Adobe Systems Incorporated

Do not disturb. New creative at work.

We’ve all been there… That moment when your creative juices are flowing and the magic is happening and then, suddenly, you just lose your groove.

We all have at least one well-intentioned colleague/family member/cat who doesn’t pick up on the subtle signs of head down, headphones on, serious face, keys flying, mouse clicking getting-it-done work mode.

While we can’t guarantee this will work on your cat (unless it’s really, really smart), we developed some door hangers that might just help keep your creative mode operational in the near future.

For those working on making the world picture perfect:
 
DoorHanger_1



AI | PDF
 

For those striving for the deep satisfaction of inbox zero:
 
DoorHanger_2



AI | PDF
 

For the designer making the next thing we’ll appreciate on Behance:
 
DoorHanger_3



AI | PDF
 

For the web developer whose logic stream refuses to be broken:
 
DoorHanger_4



AI | PDF
 

For those making the next big Hollywood feature or YouTube video featuring their really, really smart cat:
 
DoorHanger_5



AI | PDF
 

Download, print, cut and hang these in plain sight of all creativity disturbers.

Once you’ve done that and can work in peace, mock up your own door hanger using Creative Cloud and share it with us online using #CCDoorHanger.

We look forward to seeing what you create!

12:20 PM Permalink

Make Your Site Feel Faster by Changing Colors

It’s possible that people have visited your website and come away with negative feelings because some of the content loaded too slowly.

If your site features online games, for example, there’s often a several-second wait while the game loads, even with a blazing-fast Internet connection. The same goes for downloading movies and videos. And don’t forget that some people actually lack access to broadband and still have to rely on dial-up or other slower methods of Internet access.

A recent report published by Radware says the median page of the top 500 US retail websites takes 10 seconds to load. Ten seconds! (Yes, I was surprised too.)

How can color help?

Researchers have known for some time that you can actually decrease perceived wait times  by using more relaxing colors. So while you can’t really speed up the loading time of your site by changing its color, you can make your users believe you have. Crazy, huh?

Choose the right color

Let’s take a look at the three main dimensions of color: hue, chroma, and brightness.

Hue is what usually comes to mind when we think of different colors: blue, red, yellow, etc. A large body of research has shown that blue is a more calming hue than red or yellow. Red, in particular, elicits excitement, which is very useful in some situations, but when you want to make a download feel quicker, blue is the color to choose as the main color for your page.

Blue can positively affect the perceived speed of a file download.

Blue can positively affect the perceived speed of a file download.

Chroma is a measure of the pigmentation or saturation of a color. High-chroma colors appear more intense and vivid than low-chroma colors. So, as you might guess, high-chroma colors generate more excitement, but low-chroma colors relax viewers and are likely better options for download pages.

Low chroma colors relax viewers.

Low chroma colors relax viewers.

Bightness or value is the tint that a color seems to have. Low-value colors look like they’ve been mixed with black, whereas high-value colors look like they’ve been mixed with white. We sometimes call high-value colors “pastels.” This won’t come as much of a shock, but research has indicated that high-value colors elicit more relaxing feelings. And, this translates into a very significant impact on perceived speed.  Of all the variables tested, brightness seems to have the most impact.

Color brightness most affects the perceived speed of a file download.

Color brightness most affects the perceived speed of a file download.

An additional benefit

All in all, there’s compelling evidence that certain colors induce relaxation and that relaxation makes download times seem shorter. But the conclusions go even beyond that:

Researchers have also shown that color-induced relaxation has a direct effect on consumer attitudes  toward your website as a whole. If viewers are relaxed, they’re more inclined to like your website and recommend it to others; research even suggests that they might be more willing to make a purchase.

Give it a try

Download some relaxing color themes from Adobe Color CC, along with (free) trials of our Creative Cloud apps, and give these guidelines a try for yourself.

Remember, though, these are just guidelines, not hard-and-fast rules. You can choose a low-chroma, high-value shade of blue for your download page, or you can use whatever other color feels right to you.

Please post a comment below and let me know how it goes.

10:36 AM Permalink

Ten Ways to Use Color to Capture Attention (Part 2)

The second of a two-part series that shows ten ways to use color in design to capture more attention.

In the first post, I focused on hue, chroma, and contrast; in this post, I’ll take a closer look at psychology—how things like color preference or expectations can grab attention. Check them out and let me know what you think by posting a comment.

6. Keep the palette small

In 2010, researchers studying consumer preferences found that most people preferred product designs with fewer colors—four  to be exact (read more). That’s good to know because psychologists have also proven that people are more likely to listen to and be persuaded by people and products they like.

