Adobe MAX 2020: Highlights for Designers

Tony Morelan

Sr. Technical Evangelist, Samsung Developers

For the past 2 years, I have attended Adobe MAX in Los Angeles, the world’s largest creativity conference. As a graphic designer, attending Adobe MAX in person has been a career highlight. Hanging out and having long conversations with the likes of famed graphic designer Aaron Draplin, world-renowned artist Mr. Doodle, and Hollywood blockbuster visual artist Andrew Kramer are experiences I will never forget.

Attending diverse sessions on the latest Adobe software tools, learning social media and marketing tips from the pros, and getting my hands dirty with the many workshops, taught me more in three days than I would have ever imagined. More importantly, it was the connections I made, all of the amazing people that would come by the Samsung booth. Those interactions were my opportunity to share my knowledge and grow my network.

Pandemic 2020

When I first learned that due to the pandemic Adobe would turn MAX into a virtual conference, I was apprehensive. How would they capture the magic that is Adobe MAX? Easy. Get the top names in the entertainment and creativity worlds, produce over 350 virtual sessions, labs and workshops, and don’t charge anyone! The world’s largest creativity conference was going to be free and available to all around the world.

For three days in October, I watched, learned and listen, taking in as much insight and intelligence as I could. The best part? You can too! Adobe MAX is still free and available on-demand anytime, anywhere, for anyone. Head on over to and immerse yourself in the world’s largest creativity conference.

Designer Highlights from Adobe MAX 2020

As a designer, there were so many sessions to choose from; software, marketing, social media, and more. Below is my list of key sessions not to be missed:

What I’ve Learned Since March 15: Changes, Lessons, and Enlightenments

Aaron Draplin
Session: OD6300

Aaron Draplin is not only an inspirational designer, he is an inspirational speaker. I would highly suggest that you start your Adobe Max experience listening to how life changed for Aaron due to the pandemic, the adjustments he made, and the lessons he learned.

Session Description: Everything changed for all of us on March 15. Here’s one humble account from Draplin Design Co.’s Aaron Draplin about how he tried to keep up with the times, and what he learned from his 5,000-square-foot universe. Projects from the work front, but also, simply around the house. Most importantly, Aaron will relate how he connected to the world through his actions, contributions, and willingness to help, all from his locked-down, backyard world. Some stuff went big. Some stuff fell flat. He’ll talk about the ups and downs of the last “surreal” six months and how he says it changed him in exciting ways.

What's New in Photoshop? Features, Time-Saving Tools, and More

Stephen Nielson
Session: S6120

Photoshop is such an important software tool for all designers and it is hard to stay up-to-date with the latest features. All too often I update the software, but then don’t take the time to figure out what is new. I enjoyed this session, not only for insight into new tools for making patterns and shapes, but also applying presets to help with productivity.

Session Description: Join Director of Photoshop Product Management Stephen Nielson to hear an overview of all the new Photoshop features and how they can help you do even more with this amazing app. He’ll explore new features and performance enhancements that make Photoshop even more powerful, while also highlighting easier ways to accomplish common tasks. Whether you use Photoshop all the time or once in a while, you’ll leave with new ideas to spark your creativity as well as to put to use immediately.

You’ll be inspired as Stephen shares the latest and greatest in Photoshop:

  • Brand new features and ones you may have missed
  • Timesaving tools
  • Ideas for improving your Photoshop productivity

A Type Safari Through East London

Sarah Hyndman
Session: S6117

I often tell people that the class I learned the most from in college was typography. What are typefaces? Why do some fonts just work and others fail to bring value to your design project? I enjoyed this session with Sarah Hyndman as she took us on a tour of a London neighborhood to explain how typography impacts the way you feel.

Session Description: Do you judge a shop by its sign or a pub by its lettering? You can tell a lot about a neighborhood through its typography. Join Type Tasting founder Sarah Hyndman as she reveals how letterforms create a unique typographic DNA that tells the story of an area. From hidden Victorian lettering to how letterforms change with shifting cultural attitudes, Sarah will share highlights from her past walking tours. Find out how the signs over the doors of businesses tell significant stories about design history over the last 150 years.

In this fun and exciting session, you’ll discover:

  • What you can learn about design history by looking at the different signs in a city
  • How typography is vibrant, exciting, and all around us — not preserved in an academic book
  • That the signs over shops and bars can show how cultural attitudes have changed and what trends are popular today

Mobile Shooting 101: Shooting Awesome Videos with Your Phone

Luisa Winters
Session: S6600

Videos play such an important part when marketing your apps. Posting videos on social media, creating promos for YouTube, these are all critical to the success of your apps. I often tell developers that creating an amazing app is only half of the challenge. You need to be able to market your app for people to discover, and video is a great way. In this session, I learned tons of great tips for filming, and I can do it all on my Samsung phone with the Adobe Premiere Rush app!

Session Description: We all have a smartphone or tablet that shoots video. Why not use it to start shooting videos like a pro? Join veteran content creator Luisa Winters to learn how to shoot videos using Adobe Premiere Rush on your smartphone or tablet. Luisa will cover the basics of shooting video — lighting, sound, framing, and more — so you have everything you need once you start to edit. You’ll discover how to shoot original content using the tools that you already have: Premiere Rush and your phone or tablet.

In this session, you’ll learn how to:

  • Plan your shoot the easy way
  • Use artificial and natural lighting
  • Frame and balance your shots
  • Capture sound

Make It About YOU!

These are just a few of the session highlights I experienced during Adobe MAX 2020. With so much more to discover, be sure to explore Adobe MAX 2020 for yourself. Take that newfound knowledge and apply that expertise to the great things you create for Samsung.

Follow Up

This site has many resources for developers looking to build for and integrate with Samsung devices and services. Stay in touch with the latest news by creating a free account or by subscribing to our monthly newsletter. Visit the Marketing Resources page for information on promoting and distributing your apps. Finally, our developer forum is an excellent way to stay up-to-date on all things related to the Galaxy ecosystem.