When the Creative Cloud Learn team decided to create in-app tutorial content for Creative Cloud members (a highly visual audience with equally high expectations), it knew that the accompanying imagery would have to be as compelling as the instruction.
The team turned toward its long-standing relationships with the designers, illustrators and artists who use Creative Cloud and asked a group of them to illustratively-interpret a handful of the features in Adobe’s applications—content that would tell the story of what was being taught but that would also stand on its own. They were staggered by the results. This five-part series is a close-up look at the artists and their approach to crafting this conceptual art:
First up is Tad Carpenter, a Kansas City, Missouri-based illustrator and designer who runs design and branding studio Tad Carpenter Creative.
Tell us a bit about your studio and what you love most about being in a creative profession.
I’ve been working professionally as a designer for ten years and opened the studio five years ago—with a focus on creating brand identities, packaging and illustrative-based design. We bring messages to life through smart, strong and honest work for a wide range of clients. What I love most about what we do: Our work is our play, and our play is our work.
Illustration often involves the conceptual interpretation of a concrete idea (a story, a product, an event); was it any different creating art to define a feature in an application?
No. I actually approached this project very much as an editorial-based job. I was given several feature topics and my job was to interpret them, in literal or abstract ways, in design form. It was a blast. Some of our concepts I think are easier to piece together with the topic and others take some thought…but that’s what made this project so fun.
Do you remember the art direction you received from the Learn team? Was it hands-off? Or hands-on?
Very hands off. They showed great trust in my ideas and overall concepts. They of course had input and ideas but ultimately they allowed me to paint the picture that supported their product.
Were you aware of the Creative Cloud Learn content before starting this project?
I’m embarrassed to say I wasn’t. But since working on it I’ve watched and read a lot of content in the Learn section. Adobe’s tools are so deep and keeping up with upgrades and additions can be difficult but Adobe’s made it easier than ever to learn new tricks and pick-up on things you’ve never used before.
Of the illustrations you created, which is your favorite? Why?
That’s a hard choice but I have to say the image for Master Pages in Adobe Muse. When I think about developing interactive content and how best to illustrate that, it starts to hurt my head: Designing a website entails creating an entirely new experience for someone, with the involvement of a lot of moving parts, structures, and collaborators all working toward one common goal. Looking at it that way, Adobe Muse starts to sound a little like a musical conductor… leading a group that’s working together to create one beautiful experience, but not just musicians create this experience… shapes, colors, abstract thought, ideas, are what it takes to build and make an interactive experience. It’s what designers and developers do everyday.
Of the topics you created illustrations for, which was the most problematic? How did you solve it?
For sure the Hyperlinks in Adobe Muse was the most difficult. My approach was to show a whimsical vehicle that takes people where they need to go. It’s a very literal approach to what a link actually does but the vehicle has lots of wires and buttons and a space-age look—as if it were traveling through tubes and wires inside a device.
Where does your creative process begin? On paper? Or screen?
Every single project I work on starts out with pencil and paper. I start by creating a bunch of thumbnails. I move quickly with a bunch of scenarios for the illustration. I don’t worry about accuracy, or anything else for that matter, and focus purely on concept and idea generation. I then pick out a couple I think are the most successful and refine them as sketches.
Technically speaking I scan in my final pencil sketch and use that as a guide by placing it on a layer and using it as a guide to start creating my final piece. I include a lot of hand-painting textures, lines and splatters but make those separately based on the project and bring them into Illustrator CC.
In one word describe how you feel when staring at that blank canvas.
Do you feel like your art could change how people perceive the features in Creative Cloud and/or aid their interpretation of how to use them?
Ultimately what I hope is people see my interpretation of each CC feature and it inspires them to dig deeper into the content—either because they responded to my piece, hated my piece, or were just interested in the content. Regardless I hope my illustration intrigues users enough to keep learning about the features in Creative Cloud.
Did the Learn content entice you to try applications you’d never used before?
Absolutely. After watching and reading content in the Learn section I immediately began exploring and playing with applications I’d used before and others for the first time.
Spoiler Alert: Like reading the last page of a book, hearing how a movie ends, or learning the answer to a hard-to-solve puzzle… Tad was gracious enough to offer insight into the concepts behind his art:
New Document in Illustrator CC: I landed where I did because I like the concept that what we create takes over our worlds. I know when I start a new project it’s all I can think about. All the sketches, paint textures, and notes from meetings literally cover my desk. When we create a new file in Illustrator CC it takes over our world, seeping out of us and into the software. We are what we make.
