Adobe Systems Incorporated

Jones Knowles Ritchie, Turning Heads with Design

A leading design agency takes a brand first approach to working with clients using Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise.

JKR_1 From Boddington’s and Budweiser, to Heinz, Penhaligon’s, and Unilever, Jones Knowles Ritchie’s (jkr) clients are a who’s who of the hottest companies. The firm’s designers are experts in packaging and visual brand articulation—and they often work with brands globally through offices in London, New York, and Singapore.

“If a brand has visual equity, we unlock it,” says Stuart Colledge, IT consultant for jkr. “We’re brand champions and recognize that a brand is not a slogan, it’s a promise that our clients are making to their customers, and Adobe creative tools have always helped us communicate that effectively.”

Adobe creative tools have been a mainstay throughout the jkr enterprise for all phases of packaging design, from initial artwork creation to the application of that artwork on physical packaging. When the jkr IT team heard about Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise, they were enthusiastic and wanted to adopt the new model to provide company-wide access to Adobe tools. The cloud-based option would allow them to equip everyone with the latest versions of the software and provide enhanced scalability and flexibility while simplifying IT administration and maintenance.

“We’re great fans of Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise—it’s a very welcome model that will make it easier for us to deploy and manage the software that our designers use to serve our clients,” says Colledge.

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Streamlined administration and the ability to scale

The IT department anticipated the significant advantages of Creative Cloud for enterprise in terms of time savings and service improvement. Setup and deployment of software throughout the company is simplified, and it’s easy for IT to add new users. In addition to jkr’s internal teams, the company occasionally works with freelancers when project quantities and demands warrant; those designers need to be working with the same software so they can integrate easily with existing teams.

The ability to provide quick and easy access to Creative Cloud supports internal growth and also gives IT the flexibility to add and immediately equip freelancers with a full set of creative tools to meet project needs. Once the freelancer’s job is complete, the license can be reassigned to another artist.

The streamlined license management enabled by Creative Cloud for enterprise means IT can concentrate on more strategic, value-added tasks rather than manually maintaining licenses and day-to-day administration. “In the past, we had to audit every machine and track licenses on a spreadsheet, which was time consuming and challenging to keep current,” says Colledge. “With Adobe Creative Cloud, we know what we paid for, who is using it, what is needed, and what we will pay for in the next round of licenses. It helps us scale as needed.”

In terms of the financial benefits of Creative Cloud for enterprise, budgeting is simpler because jkr knows precisely what it will cost to add more creative talent. IT and finance can rely on a set cost in the budget for a specified period of time. On the administration front, IT can readily deploy the products and report in to finance with exact expenses, unit costs, staff usage and turnover, as well as a justification for adding more licenses when needed.

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Creativity and productivity unleashed

Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise also benefits end users by delivering both collaboration and productivity enhancements. Designers can access just the software they want and need. The issue of having different software and incompatible file versions that disrupts the exchange of files, slowing projects and frustrating teams, is virtually eliminated for jkr’s teams using Creative Cloud.

Having access to a broader creative toolset means that users can try new things and expand their creative repertoire to provide new types of services for clients eager to engage consumers with interactive content. For IT, it is gratifying to be able to unleash new forms of creativity, without going through the process of licensing a new standalone software package.

“With Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise we can make more apps available so employees can produce more work, including digital content such as animation and video, in ways they’ve never done before,” says Colledge. “Expanding our teams’ capabilities with additional tools in Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise supports both our client acquisition and retention efforts.”

If artists have questions or issues, they can simply access online training resources or schedule an Expert Services session as part of Creative Cloud for enterprise. This ability to speak one-on-one with an Adobe product expert can provide exceptional value add for artists, and enables them to expand their skill sets quickly.

“Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise delivers services and products that not only ease our administrative burden, but they also provide a direct value add to our users,” says Colledge. “Adobe Expert Services will help our teams figure out shortcuts and achieve certain effects and outcomes that enable them to use the software more effectively.”

An obvious choice

For Colledge, and head of IT Leon Bentham, there was never a need to justify a move to Creative Cloud for enterprise. They both recognized the benefits it offered in terms of both creativity and efficiency. “Our choice of Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise was a no-brainer,” says Bentham. “Adobe creative software is our bread and butter. We need to stay current and on the cutting edge. We’ve been in this industry for 24 years, and we know a good thing when we see one—Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise is just that.”

Read the Jones Knowles Ritchie case study.

12:10 PM Comments (0) Permalink

Getting Familiar with Adobe Muse

Five feature tips for Adobe Muse CC that Joseph Angelo Todaro couldn’t NOT share.

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Designer Joseph Angelo Todaro began using Muse CC about two years ago. Not long after, he started helping other designers get up to speed with the application, first with tutorial videos on YouTube and later with Muse Resources, a library of, well, resources to use in Muse… tutorials, graphics, templates, widgets and Tips & Tricks.

MuseTips_Logo_2 We asked Joseph, also a software instructor with more than 5,000 hours of teaching under his belt, what tips he’d pass along to other designers who were using Adobe Muse for the first time. He had more ideas than we had space, but finally narrowed down his selection; what follows is his Adobe Muse feature insight and advice.

So, open Muse CC, (grab a free 30-day trial), follow along, and see how easy it is to create websites with little or no development experience.

Getting the most out of Master Pages

Websites share elements between pages—navigation, background, and branding typically remain consistent, sitewide. With Adobe Muse, these elements don’t need to be created on each page individually; in fact they don’t even need to be copied and pasted to each page individually (which would make even the smallest changes tedious). For this purpose Adobe Muse has Master Pages.

When looking at your site map in Adobe Muse, Master Pages is at the bottom. Double click on the default “A-Master” to begin editing and adding global elements. You can create multiple different Master Pages and drag them onto any pages of your sitemap to which you want to apply that Master design.

What’s cool about this feature
One master page can be dragged onto another to combine globally repeating elements with sectionally repeating elements.

