Results tagged “creativity conference”

We Are The Creative Class

I admit it. I was the archetypal awkward kid sitting off to the side, observing more than engaging. I went through numerous crisis of confidence about my conflicting interests in art and design and the more “legitimate” pursuits like sports and AP classes. But through a wonderful convergence of good fortune and good timing I emerged from the awkward years mostly intact and embarked on a career as a designer at just about the time that the world started to wake up to the value of design. I am a proud, albeit still awkward card carrying member of the Creative Class. It turns out that there are quite a few of us here at Adobe, including about 100 in the Experience Design (XD) team I lead. There are also a few million of them that we feel connected to because they (all of you) are the people who make the applications that we help design sing and dance.

Image 1

It is in this capacity, as the creatives that help make the tools for the creatives, that we set out to make the Adobe Creative Class video:

We started with only the seeds of an idea. We wanted to create an Anthem to creatives, something that would both recognize the travails and celebrate the accomplishments of our peers, creative people. Over the course of the few weeks that we had to conceptualize and execute the project, there were all the regular fears, challenges and unreasonable optimism that accompany any creative effort. We started the project by retaining the creative people at Melcher Media, and together conceptualized a project that was ambitious but attainable, and they set about to lead the effort to produce a script that still gives me the chills every time I read it:

 The Creative Class

We are the creative class. We are alone in our rooms with one dream among us. We tell stories about boys and girls who learn to fly and we make those stories come as true as our minds can will them. Our teachers are comic books and cartoons; every bedroom a Bat Cave, every den the mutant lair. Our gallery is hung with magnets on the fridge.

We stand on your corner and wonder, What if we could play for a living? What if we could use chalk to make this sidewalk more interesting? What if there are others out here watching the trees turn into polka dots? We fill wastebaskets with weak ideas. Our cash goes to canvas and acrylic colors, and we wonder, How much bologna can we eat before it’s bad for us? Can we bottle the smell of  fear and sell it?

We paint a mural of the ocean and in the wall we find the shell around a tiny pearl. We share it between us. It warms our hands. Let’s use it to guide us in twos and threes. Let’s make something there in the dark, so we’re not afraid of the dark ever again. We are the photo negative and we are what develops. There are forty of us making this work after hours because we’ve figured out a way to do it better. Don’t say that it’s impossible and that there’s no budget for glitter. Give us a wheel to reinvent. Let’s make a lighter, cleaner water jug for disaster relief. Let’s turn sustainable design into design that sustains us all.

We are millions of us armed with drop cloths and wood glue and a vision. We will silk screen a banner that flies colors you’ve never heard of. Let’s raise high the beams and set the roof on fire. Let’s send a ripple from here to New Delhi. We can start a rally with a website, a revolution with a jpeg, and we are more than the sum of our parts. We get presidents elected. We are an army. We are alone in our rooms. There is a story in all of us and we are going to make it.

The team at Melcher Media (http://melcher.com) had a good, rational plan for getting the project animated, but then I made the “mistake” of sharing the project with one of our Principal Designers, Erk Natzke. He reached out to Kyle Cooper and his team at Prologue (http://prologue.com), who emailed back this photo of his son Kaden working on his own bedroom Bat Cave, a sure indication that he shared an affinity for the project:

Image 2

Kyle is probably well known to most of you, but for the record, he’s the motion designer that brought art back to movie credits when he created the mind blowing title sequences for Seven. And he said yes to our little project! So there we were, with a world class team, a damn good script, and a few weeks to create if we wanted to debut at MAX.

Not to be outdone, Erik contributed a few pictures of his young prodigy learning to fly (along with a number of his other non human creations.)

Image 3

Over time it seemed like just about every line in the script sparked a connection to our lives as creatives. And we weren’t alone. As the team reached out to more and more creatives, to build the library of imagery that makes up the final product, there were personal stories and connections, little bits of nostalgia that made the project all that more meaningful to the participants. The project became an adventure in remembering how we became creatives and a celebration of all that has come to mean.

