The Rubric Story

Founded in 1994, Employee-owned since 2022

The present and the future

In March 2022, 28 years after Rubric was born, we became an employee-owned company and an exciting new chapter began.
Just as we stress the importance of a long-term global strategy to our clients, employee-ownership is a key part of our long-term strategy to ensure security for our staff and clients, whilst allowing us to continue to serve our clients long into the future.
The heart of who we are and what we do remains unchanged. The team at Rubric has always been dedicated and empowered to give excellent service. This change has given us added motivation and confidence to build on our past success whilst paving a new future as employee owners.
The Rubric story began back in the 1980s, born of a love of words and technology. These passions endure and we continue to drive growth for our clients across cultures and continent.

The separation of translation and technology

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It was the early 1980s and a young, idealistic French linguist was working as a freelance translator. Françoise Spurling, Rubric’s Co-Founder and Director, was fascinated by translation and loved languages. But, she was dissatisfied with the wasteful way that translation was usually approached in global companies.
Experience had taught her that translators working in isolation had limited power. She could see that content and technology were just as important as linguistic skills… but her expertise didn’t lie with technology.
Meanwhile, a young Scottish Danish software engineer was indulging in his twin passions of travel and technology. Ian Henderson, Rubric’s Co-Founder and Director, was working with global tech giant Siemens in Germany and tech start-ups in Nigeria, Cameroon, Oman, and England. 

A meeting of minds

By the 1990s, both Françoise and Ian found themselves working for a well-meaning but disorganized translation agency in London. The company took on too much work and its project management was a mess, which made it almost impossible to deliver quality content or make its clients’ lives better.
Both Françoise and Ian were exasperated by the wasted time and effort that they saw all around them. They felt powerless to address their frequent concerns about quality and efficiency.
One day, after yet another dissatisfied client shouted at her, Françoise decided she’d had enough.
She would no longer contribute to the rampant inefficiency in the translation industry.
She would change it.
Ian, sharing Françoise’s high standards and ethical approach, decided to follow her out the door.

Rubric is born

It was 1994 when Françoise and Ian founded Rubric. By then, they were intent on transforming the process of localization.
Their complementary skills were exactly what they needed to make it happen.
Françoise’s passion for languages and drive to empower people ensured they always put customers’ and employees’ needs before profits. Ian’s technological mind and love of process optimization ensured that Rubric’s operations were always in a process of continual improvement.
Their shared hatred of waste ensured that translations were always done with unrivaled efficiency and quality.
In the ’90s, the available technology for localization was still in its infancy. But, they could see that technological innovation was going to be key to making the changes they knew were possible. They decided that Rubric would never own a fax machine or a photocopier and everything would be stored digitally, which was unheard of at the time.    
Just 3 years later, they recognized that an international presence was just as important for them as it was for their clients and opened their US office.

Over 25 years of innovation

In 2019, we celebrated Rubric’s 25th anniversary.
For many global companies, the inefficiencies in the translation industry are still as pervasive as they were in the 1980s. With rising international growth, growing competition, and a plethora of new technologies, the challenges associated with creating quality global content are as present as ever.
But, for Rubric’s clients, localization can become almost effortless. Thanks to Françoise and Ian’s early drive to improve the localization process, clients benefit from the lessons we’ve learned over many years of excellence and innovation.
There’s a reason that some clients have stayed with us for decades. Just as Françoise and Ian have continually improved Rubric’s processes, we continue to improve our clients’ localization processes year on year. 
Innovation is now part of Rubric’s DNA and the whole team continuously seeks to evolve, identifying the latest techniques and technologies while working smartly and ethically.
By continually cutting out waste and streamlining processes, we work in close partnership with our clients. Rubric’s unique makeup allows us to deliver multilingual translations and content strategies of the highest quality, through deep integration with our clients’ businesses.

The future

At Rubric, we are dedicated to bringing our clients global success for many years to come.
Just as we stress the importance of a long-term global strategy to our clients, we also have a strategy to ensure that we continue to serve our clients long into the future.
We commit to staying at the forefront of technological innovation, helping our clients to navigate those changes with their global content.
An enduring love of words and technology drives growth for our clients across cultures and continents every day of the year.

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