Production FAQs

Production Services

What services do you offer?
We produce artwork for journal, book, presentation, video, and internet distribution. Our range of media includes traditional as well as digital artwork in color, tone, and line. We provide our clients with effective, comprehensive, cost-conscious, and timely illustration services.
What are your qualifications?
The quality and accuracy of our work comes from being a part of the world renowned resources of The Johns Hopkins University, The Johns Hopkins Hospital and affiliated institutions. As an academic department of the School of Medicine, our faculty of Certified Medical Illustrators (CMI) work with content experts in a wide range of medical specialties to create dynamic and educational illustrations.

Following the guidelines of the National Organizations for Competency Assurance, the Medical Illustrators Board of Certification administers a two-part test to verify the competency of medical illustrators. The test includes a written examination, plus a stringent portfolio review. Eligibility for certification includes graduation from a CAAHEP-accredited graduate program in medical and biological illustration or five years experience as a medical illustrator and proof of successful completion of a dissection course in human gross anatomy or its equivalent. Certified medical illustrators (designated by the letters, CMI) must participate in continuing education programs to maintain certification status.

Please visit our news room for continuing announcements of new projects, awards, updates to this website, and other newsworthy information about AAM.
What techniques do you use to produce illustrations and animations?
AAM has a wide range of techniques and experience to provide you a full range of illustration and animation. Our style ranges from a crisp, clean look to more artistic and imaginative pieces. We produce a variety of color, tone, and black & white images using either traditional or digital tools. Our traditional techniques include pen and ink, colored pencil, and watercolor. We also are skilled in using a variety of Mac and PC-based software tools including Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Painter, Freehand, Dreamweaver, Flash, BBEdit, Macromedia Director and Adobe AfterEffects, Cinema4D, ZBrush, HTML and Javascript.
How does AAM work with its clients?
Every project starts with a consultation at no cost by phone, email or in person in order to assess the prospective project requirements and the client's interests and preferences. Consultation components range from subject-matter, budget, and deadline, to the usage, quantity, style and technique of the art or design work itself. Based upon these factors, an estimate is written and a price quote is negotiated and agreed upon.

That's when AAM hits the drawing board. Sketches are drawn and discussed via phone, fax, email or personal contact, depending on the project. Usually, several revisions are produced before final artwork is submitted for a project.

Johns Hopkins Clients: For internal clients, an eight-digit SAP budget or grant number is requested along with the name, address and phone number for the administrator for department-to-department electronic billing.

External Clients: For external clients, those not affiliated with Johns Hopkins, the medical illustrator will ask for the following: Client's Name and Title, E-mail Address, Street Address (building, city, state, zip, country), Telephone Number, Administrative Assistant (name and contact info).

Invoices will be mailed or e-mailed to the client and/or Administrative Assistant. Payment will be sent to the appropriate location, which will be written/typed on the invoice.
Make checks payable to Johns Hopkins University.
How much do your services cost?
In general, the price is impacted by a variety of factors:
  1. Number of illustrations
  2. Number of colors and quality of rendering
  3. 2-dimensional versus 3-dimensional imagery
  4. Single image versus animated imagery
  5. Economies of scale -- multiple images in a series always cost less than individual images stand-alone
  6. Amount of research necessary to accurately represent the subject, correlating to complexity and visual intricacy of the subject.
  7. Existing reference material available
  8. Number of changes needed
  9. Timing of project: standard vs. rush job
  10. The market the artwork will be used for
As with any contracted service, the exact final cost for a project is impossible to fix at the outset. However, a free initial consultation will allow AAM to assess the scope of the project and needs of the client. AAM is happy to offer you a quote that best matches our skills and services to your budget and desired outcome. Please call 410-955-3213 or email to talk to us about your specific needs. AAM provides great value for the money, and is priced very competitively against most professional illustration studios.
How long does it take to complete a typical project?
As mentioned above under the "how much do your services cost?" tab, the specific needs of the client dictate how long a project takes. The greater the subject complexity, intricacy, and number of images, the longer it will take for us to complete to your satisfaction. Simple illustrations can take just days while more complex projects can take weeks or months. AAM always provides a schedule and time estimate along with its price estimate, and always strives to deliver its services on or ahead of time and on-budget.
What is your policy in regarding copyright and usage?
All images created for our clients belong to Johns Hopkins. Copyright is the main vehicle for assuring that the artwork created at Johns Hopkins is owned by the institution.

Thus, to protect you, our client, and Johns Hopkins University, we copyright our work and take additional steps to prevent unauthorized distribution of that material. Our clients are free to use the images in teaching and in publication.

We encourage you to view our portfolio and the samples of work shown on our website. If you like what you see, we encourage your to contact us so we can develop imagery for your use.
Is all of your artwork online?
No. Because our archives continue to grow on a daily basis, only a representative portion of our existing artwork is exhibited online. You may be searching for an image we have created, but it is simply not up on our website. Please feel free to submit an inquiry and ask if we have created a particular image for a specific subject you have in mind. If not, we'd be more than happy to create something original for your use.
How can I get in touch with you about a prospective project?
For a free consultation, please feel free to contact us by phone 410-955-3213 or email