Adobe Creative Cloud for teams standardizes a studio’s design workflow.
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.
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.
Recently we launched a new campaign called “The New Creatives” which represents multi-skilled and diverse creative people who aren’t afraid to explore new mediums and go wherever their ideas take them. Over the past several weeks on our social channels, we’ve been featuring talented artists who identify as New Creatives.
In celebration of all the New Creatives out there, we commissioned artists from around the world to generate creative self-portraits and the results blew us away. Check out their works of art below.
ARITST/ILLUSTRATOR/MAKER OF STUFF
ILLUSTRATOR / CHARACTER DESIGNER / ANIMATOR
ILLUSTRATOR / ANIMATOR / EMOTIVE
DESIGNER / COORDINATOR / PRINT AFICIONADO
ART DIRECTOR / DESIGNER / TYPOGRAPHER
Thanks to all of our contributing New Creatives!
Dublin-based illustrative designer Steve Simpson caught our attention with his whimsical approach to animal illustrations in the menu created for his client Fade Street Social. Learn more about his workspace, favorite Creative Cloud features, and how he created this work in the Q&A below:
What are you working on now?
I’m currently designing and illustrating a label for my favourite Irish whiskey. Can’t spill anymore about this one, except to say it’s a lot of fun with hand drawn type. I’m just finishing thirty 1 inch monsters for a ten foot roll of stickers for a client in New York, which will be great preparation for my next job; a 400 meter long mural. Thankfully, it will be done digitally and not on site.
What’s your dream project?
I really like a mix of illustration and design in a project; I love the control you have as an illustrator when you’re also doing the graphic design part of the project. There can sometimes, as an illustrator, be a tendency to create a piece that will primarily look great outside the context of the design; for instance in the portfolio. If the designer is also trying to create something that will stand alone, the whole design doesn’t exactly gel. As an illustrative designer, you can get a much better harmony, with neither side fighting for centre stage. (I’m starting to sound like an old hippie.)
I’m really enjoying packaging projects at the moment, so perhaps a beer label, tea or biscuits would be a fun project to work on.
What does your workspace look like…is it your personal studio, or a neighborhood coffee shop?
I work from a studio, but at the moment I probably have more used coffee cups than the neighborhood coffee shop. It’s a typical cluttered working studio, think less Zen, more punk DIY, but with wifi. I have a room to myself (usually) with a couple of tables, a light-box, iMac and piles and piles of paper. I sketch a lot, constantly (and quickly) redrawing ideas until I’ve exhausted as many options as possible. I hate it when a better idea comes to you when you’ve nearly finished the project, so I try to go through as many options as quickly as possible. Which does create a mountain of roughs and tidying at least twice a year.
Do you share your workspace with anybody? Furry friends count.
I’m saying goodbye to my summer intern Nikkie (Little Paper Forest), who’s off to finish her degree in Illustration back in Canada. In the garret there’s a web designer and another design/illustrator, a couple of Irish guys. It’s good to have somebody to talk ideas through with sometimes. I also like to have an occasional moan, which isn’t the same when you’re on your own.
How has the Creative Cloud changed your creative workflow?
I’ve been using Photoshop since about 1993/94 and it probably accounts for around 90% of my digital day. Other day-to-day essentials include: InDesign, Illustrator and Acrobat. I love exploring new stuff, seeing how it can add something different to what I’m already doing. Having all of the Adobe Creative Cloud apps available to download is very exciting. Currently looking forward to playing around with After Effects CC. Also loving the CC desktop client. Very cool being able to see updates as they become available and so simple to update.
What tools specific to Creative Cloud enable you to work more efficiently?
Really loving the hook up with Behance. I like to put some of my projects on my Behance work-in-progress page, great for instant feedback. The ability to do this straight from Photoshop CC is very cool and prevents me getting sidetracked by other online distractions.
What was the initial ask for this project?
I first met the client, Dylan McGrath, with the Creative Director Gary Gleeson, when we sat down in a Dublin bar to discuss the Fade Street Social menu cover. The building was still being renovated at the time. Dylan wanted a busy kitchen environment that reflected not just his own personal attention to detail but also the humor of the Irish. As a nation we’ve been through a torrid time lately with the rise and fall of the Celtic tiger economy and we appear to be going through a period of reflection; rediscovering what it is to be Irish. I think what Dylan is doing reflects this. It’s about quality traditional foodstuffs in a modern changing Ireland. It’s presented with creativity and flair and a touch of Irish humour. That’s pretty much what the cover needed to reflect.
How did the client’s vision match up to your execution?
