Central Iowa Studio Continues to Evolve as it Celebrates 25 Years in Business

September 12, 2018

From the Apple Newton in 1993 to 360-degree cameras today, Applied Art & Technology in Urbandale has seen it, and used it, all to create imaginative video stories for customers across almost every industry. And we’re celebrating our 25th anniversary this month! It all started in 1993, just a few months after the Internet was born. George Christ (Founder/​Partner), credits a focus on creative talent and new technology for keeping us fresh over our 25-year span. 


From Floods to Founders

We opened our doors not long after the Iowa floods of 1993, with the goal of using leading-edge tools and techniques to produce the most creative, high-quality videos in Central Iowa. With four founders leading the way, Applied Art began working with diverse clients, some of which we still work with today.

From four founders to a team of 25, plus preferred vendors and freelance profes­sionals, we’ve seen our business grow beyond just video production to full-scale content marketing programs and interactive digital experiences. George Christ, founder, said, Technology comes and goes, and what we have been able to do is adapt to everything and craft compelling stories no matter what medium is being used. We essentially figure out the best way to communicate using technology. Back in the day, we were doing interactive CD-ROMs for clients before anyone else and we still lead the way with figuring out how to use technology for our clients. Our focus remains on storytelling, and we don’t let technology get in the way.”


The Future of Video

Not content to sit back and celebrate, we’re forging ahead with work in Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Interactive Experiences. Of the future of VR, George said, We have been involved with VR since 2006, and we are still only scratching the surface. Obvious technical limitations, like bulky headsets, will be overcome in the not-so-distant future. Huge companies like Apple, Facebook and Google are investing heavily in these technologies, as well. We are already creating several good applications for our clients and will continue to push with technology to provide the best brand experiences. The future is very bright.”

According to a market report released by Transparency Market Research, the VR/​AR market will expand at an exponential CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 92.5 percent between 2016 and 2024. Virtual Reality has been associated mostly with gaming in the past, but a 2018 study shows that education, healthcare and real estate are expected to turn more attention to VR/​AR as a way to solve specific problems and improve experiences and outcomes in their industries.

User experience, cost and content options have limited brands’ use of AR and VR applications in the past, but consumers can expect more immersive experiences in the near future. Applications like virtual reality retail stores, augmented reality shelf-talkers at pharmacies to help customers better understand medicines, virtual reality training modules to let surgeons practice techniques before touching a human body and even test driving a new car are already available. 

Video itself has become even more integrated into daily life as we tune into multiple screens across many devices. US adults now spend about 6 hours a day watching videos. Brands will need to find a way to tell their story visually to stay top-of-mind with consumers. And we’ve been deploying a mix of strategies for clients to ensure their content works across social media, mobile, broadcast, trade shows and everywhere else you find video these days. 

Consumers expect interactive experiences with brands. While it’s easier than ever to target your ideal customers, it’s harder to cut through the clutter and have your message heard. Successful brands are using a mix of tactics on all screens to capture their customers’ attention. In many cases, the most creative approach wins. That’s why we always start with the story and then figure out the best way to execute it,” says Mark Wilke, founder/​partner


The 90s Are Back

With an eye toward the future, Applied Art is pausing to look back at all our hard work over the past 25 years and appreciate where we originated: the 90s. Over the next several weeks, we will share blasts from the past, including shout outs to TV, fashion and food favorites from the decade. Weekly contests will give our social media followers a chance to win some of the coolest things from the 90s. Contestants can enter through the Applied Art Facebook Page.



Applied Art & Technology is an award-winning creative studio based in Des Moines, Iowa. With 25 years in business, Applied Art is focused on their mission to apply new technologies in creative ways to produce highly effective communi­cation tools for clients, including local and regional advertising agencies, federal, state and municipal agencies, insurance companies, manufac­turers, hospitals, univer­sities, charities, retail stores, museums and more. For more information, please visit www​.appliedart​.com or find them on Facebook, TwitterYouTube or Instagram