Auto-trace and Resolution in Illustrator CC: When I was given this topic I immediately liked the idea of emphasizing the heightened resolution Illustrator CC now offers in auto-tracing. I very rarely use auto-trace but I do understand its purpose and how important resolution is to the people who use it. I wanted to show this in a simple manner. Showing how everything else might have looked one way but when using what Adobe now offers it can look so much better and different.
Arrowheads in Illustrator CC: Arrowheads are often forgotten in the large amount of tools Illustrator CC offers. Simple in nature they’re often used as accents. But arrowheads, and simple, strong, support shapes like them, can really bring creations to life. When I first started pencil sketching ideas, I really liked the idea of creating an image made entirely of arrowheads—not as a support players but as the stars. I love the mid-century feel a lot of the arrowhead shapes naturally have and wanted to play this idea up more in my color choices and overall layout. I drew some of the arrowheads but many of them are provided in Illustrator CC.
Art directors are becoming animators. Print designers are becoming web designers. Illustrators are also photographers and editors who also shoot film. They are the New Creatives, and we are celebrating their work.
With the Creative Cloud our product teams have removed the barriers to creative expression: Designers can build parallax HTML5 experiences. Illustrators are making EPUBs. Photographers are using their cameras and Adobe technology to become filmmakers. And coders have the tools to make beautiful design.
It’s an amazing and interesting time in our industry; people have the ability to self-express, in any discipline, without boundaries. I Am The New Creative promotes the amazing work our community is producing and marks this moment in time as a movement and a celebration of creativity.
One of the most incredible aspects of this program has been watching creative professionals merge their mediums and their portraits to produce “New Creatives” versions of themselves.
There’s something magical about the compositions. As a designer there’s always a part of me in my work, but to personalize my work in this way, to make my work more representative of me, presents an alternative perspective. All of the artists we’re working with are enjoying this experience and are appreciative of our desire to promote their amazing creative output.
Our new site highlights the New Creatives, their disciplines, their work, and their stories.
Visitors to the site can join us and become New Creatives (submissions are made through Behance and curated by our team); we’ll be choosing a number of artists and celebrating them and their work throughout our social properties and on Adobe.com during the coming year.
Be sure to check out the work of the New Creatives, get inspired, and join us.
In the spring of 2012, we launched Creative Cloud—membership to Adobe’s full range of creative applications—with the belief that it would benefit our customers by giving them access to our tools and services as they’re updated. Since then, more than 1.4 million people have joined Creative Cloud with premium (paid) memberships and millions more have signed up with (free) trial memberships.
Today we’re releasing a major update to Creative Cloud with new features across our core tools—Adobe® Photoshop® CC, Adobe® Illustrator® CC, and Adobe® InDesign® CC—including 3D printing support in Adobe Photoshop CC.
Photoshop CC expands creative possibilities
New 3D printing capabilities in Adobe Photoshop CC tap into the creative and commercial possibilities of 3D printing with the ability to reliably build, refine, preview, prepare and print 3D designs using familiar Photoshop tools. The groundbreaking Perspective Warp feature makes it easy to alter the viewpoint from which an object is seen, and manipulate perspective in an image, while keeping the rest of the image intact. Linked Smart Objects save time and improve collaboration by enabling objects to be used and updated simultaneously across multiple Photoshop documents. Learn about all the new features in Photoshop CC.
Typekit revolutionizes how designers work with type
Now that you can sync fonts from Adobe Typekit to your computer for use in any desktop application, we’ve made updates to Illustrator CC and InDesign CC to make for an even more intuitive integration; for example, InDesign CC will now automatically search the Typekit desktop font library for missing fonts and offer the option to use those fonts, or similar fonts, if it finds a match. Using fonts in your PDFs and print files just got a lot easier. Learn more about Typekit.
Illustrator CC gets powerful new functionality
The latest version of Illustrator CC simplifies creating perfect, editable, rounded corners with the new Live Corners controls; offers more intuitive drawing with the rebuilt Pencil Tool; the ability to quickly modify existing objects and change the view of perspective drawings with Path Segment Reshape and export responsive SVG code and graphics. Learn more about Illustrator CC.