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As an example, let’s look at navigation (which needs to be on every single page): Let’s name the Master containing the navigation, “A-Master” and the Master we’ll use on the other fifteen pages of the site, that will have a banner at the top, “Banner.” At this point, most users would be inclined to duplicate A-Master, rename it Banner, then edit it. Instead, A-Master can be dragged onto Banner to apply its elements. Now when you need to change navigation, background, or branding you only need to do it in one place.

Leveraging Layers

The design canvas in Adobe Muse provides a lot of freedom and the ability to interact directly with objects (selecting, moving, and scaling couldn’t be any easier), but when it comes to organizing objects, Adobe Muse has a crucial tool: Layers.

MuseTips_4a By default, a new Muse project starts off with a single layer. Using the Layers Panel, which can be turned on and off from the Window menu, you can create or delete layers using the respective buttons at the bottom of the panel. Any new object on the canvas becomes part of the selected layer and both objects and layers can be dragged and dropped to rearrange. (Note: The Layers Panel can also be used to switch between images or slides in a slideshow or composition.)


MuseTips_4bWhat’s cool about this feature
When designing Master pages, you may find that elements from other pages, such as navigation, inadvertently end up on top of Master elements. To avoid getting caught in an impossible juggle of objects, I create three layers right off the bat and use the top layer for objects that should always float above the design; the bottom layer for background elements; and the middle layer for all other page design work.


Saving and managing color

Good design is deliberate. With that comes a certain consistency. Colors, for example, should be consistent throughout the design of your site. That doesn’t mean you can’t use many different colors… it simply means you shouldn’t have 30 varying shades of blue by accident. Fortunately, Muse allows us to save colors to the Swatches Panel/Color Picker, so we can reuse the exact same color for graphics and text throughout our sites.

What’s cool about this feature
Have you noticed what happens when you double click on a color swatch? A Swatch Options box appears and enables you to name your color swatch; more importantly, though, it also lets you CHANGE the color, and every single instance of it, on the entire website. That’s huge!

Let’s say, for example, you’re designing a site for a company with an orange logo. You create a swatch of the company’s exact orange, using the eyedropper. You use this swatch all over the site for text, shape fills, and strokes. Then you get an email from the client with the subject line, “Updated Logo,” stating that they’ve changed the shade of orange. Since you’ve used the same color swatch for every orange object, you can simply double click on your swatch and use the eyedropper to pick up the new orange. When you click OK, every element connected to that swatch updates to the new color.

It’s as simple as this:

Syncing text between layouts and pages

Adobe Muse allows us to create desktop, tablet, and phone versions of our websites to be sure that our sites look great on every device. The difficult part is that it could mean designing and maintaining three different versions of the site. In a recent update to Muse, we gained the ability to synchronize the content of text boxes across pages and layouts by using the Content Panel.

The Content Panel allows you to create “Collections” (organizational groups that hold “Tags”). Tags hold individual text box content that can then be applied to other text boxes throughout your site(s). When changing the content of a text box linked to a Tag, it updates the content of every single text box connected to that Tag.

What’s cool about this feature
By adding web fonts that contain graphics as characters, graphics can be synced across your pages and layouts. My Icon Megapack Webfont is a great example; it contains 458 icons in the form of text characters.

To create a Tag, select an existing text box and click the + in the content panel beneath the Collection you’d like to add it to (you may create additional collections at the bottom of the Content Panel to help you stay organized). To apply that content to another text box, select the destination text box and simply click the name of the Tag. Boom! The content will appear in your text box and remain synced moving forward. You can also copy and paste a text box with tagged content and, since both will be connected to the same Tag, they will automatically be synced.

See how it’s done:

Recycle resources

As a professional web designer, you are most likely in the business of creating original designs for each and every client. While the overall design may need to be original, not every element of it needs to be bespoke. For example, a nice simple contact form, can be saved and reused in the future. For this, Adobe Muse has a Library Panel.

What’s cool about this feature
The Library Panel allows you to import and export your saved items right from the bottom of the Panel. Now you can begin sharing and downloading items for your Library on the Adobe Muse Exchange (or grab free content from Muse Resources).

To save something that you plan to reuse to the Library Panel, select that object on your design canvas, click the New button at the bottom of the Library Panel and give it a name. Be careful not to confuse the Library Panel with the “Widgets Library Panel” (where you’ll find the widgets that come preloaded with Muse CC). The Library Panel is persistent and the same content displays as you move between projects and the items in it can be dragged-and-dropped onto the design canvas of any site you build in the future.

How it works:

10:25 AM Comments (0) Permalink

PLP Architecture: An Innovative Practice and Creative Growth

A leading architecture studio equips its design professionals with Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise.

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PLP Architecture’s, team of architects, designers, and thinkers value the transformative role of ideas and the capacity for architecture to inspire. The latest digital technologies, including parametric design, are integral to the creative process and the collaborative and enquiring design approach of the studio.

PLP Architecture has long worked with Adobe creative software as part of the varied range of creative software helping its design teams and specialist groups to evolve ideas and deliver successful presentations; from visualization artists who specialize in renderings and animations to 3D modelmakers and graphic designers who realize a wide range of communications material.

“Adobe software, particularly Photoshop CC, is at the center of our multiple creative workflows,” says Mark Shattock, IT manager at PLP Architecture. “Adobe software is an important tool used at all stages of the design process and to effectively present our innovative designs to existing and potential clients, consultants, planning authorities, and to both the architectural profession and the wider community.”

Imperial West Technology Transfer Building; White City, London, UK. Client: Imperial College London and Voreda Capital

Imperial West Technology Transfer Building; White City, London, UK. Client: Imperial College London and Voreda Capital

Mainstay software for an expanding design studio

Having typically purchased traditional Adobe creative software packages, PLP Architecture was faced with the issue of making sure everyone had the relevant software solutions to successfully fulfill their design activities.

The studio, limiting the number of software installations in relation to the number of licenses, had to track licenses for the software that moved from machine to machine while remaining aware of the specific applications to which the architects, interior architects, landscape architects, and urban designers had access. At the same time, the practice, having grown significantly since its inception in 2009, repeatedly acquired additional licenses that also needed to be tracked and managed.

