Adobe Systems Incorporated

A Conference, A Design Studio, and A Pencil Case

It’s a short story that begins with, in mid-June of 2014, the introduction of Ink & Slide, Adobe’s innovative digital drawing tools (and the mobile apps, Adobe Line and Adobe Sketch, that launched alongside the hardware); a new friendship with Portland, Oregon, design studio Jolby & Friends; and Adobe’s for-the-second-time sponsorship of WMC Fest, a music-filled art and design conference that takes place in Cleveland Ohio).

Pencilcase_1F

The seemingly unrelated series of events coincided on July 10 at ICON8 in Portland, where the co-founders of Jolby & Friends, Josh Kenyon and Colby Nichols, were speaking. Adobe wanted its drawing tools (hardware and software) to see some real-world application. And also wanted something to hand-out at our booth at WMC Fest. As luck would have it, Josh and Colby were planning to attend, and speak at, WMC Fest.

A practical canvas

In short order, Adobe Line, along with Ink & Slide were in their designerly hands. All they needed was an idea for a “product.” They very quickly came up with one: A pencil case, the brainchild of a design duo who, along with designer Brett Stenson, had a sudden need to carry Ink & Slide in their bags. Their decision, they explained, was based on utility, “We like things that have a use beyond the aesthetic; we were trying to think of something practical and thought that designers could put Ink & Slide in it, or just use it for their tools.”

Pencilcase_1B

While most Jolby & Friends projects begin with pencil and paper this time the team’s concepting stage incorporated Adobe’s hardware and software. Thinking back on the decision to go digital they said, “If Ink & Slide weren’t going to be part of the process of making the case, we couldn’t really see the point of doing it. We wanted to challenge ourselves to use the products.”

So they forged ahead with the same free-sketching process they always use. Endearingly termed Ride The Weird, the concept is a simple one: “When ideas come to mind, instead of shelving them or not allowing them to come out we let the ideas flow.”

In this particular case, the means justified the end, and Ride the Weird (“the elements and objects and things that help with creation”) became the underlying concept for the art on the pencil case. The end result is a refined amalgamation of the studio’s lighthearted vibe, it’s freeform approach to ideation, and the collaborative intermingling of ideas.

Pencilcase_1

Fueled by “busy”

Although admitting it was a challenge to “learn how to draw again on an iPad,” no hurdle was too big for the trio. Despite a hard deadline (about three days), they quickly got up-to-speed on their brand-new tools, quickly mastering the hardware. And the software. And the ability to merge them with Creative Cloud. They briefly described their process, “With any of the digital tools we use, we try to replicate what we can do with our hands… but with the efficiency and the ease of transferring files back-and-forth. Once we learned how to use Ink & Slide to get the look we wanted we were able to, all three of us, do little bits and pieces and effortlessly put them all together.”

Last week Jolby & Friends sent off their files to ArtOfWhere and today the cases are on their way to a first public appearance. At WMC Fest. In the Adobe booth.

And that’s the story of how Adobe’s hardware, and software, was tested, a design relationships was further cemented, and a pencil case was born.

Attending WMC Fest?

Stop by our booth for a Jolby & Friends pencil case and the latest details about the tools and services in Creative Cloud.

And don’t miss out on Josh and Colby’s talk, Beyond A Collaboration, on Saturday August 16 at 4:15pm at the Cleveland Public Theatre.