We are hoping this is just a start. We had a slightly bigger idea of building an application to create a bigger story that we would build with all of you, some sort of collective creative narrative. We would love to figure out how to create an ongoing dialogue about what it means to be part of the Creative Class. We would love to be able to see what all of you would contribute to that dialogue.

I think I can speak for the entire cast of characters that contributed to the project, that it became a remarkably personal and, as a result, remarkably satisfying project. And to give credit where credit is due, view the list of that cast on the next page.

Adobe MAX Day Two Wrap-up

Day two was chock full of inspiration. Our day two keynote was all about highlighting stories from creative pros with inspirational stories —  many about them breaking the creativity mold. Everything from breaking the brief with Paula Scher to embracing limitations from Paul Hansen to the making-of-details from innovative creatives – Erik Johansson and Rob Legato. Watch the keynote below.

Before we closed out the day, we also hosted our Sneak Peek session, where we showcased early looks at some technologies (e.g., features/products) we’re exploring, with special guests Rainn Wilson, actor and co-creator of SoulPancake, and actress/comedian Mary Lynn Rajskub, co-hosting the evening with Ben Forta. Get the full scope of Day Two happenings from Creative Layer.

A full rundown of Day 1 at Adobe MAX

Day 1 of Adobe MAX wrapped up yesterday with a lot of buzz and news. We kicked things off in the morning with our keynote session, “A Creative Evolution.” We announced a slew of news as well, including all-new updates to our Creative Cloud apps – Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, Edge Tools & Services, and more! If you missed the keynote, watch the playback available here or catch the community-curated version captured in Storify by MAX attendee, @GayaneAdourian.

Even more exciting, we shared an early look at a number of new explorations:

  • Project Mighty – A Creative Cloud pen
  • Project Napolean – Complementary to Mighty, Napolean is a digital ruler designed to bring back some of the feeling of drawing with analog tools like the t-square and triangle
  • Project Context – Reimagines the editorial room for publishers

For more on MAX, join the #AdobeMAX conversation.

Adobe XD explores the analog future

It was fun being on stage at MAX with David Wadhwani to share a few of the projects that we have been working on in XD. The team has been exploring how new form factor displays, new interactions (like touch and gesture), cloud connections and even new hardware might change how you all create and in turn how it might impact what software we need to build. And we have been having a serious amount of fun.

Although there are many explorations going on, we chose three to highlight. The first, Mighty, is our connected pen:

The Adobe "Project Mighty" Connected Pen

The Adobe “Project Mighty” Connected Pen

We actually started project Mighty, our “cloud pen” to help us focus on the future of drawing. I’ve always been a little obsessed with drawing. An early mentor of mine said: “If you can’t draw, you can’t think. I guess I took that to heart. The good news is that absolutely anyone can train himself or herself to draw. With the right tools to support you it’s a little bit like learning to ride a bike – you just have to keep doing it until you tease out your own style of drawing.

Mighty is pressure sensitive, which helps it draw a natural and expressive line. It is also connected to the Creative Cloud through the software and a local Bluetooth LE connection. We have used this connection to pull up Kuler themes and enable a “cloud clipboard” which gives you access to assets you have saved to the cloud for reuse.

Mighty was created with the help of Ammunition, the industrial design firm founded by Robert Brunner. They landed on a three-sided, twisted form that is inspired by the ergonomics of holding a pen. When a child struggles with writing, he or she is given a triangular grip that fits over the pencil. Our design takes that one step further by twisting the pen’s triangular form so that it also rests gently on the hand. It also yields a sculptural object that is both beautiful and distinct. There’s a lot of hardware technology involved in bringing a high tech pen like this to life, so we’ve been working with San Francisco-based MindTribe on the electrical and mechanical engineering.

Although we spend many hours a day behind the keyboard and mouse, we still often start the creative process as we did thousands of years ago with pen and paper. But with tablets and new input methods like Mighty, this is going to change – I am confident. Over the last year, my tablet has replaced my sketchbook. I never thought I would give up drawing in a moleskin sketchbook.