Following a period of momentous growth in relation to a number of new UK and international commissions, Shattock considered this need for further software licenses as the opportune time to introduce a concurrent license model with Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise, rather than continuing to purchase earlier versions of the desktop software.

“The launch of Adobe Creative Cloud offers multiple advantages such as the ability to give everyone access to the necessary software,” says Shattock. “We upgraded the entire practice, at a key time, to Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise.”

Customizable creative software packages

PLP Architecture realized that Creative Cloud for enterprise would provide the organization with simple and easy access to a broad range of creative desktop applications and services, along with license management tools and enterprise-level technical support. Creative Cloud for enterprise also allowed flexible license true-ups to simplify software-tracking and financial management tasks.

The Creative Cloud Packager allows the IT department to customize and make available software for various design groups depending on their requirements, responsibilities, and tasks while maintaining centralized control of and transparency into software licenses.

“The ability to use Creative Cloud Packager to customize software packages for different groups based on their needs is very convenient,” says Shattock. “From an IT perspective, Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise makes managing our practice systems much simpler.”

Broad access fuels creative success

Nova, Victoria; Westminster, London, UK.

Nova, Victoria; Westminster, London, UK.

At PLP Architecture, Adobe InDesign CC, Illustrator CC, and Photoshop CC are go-to tools for illustrating projects and design proposals and are used by the graphic design team to present project-specific and communications material, combining a wide range of digital and print media.

The visualization team frequently finishes renderings using Photoshop CC, and produces and edits videos and rendered animations using Adobe Premiere Pro CC (noted by Richard Woolsgrove, head of visualization, for the seamless referencing of After Effects CC files, which makes working with the two products particularly efficient) and Adobe After Effects CC.

Additionally, the software is immediately available through the enterprise license when individuals or a design team wish to explore new applications for particular activities, for example Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC. “When our graphic design team recently requested to work with Adobe Muse CC, we were able to provide the program without having to negotiate a new purchase or manually install the software,” says Shattock.

Nova, Victoria; Westminster, London, UK. Client: Victoria Circle Limited Partnership (Land Securities and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board)

Nova, Victoria; Westminster, London, UK. Client: Victoria Circle Limited Partnership (Land Securities and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board)

Promoting growth, controlling costs

The enterprise agreement has made it easier to set current costs and to forecast future expenditure on software. New members of staff may be equipped with the most suitable package and costs reconciled at the end of the financial year.

Everyone uses the same version of software, so there are no issues with collaborating and exchanging files, adding to the benefits. “The flexible license model provided with Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise helps the studio respond to the different requirements of our projects and is much easier for the IT group to manage than traditional desktop software,” says Shattock. “With Adobe Creative Cloud, we always have the most current software versions and no longer have to purchase a piece of software and upgrade later. Ultimately with our enterprise agreement, we know what we spend on Adobe software each year and are able to budget in accordance with the studio’s current and projected workload and activities.”

Read the PLP Architecture case study.

5:01 PM Permalink

MTunes, Delivering A Unique Viewing Experience in High Def

India’s music channel standardizes on Adobe Creative Cloud workflow to deliver superior quality HD video content.

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MTunes is India’s first and only high definition (HD) music channel showcasing Bollywood, India’s Hindi-language film industry, music around the clock. A technically superior channel compared to its contemporaries in the music genre, it features the latest blockbuster hits and the most trending tracks of Bollywood in sparkling high definition colors and crystal clear Dolby Digital sound. Launched in 2011, MTunes promises a unique viewing experience and superior audio and video quality.

The channel previously used Final Cut Pro to edit the HD video content received from multiple producers as well as from its in-house shoots. Many of these file formats were incompatible with Final Cut Pro and required conversion to ProRes format. This made the process of video editing and broadcasting tedious and time consuming.

“Besides our in-house shoots, the media we get comes from different external sources and in different formats such as HDCAM 50, P2, or R3D,” says Kalpesh Mehta, head of technical/broadcast operations, MTunes. “We were not able to work natively as Final Cut Pro is incompatible with many of the video output formats.”

In cases when the channel received media files that are incompatible with Final Cut Pro, it either had to ask the sender to resend the file after re-encoding or transcode it before being imported into the editor’s timeline. The loss of visual quality and time was considerable. “We used to spend as much as three hours transcoding the media files and the loss of quality of such transcoded media files was significant,” says Mehta.

With its existing video and audio editing tools, MTunes was facing severe challenges in managing the workflow for large projects. The channel had to use third-party software for multiple tasks such as inserting graphics, processing audio, and exporting the final media files to the HD playout server. It needed a streamlined and efficient workflow for editing the audio and video HD content and for generating the final media files in a format accepted by its HD playout server. “We were looking for an integrated system that would work natively with different file formats to help ensure that a superior quality HD video is broadcasted efficiently,” says Mehta.

Standardizing on an all-Adobe workflow

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After careful deliberations, MTunes decided to replace Final Cut Pro with Adobe Premiere Pro CC software and standardize on an all Adobe workflow. The channel adopted Adobe Creative Cloud for teams including Adobe Premiere Pro CC, Adobe After Effects CC, Adobe Photoshop CC, and Adobe Audition CC. “We realized that the video apps in Adobe Creative Cloud for teams offer incredible integration, more robust features, enhanced media management, and a greatly advanced, yet familiar user interface in which our editing team can work with higher efficiency,” says Mehta.

For MTunes, Premiere Pro CC is primarily used to import HD media into the system and edit natively without any transcoding with the help of wide range of codecs available. After Effects CC and Photoshop CC link to Premiere Pro CC in a transparent and seamless manner so that graphics can be directly superimposed on the media files. The audio is processed by Audition CC and the final media exported to the playout server.

“When we started really putting Adobe Premiere Pro CC to use, we were pleasantly surprised,” says Mehta. “The Dynamic Link capability between Premiere Pro CC and After Effects CC dramatically speeds our workflow as we can insert multiple graphic elements seamlessly into our songs or shows.”