InDesign CC simplifies ways to add interactivity
InDesign CC includes new support for EPUB 3.0 specification including new ways to add interactivity to eBooks, the ability to add pop-up footnotes that streamline the EPUB reading experience, and support for Japanese Vertical Composition and Hebrew and Arabic text. InDesign also offers simplified hyperlink creation and management. Learn more about InDesign CC.
Adobe Muse CC gets more engaging
Adobe Muse CC released a set of new features in November 2013 that included scroll effect enhancements that make it easy to create subtle or dramatic scrolling web pages; a new Library panel that stores frequently used design elements; and a dozen new social widgets that make connecting to social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter, a snap. Also added was Adobe Muse Exchange, a community-based exchange where custom widgets and templates can be borrowed and shared. Learn more about Adobe Muse CC or check out How to Create a Website with Adobe Muse to create your first site.
Get started with Creative Cloud
* If you’re ready to take your skills and creativity in new directions, with applications you’ve never tried before, check out the training videos on Creative Cloud Learn.
* If you’re already a Creative Cloud member, download the updates through the Creative Cloud desktop application.
* If you’re not yet a Creative Cloud member, sign up for a free trial membership for 30-day access to the latest versions of every Adobe creative desktop app.
* If you’ve already tried our Creative Cloud applications for 30 days, and want to try Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, InDesign CC or Muse CC a second time, free, launch the Creative Cloud desktop app and click Update next to the apps you want to try.
See, in more detail, what’s new in Creative Cloud for designers.
Today, Adobe is happy to announce an update to Adobe Muse CC that makes it even easier to create unique HTML websites without writing code.
Now designers can:
• Access the new Adobe Muse Exchange to download the more than 100 design elements that have been submitted by the Adobe Muse community, including starter templates, prototyping tools, interactive widgets, and more.
• Collect reusable design elements like icons, buttons, headers and footers, styles, and grids using the new Library panel, and share them with teams and other designers.
• Easily connect sites to social media with a dozen new drag-and-drop Social Widgets including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest buttons, plus Google Maps, and Vimeo and YouTube videos.
• Choose from even more scroll effects options from the updated Scroll Effects panel, including the ability to apply opacity and fading to scroll elements and add scroll effects to Adobe Edge animations and slideshows.
• Set a full-screen slideshow that adjusts to the width of the screen whether on desktop or a mobile device.
This update is available to Creative Cloud members now: Simply open Adobe Muse and click Install Now from the updater screen. Then, check out the new training videos in Creative Cloud Learn to help you get started, also included with your membership at no additional cost.
Not yet a Creative Cloud member? Sign up for a free membership and get access to 30-day trials of every Adobe creative desktop app, including Adobe Muse. Free members also have access to the new training videos in Creative Cloud Learn to get started.
For a complete list of new features and updates, read the Adobe Muse CC Release Notes.
When we asked Alfalfa Studio to create a site using Muse CC, they responded with a celebration of New York and a hub for New York’s design community to share the city’s secrets, surprises and locales:
Inspired by handcrafted works and the flat graphics of American design icons Paul Rand and Saul Bass, the site pays homage to imagination and individuality.
New York Is My Muse isn’t just a website. It’s also a 27 x 40 limited-edition offset-printed poster, designed by Alfalfa Studio, that celebrates the neighborhoods, landmarks and vibrancy of one of the most iconic cities in the world.
Rafael Esquer, Alfalfa Studio’s founder, has signed five of them and given them to us to give away. Entering to win one is easy:
• Over the next five days answer any of the questions below.
• Tweet the question/answer with the designer’s Twitter handle and #AdobeMuse.
Hint: All answers can be found on New York Is My Muse
• What’s Gail Anderson’s (@GailAndersonNY) favorite public art piece in Manhattan?
• Which building does Allan Chochinov (@chochinov) consider the most beautiful in Manhattan?
• What’s Jon Contino’s (@joncontino) favorite been-featured-in-a-movie location in Manhattan?
• Where in Manhattan did Glen Cummings (@glen_mtwtf) have a memorable Eureka! moment?
• Where in Manhattan does Chris Dixon (@cdixon) go for creative inspiration?
• Where in Manhattan would Barbara Glauber (@barbaraglauber) spend her last ten dollars?
• Where in Manhattan is Carin Goldberg’s (@caringoldberg) favorite sketching spot?
• Where in Manhattan is Timothy Goodman’s (@timothygoodman) favorite free place to go?
• Where in Manhattan has Mike Joyce (@MikeJoyceNYC) seen the most iconic graphic design?
