Back in the day, it was ...

One day, way back in the late 90’s, in the depths of a tiny, smoky, and dimly lit Campus Walk apartment, a young entrepreneurial artsy-type college kid (me!) was fortunate enough to have a good friend introduce him to Corel Draw, and the world of digital design. A mere few hours later, the hook was sunk. Within a few days, a course was being set.

That same friend saw potential, and suggested switching majors into the Cameron School of Business (afterall, marine bio and psychology weren’t going so well) … shortly after, together they launched a surf and skate apparel line, known as Bhang Leisurewear. College was a fun time. 

From Odd Jobs to Design Jobs

After working random odd jobs around town through college – Eastern Skate Supply (building decks with Sambo at Eastbilt!), The Fishhouse Grill, Vito’s Pizza, and a short stint washing dishes pre-Hurricane Fran at Figure 8 Island Yacht Club – I set out to help the Wilmington community with design and marketing related services. I chose the name Fluid Designs because good design is exactly that – it’s fluid. It adapts to its environment and can be shifted and shaped into almost any form. 

It was no doubt quite a humble beginning. The internet was in its infancy. Fluid Designs had an ad in the phone book. I printed and folded brochures at home on my ink-jet printer. I literally walked door to door with those brochures trying to convince local business owners to hire me.  I stuffed mailboxes.

And lo and behold, someone took a chance. If you’ve been here long enough, you may recall Kona Coffee. And if you have a really good memory, you may recall their awesome to-go menu …  I made that! It was my first paid gig from a completely random person. Don’t get me wrong – being hired by friends and family is great, but it’s not the same.

Allen Hopkins

Allen Hopkins

18 Fathoms Design Co.

Originally it was just Fluid Designs, then I created Run-Out Sportswear in 1999. For a short while, I was designing menu apps for mobile devices, under the moniker OurMenuApp.com – that didn’t go over so well.

I needed an umbrella for all my assorted adventures – so, Hopkins Creative Group was formed.

A few years back, I began to apply my creative and professional print design work to the nautical world of tide charts, resulting in PocketTideCharts.com

So, there’s a lot going on. Follow along with me personally too, if you care to see how far down the rabbit hole goes… 

Since 1998 ...

Ever since then, I have been offering professional and affordable graphic design services in the Wilmington community. This town is full of lots of amazing people with talent and ambition. I’ve been fortunate enough to know and work with many of them.

In 2012, I changed the name from Fluid Designs to Hopkins Creative Group in order to encompass a variety of small business ventures (see my bio above). In addition – someone else was operating under the name Fluid Designs in NJ and had already secured the domain name – so, that was frustrating. 

18 Fathoms Design Co. was forged several years later in an attempt to find a unique and interesting sounding name with a nautical twist and an homage to my Fluid roots … And to be honest, I just like the sound of it – plus the domain was available!

Good work travels far

Since those early days, my client base has expanded to include organizations all over the country, in a range of industries. I’ve helped restaurants and bars, manufacturers and brewers, mechanics and lawyers, divers and singers. And as they always say – many more. 

No matter what business you’re in, there is a way I can help. I’ll listen to your suggestions and ideas, and then I deliver, just like I did for Vito’s back in college (also designed a few shirts for Don also!)

Call or text me at 910.616.5665 to see how simple it can be.

Allen Hopkins

Allen Hopkins

18 Fathoms Design Co.

Originally it was just Fluid Designs, then I created Run-Out Sportswear in 1999. For a short while, I was designing menu apps for mobile devices, under the moniker OurMenuApp.com – that didn’t go over so well.

I needed an umbrella for all my assorted adventures – so, Hopkins Creative Group was formed.

A few years back, I began to apply my creative and professional print design work to the nautical world of tide charts, resulting in PocketTideCharts.com

So, there’s a lot going on. Follow along with me personally too, if you care to see how far down the rabbit hole goes…