JP’s Design Team Takes Adobe MAX

Every couple of years, the design team at JP attends a conference to learn, inspire, and grow. This year we selected Adobe MAX, which was held in San Diego at the beginning of November. At this conference, thousands of designers, developers, and business leaders learn new skills, discover the latest technologies, and discuss emerging trends. A few of our designers attended this year’s conference and wanted to share their experience.

Bryan Pickens, Art Directior

Adobe MAX was larger than life. More than ten thousand creatives attended this conference. The amount of talent was really impressive. It’s refreshing to attend a conference by the best in the industry from all over the world.  Sure there are speakers that teach you the latest tricks and tips but I’m always looking for the reason these professionals do what they do – how they work and more about the process. These are the questions I always ask myself: is there a better way to brainstorm, to think, or to  present to the client?

From this conference, I gained reassurance that what we do at JP is on par with the leaders in our industry. Adobe MAX inspired myself to try new techniques, new tools, and get out of my comfort space. The real work develops when you are who you are and you dig deep and create work that matters to you and your client. After attending design conferences, our team feels rejuvenated and we truly understand why we do what we do. This industry is so important to us. Design can change the world.

This is at by Janet Echelman.
This is art by Janet Echelman.

Peter Carrion, Senior Designer/Photographer

Being my first year there, I wanted to select a good mix of photography, design, creative-thinking, video and industry courses, knowing that I wanted to get the most out of Adobe MAX.

Overall, the courses did run the spectrum of useful and relevant information. Because those attending MAX do come from a multitude of professions, the courses were tailored to try to speak to as many different skill-levels as possible, which at times, made the courses feel unfocused or scattered.


That’s not to say that I didn’t learn anything; there were a few courses that were so fast-paced with information, that it made me want to jump on to try to fill the holes I missed with the application.

And in the end, that’s what I felt like I gained most from the event: the message that we as creatives, to truly master our craft, must understand our tools to their full potential. And if you simply just stop learning, you simply do not understand how others have made improvements in those tools to make your work flow faster and better. So I will be more aggressive in learning not only the applications I thought I was familiar with but also those I am not so great with.

Vicken Massoyan, Senior Graphic Designer

It was empowering to learn tips and tricks on the latest software and creative process secrets from the industry’s leaders. Being surrounded by 10,000 people who share the same passion as I do was definitely inspiring. I was also excited to do a few things: meet Aaron Draplin, see Alabama Shakes, and listen to an interview with Quentin Tarantino. I don’t think many other advertising agencies in the Central Valley are doing this for their creative team, so I feel extra lucky and really appreciate JP Marketing for giving me the opportunity to attend such an event.

This is when Quentin Tarantino presented.
This is when Quentin Tarantino presented.

Oliver Greenbarg, Graphic Designer

We drove to San Diego to attend the conference. When entering LA while going about 75mph, we almost struck a man who ran out into the middle of the freeway to grab a huge bag that fell off his car. The reaction was “WHOOAAAAAA!” The rest of the drive was fairly uneventful.

During the first day of the conference, Adobe reps were introducing new features of some of their popular and also unpopular software. After looking at some of the software, I think the new features in Adobe Spark could actually be very useful for the account team because it lets them quickly lay out simple social media ads.

There were some incredible and very notable sessions during the conference. One of my favorite speakers was Aaron Draplin. He is a funny guy. Hearing him speak is more like a show, so it was easy to listen to him for an hour. His approach to design is also pretty down to earth, and he lets everyone know that you don’t have to design the most significant, well-known, or celebrated work in order to be a successful designer.

Gemma O’Brian working on her mural.
Gemma O’Brian working on her mural.

Another one of my favorite speakers was Gemma O’Brian. Her session was titled “The Future of Typography is Human.” I really admire her work and I follow her on Instagram, so I was excited to listen to her presentation. I also got to watch her working on a mural in the pavilion.

One of the last sessions that I really enjoyed was called “How to Create Visual Campaigns that Captivate, Educate, and Impact.” The speakers were experts on how to balance visuals with text when applying it to campaigns. They explained how too many advertisers use so much text that it’s overwhelming and ineffective to the viewers, and how to replace a lot of the text with effective visuals instead. A simple icon can affect the viewer much more quickly than lines of copy.

Our designers had a great time at Adobe MAX learning about new trends and the latest technology in the design space. We’re excited to start applying all the new tricks we learned at the conference into incredible work for our clients.

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