Bob Paltrow Web Design and Graphic Design - Bellingham

A well-executed design should be preceded by a well-developed idea. That’s the foundation of my design philosophy and that is what I want to bring to each project for all of my clientele.

I have operated Bob Paltrow Graphic Design in Bellingham WA since 1996, serving regional, national and international clientele with professional web design, graphic design, illustration, branding & identity, copywriting, marketing (with a niche focus on music industry, arts and apparel) and promotions.

I graduated cum laude from the University of Arizona in 1990 with a Bachelor of Arts & Sciences degree with a Studio Art emphasis in Graphic Design and illustration. I minored in 20th Century Art History. I also have considerable academic and professional experience in painting, drawing, photography and sculpture. I studied sculpture (figure modeling) one semester with master sculptor Luis Jimenez, who greatly influenced me as an artist.

During my senior year in college, my poster entry won a design competition to promote a year-long lecture series featuring social activist artists, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The U of A’s design program was rigorous in developing hands-on process, with an even greater emphasis on concept-driven design.

After graduating from college, I did a variety of freelance work including children’s pop-up book production; pen and ink illustrations for public school math and science books; illustrations for field guides for Southwest Parks and Monuments Association; working as a typesetter for a weekly re-sale magazine; and was the principal in-house artist for a local coffeehouse chain in Tucson, AZ creating menus, ads, t-shirt designs, table tents, posters – the whole gamut.

In 1992, I got a great job as the in-house designer for award-winning music label Soundings of the Planet in Tucson. It was at Soundings that I gained experience and insight into working with musicians — as well as the independent record label side of marketing and distribution. I was employed by Soundings for five years, designing dozens of cd covers and packaging, catalogs, posters, calendars, point-of-purchase displays, new release flyers, specialty promotions, bumper stickers and buttons – a lot of great, fun stuff. I had a fabulous assistant who is a great artist in his own right, Mykl Wells, and we were part of an 8 person marketing team. In 1994, that job would take me to Bellingham, WA where Soundings husband-and-wife founders Dean and Dudley Evenson had re-located their recording studio in 1989. I would begin my own business a couple of years later, but I continue to do most of their album cover art and design work, as well as designing and maintaining their website. It has been an 18-year collaboration with one client: awesome!

Some design/illustration highlights:

  • AWARD (2011) 1st Runner-Up Web Design as voted by The Coalition of Visionary Retailers for
  • AWARD (2011) Gold/1st Place – Washington Festival and Events Association
    PNW Summit Awards – Commemorative Poster Design “Anacortes Arts Festival 50th Anniversary Poster” – Client: Anacortes Arts Festival
  • AWARD (2011) Gold/1st Place – Washington Festival and Events Association
    PNW Summit Awards – Promotional Poster Design “2011 Movies at Magnuson Park” Client: Epic Events – Client: Anacortes Arts Festival
  • Have illustrated and/or designed over 200 music CD Covers
  • (1996) Illustrated the children’s book “Children of the Earth”
  • AWARD (1990) Winner of National Endowment of the Arts Poster Competition at the University of Arizona
  • AWARD (1998) “Silver Microphone” National Finalist for writing original ad score for Whatcom Transportation Authority – “Bus Stop” – a rap song promoting public transportation to young people during the summer

Giving Back

In addition to my graphics art training, I have a great deal of experience working with groups of people, specifically to produce fund raisers and plan events for a variety of causes including domestic violence awareness, women’s issues, race issues (I host a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day open mike every year), local environmental issues, and preserving animal habitats. I have also emceed events on stage, so I have experience thinking on my feet while multi-tasking. I believe that my abilities and skills as an artist, designer and illustrator are greatly enhanced through multi-cultural and community immersion: you have to look inside and outside for inspiration.


Music is also a big part of my life. I studied classical & jazz piano and music composition formally from the time I was 10 through my first year of college, majoring in music, before switching up and dedicating myself academically and professionally to design.

In 2009, I worked with singer/songwriter and choreographer Sabrina Gomez, writing a couple of songs and helping to produce the musical score for an original work she produced throught the Blaine (WA) Performing Arts Center, titled “Esperanza.” One of my aspirations is to do more scoring, audio design and music production in the future.

I still compose and perform in the Bellingham area both as a solo performer (acoustic piano) or in various ensembles. I currently have a 2-piece guitar/drum duo “Twin Sisters,” with my friend and local cartographer Chuck Kitterman,  that performs original rock songs and some covers from the 70’s-present. I have a small home studio and am proficient and creative with Apple’s Logic Studio Pro recording/mixing program.

I’ve self-produced several albums of original music including
• “Always Here For You” (2013) – Bob Paltrow and Burning Clover
• “Lucky” (2008) – solo piano instrumental, original compositions;
• “Patriots of Tomorrow LIVE at Northshore Terrace” (2007)
• “Carousel” (2002) – solo piano instrumental, original compositions;