The channel uses multiple features of Premiere Pro CC, from enhanced multicam editing and support for more native camera formats to multi-format exporting and delivery. MTunes can now export media content to various formats suitable for broadcasting to its playout server, hosting on the website, or sending preview quality clips to clients.

Broadening the expertise of the editing team

The migration to a Creative Cloud workflow went smoothly without any work disruption. Intuitive features such as the ability to use Final Cut Pro 7 shortcut keys while working in Premiere Pro CC helped to smooth the transition. Adobe also held multiple training sessions to train the MTunes team on Creative Cloud apps, specifically on Premiere Pro CC and Audition CC.

Now, with simplified access to all of the components in Creative Cloud, the editing and creative teams are always prepared and updated. Adobe Creative Cloud for teams gives the MTunes team upgrades of the software upon release of new versions, plus exclusive features between releases, enabling them to stay up to date on the video editing tools integral to their daily workflow.

Significant time savings, efficient project execution

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The ability of Premiere Pro CC to ingest almost any raw camera format without transcoding has enabled the channel to migrate media from any DSLR and professional video cameras or hard disks into Premiere Pro CC much more easily. One program, Star Of The Week, was shot on XDCAM HD 422 and could be imported directly into Premiere Pro CC for editing without transcoding, preserving quality and saving time.

The amount of time saved with Creative Cloud applications is considerable. “On an average, we save about three hours per project using the video applications in Adobe Creative Cloud for teams—quite significant considering our stringent timelines,” says Mehta.

Raising productivity while lowering cost of ownership

Adopting Adobe Creative Cloud for teams proved to be an incredibly cost effective measure for MTunes. The large capital expense associated with upgrading software licenses often meant such expense was moved down the budget priority list, resulting in outdated software. Further, uninstalling and reinstalling software to move licenses around to different users was tedious and time-consuming.

The Admin Console has helped MTunes eliminate many manual processes, such as installing packaged software or maintaining version consistency. “Adobe Creative Cloud for teams has helped us raise our productivity by simplifying software administration with license management, automatic tracking, and version upgrades,” says Mehta.

For MTunes, membership of Creative Cloud for teams has significantly reduced the total cost of ownership of Adobe solutions by creating a standardized model for purchasing and deploying the most current versions of Creative Cloud applications and services. “We like paying a monthly fee for Adobe Creative Cloud for teams because it’s a much more effective approach to budgeting, especially for small- to medium-size businesses, and it eliminates lump-sum software purchases,” says Mehta. “With access to the latest Adobe applications via Creative Cloud for teams, we can take advantage of new features and support collaboration among users without cost being a barrier.”

Adobe Creative Cloud for teams helps support the channel’s rapid growth and efficiently manage the workflow of large and complex projects. “As the digital world is transitioning from SD to HD and now to 4K Ultra HD formats the need for integrated software with multiple capabilities will continue to expand,” says Mehta. “The video and audio editing tools in Adobe Creative Cloud are perfectly suited for such an environment.”

Read the MTunes case study.

2:14 PM Permalink

An Illustrator Goes Hollywood

The anticipation and excitement of attending his first Adobe MAX inspired the art; a band and a human rights movement inspired its title. Behind Orlando Arocena’s Brave Leon art.

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It’s a certainty that anyone who’s visited the Adobe Illustrator CC Facebook or who uses Illustrator CC is familiar with Orlando Arocena‘s vector art. But when we asked him to attend Adobe MAX as a MAX Insider (someone who would share personal insights about the conference), he remembered his mother’s advice about being a good guest: “Never show up empty-handed.”

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Coupled with a bit of restless energy and a traffic jam, her advice led to a “mental sketch” just one day before he was scheduled to be in Los Angeles. Sketching in his mind is the only type Orlando does; he explained his process during a recent lecture at Pratt Institute: “Although I do a significant amount of research regarding my mental sketches, over time I realized that I wanted to eliminate the stiff rigors of the standard process of sketch, scan, trace; so I rarely do any pre-sketching on paper. I’m a big fan of energy and confidence and running with them from start to finish, harnessing the excitement of starting a project.”

Pop culture meets Hollywood icon

Fueled by music, Orlando sat down at his computer and began to draw. Six hours later his art, part pop culture icon and part Hollywood homage, emerged…

In it was a connection to location (Hollywood), and the band (Kings of Leon) he learned would be playing at the Adobe MAX Bash: “I wanted my vector to be a pop-icon parody, leveraging established elements synonymous with Hollywood that, when composed, would also represent a Kings of Leon-at-Adobe MAX-in LA gig poster.”

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Keeping the subject matter rooted in Hollywood—by incorporating Art Deco embellishments and a color palette reminiscent of Hollywood’s Golden Age—he also kept it relevant to a modern audience (and specifically to Adobe’s creative audience), with tattoos. But not just ANY tattoos, but icons from Adobe’s tools palettes. “I decided to inject elements from the tools menus that, for me, represent customization and are found in practically every Adobe application: the Fill/Stroke, the Eye-Dropper and the Arrow (depicted as a piercing rather than a selection tool).”

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The essence of an illustration

During that initial drawing session, Orlando shared his progress on his Facebook. Despite the online support and encouragement of an audience hoping he was creating a vector Wizard of Oz tribute, he stopped just short of revealing the final illustration. Instead, he put the artwork aside, deciding to finish it up the next day, just hours before his flight.

After printing two artists proofs to “get a closer look at any errors or misalignment, and to make notes of questionable areas to address on the vector file,” he printed an 18 x 24 foil print (on his own giclée printer) and took off for the airport.

It wasn’t until after Lee Hirsch, the documentary filmmaker behind The Bully Project, took the stage and touched his heart that the circumstances surrounding this personal project and the fictional character in it, came together for Orlando. He realized, “What began as Kings of Leon-at-Adobe MAX-in LA gig poster was no longer just that; it had transformed into something more. The true spirit of the image was revealed and my vector had become the Cowardly Lion who had found courage at Adobe MAX—thanks to The Bully Project.”

