Attending Adobe MAX London 2024

Mollie Norton

Adobe Max 1

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Adobe MAX conference in London – it’s always great to have so many like minded people in one space & to hear from such talented speakers using design for good in the world.

The keynote began with the statement, ‘creativity is uniquely human’ which I came away believing to be true, despite the heavy focus on the integration of AI technology within the core Adobe programs. Ultimately, we are still inputting keywords and using the tools to inform our own creative process, speeding up ideation phases particularly.

Whilst AI was the key focus of the conference, in particular the generative fill features, it was inspiring to see the general positivity in the room surrounding the latest features and gave me a greater appreciation of how we can use AI to support us in our everyday tasks rather than overshadow and intimidate us.

Having followed Annie Atkins and admired her work in Wes Anderson’s films for many years now, I was most excited for her keynote speech – so this was a great way to kick start the day. It was so interesting to hear about her more traditional approach to the design process and type design specifically – often starting with research, pen, paper and books, in contrast to the more digital approach of today.

We were then able to schedule a few different sessions throughout the day focusing on a variety of areas including AI-powered content creation and time-saving techniques for social content. These were both really informative and offered some great tips on using Adobe Express to save time and had some great new features to help involve clients in the asset creation process as well as scheduling. My last session of the day was a demo around the Adobe powerhouse trio of Photoshop, InDesign & Illustrator where they showed some useful shortcuts to help streamline linking processes between files.

To end the day we heard from Louis Theroux, Yinka Ilori, Margot Bowman and Rachel Sale – all incredibly talented and motivating creatives from a variety of backgrounds and industries. I particularly enjoyed Yinka’s keynote surrounding his work which uses his British Nigerian heritage to convey new narratives through contemporary design. He touches on many different themes all supported by the belief that art and design should be accessible to all.

All in all, the conference served as an important reminder of the potential that lies between creativity and technology, having already started implementing some of the newest features into my everyday work as a designer over the last few months, I’m excited to see where the future of design leads to.