3 Takeaways from Adobe Max 2017 in Las Vegas

I’ll admit it, I’m a conference critic – and I work at a company that specializes in conference production. At ThreeSixtyEight, presentation design is a huge part of our business, and we throw several conferences of our own every year.

At a time when there’s a conference for nearly everything, it’s hard to keep up. It’s even harder to know which conferences will deliver. I’m glad to say that this year’s Adobe Max conference in Las Vegas did not disappoint. Attendees got treated to thoughtful content, great networking opportunities, and of course, celebrity appearances.

For those who didn’t make the trek to Las Vegas, I’ve put together a few of my most memorable takeaways from this year’s Adobe Max Conference. Or if you just want to see pics – keep scrollin’.


Here are my 3 most memorable takeaways from Adobe Max (and pics to prove it!)



1: Creative Ideas DO Work Better

Ever drive home from work only to realize that you can’t remember the drive? Did you even stop at that last stop sign? Your brain ignores the familiar, that’s why you can’t remember a route that you drive twice a day. If your commute to work was suddenly rerouted due to construction, you’d have no problem remembering the drive that day – you might even talk about it at work.

Adam spent 7 years studying the relationship between neuroscience, memory, and creative ideas, ultimately proving that creative ideas do, in fact, yield a higher ROI. In summary, the brain ignores the familiar and makes new memories when it detects anomalies. Creative ideas that challenge what people typically expect will create memories and emotional markers that influence decision making.

To get deeper, visit Adam’s personal website, or watch Adam’s presentation on the Max website.


2: Use Design Sprints to Move a Project Forward

Digital design doesn’t look like it used to. We live in a multi-device world, and content has to adapt and change constantly. Traditional design methodologies have fallen behind. In Steve’s workshop, he shared some powerful methods for running design sprints that keep a project moving. By using tools like impact/effort graphs and user-experience models, projects won’t get stuck in gridlock.

Steve has a ton of great resources on his website, like this in-depth Responsive Content Modeling process.


3: Find New Ways to Express Your Brand

Coca-Cola – one of the most recognizable brands on earth – sent James to share how his team keeps a 130-year-old brand relevant.

As Coke’s newest design czar, James recently announced a completely new design strategy for Coca-Cola. At Adobe Max, James unveiled his strategy and explained the thinking behind his team’s iconic work.

The secret: less is more. James and his team have re-focused the Coke brand. Rather than expanding their multitude of shapes and colors developed over the decades, everything now centers on the classic bottle shape and red disc.

By simplifying the brand, Coke can tap into the historical brand equity that already exists. This allows Coke to express the simple and iconic brand imagery in new, exciting ways. “We’re trying to project ourselves into the future and almost design backwards,” James said. Coke has recently commissioned artists around the world to express the classic Coca-Cola glass bottle in new ways.



This was my first trip to Adobe Max Conference, and I’m already looking forward to the next. Besides attending the sessions, I connected with creatives who worked on incredible projects like Meow Wolf and exercised my networking chops after hours at Adobe Bash. Keep scrolling for more photos.

*Thanks and credit to Thomas Wirtz for the gif graphics.

Our new conference series, Assembly Required, is in full swing. Tickets for innovators in Food are available now.