Our second exploration, code named Napoleon is complementary to Mighty. This digital ruler is designed to bring back some of the feeling of drawing with analog tools like the t-square and triangle. Adobe has been talking about building a physical drawing aid like this ever since we built our first digital drafting table, almost two years ago.

Adobe "Project Mighty" Connected Pen & Project Napoleon" Digital Ruler Working on iPad

Adobe “Project Mighty” Connected Pen & Project Napoleon” Digital Ruler Working on iPad

I was originally trained as an architect, and still find great comfort and confidence drawing with these tools. There is something about the confidence of drawing a line aided by a physical device – the tactile feedback you get as you move the straightedge around – as well as the fluidity and accuracy of drawing that comes from interacting with physical objects. Our little ruler (Napoleon, get it?) creates a digitally projected edge that you can use to accurately draw shapes and lines. It just feels right.

The Adobe "Project Napoleon" Digital Ruler

The Adobe “Project Napoleon” Digital Ruler

We are looking at a lot of potential features for Napoleon, but a favorite of mine is snapping to vanishing points. Imagine how easy it will be to sketch in perspective, when you can use the ruler to quickly create and then snap to perspective vanishing points that are well off screen.

Finally, Project Context is the most ambitious of the three explorations. I like to think of it as our answer to “big content.” You know, just like big data, but with images and text and video and the like. Most of us have experience with printing hundreds of images and trying to pin them all on the wall or spreading them on the floor just to try to figure out the big picture. This is another good example of how something was lost when we went from physical to digital. Somehow file folders full of assets, or tiled displays of images don’t quite cut it. We think that large screens with touch and gesture interaction paired with the appropriate software design are a way to not only get back what was lost, but to take the organizing and producing experience to a whole new level.

When combined with InDesign and the Digital Publishing Suite, Context creates an ideal editorial and publishing environment for Wired and other publishers. Context offers a powerful and intuitive way to grab assets from just about anywhere, and to collaboratively organize and eventually even edit and publish them. These exploratory projects stand a much better chance of becoming real shipping products when we work with a customer to build them. We have the good fortune to be working with WIRED to build out the first version of Context as a system to support the editorial and layout process for their magazine.

Digitally enabled, cloud connected physical devices leverage the best from both the digital and the analog worlds. They could enable whole new levels of creative productivity and artistic confidence – and one of the many innovation milestones that makes an Adobe incredible place to work.

Marketing Mandates

ADOBE 1The best part of my job is hitting the road to hear about what’s on the minds of our customers, partners and employees.  In the past two months I’ve clocked more than 34,000 air miles doing just that.   From the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to the World Economic Forum in Davos, from London to Sydney to New York, Digital Marketing has been on the mind of every CEO I meet. It has definitely gone broadly into the mainstream and into the boardroom, well beyond the confines of the web team.

Most recently, we had three terrific days in Utah at the annual Adobe Digital Marketing Summit where 5,000 people gathered to hear about the latest innovations in digital marketing solutions. Every company needs to become a digital-first organization and I spoke about the three marketing mandates that I believe all companies need to focus on:

1)      Engage everywhere – Gone are the days when your digital strategy is just about driving customers to your website and converting them. Whether it’s app stores or retail stores; on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest; on a PC, phone, or laptop; you have to go to your customers or they won’t come to you.  Successful marketers are integrating all channels to engage their customers wherever they are.

2)      Embrace rocket science – Every business is swimming in data, and many are struggling just to get backward-looking reports.  But the real value of data is predictive, harnessing math and machine learning to take marketers’ intuition to a whole new level.  Many of our customers are already doing this with Media Optimizer today, where you can predict the optimal media mix and automate the buying across display and search advertising. The next frontier is to take all of your marketing – across social, mobile, web, real-time, historic, qualitative, quantitative – and reliably predict and execute the perfect campaign to maximize sales.  That is rocket science becoming real.