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That’s the story of how Brave Leon came together for this gifted artist: An invitation, a band, a movement, and Illustrator CC.


Orlando_6_AiLogoAdobe Illustrator CC. Try it for 30 days. Free. On us. Make something.

10:05 AM Permalink

Purcell: Preserving The Past, Designing The Future

A top heritage and conservation architectural firm gains competitive edge with Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise.

The Hyde Dillington House, Somerset. © Will Pryce

The Hyde Dillington House, Somerset. © Will Pryce

Proud heritage, cutting edge

For more than six decades, Purcell has been involved in the care and development of some of the best-loved buildings and places in the United Kingdom and abroad. Its team of expert architects, heritage consultants, and surveyors share a passion for the thoughtfully designed evolution of buildings, places, and communities. From start to finish, the company’s expertise includes funding and planning advice, heritage consultancy, conservation, and architectural design, delivered from sixteen offices in the United Kingdom and one in Hong Kong.

Whether marketers are generating eye-catching proposals for winning new business or technical staff are crafting and visualizing intelligent, sustainable, and creative architectural solutions, employees at Purcell turn day in and day out to Adobe creative software. Providing employees with the latest Adobe applications is now easier with Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise, purchased through an Enterprise Term License Agreement (ETLA).

“Our specialty is heritage architecture and conservation, and we’re at the top of the game,” says Gary Dalton, head of ICT for Purcell. “We have more of an edge because we are now all using Adobe Creative Cloud.”

Adobe from start to finish

Adobe creative software is widely used throughout the firm, from project bidding through to reporting with clients during the course of each project to completion. Marketers use Adobe InDesign CC to generate three to four 50- to 200-page project proposals weekly, replete with graphics generated in Adobe Illustrator CC and imagery finessed in Adobe Photoshop CC. Graphic designers rely on Illustrator CC to create posters, advertisements, and other marketing materials.

Once a project is awarded and underway, architects employ Photoshop CC to color hand-sketched mockups of buildings and environments. Administrators, architects, and other professionals at the firm collaborate using a combination of Adobe software to generate image-rich progress reports. All of these materials must be visually beautiful and feature impeccable quality to reflect positively on Purcell as a design and architecture leader with an eye for aesthetics.

Leighton House Museum, London. © Will Pryce

Leighton House Museum, London. © Will Pryce

Wowing potential clients

For decades, Purcell has been the go-to firm for the heritage and conservation segment of the architecture market in the United Kingdom and abroad. In recent years, the firm has seen increasing competition from larger firms offering lower prices, but lacking the specialized expertise and quality Purcell offers. To win against these larger players, Purcell redoubled its bidding and communication efforts to rise above the crowd. That required upping the ante on bids to put the right information in the right format and make proposals exceptionally striking.

“Although the building market has picked up over the last few years, we still have to outdo ourselves to win business,” says Emily Seldon, bid manager at Purcell. “We must create bids that are beautiful and make potential clients feel special. This points to the need to have the latest features and functionality in Adobe Creative Cloud so we can push our creativity limits.”

Moving to the cloud

Until recently, Purcell was using various versions of Adobe Creative Suite software, and needed to upgrade Adobe software across all offices. The ICT team struggled with figuring out how to move and track software licenses as offices and teams expanded.

In one instance, ICT needed to install more Creative Suite licenses for new users in a particular office to accommodate expansion. Facing budgetary limitations, purchasing new upgraded licenses for the entire department was not an option. But purchasing the most current version of Creative Suite for just a few users meant that ICT had to set up a dedicated machine to back-save files to earlier versions, causing productivity losses because staff found it difficult to collaborate on files.

With the availability of Creative Cloud, the firm had several priorities in mind. ICT wanted better flexibility to equip employees with the right software to deliver their best work in the context of business growth and employee additions. Additionally, putting everyone on the same version to avoid the cumbersome process of back-saving files to earlier versions for sharing was a top priority.

“We need to be leaders, especially in the ability to work collaboratively,” says Dalton. “Overall, any type of efficiency is worth it to us—it’s about working smarter, not harder.”

When he saw Adobe’s ETLA for purchasing Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise, Dalton realized it would allow Purcell to manage company growth spurts in a very straightforward way. “The flexibility of the Adobe enterprise agreement helps us plan for now and the future,” says Dalton. “It’s straightforward, as we now know who is using what and I can just add licenses as we go—everyone is always on the most current version.”

Streamlined implementation

Purcell deployed licenses of Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise, starting with the communications group, where Seldon and seven others in marketing tested the new software. The team was tasked with discovering new features and potential stumbling blocks before initiating a company-wide deployment across seventeen offices. After one month, the communications team had found many advancements in functionality.

After the successful pilot, ICT rolled out Creative Cloud for enterprise company-wide. The ICT team used Creative Cloud Packager to deploy applications based on different languages and operating systems. Dalton put together a custom software package for Purcell that includes the firm’s core applications: Illustrator CC, InDesign CC, Photoshop CC, and Adobe Acrobat XI Pro. He created another package tailored for a smaller team that required a specific feature set.

“The Creative Cloud Packager is truly brilliant in terms of easily pushing out software,” says Dalton. “I can take all the applications and features people need and deploy everything as an update to help ensure consistency.”

Stowe House, Buckinghamshire. © Jerry Hardman-Jones

Stowe House, Buckinghamshire. © Jerry Hardman-Jones

Feature-rich, easily learned

The move to Creative Cloud for enterprise has benefited staff seeing projects through from bidding to completion. For creative and technical teams, Creative Cloud for enterprise offers the ability to access the latest features in the context of a familiar interface and tools.

The marketing team especially appreciates new features in Acrobat Pro such as the ability to save PDF files to Microsoft PowerPoint for presentation to clients, or to convert images in PDF files to a format suitable for editing in Photoshop CC. Within InDesign CC, they appreciate the ability to create alternate page sizes without requiring extra plug-ins.

