I may have created the impression that we're getting out of the business (Business? What business?) in my last post and that's definitely not the case. And like David said there seems to be a slight warming trend lately, at least the phone is ringing (I was getting ready to call the phone company and see if they'd cut it off.)
I was talking awhile back about designing with Photoshop and it's progeny like PhotoDeluxe, Photoshop Elements, Limited etc. Here you can take pics of your glass and "cut them out" on the computer and put them in your design to get a real accurate picture of what the finished product will look like, and eliminate that "what was I thinking" moment that occurs sometimes when you first see the light come through your piece. But what I was really excited about was that you could send the prospective client a virtual photo of what their window would look like before you scored the first piece of glass.
I always found it amazing that a client would agree to turn loose of some large bills on the basis of a colored pencil sketch. Now I'm pretty good with a pencil and can come up with some real pretty sketches but still it always seemed like I was saying "use your imagination and give me 1500 dollars and I'll put this in your home"
So the Photoshop stuff seemed to be the perfect tool for approaching design possibilities with the client.
But here's the thing; I never lost a customer when I was handing them the finished pencil sketch. Once it got to that stage I had them. When I started doing computer design I began to loose some. Not many, but enough to make me wonder. Maybe it's coincidence. Or maybe it's just that our prices are higher now. But could it be that the customer likes to see the work of the hand rather than the microchip; to know that you're an artist first and a crafter second. I still do the Photoshop thing but I make sure my customer sees something I've sketched whenever possible.