Another excellent reason to keep your color palette small is more design-related than psychological: Too many background colors will steal attention away from the item you want to be the focal point. So ease up on the gas when choosing colors for your design and limit that palette.

Now, the caveat: Good designers know that the right number of colors in their palette really depends on context. So, while this is a good reminder, don’t hesitate to rely on your “inner design voice” to tell you when to veer away from this principle.

7. Know your audience

What’s true for food, sports teams, movies, relatives, and pretty much everything else is true for colors and color themes, people respond better to what they like than what they don’t. Makes sense, right? Well, as obvious as this concept may be, it’s still something to keep in mind when you start a project. Give yourself enough time to know your audience’s preferences.

If you don’t have a good handle on your audience’s color preference, try Adobe Color CC, an online color-inspiration tool that allows you to use color-harmony principles to create palettes that look great.

What’s more, Color CC collects millions of color themes created by users who vote on which colors they prefer. This means that you can find colors that people generally love and begin experimenting with them right away. From a previous month’s most-loved colors:


8. Boost the brightness

It turns out that you can use brightness to make your design more likable—and if you’re promoting a brand, that likability will transfer to the brand as well. Researchers have found that they could accomplish this by using “high-value colors” (read more). Value is a measure of the brightness or lightness of a particular color. So, on your next project, experiment with brighter colors because your audience will like them more. And that means they’ll pay more attention to your design.

Researchers have shown that people "like" lighter colors.

Researchers have shown that people “like” lighter colors.

9. Try unexpected color pairings

You can grab people’s attention by pairing colors with objects or symbols in unexpected ways, a technique you’ve probably seen in advertising. The jarring juxtaposition gets people to stop and think about your message. As an example:

You can grab people’s attention by pairing colors with objects or symbols in unexpected ways.

You can  capture more attention by using colors in unexpected ways.

10. Employ exotic color names

Give your color an exotic name and people will pay attention. Really. Researchers have found that products with exotically-named colors rated higher than those with generically-named colors (read more). Not only did people favor those colors, but their preferences translated into purchasing preferences.

Some of the more interesting color-theme names from Color CC:

ten-ways-candy-coated ten-ways-passionate-watermelon

So, the next time you give your colors a name, jump outside the norm! And your audience will be more inclined to surrender their attention.

Take these tips and run

Our brains are, among many other things, phenomenal “salience detectors.” In the world of color and design, salience has a two-part definition: 1) the difference between one item and its immediate surrounding items, and 2) the difference between all of the surrounding items.

You want your design to have a high degree of salience. In other words, if you want an item to seize and hold people’s attention, you must design it to stand out from the surrounding elements AND you must design the surrounding elements to blend in with each other.

Our ten color tips will help you do exactly that. Now, go be creative! (Read Part 1.)

9:34 AM Permalink

Ten Ways to Use Color to Capture Attention (Part 1)

The first of a two-part series outlining ways to use color in design to capture attention.

In the end, if you can combine some of these ideas with your own design prowess, your work will attract eyeballs like geeks to a comic con. Check them out and let me know what you think by posting a comment.

1. Rely on red

For designers looking for an excitement-generating hue, the go-to color is red. Common sense, you say? Maybe. But researchers have proven that people exposed to ads with red in the design actually get more excited (read more). And an excited audience is an attentive audience—they’re more likely to gobble up whatever you’re trying to communicate.


2. Consider chroma

Unfortunately, drenching designs in red is not always an option. Fortunately, the same group of researchers from tip #1 also found that designers can use chroma to achieve similar excitement levels. Chroma, as you may recall, is a measure of the purity or intensity of color. Turns out, colors with a high degree of chroma/purity induce excitement. So, no matter what color you choose to work with, if you crank up the color purity, people will get all hot and bothered—and you’ll have their attention.

TenWays-chroma

Researchers proved that colors with high chroma induce more excitement among viewers.

3. Amp up the color contrast

Color contrast may be more important than both hue and chroma when it comes to attracting eyeballs. And by color contrast, I mean the difference between the color you are using to capture attention and the rest of the colors in your design.

Opposing points on the color wheel have high color contrast. In the example above, yellow (A) and blue (B) have high contrast.

Opposing points on the color wheel have high color contrast. In the example above, yellow (A) and blue (B) have high contrast.

To demonstrate the eye-popping abilities of high color contrast, I ran an experiment using an attention-prediction tool from Eyequant  that uses eye-tracking data and artificial intelligence to predict, with high accuracy, how different elements of a design capture attention. For this experiment, I measured the attention around a portion of a sample webpage design where I placed a red call-to-action button.