“We’ve found Adobe Creative Cloud easy to learn and use,” says Seldon. “With productivity gains and new features available through Adobe Creative Cloud, we are now able to generate proposals that are more image-rich and engaging, and that’s a big differentiator for us.”

Trouble-free for ICT

In the future, Purcell plans to tap Adobe Expert Services to help end users delve into new features and get their own questions answered and to use the Creative Cloud Enterprise Dashboard to administer and manage user accounts.
“Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise has a tremendous positive impact on our ability to present ourselves professionally, remain competitive, and continue growing our business,” says Dalton.

Read the Purcell case study.

2:25 PM Permalink

Really Creative Media: Bringing Events to Life

Media production company, Really Creative Media, uses the integrated software in Adobe Creative Cloud for teams to work with top talent and bring stunning high-tech visuals to live events.

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Today’s biggest events and musical acts entertain audiences from all angles, often combining audio and video for exciting spectacles. With backgrounds in theater and video production, Really Creative Media’s co-founders Nick Dew and Jack James are perfectly suited to oversee events that marry live and virtual experiences. The two directors work with teams of expert designers, animators, technicians, and more to bring visual productions to life.

For Really Creative Media, every project is unique with different requirements. “We primarily work with freelancers, so we can combine the best skillsets for each job,” says Dew. “Working with freelancers enables us to work flexibly, but it also means that we need to invest more time and energy to keep everyone on the same page, encourage collaboration, and deliver consistent results—and Creative Cloud does that for us.”

Working as a team

Adobe creative software forms the core of every step of Really Creative Media’s workflow. Whether working on runway shows, touring musical acts, or movie premieres, Really Creative Media relies on Creative Cloud to produce the videos, animations, and intense visual effects that bring shows to life.

Working with Adobe Creative Cloud for teams, Really Creative Media provides its freelancers with access to the latest versions of industry-standard Adobe creative software. “With Creative Cloud for teams, everyone works on the same version, so we don’t need to worry about incompatibilities slowing us down,” says James. The company further enhances collaboration by creating sharable settings and templates that help freelancers adhere to the project requirements.

The Admin Console in Creative Cloud for teams enables Really Creative Media to centralize deployment and manage all licenses from a single location. The company gains visibility into who is using what software, making it easy to reclaim licenses when a project ends and to assign seats to new team members for short-term projects. Once licenses are provided, users can download or update any assigned software without assistance—in the office or on the road.

“To produce truly complementary content for an event, we often need to be on location to fine-tune the timing and effects, so we spend quite a bit of time traveling,” says James. “Previously, we would physically remove hard drives from our work computers and fly them to new locations. With Adobe Creative Cloud, we can log in from a remote computer and sync our work so that we’re accessing the same files, software, and settings that we had in London.”

Backing up a legendary rock band

For a recent project, Really Creative Media supported the world tour of Queen + Adam Lambert with large LED light and video projections.

Queen + Adam Lambert World Tour stage

Queen + Adam Lambert World Tour stage

The creative team used Adobe Illustrator CC for drawing and arraying objects before moving assets into Adobe After Effects CC to prototype visuals, while Adobe Photoshop CC was used to open videos and extract stills and batch TIFF sequences with a specific effect. “With the deep integration among Adobe software applications, edits that we make in Photoshop CC are automatically updated in After Effects CC,” says Dew. “We can spend more time pushing ourselves further creatively and less time exporting files.”

The video portions of the show used significant amounts of archival footage, creating the illusion that legendary Queen vocalist Freddie Mercury was on stage with the rest of the band. “We were working on all types of archival footage—film, tape, you name it,” says Dew. “Adobe Premiere Pro CC supports any file format, so we could just drop footage on the timeline without waiting to transcode hours of video at a time.”

Queen + Adam Lambert World Tour stage with large LED light and video projections

Queen + Adam Lambert World Tour stage with large LED light and video projections

Queen + Adam Lambert World Tour stage with video projections

Queen + Adam Lambert World Tour stage with video projections

Once finalized, Really Creative Media rendered the footage using Adobe Media Encoder CC. Not only did Media Encoder CC render quickly, but it also worked in the background so that creators were able to continue working on the project and make the most out of their time.

Integration and flexibility

Through deep integration with third-party plug-ins and software, including Trapcode and Cinema 4D, especially Cinema 4D integration with After Effects CC, Creative Cloud for teams provides creators with the flexibility to use any specialty programs within the Adobe workflow. In future projects, Really Creative Media looks forward to leveraging the built-in support for 4K resolution footage in Premiere Pro CC to push their presentations visually and provide a better experience for the audience.

“We work with large stage screens, so the ability to work with high resolutions will enable us to deliver sharper and more detailed images for clients,” says Dew. ” Creative Cloud for teams gives us the tools we need to work effectively and push our limits creatively to provide audiences with unforgettable events.”

Read the Really Creative Media case study.

9:53 AM Permalink

Square Enix: Worldwide Gaming Entertainment

Using Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise as its foundation, digital entertainment content provider Square Enix Co., Ltd brings fantastic stories to fans around the world.

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Creating unforgettable experiences

“Spread happiness across the globe by providing unforgettable experiences” is the corporate philosophy of Square Enix. Building on this philosophy, the company delivers high-quality entertainment and services to fans around the world.
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From classic game series including Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy to popular comic series FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST and Black Butler, Square Enix is home to countless hits. And Adobe’s creative software, including Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator CC, are part of the backbone upon which these creations are built.

Square Enix deployed Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise across its creative teams. Creative Cloud gives all development staff access to the latest creative applications and the Adobe Enterprise Term License Agreement (ETLA) helps the company improve software asset management and compliance.

Managing large-scale software licenses

Square Enix supports more than 2,000 employees in its Tokyo headquarters alone. The vast majority of those employees are involved with creative development; each developer has two to three high-performance computers, each with a wide range of necessary applications. Managing software licenses associated with each of those systems is a complex task.