• Where in Manhattan does Manuel Miranda (@manuelsmiranda) go to “escape” the city?
• If she could choose any building in Manhattan, where would Michele Washington (@culturalbounder) choose to live?
• What is Willy Wong’s (@wwong) favorite “secret” place in Manhattan?
Join us in exploring New York from the perspectives of Alfalfa Studio and Adobe Muse CC.
For full details, check out our Muse Tweetaway Official Rules.
Now designers can:
• Experiment with scroll motion effects quickly using the new Scroll Effects panel
• Make long, single page sites easier to navigate
• Have confidence that sites with scroll motion effects will work more smoothly on tablets and smartphones, including iPhones and iPads
To see these updates in action, watch this video.
With over half a million websites created with Adobe Muse, there are a lot of great ideas for inspiration to get started. Visit the Adobe Muse Site of the Day to see some of the more engaging sites Adobe Muse users are creating.
The Adobe Creative Cloud gives you access to features as soon as they are released. Learn more about the benefits of joining Creative Cloud here.
The Create Now event has officially come to a close. If you missed all of the news and demos, check out the keynote on-demand above and additional Meet the Pro sessions on Adobe TV. And for those looking for the highlights, we have you covered, including snippets of the #CreateNow Twitter chat with our evangelists. Check out our recap below:
Adobe Photoshop – Big feature updates including Retina Display support, Smart Object support for Liquify, Copy CSS, and Conditional Actions. Check out these, including additional features and services on the Creative Cloud team post about Photoshop version 13.1.
Adobe Muse – Now, you can create mobile versions of your website without writing code. Get all of the details on how graphic designers can create mobile sites from the Creative Cloud team.
Creative Cloud for Teams – The much-anticipated service for teams is now available! The team offering includes centralized license management, 100 GB of cloud-based storage per team member and access to expert product support.
Creative Cloud Training – Exclusively for Creative Cloud members, in one week you willbe able to explore a new library of online training content from Adobe and leading training partners like Kelby Training, video2brain and Attain.
Our team noticed Photoshop trainer, author, speaker and photographer, Dave Cross (@DaveCross) sharing Creative Cloud tips on Twitter, so we tapped him to see if he’d be up for sharing his insights with our Creative Layer readers. Dave told us that in the relatively short time that he’s been an Adobe Creative Cloud member, he’s already benefited in some unexpected ways, and continues to see additional opportunities where he can take advantage of Creative Cloud features. Here are Dave’s top 5 Creative Cloud tips (and really some benefits), written by the pro himself:
Tip #1: Apps
Of course, having access to all the Adobe applications is pretty sweet. But there’s a “hidden” benefit: Adobe Creative Cloud members get access to new features before they are released to everyone else. There have already been exclusive new features added to Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Muse and more, and I expect that will continue in the future with other apps.
For our Adobe Muse and Adobe Edge users, we have some exciting updates to share – and if you’re a Creative Cloud member, consider it good news times two with the applications available to all Cloud users!
Adobe Edge Animate, Preview 7
Edge Animate Preview 7 is a major update, with significant new features like resizable layouts, which can adapt to different screen sizes, rulers and guides, shadow effects, timeline and keyframe improvements, enhanced text features, and much more. Watch Preview 7 in action below, and for more about this release and for a complete list of features, visit the Adobe Edge Blog.
You can also check out Edge Animate in action over at the Edge Showcase.
Today, Adobe Muse announces new features and updates available to Adobe Muse subscribers and Creative Cloud members, including availability in Japanese, and new built-in support for contact forms.
Find out how to easily add, configure, and style contact forms into website designs without having to embed HTML code from third-party online form providers in the video below.
This is just the beginning of a longer-term effort to bring more extensive content management capabilities to Adobe Muse users through tighter integration with the Adobe hosting solution, Adobe Business Catalyst. Get the complete list of other great Adobe Muse features and enhancements, including the ability to add HTML5 animations created with Adobe Edge Animate here and in this post, What’s New in Adobe Muse 2.0, by Evangelist Terry White.
With the arrival of Creative Cloud and CS6 just around the corner, we wanted to give our Fans and Followers a first-hand look at some of the new features they can expect! We’ve put together a schedule of 10 Ask a Pro sessions with details below.
Whether you’re into graphic design, web design and development, video production and/or photography, there’s a little something for everyone! Just remember to register for the sessions of interest. (more…)