What would you do with Adobe Creative Cloud, an empty studio space, and 24 hours? The possibilities are endless, but Jessica Walsh and Stefan Sagmeister of Sagmeister & Walsh have decided to reinterpret our Adobe MAX logo in a 24-hour creative session that will be live streamed, which they’re endearingly calling “play” (sounds like hard-work to us).
The 24-hour creative session will be live streamed on a Times Square billboard in New York City and our Adobe Creative Cloud Create Now Facebook app. Be sure to tune in, the live stream starts Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 9:45 a.m. ET (6:45 a.m. PT).
To learn more about Jessica prior to the 24-hour live creative session, we had the opportunity to interview her to get the full scoop on how Adobe Creative Cloud helps her workflow, what inspired Sagmeister & Walsh, and more.
For details, read our full Q&A below.
Adobe: You’re reinterpreting Adobe’s MAX logo. What made you decide to video blog the design process of that?
Jessica: The heart of much of our work is discovery through experimentation. Often the best ideas come out of spontaneous play. We liked the idea of dedicating 24 hours straight to play with a few basic tactile tools—pencils, rope, tape and the Adobe Creative Cloud—to create the MAX typography. The final result could be anything from a photographic collage to a giant installation. We often expose the process of our work in the final result; we’re taking it a step further this time and exposing the entire creative process for the world to view via live stream on a Times Square billboard and online on the Adobe website. It will be an intense, but fun, 24 hours.
While we’re on the subject of, well, creation… What inspired the much-publicized Sagmeister & Walsh Adam & Eve-esque studio portrait? When Stefan first launched the studio nineteen years ago he sent out a nude postcard of himself. Our announcement for the partnership played off the original postcard.
Even with prior prep, 24-hours doesn’t seem like it offers much time between inspiration and execution. How did you determine it to be a generous-enough amount of time?
Working for 24-hours-straight confined to a photo studio space is an interesting creative constraint that will produce new and interesting results that we wouldn’t try on a normal workday. I do believe, however, where there’s a will, there’s a way. We will make it work!
Do you feel like your best ideas come when you’re under-pressure or working with extreme limitations?
Often the best work comes out of having limitations, whether that is time, materials or budget. When a project is too open ended, it’s hard to focus in on the idea. Creativity thrives off constraints.
Does working in the Adobe Creative Cloud help the process along (especially when you’re pushed for time)? Yes! The Adobe tools are extremely powerful and having them in the Adobe Creative Cloud makes it all the more effective and powerful. We would not be able to accomplish all the things we want to in this experiment without it.
If you could have only one book in your “library,” which book would it be? Le Petit Prince, a French children’s book I read when I was younger. I fell in love with the book and the underlying message—to hold on to the inquisitive and open-minded perspective of a child. Adults can get too bogged down by pragmatic matters like money or power and forget to focus on imagination, beauty, love and emotion.
In the spirit of six-word memoirs, what can you say about the Sagmeister & Walsh partnership in a single (short) sentence?
We want to touch people emotionally.
Will you be sticking around after you speak at Adobe MAX? Aside from speaking, what are you most looking forward to at MAX?
I will be in Los Angeles the weekend of the Adobe MAX conference, and I can’t wait to meet and hear all the other speakers at the event. I really enjoy going to creative conferences where there’s a wide variety of speakers across creative disciplines—it can provide a fresh perspective that can improve your own work.
Design(ers) can change the world. Yes? No? Why?
Yes. Our job is to understand how to communicate with people effectively and many of us (designers) have the skill sets and tools to publish print or digital media that can speak to large audiences. We are in a very powerful position in that regard, and I do believe we can use these skills to help people or touch people in some way.
Stefan Sagmeister’s year-long creative sabbaticals are legendary in the design world. What do you do to keep your head clear and your work fresh?
I play and experiment within my work constantly, so I don’t feel the need for a sabbatical at the moment. I have many personal projects going on as well which are great creative outlets and inspire ideas that feed our client work. When I do really need to clear my head, you’ll find me on a beach for a week with a bunch of books drinking pina coladas. (It’s been over a year since my last break, so perhaps I’ll be booking that beach vacation soon.)
To hear Jessica speak on the “Importance of Play in Innovation” at Adobe MAX this year, visit MAX.Adobe.com. Be sure to use promo code MXSM13 when you register and save $300.