“We want our developers to use the latest software to produce the best entertainment possible,” says Daishiro Okada, general manager at Square Enix. “But, when we took cost into consideration, we couldn’t always provide every employee with the most recent updates. As a result, employees were sometimes working with different software versions than their co-workers as well as on each of their own machines. Keeping track of all of this took an inordinate amount of time and effort.”

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Helping train new employees

To create fantastic entertainment, Square Enix developers need the skills to get the most out of the latest technologies. “We want to provide training on the latest technologies to help our employees improve their skills, regardless of the software version they are using,” says Okada. “And, ideally, we want to provide knowledge that applies to all of our employees.”

Complying with standards

Square Enix considers compliance with software usage regulations to be of utmost importance. “As a company that deals with the creation and distribution of digital content, we strongly recognize the importance of licensing and compliance,” says Okada. However, in an environment with multiple types of software and versions, eliminating unauthorized software usage can be a much more laborious task.

Reducing license management

Square Enix signed an ETLA for Adobe Creative Cloud to help improve the creative environment, simplify license management, and strengthen compliance. “Working with the Adobe enterprise agreement dramatically reduced the amount of work required for license management,” says Okada. “The ability to manage the licenses for all of our software centrally, without needing to pay attention to versions, has led to unbelievable administrative efficiencies.”

Square Enix developed an environment where users can download and install whatever software applications they need from an internal server. Only the agreed number of licenses can be issued, which greatly contributes to better compliance. The system also eliminates the need to connect to an external server, which reduces the risk of access to unauthorized copies.

Improving skills with free access

By deploying Adobe Creative Cloud, development staff can download the software that they need, when they need it, from the internal server. All creators, from experts to beginners, share the same cutting-edge environment. As a result, development teams can improve their creative skills while working to produce unique products and services.

“Most employees jumped into using Adobe Premiere Pro CC right away,” says Tomoyuki Hiraoka, KSK procurement supervisor in the general affairs department at Square Enix. “Many people wanted Premiere Pro CC, but we previously limited access to keep costs down; now everyone can have the applications they want through Creative Cloud.”

“Creating the best entertainment ultimately requires not only the best possible output, but also the best possible processes,” says Okada. “Using the latest technologies in Creative Cloud, we’re providing our developers an environment where they can quickly create brand new entertainment.”

Reducing annual costs

While analyzing the new licensing model, cost was a primary concern for Square Enix. Even if the new model improved licensing management, the efficiencies would not be worth it if costs also increased. The company examined costs from all angles, including initial purchasing and upgrade fees.

“Compared to our previous licensing model, we calculated that Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise reduces our costs by an amount equivalent to two full-time staff per year,” says Hiraoka. “The cost savings were a major factor in our decision to work with Creative Cloud.”

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Shifting the focus to online content

The video game market is changing rapidly, expanding from traditional home console games to an increasing number of mobile games played on smartphones and tablets. Square Enix is also focusing on development and delivery of online and social games played over networks.

“New types of devices will continue to enter the market, and we want to provide the best content and services for all of those devices,” says Okada. “Creative Cloud already has an established reputation for use in developing content on multiple devices and we believe that it will form a strong backbone for building our mobile services.”

Developing for the global stage

In addition to offices in Tokyo, London, and Los Angeles, Square Enix has additional creative studios in Montreal, Copenhagen, Shanghai, and San Francisco for a total of more than 3,500 development staff. The company plans to grow international operations in the future.

“Currently, each international office handles its operations independently, but we are looking to unify the development environment and management system on a global level,” says Okada. “We want to pull in top talent from not just Japan, but around the world, and provide them all with an excellent work environment. Expanding use of Adobe Creative Cloud globally would be ideal. If we can consolidate global license management, we will improve administrative efficiency and improve compliance even further.

Read the Square Enix case study.

10:16 AM Permalink

Gone Girl Marks Yet Another Milestone for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

David Fincher crafts a thriller with a talented team of artists and Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

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If the first film review in Variety is any indication, Director David Fincher’s film adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s bestselling novel Gone Girl will be well worth the price of admission. Many filmgoers will see the movie because they like the actors, the genre, or because they’ve read the book. Many others will go because they love Fincher’s vigorous storytelling, his impeccable pacing, and his striking visual style.

Whether the audience is conscious of it or not, it is Fincher’s careful structuring of narrative and imagery that makes his films so powerful. Gone Girl is the first Hollywood feature-length film cut entirely in Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

Fincher is a director known for pushing technology to the edge. To help realize his ambitious vision for Gone Girl, he shot the film with a RED Dragon camera in 6K and assembled a top-notch post-production team. Two-time Academy Award winner Kirk Baxter, ACE, edited the film with help from an editorial department that included Tyler Nelson, his long-time assistant editor. Peter Mavromates worked as post-production supervisor, while Jeff Brue of Open Drives was the post-production engineer. Fincher had worked with the group before, but the decision to use an integrated Adobe workflow with Adobe Premiere Pro CC at the hub, was a first for the tech-savvy director.

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After successfully cutting a Calvin Klein commercial with Premiere Pro CC, the team set out to determine what it would take to support the demands of a two-and-a-half hour feature film using the same Adobe workflow. Brue was tasked with designing the storage system that would enable Premiere Pro  to work smoothly within a demanding 6K production pipeline.

“Our goal was to get as many iterations as possible of the opticals and visual effects in a given period of time to make the story as strong as we could,” explains Brue. “The ask was for nothing less than perfection, which pushed us to do better. When it came down to it, Adobe Premiere Pro CC was faster than anything else in the market. That speed meant more iterations, more time to work on a shot, and more time to perfect an edit.”


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Having worked on previous Fincher projects, Mavromates comfortably assumed the role of managing the pipeline, helping determine the post-production goals, and guiding the visual effects work. With a plan in place, Baxter got started on the edit, working closely with Fincher and relying on Nelson and others on the editorial team to navigate the technicalities of working on such a cutting-edge pipeline.

“Working with the Adobe engineers was probably the best development experience I’ve ever had,” says Nelson. “Everybody was in tune with what was going on and we always had this amazingly collaborative environment. It wasn’t just about making our movie the best movie it could be, we wanted to make every movie cut on Premiere Pro in the future the best movie it could be.”

