In the plains of Nebraska, you’ll find AbrechtGFX, a company that tells the story of scientific innovation through 3D illustrations and animations by translating scientific and technical content into visuals that make information understood and messages memorable.
Their clients are primarily biotech companies and the advertising agencies that assist such companies. We spoke with Jean Albrecht, who founded the company with her husband, Don Albrecht.
How did AlbrechtGFX get its start?
We started AlbrechtGFX in 2002, focusing on 3D illustrations and animations that depict and explain scientific/biological concepts. Our first clients were people who were once Don’s coworkers at Norden Laboratories–SKB, now Zoetis. As those contacts moved to other companies and countries, we made more connections. Researchers and subject matter experts like working with us because they work with a 3D illustrator/animator who understands technical biological content.
What backgrounds brought you to the work you’re doing today?
We both started as teachers. Don taught biology and human physiology, and later worked as a commercial photographer. I taught elementary students and junior high English, then earned an MBA at University of Nebraska-Lincoln and worked at Southeast Community College in adult education.
You live and work in Nebraska. Why is Nebraska home?
We were both born in northeast Nebraska. Over the years, we considered moving from Nebraska twice. We stayed because we like Nebraska’s quality of life, and because we have family here.
AlbrechtGFX is a niche company that fits needs in technical sales, training, marketing, and investor relations. The internet makes it possible for us to work nationally and internationally from Nebraska.
How important is it to have a visual representation to explain science?
Science includes the visible world, the microscopic and molecular. Scientific discussions require visual representations to understand and clarify the message. Our educational backgrounds tell us that people learn better when using a multi-sensory approach to gather information, as in seeing and hearing, especially when content is shared with an international audience. We use the following phrases to summarize what we do:
Visualizing the invisible. Making the abstract clear.
A picture is worth a thousand words. In any language. No translation required.
Many of your projects are confidential in nature, however are there any notable projects that you’re able to share?
Our most memorable project was a collaboration with Dr. Steve Hinrichs and Marsha Morien from UNMC. Together we created a 3D illustration called “Birth of a Pandemic” that was a finalist in the Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge” sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the Journal of Science.