During a typical day, you’ll find most ddm team members at their computers—our designers included. But earlier this fall, our design team was collectively glued to one digital spectacle in particular—the 2021 Adobe MAX virtual conference.
Adobe’s annual event in October brings creatives from around the world together for inspiration and education. Our team participated in workshops, listened to lectures about new creative software, and heard inspirational stories.
Our designers weren’t just glued, they were engaged. They shared what they learned with each other throughout the entire three-day event.
This not only kept everyone up to date on the latest session or workshop, it also brought the team closer. Even though the event was virtual, we gathered in small groups and communicated with each other to feel completely connected.
Here’s what some of our designers had to say:
"Participating in this year's Adobe MAX conference was not only inspiring but compelling in ways I did not think it would be. I was pushed to the point of such realism and beauty that it made me quite emotional." Jenny Seavitt, Creative Team Lead
"I found it to be very inspirational to hear from many walks of life—how people approach their challenges differently, what keeps them going, what makes their creative unique, and how they find inspiration in creating." Audrea DeLong, Creative Team Lead
"I'm always inspired by how far some of the MAX speakers have come and the amount of time and energy they've poured into their career. This way, with the focus being on the mindset and the attitude of the artist rather than on the exact tools/career they have, allowed me to take something from every single speaker at MAX, even if their work is not what I do." Stefanie DeYoung, Designer
"MAX was a great space to feel a part of the design community. With COVID disrupting the traditional workspace, it was refreshing and energizing to feel a connection to other designers, to see what is going on in the design community and what amazing and innovative projects people have been creating." Lissa VanderJagt, Designer
I’ve felt disconnected to advancements Adobe has made over the past 10 years, since I graduated college and entered the design industry. However, after watching Adobe MAX, I’ve learned about new capabilities and collaboration techniques, and I’m eager to keep expanding my knowledge. Meagan Norman-Meadows, Designer
MAX 2021 connected us to other creatives, challenged us with thought leadership, gave us ideas to take to our clients, and set the stage for upcoming trends.
One of the trends Adobe focused heavily on was collaboration and bridging the gap created by remote work environments.
For instance, program updates now allow team members to remotely collaborate on work documents, leave comments, and share an overview of a whole campaign even for team members who don’t have Adobe creative software.
Additionally, real-time document editing makes virtual brainstorm sessions function much more like in-person sessions. The CANVAS collaborative mood board feature, in particular, helps maintain design consistency across multiple campaigns and teams wherever they are.
"It was really exciting to see the upcoming tools that are being worked on, and how some of these tools may make our jobs as creatives a little more streamlined in the future: enhanced search filter tools in Adobe's photography house, cross-collaboration and further function for its Creative Cloud platform, smart cloning, and a photo-to-illustration rendering technique that can potentially save a ton of time are the items that stick out the most to me." Audrea DeLong, Creative Team Lead
"Collaboration was a huge thread throughout the conference. How we are alone but still able to digitally connect through Adobe software, shared documents and the new feature of CANVAS that will allow all collaborators to share one canvas of campaign work and interact in real-time on the ideas and design of the entire team." Jenny Seavitt, Creative Team Lead
"Learning the new features that InDesign and Illustrator can do was like unlocking a treasure chest. There are so many unique tools and tricks that make design a never-ending learning experience. MAX was a great opportunity to unlock a lot of those ideas to help speed up my process and elevate designs in ways I could never have thought about before." Lissa VanderJagt, Designer
3D + motion graphics
Adobe Illustrator’s new 3D feature makes adding depth much more accessible. Designers can create and edit 3D assets that would have taken days or even weeks to do previously.
Because of this expanded capability and ease of use, we expect to see much more 3D photography and assets used in marketing. It’s a skillset that benefits our clients because it saves time and money.
New After Effects features make creating motion graphics easier too. Enhanced AI makes selecting and editing moving objects in a video much simpler. And new 3D layers make creating motion graphics for AR and VR more efficient.
Integrating 3D layered animations for AR and VR really grabbed my attention. I’ve always had an interest in multimedia and it excites me to see AR and VR becoming more accessible. I see these elements as key components in future client campaigns as well as in our own internal campaigns. Derek Desormeaux, Designer
MAX 2021 inspired ddm designers
Overall, MAX 2021 illuminated new capabilities and inspired our designers to reach new heights with client work. One of our core values as an organization is to continually amaze our clients. We do that by seeking knowledge, learning new skills, and challenging ourselves. Adobe MAX 2021 helped us do just that.