Adobe MAX 2018 rocks Los Angeles


The annual Adobe MAX creative conference is back to inspire and blow minds (mine and yours!), this time in Los Angeles, California. It’s one of the highlights in the global creative calendar – a congregation of creative and technology heads from all over the world. It’s my third MAX ever, and my first proper time in LA. I’m all set to immerse myself in the creative air and to have my mind blown again.

Before we touch on this year’s epic MAX, let me give you a refresher on last year’s held for the first time in Las Vegas.

Day one of the conference kicked off with the opening keynote by Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen, witnessed by over 12,000 creative people from all over the world.

What’s an Adobe MAX keynote without a barrage of product announcements and updates right? Bryan Lamkin, Adobe’s VP and general manager of digital media announced updates to Creative Cloud and rolled out four brand new applications: Adobe XD CC (official!), Adobe Dimension CC, Character Animator CC and Lightroom CC.

On day two, attendees were treated to awe-inspiring sharing sessions by keynote speakers. No famous people whatsoever. Just Annie Griffiths, amazing photojournalist; Jon Favreau, you know, actor/director of Chef, Iron Man, and some other insignificant movies. I was kidding. OMG, I thought seeing Quentin Tarantino up close at the previous year’s MAX was crazy, but Favreau. Unbelievable.

And then there was the quirky, amazing, colourful Jonathan Adler, a renowned potter and designer.

Let’s not forget Mark Ronson, musician/music producer who took the stage at the very end. Yes, the Grammy-award-winning Mark Ronson, who also got the crowd at MAX Bash jumping and pumping, the penultimate party of the conference.

The keynotes aside, I always look forward to MAX Sneaks, the most exciting, forward-looking segment MAX. Forward-looking because this is where the crazy creative people from Adobe Labs presents and previews new technology and ideas. Actor and comedian Jordan Peele hosted the much-anticipated slot (he’s hosted for two years running).


No MAX is complete without an awe-inspiring line-up of keynote speakers. Keeping up with tradition of legendary filmmakers, this year we’re getting Ron Howard – award-winning filmmaker, producer, writer and actor. With over fifty years in the entertainment industry, Howard has grown from his early years as Opie Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show to creating the most critically-acclaimed and memorable films. From A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13 to Backdraft and Cinderella Man, I can’t wait to catch him onstage on day two.

Next up is Questlove, best-selling author and five-time Grammy winner. You’ll recognise him from the hip-hop group The Roots.

Then there’s Nicola Scott, an Australian comic book artist who has worked on iconic characters such as Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. I’m really looking forward to this one.

Also in the line-up is Lilly Singh, an actress, producer and writer with over 14 million subscribers on YouTube.

Finally, prolific award-winning photographer Albert Watson will certainly inspire, with a career spanning over four decades. He has captured portraits of Alfred Hitchcock and Steve Jobs, stunning landscapes and still-life photos of King Tutankhamen artifacts.

That aside, MAX attendees will have a chance to learn from over 150 session speakers across over 300 sessions, labs, and creativity workshops covering various creative domains such as creative careers, graphic, web and UX design, illustration and creative imaging, photography and video. Check out all sessions here.

Once again, I’ll be looking forward to MAX Sneaks, this time hosted by actress and comedian Tiffany Haddish, who recently starred in Universal’s Girls Trip alongside Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah and Regina Hall.

I’m also looking forward to see what’s in store in terms of Adobe Creative Cloud. Will Adobe announce more products? Will we see more AI, AR and VR? Will we see even more Adobe Sensei magic? All that and more during the opening keynote.

Keynotes and breakout session aside, the Community Pavilion is where you can explore ideas, get hands-on experiences with new products and get to build cool stuff. You’ll also be able to meet Adobe partners and sponsors like HP, GoPro, Microsoft, Google, Intel, Facebook, CDW, and more.

Speaking of which, the Adobe Make it Booth is always where a crazy amount of activations take place. Check out the schedule here.

By the way, the big MAX Bash party is going to be headlined by Beck.

Prepare to be mind-blown.

Stay updated with MAX

Adobe MAX 2018 conference happens at Los Angeles Convention Center from 15-17 October 2018.

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Disclaimer: I’m an invited guest at Adobe MAX. Conference tickets, travel and accommodation are sponsored by Adobe. My opinions are my own.


By Vernon

Vernon is the founder and chief editor of A graphic designer by profession, he has a deep love for technology, cars, gadgets, food, and travel. He tweets too much and is also known as a caffeine bacterium ("life's too short for bad coffee"). Bleeds Blue (go Chelsea FC!) and considers BMW, Porsche, Alfa Romeo cars to have in the garage--for true petrolheads, that is.