Fincher shot in 6K with multiple takes, giving the team plenty of material to work with. With a gift for bringing out the best in everyone on a project, it would be easy to assume that the film is comprised of only “perfect takes.” In fact, 80% of the shots were enhanced in some way, from reframing and stabilization to split-screening to remove an extra breath.

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The result, after a lot of meticulous detail work, is a film where every shot seems flawless. As the Variety review says, “…editor Kirk Baxter cuts the picture to within an inch of its life while still allowing individual scenes and the overall structure to breathe…”

“On every film we face the challenge of reducing the screen time without losing content,” says Baxter. “If we don’t have to cut out lines, but instead remove time from a scene by making invisible edits, that’s a win. The way David overshoots the frame in his films allows me to edit within the shot, then I throw it to the guys to sew together in After Effects, make it spotless, and stabilize the shot. That way David can judge the shots by the performance and delivery, rather than making comments on the technical aspects.”

Much of the visual effects work was done in-house, which allowed the team to work iteratively, in parallel with the editing. For example, Baxter could edit in Premiere Pro while others worked on shots in After Effects. The saved compositions would automatically update in Baxter’s timeline thanks to Adobe Dynamic Link. This integrated and interactive workflow kept shots looking cleaner and eliminated distracting back-and-forth discussions so the entire team could focus on the story as it took shape in the edit bay. This streamlined workflow was one of the main advantages for “Team Fincher.”

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“On Gone Girl we managed to do a huge number of effects shots, probably more than 200, in house thanks to the tight integration between Premiere Pro and After Effects,” says Mavromates. “I don’t think the average viewer will think of Gone Girl as a visual effects movie. However, when you look closely at David’s movies he is playing little visual tricks and we are doing brass polishing on a significant number of shots.”

This talented group of self-described perfectionists, supported by a gifted and driven post-production team, put the Adobe video workflow through its most rigorous use case to date with great success. Now, with the hard work behind them, they can sit back and watch their months of work unfold for theater audiences around the world.

Check the Adobe Premiere Pro blog next week for in-depth interviews with Kirk Baxter, Tyler Nelson, Peter Mavromates, and Jeff Brue about their work on Gone Girl.

Learn more about Adobe Creative Cloud.

11:09 AM Permalink

Expanding A Creative Portfolio

Creative production agency Wellcom Worldwide accesses more applications and regular software updates with Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise.

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Leading creative content creation

Wellcom Worldwide is a leading global production agency, servicing clients with quality creative and innovative technology that make meaningful connections between brands and their customers. The company’s services include graphic design and cross-media adaptations, 3D and 2D illustration, photography and creative retouching, online and digital services, TVC production, video and animation, pre-media, image and asset libraries, and online workflow processes.

The company has transformed from a relatively small private company with 12 employees in 2000 to a global entity supported by a talented team of approximately 430 staff in 2014 with offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Auckland, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, London, Los Angeles, Columbus, and New York. Wellcom strives to be a leader in the creation and distribution of content quickly and easily in any part of the world and uses Creative Cloud for enterprise to support its vision.

A simple transition for global workforce

The switch to Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise was a natural progression for Wellcom. The company has used Adobe products to create its content since the early days of Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, and has always paid attention when Adobe introduces new solutions. Today, Wellcom uses Adobe Premiere Pro CC and After Effects CC for video production, produces all page content with Adobe InDesign CC, and uses Adobe Illustrator CC for packaging design. Adobe Photoshop CC remains the primary application for retouching, adjusting color, and image editing.

While the creative products have always worked well, to control costs the company typically limited the number of products it purchased. When Adobe Creative Cloud was introduced, the additional benefits and access to the full collection of applications was very appealing. Based on the ability to more easily manage licenses and receive regular updates to Adobe products, the company made the decision to transfer its existing enterprise licenses to Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise.

“Adobe Creative Cloud was really too good to ignore, and it was a seamless transition to switch our existing licenses to Creative Cloud for enterprise,” says Shaun Gray, information technology, product and customer support manager at Wellcom.

It was a simple transition, managed internally with minimal disruption to the business. Wellcom purchased 450 seats across its international offices and has access to many more applications that it hadn’t traditionally used, such as Adobe Edge Animate CC for creating animated banners and Adobe Muse CC for designing websites.

Expanding skills with new tools

Since making the switch, Wellcom has enjoyed the additional benefits that Creative Cloud for enterprise offers. Using the Enterprise Dashboard, the company can more easily manage licenses, expand the number of seats as needed, and true-up on an annual basis.

“The significant difference with Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise is how much simpler it is to manage our licenses,” says Gray. “We’re always on the hunt for acquisitions, and with Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise we can easily add additional seats if and when we need them with a clear understanding of cost.”

The ability to pay an enterprise license fee for all of the applications in Creative Cloud gives Wellcom’s staff to access applications they have not traditionally used. By expanding their skills with new applications in Creative Cloud for enterprise and new technologies such as Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, the company is winning business in areas it didn’t previously support.

“We’re encouraging creativity through the exploration of alternate ways of creating content,” explains Gray. “With Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise, staff can access the applications from a secondary computer at home to continue to build their skills, and then apply their new knowledge to professional projects.”

Wellcom is also taking advantage of the storage and file syncing capabilities in Creative Cloud. “Being able to store and sync files to Creative Cloud, combined with the large storage per seat, gives us a powerful tool that we didn’t have before.”

Increasing efficiency across devices

Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise will continue to be a critical part of Wellcom’s business operations. The company uses the built-in Creative Cloud storage to enable employees to share and access content, such as imagery and photography, from anywhere on mobile devices. Designers also use applications in Creative Cloud to adapt traditional print content for viewing on tablets and smartphones.

“The ease of accessing content across devices using Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise will be great for staff out of the office,” said Gray. “Adobe Creative Cloud is a critical part of our business and will continue to be the enabler of our creative content development.”

Read the Wellcom Worldwide case study.

11:51 AM Permalink