I chose red in this example for two reasons: First, as discussed in tip #1, red is supposed to be the champ when it comes to attention-grabbing abilities; and second, I wanted to use a color that was already represented in the design (a red sleeping bag) to decrease overall color contrast. To challenge red, I chose blue, which was not represented anywhere on the page.

Despite being a supposedly “calming” hue, blue absolutely trounced red. Blue increased the attention metric by 121 percent over a grayscale version of the button, whereas red managed only a 96 percent increase.
TenWays-red-vs-blue

4. Look for luminance contrast

Luminance contrast—the difference between the luminance of an object and its immediate background—is a color concept most of us don’t think about often enough. But, as you’ll see in my next experiment, luminance is an extremely important attention-stealer.

I compared the same blue button used in tip #3 with another blue button that had a higher luminance contrast with the white background. This time, the attention metric skyrocketed from 121 percent to 156 percent.

That’s a huge jump that tells us to not be afraid to crank that luminance dial.

TenWays-light-vs-dark-blue

5. Go for continual color change

As user-interface designers and psychology researchers can attest, you can divert attention to content by having it continually change color. Most of us experience this attention-shifting technique firsthand on a daily basis: Think of all those little icons on your smartphone or desktop that change color when they have something important for you to know. This is the same principle.

TenWays-color-use-in-ui

Researchers have demonstrated that objects which change color draw users’ attention.

Now that you have the first five insights down, give them a try (I’d love to hear how it goes, so send me a note or post a comment). Read Part 2 with five more tips to grab attention with color.

12:54 PM Permalink

Singularity: The Evolution of Humanness

Lucas_1

Lucas Doerre, a 20-year-old designer from Hamburg, Germany was recently chosen to take part in Shutterstock’s Designer Passport tutorial series, to unveil the process behind his recent project—Singularity.

Lucas’s broadly-scoped representation of what it means to be human was created in Adobe Photoshop CC, with images from Shutterstock’s library. It defines the evolution of the human spirit, its transformation, evolution and growth. It’s a multi-tiered look at the process of growing into society while also maintaining singleness and individuality.

We asked Lucas to join us at HOW Design Live. He’ll be deconstructing Singularity in the Adobe booth on Wednesday May 14 at 12:30pm. We caught up with him a few days ago to get advance insight into what he’ll be talking about at HOW; read what he has to say about Photoshop CC’s Perspective Warp feature, Shutterstock’s “Find Similar Images” function, and the difficulty of visually defining human adaptability.


How were you selected to be a part of Designer Passport? Philippe Intraligi, design director at Shutterstock, was looking for a German designer for the Passport series. He found me through the Behance network, emailed me, and we chatted on Skype.

Have you ever thought of your digital project Singularity as an installation? Of actually building it? I was thinking of 3D printing it but there were some color issues—and unfortunately I don’t have access to a 3D printer. But it’s given me some ideas for future 3D printing projects that I definitely want to try, especially since Photoshop CC has 3D printing capability now.

Lucas_2Why or how did you choose the materials that the figure is passing through–the wood, the fire, the water? What do they symbolize? What do they mean to you? I chose them randomly, but they are intended to express the different phases and possibilities in a person’s lifetime.

Shutterstock has a huge (35 million+) image library, how did you choose the images in Singularity? I started with keywords that described the visual or the mood I was looking for and made good use of the “Find Similar Images” function.

Was this your first time using Photoshop CC’s Perspective Warp feature? Do you forsee using it in future projects? I had actually been experimenting with it prior to this project. It offers such a range of possibility; there’s so much that can be created with it.

What was the most difficult part of creating this project? The most difficult part was the beginning, I had an extremely detailed idea and was trying to realize it in so many ways but unfortunately no way seemed the “right” way. After some tries I got this idea to divide the whole image into sections. It became the foundation for the final artwork.

Lucas_3When you began documenting your process for Shutterstock did you see things in Singularity that you wish you’d done differently? Actually no. After so many attempts at starting this project I finally had a composition and a look that I really liked.

Have you experimented with other apps in Creative Cloud? Has having access to a variety of apps in Creative Cloud allowed you to experiment more? I’m loving the Typekit integration; it allows me to search new fonts in a extremely convenient way. And the ability to sync all my work to Behance and to have access to all my files in Creative Cloud are also very helpful.  I’ve also started using Adobe Illustrator CC; the features enable the creation of really interesting stuff.

We know project was created with Photoshop CC, but if you could use just one Creative Cloud application, which would it be? Why? It would be Photoshop CC. I love it. Some of my first works were created with Photoshop. It allows me to recreate and modify my images, type, whatever. And that’s what I’m doing… creating and modifying my ideas and visions. On a computer.

