 x 14 stark white Bristol Board using technical pens and India Ink. Around ’85 or ’86, I started exploring the possibility of using computers to do Patent & Trademark Illustrations. I tried the original AutoCAD R9 on an IBM PC with a pen plotter, but producing quality results was just too difficult. I saw the potential, but I resolved to continue by hand until the technology advanced to a usable standard.

I moved to Dallas in 1988 and ran into a guy who had this funny little Macintosh. It was only a Plus but it completely blew me away. I thought, “Now this could work”. I then borrowed an SE with a couple of floppy drives (no internal hard drive) and began to experiment. I decided this was the future for me, so I went down and bought an SE-30 with a 40mb hard drive and an HPIII printer. The printer alone cost me $3,000 because I had to get the Mac interface card and PostScript. I used ClarisCAD, which was an incredible program for its time. I must have cried for a week when I heard they let it go.

I started casting about for another CAD program to use, trying several demos including MiniCAD and PowerDraw. I was looking for ClarisCAD reincarnate and nothing seemed to make the grade, so I played the waiting game again. Finally PowerDraw came out with a version that really worked. Before, I was not impressed in the least. It was too cludgey and non-intuitive. I was spoiled by ClarisCAD, but with this version (I think it was 3 or something) they had gotten it right, and I became a lifelong convert.

Macintosh computers have been the tool of choice in my business ever since, as I am able to provide clients with high resolution PDF files or JPGs for Trademark Applications. I find the flexibility, speed of drawing, and image quality incomparable to any other platform, and as you join the ranks of happy clients you will enjoy the results as well.