Adobe MAX 2018: Los Angeles or Bust | Perficient Digital

Adobe MAX 2018: Los Angeles or Bust

This year I had the amazing opportunity to return to California for this year’s Adobe MAX in LA. This event is known as “The Creativity Conference” and is open to all disciplines in the industry. Between the several hundred educational sessions, Adobe suite updates, and lineup of inspirational speakers, it’s easily one of my favorite ways to connect with other like-minded pros in the industry and learn everything Adobe’s been working on for the season.


Entrances to the conference

The convention center set up two distinctive entrances to the building with unique branding for both.


While I’ve been fortunate to attend previously, this visit would be oh-so-very special, as my co-creative conspirator Maxx Morgan and I would be on site to support our creative team’s Executive Creative Director, Tor Gundersen, who would be presenting his talk “Design Systems, Not Pages.” His session covered the importance of considering the efficiencies gained by approaching your web or app design challenge as a set of kinetic components, as opposed a limited set of predetermined pages.


Tor on stage and Max and I getting ready to enter the event space


As a team, we were collectively floored by the keynotes, and the previews of product updates soon to come. Check out some of the experiences we had while visiting LA!


View of XD updates, Tor and I attending, and sketchnotes

XD Updates, Tor and I in the audience, and my sketchnotes from the first keynote presentation



The conference organizers typically schedule a couple of major keynote events across the first few days. The DAY ONE event focuses on product launches and updates, and DAY TWO on creative leaders in the industry. This year, Adobe invited Nicola Scott, Albert Watson, Questlove, Lilly Singh, and Ron Howard to share their unique career experiences.

Keynote Audience

Audience at the keynote on day one…


There are a few collectives who have gathered a solid set of product update summaries, and Adobe has posted videos of the keynotes and featured launches from the week. Amongst these are the SNEAKS which are always fun to watch!



Almost all of the Adobe apps have received updates, BIG and small. One of the most notable being the launch of Photoshop on the iPad… No, not “express”… FULL ON PHOTOSHOP. Linked is a rundown of some of the more popular updates and keynote highlights courtesy of Creative Bloq.



It is IMPOSSIBLE for one attendee to cover all of the material that is shared during MAX. Between the luncheons, agency meetups, software demos, and vendor community floor, there’s a wealth of industry gold to consume and be inspired by. However, in my opinion the meat of the experience are the workshops and the creative talks.


My sketchnotes from one of my favorite talks of the week.

My sketchnotes from one of my favorite talks of the week.

One of my favorites was a talk by Ame Elliot, a Design Director with Simply Secure. Her piece “Can’t Trust This: How UX Design Makes a More Trustable IOT” was rich with detail including insight on the culture of awareness in Germany regarding security risks, calling out the impact of IOT botnets and how they affect not only individuals, but entire societies, and also bringing attention to the reputation of the security industry around talent and perception.


The Bash

At the end of MAX week, Adobe puts on a huge Bash. It’s essentially this bold, super eclectic get together with food, live music, and tons of amazing people and creative installations. This year, they invited Beck to perform. I was unable to attend the party this round, but heard it was stellar!

Overall, we had a fantastic time in LA. Now that we’re all back in Atlanta, it’s been an incredible time pouring over the content we’ve captured and sharing stories from our trip to the West Coast. We’ve been digging into some of the latest updates and running installs like it’s early Christmas, haha! Definitely looking forward to all that Adobe has in store for us with all they’re polishing up and releasing in the upcoming months.

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