Follow us during HOW Design Live on Twitter and Facebook

9:46 AM Permalink

What’s New at Typekit

We’ve had a busy spring at Typekit; here’s a wrap-up of what’s new from the team:

Portfolio Plans with single-app Creative Cloud subscriptions

Many of you have decided that a single-app plan suits your needs better than the full Creative Cloud membership package, and that’s great—we don’t want that decision to limit your ability to use fonts from Typekit. So, Typekit’s excellent Portfolio Plan is now included with your single-app subscriptions, too; in our April 8 blog post we explain a few details about eligibility and getting started. We’re delighted to introduce even more of you to some great type!

TypekitApril_1


Customers with free plans can now sync desktop fonts

We’ve made a lot of noise about our feature for syncing Typekit fonts to your desktop, because, well, we’re pretty proud of it. We also feel that it’s become an essential part of the Creative Cloud service, and as such, want to give people the same risk-free chance to try it out before committing to a paid plan on Creative Cloud. So we’ve put together a selection of fonts that will be available for anyone to sync to their desktop—regardless of plan level. We took our time pulling this collection together; it includes winners like League Gothic and  Chaparral, and will give you the ability to fully explore what font syncing can do.

TypekitApril_2


The Typekit blog is brighter and broader

We’ve refreshed the look of our blog, and are also taking the occasion to publicly welcome our new team members from the Adobe Type and CoreType groups. We’re looking forward to hearing these new voices in future posts, with their expert-level commentary on topics like type technology and typeface design.

TypekitApril_3


Stay sharp with Typekit Practice

We’ve introduced a new resource to help people learn about typography. We call it Typekit Practice. We’ve just gotten started with a couple of lessons, but we’re excited to add to it and see how people use it. Have a look, and let us know what you’d like to learn about next.

TypekitApril_4


New fonts for desktop sync

We’ve added Mozilla’s Fira Sans and TypeTogether’s Alverata PE to our collection of fonts that are available for desktop sync. Make sure to check them out.

7:45 AM Permalink

Malcolm Gladwell, Stefan Sagmeister, and Adobe

HOW Design Live 2014: Five days of design; one extraordinary experience. Beginning with Malcolm Gladwell. Ending with Stefan Sagmeister. Adobe all the days in between.

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Malcolm Gladwell kicks things off

In a conversation with DeeDee Gordon, Malcolm Gladwell will kick-off HOW Design Live and set the tone for the conference. Drawing on history, politics and business, both past and present, his recent book David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants uncovers the forces that shape success. Its message—use what you’ve got—could be considered a rallying cry for designers to focus their energy, insight, and creativity in the face of bad briefs, difficult clients and creative blocks. Malcolm Gladwell takes the stage Monday May 12 at 4:15PM.
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Stefan Sagmeister wraps it up

Designer Stefan Sagmeister is devoting his closing keynote to topic of Design and Happiness. Sagmeister, founded his New York studio in 1993; when not designing, or teaching at New York’s School of Visual Arts, Sagmeister devotes time to understanding what makes his work successful and worthwhile. His work sparks curiosity, affects change and alters opinions and his insight into what it takes to be fulfilled, satisfied and, yes, “happy,” and to do work that’s meaningful and impactful provides a prompt to take breaks when necessary, generate ideas when there are no deadlines, and gather inspiration from every source. Don’t miss his talk Friday May 16 at 11:00AM.
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Adobe rounds things out

Adobe will be in the middle of things, throughout the conference, with a booth, product experts, and evangelist-led sessions. We’ll be teaching attendees about Creative Cloud, highlighting the newest features of our design tools, answering any and all product questions, and giving away prizes and chances to win Creative Cloud memberships. Most importantly, though, we’ll be showing how the tools in Creative Cloud can alter creative approaches, processes, and ultimately creative output.

Everyone knows it takes more than three to create a conference: A memorable event requires educational sessions and inspiring speakers and new insights into tools and techniques. HOW Design Live always has it all. So join us. Five days of design; one extraordinary experience. #AdobeHOW

Join us at HOW Design Live
Follow along on Twitter and Facebook

7:23 AM Permalink

Typekit: Extending Its Desktop Font Library to More Customers

TypekitBlog2 Starting today, all individual Creative Cloud members at all plan levels—including free trial memberships—will be able to sync fonts to their desktop applications. That means more than 130 great fonts to use in your favorite desktop apps, including Creative Cloud trial apps, older versions of the Creative Suite, and even non-Adobe applications.

