Scott Hull Associates Seeing into the Future at AdobeMAX

Mark Riedy-Adobe MAX-Floor Graphic

Scott Hull Associates take on the world’s most massive creative conference at Adobe MAX 2017

Over 12,000 creatives gathered in Las Vegas last month hoping to discover "what's next" in a world where creativity and technology are equal partners in original design.  With Illustrator, Photoshop, and Lightroom as the top utilized software for artists, we are always eager to learn the newest trends and changes in the industry.  Scott Hull Associates had some of our best eyes and ears on the ground at MAX to find out what the future holds for widened creativity, increased productivity and a more streamlined way of fulfilling our client's needs.  While there is no crystal ball to show us the future, we'll take every sneak peaks we can get.

We came, we saw, we contributed.   Representing such respected talent in this field means we don't just show up at the event.  This year Adobe reached out to our artists to lend some exciting visuals to their already impressive exposition. In addition to attending the conference, our own Mark Riedy was hired by Adobe to create an anamorphic art installation at the entrance of the MAX Pavilion.  Naturally, he couldn't resist hanging out just to see how attendees interacted with this trippy threshold.

Mark's "Land of Giant Mushrooms" delights conference goers.

For Mark, MAX was a chance to get a bird’s eye view of some amazing creative tools.  He reminds us that many artists have their head down working so ferociously to create compelling art and meet deadlines, that when they take a moment to look up, they see the creative landscape has changed around them.  The frustration lies when artists feel like they can't keep up with the technology side of the business.

"I thought Dimension was a cool program for packaging comps. I can see myself using Capture to find typefaces and create textures and patterns."

Illustrative designer Von Glitschka has been invited by Russell Brown, the creative director of Adobe, to speak in his three-day workshop the last few years.  This year Brown used Von's artwork as a promotional poster for the workshop.

Von Glitschka-Adobe MAX-Mad Max

Von's MAD MAX themed poster offers up inspiration for workshop attendees.  

After the conference, Von optimistically reported Adobe demonstrated greater sensitivity to legitimate criticism from professional users.  "I think they realize they can no longer ignore it because the competition is catching up fast and threatening their chokehold on the industry."  Recent new features in illustrator are not really blowing Von's hair back, but one add-on worth mentioning is "Puppet Warp" which allows users to twist and distort parts of their artwork.  He believes time will prove this feature is novel or indeed useful.  The big draw for attending the conference in Von's eyes was meeting other creatives and learning new methods.

“I Always come away ready to jump into it when I get home, so that alone makes it worth it for me."

How intelligent can something artificial really be?  Meg Hunt accepted an invitation to attend MAX as their guest after judging at Adobe's Creative Jam events in Portland. She saw a great opportunity to gain greater understanding of the creative community, learn more about Adobe's dense products, but also shake things up for herself.

Adobe MAX Speaker
Adobe MAX Speaker

Meg reported one of Adobe's main innovations focuses on automation and artificial intelligence to accelerate creatives' workflow.  Certainly, this could be beneficial for the technical application of a project, but it raises questions about the importance of experimentation, mistakes, play and the personal touch that can make work stand out in a crowded market.

"I wonder how similar things will wind up looking, and where happy accidents will take place.  I worry things will flatten out and styles will be very repetitive after a while.  I don't think I'll ever switch over to fully automating my work.  I think I need those surprises to keep things fresh."

Meg is excited however about using Adobe Dimension for mocking up 3D applications of her work, whether handmade or something to be pitched to a company. "I'll definitely be trying that one out!" she says.  

Overall the conference reminded us of technology itself --Extremely shiny and exciting, mostly useful and helpful, and a little bit full of itself.  The tools are audacious, but only in the hands of a truly skilled artist will they create something positively extraordinary.