When it comes to facilitating creativity in the modern day, no company comes close to Adobe. The services and software they provide are the industry standard, and have been since the very first version of Photoshop in 1989.
I’ve been using Adobe software since I was 15 years old (12 years, how time flies), when I used to edit my bad teenage photography in Photoshop 7. So when the invites went out for the Adobe Create Now conference I jumped at the chance.
The cynical among you may think that these conferences are just a marketing ploy from Adobe to try and push the last remaining CS6 users onto their Creative Cloud subscription service, but this was definitely not the case.
Here are the some important things I took from the conference:
1. Creativity drives business success
Given that Adobe is so invested in creativity, it makes sense for them to do a lot of studies on how it can have a positive impact on businesses. Adobe Australia Managing Director Chris Skelton spoke at the beginning of the conference about the studies that the company has done about creativity, where they asked businesses of all kinds what they thought the impacts of creativity were on their business.
The results of their studies are staggering.
Companies that encourage creative practices and culture show stronger growth than their less creatively inclined counterparts (10%+ year-over-year), and creative companies are 50% more likely to report a commanding market leadership position over competitors. The most important point to be made here is that this is not restricted to businesses that operate in a creative field.
Creativity can bring out the best in any business, whether it be through marketing, new ideas for generating revenue or just keeping employees happy.
2. How to get the best out of creatives
Creativity is enhanced when you mix what you know with what you don’t know. Sounds confusing, right? It’s actually a pretty simple concept and it’s something I’ve found to be true throughout my career without ever actually making note it.
The basic idea, as explained by Chris Panzetta of S1T2, is that you team up with people whose skills marry well with yours. For instance, I’m a designer. I know a lot about design and little bits about photography, 3d modelling, web development and a bunch of other things. If you put me together with a web developer who knows a little bit about design and photography, then there is an opportunity for us to feed off each other’s knowledge while also employing our basic level of knowledge in each other’s fields to know the boundaries and what can be achieved.
3. Adobe are still pushing forward with the cloud
A lot of us in creative fields were very skeptical when Adobe started to push their Creative Suite as SaaS (Software as a Service) and questioned the value of the Creative Cloud. On that front, I’m happy to report that Adobe have really stepped up their game in terms of using cloud technology.
The library feature of Creative Cloud allows you to store colours, images and font styles and sync them across multiple devices and apps. You can even share them to your team members, making it a living and breathing style guide. Apps like Adobe Lightroom are now pushing hard to make the mobile > desktop > mobile workflow viable with their Creative Sync service. This now allows you to make edits to your photos on your mobile and have them sync across to your desktop and vice versa.
No longer is the Creative Cloud just a piece of software with a cloud storage system tacked on, it’s becoming a fully featured service and an attractive one at that.
When all was said and done, the Adobe Create Now conference was not at all what I expected and was better off for it. It was a nice blend of focusing on features and discussing creativity in general. Look out for a hard push into the mobile market in Adobe’s near future, as the company looks set to focus on giving designers the tools to be able to do their job while on the go.