 

Learn more about this collection of free desktop fonts and how to get started with Typekit on the Typekit blog.

From the League of Movable Type: League Gothic and Raleway; two typefaces available for desktop use from Typekit.

From the League of Movable Type: League Gothic and Raleway; two typefaces available for desktop use from Typekit.

 

9:30 AM Permalink

Adobe Creative Cloud: A Creative Advantage

Adobe Creative Cloud for teams standardizes a studio’s design workflow.

AppzStudio

AppStudioz is an innovative web and mobile application development company that specializes in developing applications for various platforms and devices including iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, Windows, and Facebook. In just three years, the company has developed apps for diverse industry segments including healthcare, consumer and retail, gaming, augmented reality, and wearable computing.

Although the dynamics of such a nascent industry keep evolving, core app design remains at the heart of what AppStudioz does to deliver its services across the world. The company needed a platform that would enhance the creative ability of its design team and one that was easily scalable and agile. A cloud-based solution emerged as a default answer.

“When we started our cloud discussions, we did a lot of research and held extensive sessions with designers,” says Preeti Singh, vice president of technology at AppStudioz. “After careful deliberations, top management, designers, and the IT team collectively and unanimously decided to adopt Adobe Creative Cloud for teams.”

For AppStudioz, adopting Adobe solutions was a natural choice primarily because the platform is an industry standard and the firm was already using Adobe tools extensively—specifically Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Additionally, a majority of its clients based in the United States and the United Kingdom had already adopted Adobe Creative Cloud; using Adobe Creative Cloud for teams helps standardize the process for the company and its clients.

Broadening designer expertise
The migration to Adobe Creative Cloud for teams took two weeks and was completed without any work disruption. The Adobe team helped AppStudioz train designers and programmers on Creative Cloud tools. “The ease of use of all the components of Adobe Creative Cloud for teams allowed us to quickly train our team on these tools to deliver great results for clients,” says Singh.

AppStudioz works extensively in the area of scalable graphics and Adobe Creative Cloud tools, specifically Adobe Photoshop CC, come in very handy. Photoshop CC makes it easy for AppStudioz’s designers to customize vectors at any point in the design stage. For instance, previously, if there was a figure with four sharp edges and designers wanted to make those edges rounded, they had to remake the entire figure. With Photoshop CC, designers can bring in alterations at any stage. “Such innovative features have given our designers the power to create newer designs with ease and efficiency,” says Singh.

The design team at AppStudioz is a mix of graphic designers, illustrators, and user interface designers, all using different Creative Cloud tools. “Adobe Creative Cloud tools integrate flawlessly with each other, which lets our designers concentrate on the creative challenges before them and not get bogged down in the technology,” says Singh.

With Creative Cloud, AppStudioz designers can start creating images in Photoshop CC or Illustrator CC and later open them in Adobe Dreamweaver CC or Flash Professional CC. Further, the team can switch back-and-forth between the tools and experiment with designs to get different results. “The integration among the tools in Creative Cloud has gone a long way in making our workflows smoother,” says Singh.

Adobe Creative Cloud for teams enables the AppStudioz design teams to work and collaborate from anywhere in the world. Additionally, it has helped the firm’s designers to explore new approaches for designing and developing content delivered across various channels and devices. Migrating to Adobe Creative Cloud gives the creative team the flexibility to work effectively at any location and experiment with the latest tools to deliver content across platforms and devices with ease.

Raising productivity while lowering total cost of ownership
The streamlined administration in Adobe Creative Cloud for teams has greatly helped AppStudioz to eliminate time-consuming manual processes such as installing packaged software and maintaining version consistency. It has also helped raise productivity across the company by simplifying software administration with license management, automated tracking, and version upgrades.

For AppStudioz, Creative Cloud for teams membership has significantly reduced the total cost of ownership for Adobe solutions by creating a standardized model for purchasing and deploying the most current versions of Adobe Creative Cloud tools. “The predictable, easily managed membership model in Creative Cloud for teams eliminates having to deal with lump-sum software purchases,” says Singh. In addition, Adobe Creative Cloud helps support AppStudioz’s rapid growth and streamlines management of creative tools for designers.

“Our firm is continually growing and changing,” says Singh. “Adobe Creative Cloud for teams is helping us manage this growth and scale up rapidly by giving ready access to the latest creative tools to our designers.”

Read the AppStudioz case study.

7:10 AM Permalink

I AM THE NEW CREATIVE

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.

 

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Be sure to check out the work of the New Creatives, get inspired, and join us.

AJ

Graphic Designer / Executive Creative Director / Maker of things

 

 

 

4:00 PM Permalink