Initially there were to be humans in the kitchen, but I thought it would work better with animals, so I took the food from the menu and made them the kitchen staff. As I’m drawing them they naturally develop as characters and by the time I’m finished often, privately, have quite elaborative back-stories. I think Dylan may have asked for one of the speech bubbles to be changed but otherwise they went with my initial pencil sketch. We printed a large tryptic version that is behind the reception when you enter and you can really see the detail when blown up. They were very happy.
Did you look at real animals for inspiration?
In my initial sketches I try to work without any reference material. I want to get as much of what I see in my mind down on paper. I try not to worry about whether a sheep looks exactly like a sheep at the early stages, it’s really not important. If the wooly beast is right for the space, if he has a good shape, if he is working well with the environment, if I’m happy, only then will I go and find reference material to make him more ‘sheeply’ accurate. If you look at the sheep in the centre, I think it’s his eye that really gives him his personality. If I hadn’t gone off and found photo reference then he would probably have just had a round dot for a pupil.
Where did some of the personalities come from for these animals?
I guess they are all either people I know or me, mostly they are me at the beginning and my different moods, but they change and develop into their own personalities the more I work into them. I did feature Dylan in the design, he has a chicken on his head. Vincent was the money man, he’s featured on a bottle of vino on the left.
Which animal is your favorite? And why?
I like Angus the bull, who was always called Angus, but the day before I handed the final artwork in I just happened to watch a documentary on cattle that mentioned Angus bulls were all black, and my Angus wasn’t, he was a really nice black and white. So I had to reluctantly change him. Looking back I think being black really makes him. I guess this proves that I don’t use photo reference as much as I should.
Thanks again to Steve Simpson for answering our questions and giving us insight into his illustrative design process. For more inspiration, be sure to keep in touch with Creative Cloud on Facebook and Twitter.
San Francisco-based CreativeDash wowed us with their photo-realistic take on the app icon. From sushi to eggs and even fuel-tanks – CreativeDash uses the world around them to spark inspiration.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
Among other projects… Kewe, a social app commissioned by famous pop singer Taio Cruz, is definitely a big focus right now.
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM PROJECT?
Ideally, something that allows us to innovate/create things that have never been done before; A project that is free from the limitations. Internally, we’ve been mulling over the idea of something similar to the old text adventure games like Zork and Peasant’s Quest, but with a crazy spin on the “UX.” We want to remove the visual interface we are accustomed to and free your brain to create a world of adventure. That of course, is a topic for another day.
WHAT ARE YOUR GO-TO CREATIVE CLOUD APPS?
DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE OF WORK IN THREE WORDS.
Clean, Intuitive, Sophisticated.
WHERE DO YOU SEARCH FOR INSPIRATION?
Professional networks like Behance and dribbble, and the world around us.
WHAT DOES YOUR WORKSPACE LOOK LIKE?
A studio. Ninety-degree IKEA furniture throughout. We love it.
DO YOU SHARE YOUR WORKSPACE WITH ANYBODY?
Yes, the rest of the CreativeDash team. We’re looking into getting a plush giraffe to match our Swedish faux-shrubbery and make it cozier in our 16-foot high ceiling office.
WE LOVE YOUR CREATIVE APP ICONS – DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE?
We have more than a favorite, but if we had to pick, we’d say The Cerberus icon.
This icon was made for an antivirus company. Fun project.
WHAT DOES THE HOME SCREEN OF YOUR PHONE LOOK LIKE?
Most would find it boring with just the default iOS 7 icons.
WE HAVEN’T SEEN ANY PHOTO-REALISTIC APP ICONS QUITE LIKE YOURS. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO GO THAT ROUTE?
The world around us. We can go into the benefits of skeuomorphic design and how the user forms a connection between digital interfaces and real-life ones… but there are tons of articles out there about that. Some hate it, others love it, but for us it gave us a way to push the envelope of digital realism in our work, as well as entice users into using the product. Here’s some sushi.
FILL IN THE BLANK: I COULDN’T CREATE WITHOUT ______________.
Photoshop: The ink in-between our imagination and the screen.
Update: October 18, 2013: A few months ago we welcomed emc design to Creative Cloud for teams. Take a look and see how they’re benefiting now:
Welcome to Creative Cloud, emc design (@emcdesignltd). This UK-based design shop recently announced on their blog that they’ve signed up for Creative Cloud for teams. In their post, they list several of the features that are helping them streamline their workflow and create even better work.
As you can see, not even a burglary has kept them from producing top-notch work, thanks to CC. Here are just some of the advantages that emc design laid out in their post:
- Every staff member is granted access to all of the Creative Cloud applications from anywhere, which increases flexibility for remote working and gives people the option of working at home when deadlines are tight. Because pulling an all-nighter is a lot better when you can do it in your sweatpants, on your couch, with real food, instead of in a dark office with only cold pizza and vending machine snacks to munch on.