3)      Connect the dots – Organizational change needs to happen internal to every company in order to thrive in this new digital age.  I live this every Monday morning at 9 am when I have the team report to me on their metrics. The product organization, marketing organization and sales and finance are working together to drive the results in a way that never used to happen.

Thanks to everyone who made Summit such a great event.  Next up: Adobe MAX in LA.  I’m excited to hear what our community has to say about the future of creativity!

Back in the saddle

blamkin-107-4x6editedI just passed my one-month mark after rejoining Adobe to head up corporate strategy and mergers and acquisitions.  It’s a unique perspective, having spent 14 years helping build Adobe’s creative business and then going off to lead teams in consumer internet, social and mobile companies before returning here.  Adobe is the great company that I remember:  incredible innovation, talented people, and the coolest customers anywhere.  But it’s a company that has changed in many ways. As I come back in with fresh eyes, I thought I would share some of my observations.

It’s a whole new world when it comes to the creative professional and their work.  Back in “the day” in our creative business, we spent most of our energy building kick-ass applications that helped creative professionals move from traditional to digital workflows while navigating the complexities of the desktop Mac and Windows platforms. Our customers were primarily focused on delivering great print or web content.  Now with the explosion of mobile, creatives need to make sure their experiences scale to hundreds of smartphones and tablets, not to mention TVs, car dashboards and in-store kiosks.  The challenge is staggering, both for creatives and Adobe, but there has never been more demand for compelling content.  (That’s a good thing!)  And with the advent of powerful mobile platforms, EVERYONE wants to be creative as they capture, enhance and share their daily experiences.

Enter the cloud.  With cloud computing, customers are quickly learning (and expecting) to engage with us 24/7 and need our product offerings to go further in addressing a broader range of challenges, well beyond content creation.  As a former product manager, I remember the team’s frustration when they were forced to hold back features to fit our 18-month Creative Suite product cycle.  It was very difficult to deliver new innovations “off-cycle” due to our delivery and accounting model. (Every desktop software company struggles with this same challenge.)  Nothing is more satisfying to one of our talented engineers than getting a new product feature into the hands of customers quickly, and now we can.

But Creative Cloud is so much more than a mechanism for getting new product features in the hands of customers faster.  It will be the hub for creativity worldwide and enable you to work when and where you want.  It will be where creative communities gather to be inspired by each other’s work and collaborate on projects.  Our recent acquisition of Behance, the leading online social media platform for creatives, accelerates Adobe’s strategy to bring great community features to Creative Cloud.  You’ll see us begin to integrate Behance with our creative tools in the next few months and in the meantime Behance will continue to be a key showcase for creativity.   Check out their awesome blog highlighting some of the coolest creative work out there.

Some customers have given us their perspective on Creative Cloud in the video below and we promise that we’ve only just started.   Indeed, all the innovation that we have planned for Creative Cloud will make Adobe MAX, the Creativity Conference, a must-attend event.   It’s in Los Angeles May 4-8.  We hope you can join us.

Finally, it’s been exhilarating to get involved with a whole new set of customers with Adobe Marketing Cloud.  We have long focused on content creation for the world’s leading marketing departments.  Now we’re extending that value to helping marketers manage and optimize consumer experiences across every touchpoint, from their websites to the social realm. Last week I attended our Summit conference and spoke to dozens of digital marketing customers about the possibilities as our Creative Cloud and Marketing Cloud come together for better collaboration across teams and agencies.  This is really where the creative rubber hits the road, from my perspective – showing the business return from all the amazing content created with our tools.

With my little “walkabout” behind me, I can honestly say that I’m thrilled to be back in the saddle at Adobe and am particularly excited to engage with our new customers and see how many familiar ones are still with us on this journey!

About this blog

Adobe

Welcome to Adobe Featured Blogs, a one-stop information and conversation destination for virtually anyone interested in what's going on at Adobe. Here you'll find the latest company and product news from Adobe's multiple lines of business. We value your perspective and encourage comments that are on-topic and add value but that do not spam, denigrate or offend. Read more