Journal

Adobe MAX 2013

As some of you may already know, I got invited to attend one of the biggest design conferences this year, Adobe MAX. Of course, I was pretty stoked about it as it’s quite a rare experience to actually sit front row at their keynotes and get a firsthand experience of Adobe introducing their up and coming products and features to the public.

MAX Social Insider Welcome Dinner (May 05, Sun)

Dinner at Rock’n Fish LA Live and met the Adobe Insiders for the first time – Andy Sowards, Kelly Beall, Jeremy Goldberg and a few people from Adobe like Christine Jennings. I don’t really remember the name of the dish that I had ordered, but it was some really good scallops! It was a fun night just chatting with the group!

Day 1 (May 06, Mon)

I was up really early and drove to the LA Convention Center. It’s pretty close to where I live, but since I live in LA, it takes forever to get to places because of traffic and the fact that rush hour starts at maybe around 5AM. It was my first day at the conference and at around 7:30AM, there were already quite a few of people waiting in line to pick up their badges. I was pretty stoked to get a Press badge! That means we get VIP and front row seating at the keynotes, backstage access, etc :)

Jan Cavan Adobe MAX Press Badge
Jan Cavan Adobe MAX Press Badge

I met up with the MAX Insiders behind the huge blackboard at the lobby where they served breakfast and a truckload of coffee – all for free! By the way, this blackboard is where anyone can get creative and scribble anything they want on it.

Adobe MAX blackboard
Adobe MAX blackboard

After a few minutes, we walked over to the Nokia Theater to watch the Keynote: A Creative Evolution with Adobe’s CEO, Shatanu Narayen and Senior Vice President, David Wadhwani. A few minutes into the keynote and I’m already blown away! Not only did they introduce new products and features, but the way they presented it on the huge stage was amazing! In this Keynote, Adobe introduces Creative Cloud, Typekit for desktop use (yes, finally!); new, experimental hardware like Project Mighty and a lot more.

At around 7PM, we all met up at the Marriott for the Red Carpet event. Once again got to know lots of really cool people, plus, food and drinks were overflowing. I don’t think I’ve had this much free food in my life!

Day 2 (May 07, Tue)

First session I went to was Aaron Draplin’s "Tall Tales From A Large Man". I have to say this is my most favorite session out of all the sessions and at every conference that I’ve attended. It was the most inspiring, hilarious, honest and genuine. Aaron talks about his journey as a designer, how rewarding it was to do "pro bono" projects for some of his buddies and how important it is for us to value family more than work.

Aaron Draplin
Aaron Draplin, "Tall Tales From A Large Man" at Adobe MAX 2013

At the end of his talk, everyone flocked to the front to purchase some Draplin Design Co. goodies like posters and shirts. I got this "Spare Change Containment Apparatus" and "Hair Organizer" for a buck each! I think it’s quite an unconventional merchandise from a design shop, but I think it’s quite cool and unique!

Aaron Draplin merchandise
Draplin Design Co. Merchandise: "Hair Organizer" and "Spare Change Containment Apparatus"

An hour later, we all headed over to attend Jeffrey Zeldman’s session, "The Ten Commandments of Modern Web Design". It was very informative and entertaining. My favorite takeaway is:

If you can’t delegate at a pixel level, you’ll never ship. – Jeffrey Zeldman #AdobeMAX

Jeffrey Zeldman
Jeffrey Zeldman, "Ten Commandments of Modern Web Design at Adobe MAX 2013

At around 5:30PM, we again all headed over to the Nokia Theater for "Adobe Sneak Peeks" an exclusive, more in-depth look at Adobe’s new products and features hosted by Rainn Wilson. By the way, it was my second time to see Rainn Wilson in person!

Rainn Wilson
Rainn Wilson at Adobe MAX 2013

Day 3 (May 08, Wed)

I attended Ken Barber’s workshop, "Hand Lettering For Graphic Design". It was a 3-hour long workshop where we did some hands-on exercises and it was great to learn some techniques on basic lettering and typography. I was a bit sad that this was the conference’s last day, but I had a really great time! I was able to do lots of networking, met a lot of awesome, like-minded people and left really creatively inspired. And oh, I got some pretty cool Adobe freebies as well!

Adobe MAX Freebies
Adobe MAX Freebies: "I See The World in RGB" tee and Creative Cloud baseball cap

Thank you, Adobe and Adobe MAX for this really unforgettable experience!

Adobe Twitter
A tweet from Adobe

For more pictures of the event, follow me on Instagram.

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