- emc staff has access to the latest creative tools, which lets them experiment more and push their creative boundaries. No more waiting for the newest tool, only to see your competition get it first.
- We’ve all lost valuable time, or even missed deadlines, due to IT issues. But with CC, administrators at emc can easily manage licenses and install applications – case in point, after their office was burglarized, they were able to quickly re-install Creative Cloud on 5 new Macs and keep producing their best work without skipping a beat.
To coincide with the launch of the new Creative Cloud apps, we paid tribute to the late, great Charles Eames by hosting our own Eames’ Chair Remix contest. The task: take the iconic Eames chair and using Adobe products (Illustrator and Photoshop) personalize a digital version and share it with us and the Behance community.
Among the impressive and creative entries we received (check them all out below), we’re excited to announce that ANDESIGN is our grand prize winner and will be receiving an Eames Molded Plastic Dowel-Leg Armchair, one year membership to Creative Cloud and an Eames poster for his impressive “Eames Nest” design.
Also, did you know that we put six top designers to the test as well? See what impressive designs they came up with.
All Eames’ Chair Remix Entries:
Many companies are born out of a simple solution to a specific problem. For UK manufacturer UNICOL, this solution was a stand to hold a slide projector. Fifty years later, the company is a leading manufacturer and supplier of mounting solutions for a broad range of audio visual equipment. UNICOL creates wall, ceiling, and floor brackets for LCDs and projectors, as well as video walls for large displays.
IT Technician, Mike Butterworth, says that UNICOL relied on Adobe Creative Suite software for years to create the company’s detailed product catalogs and other marketing and sales support materials. Recently, UNICOL made the switch to Adobe Creative Cloud for teams to provide the marketing department with access to a broader toolset, regular software updates, and simplified purchasing and deployment.
Adobe: What were you working with before joining Adobe Creative Cloud for teams and why did you decide to upgrade?
Butterworth: We previously had four licenses of Adobe Creative Suite 4 Design Premium. We were working with an outside designer for a large AV tradeshow in Europe and had some difficulty exchanging files because the designer was using Creative Suite 6 software. We were already working with our system integrator, Softcat, on some server workstation upgrades and decided to add the Adobe Creative Cloud for teams membership to that deal.
Adobe: What cost and deployment benefits have you seen?
Butterworth: We don’t have a large deployment, but Creative Cloud for teams was still easier to deploy than the perpetual software. I just filled in the names, hit invite, and the team was able to start downloading and working with the software. Before making the purchase, we compared the cost to upgrade our CS4 Design Premium license to the cost of Creative Cloud for teams and felt that the cloud offering was more cost effective given the additional software and future licensing costs. We also have a continuous licensing model with Microsoft, so purchasing software in this manner just made sense.
Adobe: What were the main drivers for you to join Creative Cloud for teams?
Butterworth: Access to all of the products in Adobe Creative Suite Master Collection was a key factor. We previously had to pick and choose what suite to purchase and sometimes had to purchase point products if they weren’t included in the suite we chose. In addition to the broad set of Creative Suite tools we can now use through the cloud, we also appreciate having access to new tools and services available only through Creative Cloud, such as Adobe Muse.
Adobe: How important are the regular Creative Cloud updates?
Butterworth: The frequent software updates in Creative Cloud and the ability to gain access to the latest features and enhancements as soon as they are available is very valuable. We no longer have to worry about compatibility issues with our outside designers and can immediately take advantage of new features that can make our processes more efficient.
Adobe: What type of content are you creating and how has it changed since joining Creative Cloud?
Butterworth: A large portion of the work we do is print based catalogs. We also create advertising materials for the trade press and support customers with imagery of parts and products. With Creative Cloud for teams, we’re looking at creating product assembly and demonstration videos with Adobe Premiere Pro, which was previously out of scope of products available to us. Some of our products are static, while others are dynamic and functional, so video demonstrations will be very useful. We’re also looking into Adobe Muse to see if it can be used to create content that installers can easily access on their smartphones when they’re in the field, rather than lugging around print-based installation guides.
Adobe: What feedback have you received from the team using the solution?
Butterworth: The marketing director splits his time between working from the office and working remotely, so he likes being able to access Creative Cloud from more than one location. I also do some photography and web development for the company and can sync my files to the cloud and then use the collaboration features to share the files with our marketing manager. It’s really convenient. It’s been a very smooth transition for us and we look forward to exploring even more Creative Cloud benefits over the next year.