By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, Pershing Yoakley & Associates, P.C.
Initially, he was a customer. Now, for the past 12 years, he’s been an employee and, more recently, the President.
As Knoxville-based Info-Graphics prepares to celebrate its 20th anniversary, Rob Eddy says that a great deal has changed in the market since Eddie Hopps founded what was then known as Hopps Communications.
“He was a graphic designer and illustrator with local and regional clients like DeRoyal and Sea Ray,” Eddy says. “I engaged them when I was at Rubbermaid.”
During several career moves in corporate marketing roles, Eddy kept coming back to Hopps Communications for technical illustration and document development work before joining the firm in 2003. At that time, the name also changed to Infographics, which was more descriptive of their work. The brand has been tweaked slightly to the current Info-Graphics.
We first profiled the firm in February 2012 post, less than a month after launching teknovation.biz. There are a half-dozen updates we have subsequently published about our neighbors in the Cherokee Mills complex.
As Info-Graphics plans for its anniversary celebration on September 24, we caught-up with Eddy for his thoughts on the market the company serves. Its clients include well-known names like Lowe’s, OXO, EPRI, InSinkErator, Viking, Husqvarna, GE, Delta, Bosch, 3M, Invisible Fence and a host of other high-profile brands.
“It used to be much more of an art,” Eddy says of the firm’s work. “With technology and innovation driving more activity in every aspect of our lives, communication is more technical today than it used to be.”
The company’s specialty is taking complex information – process, product, concept or content – and breaking it down, organizing it, and sequencing it so that anyone can understand it. Eddy describes the firm’s mantra as “define, develop and deploy.” The tagline on the webpage describes it in four words: “We are visual storytellers.”
During the early years, Eddy says the work mostly involved illustrations. Today, Info-Graphics develops content for multiple platforms from print to video, animations, webpages, mobile and interactive. On the horizon are capabilities in virtual reality and augmented reality.
“Our clients used to say, ‘Here’s what I need,’” Eddy says. “Now, it’s, ‘Here’s my challenge.’
He adds that “clients want a technical design firm, not just an ad agency. They need a partner to help them develop and then leverage content on many platforms.” That description is exactly where Info-Graphics operates, drawing on its technical heritage while adapting to the many communications channels that exist today.
As Eddy and the Info-Graphics team look to the next 20 years, he believes the company is very well-positioned for success.