Tudor Coman on life at Adobe Romania all while still finishing high school

Tudor Coman on life at Adobe Romania all while still finishing high school

Tudor Coman, Adobe software development engineer.

By Adobe Life Team

Posted on 05-13-2021

Tudor Coman discovered his passion for computers early. “I wrote my first line of code at eight or nine,” he says. “I taught myself programming on the internet, and by ninth grade I decided it was time to look for a job.”

His job search led him to the internship program in Adobe’s Romania office. “By then, I was studying computer science in school, but it was very theoretical. During my internship, I finally got to see applied technology in action.” Coman was digging deep into big data and machine learning, and finding fulfillment in his new professional relationships.

“As an intern at Adobe, everybody treats you like a real colleague. They don’t think you are too young or inexperienced, so that made it easy for me,” he says. “Everybody listens to you, whether you’re an intern or a research scientist in a senior position.”

After two years with Adobe’s internship program, Coman joined Adobe as a software development engineer with the Account IQ team—a job he does each day after his high-school classes are over.

Inventing new ways to stop online fraud with AI

As part of the Account IQ team at Adobe, Coman is working with artificial intelligence (AI) to help reduce online fraud.

“Our work will let companies see insights about users so they can help reduce online fraud, such as shared IDs and passwords,” he explains. “The most interesting part happens as we analyze users’ activities with machine learning, and we can begin to identify patterns—this helps us understand who might be sharing passwords.”

Coman’s work with Adobe has already contributed to three patent applications. And his accomplishments—including a first-place prize from NASA (at age 13) for his plan to build a permanent space settlement—have earned him high praise. He was also recently recognized on the Forbes Romania 30 Under 30 list.

On what’s ahead at Adobe and beyond

While he’s still early in his career, Coman plans on sticking with Adobe for the foreseeable future. “The culture at Adobe has been especially good for me,” he says. “I was the youngest one, so everybody knew me. It’s been easy to make new friends and it’s a very open culture—we debate, and problem solve a lot. There’s so much innovation.”

Next year, he plans to study computer science in college, and to stay in Bucharest so he can continue his work at Adobe.

Coman has some simple and wise advice for other young people planning to start their own careers: “Learn a lot. Everything can be used at some point in your life, and you never know when.”

Topics: Employee Impact, Brand, Adobe Life, Adobe Culture, Adobe Life – Europe, University,

Products:

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Adobe completes Australian IRAP assessment for Adobe sign

Adobe completes Australian IRAP assessment for Adobe sign

Adobe Sign’s IRAP assessment further supports our commitment to work with digital governments around the world to help create better and safer citizen experiences.

Working using digital sign in office.

By Chandra Sinnathamby

Posted on 05-13-2021

Today, corporate and government leaders around the world are prioritising the urgent need for digital document and signature transformation. This focus is to enhance both citizen and employee experiences while continuing to work to meet industry security standards and regulations.

We are proud to announce that Adobe Sign was assessed on 24 February 2021 against official classification level controls outlined by the Information Security Manual (ISM). The ISM is a cyber security framework that organisations can apply, using their risk management framework, to help protect their information and systems from cyber threats.

The assessment is conducted under the Information Security Registered Assessors Program (IRAP), an initiative to provide high-quality information and communications technology security assessment services to the government, and further supports Adobe’s commitment to work with digital governments around the world to help create better and safer citizen experiences.

This assessment signifies that Adobe Sign provides assurance that our customers can use it when working with the Australian Government. It also enables Australian Government agencies to easily adopt Adobe Sign and create their own document and signature automation experiences.

The requirement for simple, secure and personalised digital citizen experiences was also highlighted in our Adobe and Deloitte Blueprint for Enhanced Citizen Experiences report. The report analyses the results of a survey of 1,000 Australians and explores how Australians engage with government online, citizen expectations from digital government services, and the benefits of personalisation.

Data security and privacy was revealed as a primary concern for citizens, with 20 percent of Australians stating that the safe and ethical storage of their data is one of the most important factors when choosing where to access public information.

Trustworthiness of digital government platforms was also raised as the most important factor for Australians when seeking public information. According to the survey, three in five people (60%) placed ‘trust’ as their top consideration. This was followed by ‘easy-to-understand’ (54%) and ‘most-up-to-date’ (53%).

With political trust reported to be on a strong upward trajectory, the IRAP assessment demonstrates Adobe Sign’s ability to help governments and businesses to deliver better digital experiences, with trust and security at the heart.

Adobe’s foundational framework of security processes and compliance controls, namely Common Controls Framework (CCF), has been key in completing its IRAP assessment. CCF by Adobe is a comprehensive set of simple control requirements, aggregated, correlated and rationalised from the array of industry information security and privacy standards.

Adoption of the CCF has helped enable Adobe’s cloud products, services, platforms and operations to achieve compliance with a host of security certifications, standards and regulations like SOC2, ISO/IEC 27001:2013, ISO 22301:2019, PCI DSS, FedRAMP and others.

We’ve open sourced our CCF to help other organisations who are mapping out industry security and privacy standards for their organisation and invite you to download CCF and adapt it for use in your organisation.

Topics: Digital government, News, Digital Transformation, Security, Government, Document Cloud, APAC,

Products:

Read More

Unlocking the power of video for small business

Unlocking the power of video for small business

Woman at a vegtable stand looking at her phone.

By Meagan Keane

Posted on 05-13-2021

Saying that today’s small business owner has to wear many hats is an understatement. Not only do you have to juggle the day-to-day of running a successful business, you have to stay on top of the latest in social media — from new platforms to viral videos — to make sure you’re connecting with your customers in meaningful and relevant ways. With so many new platforms and types of content available at your customers’ fingertips, it can be difficult to know where to focus your marketing efforts so that you’re actually catching their attention.

Enter video. We’ve seen the popularity of video increase over the past decade, but 2020 was the year it skyrocketed. Consumers are watching more videos online than ever before and are showing no signs of slowing down, making it a powerful tool and must-have part of your small business marketing strategy. According to a survey we conducted of small business owners, 88 percent said that video drives more social media engagement than static images, and 86 percent said it leads to an increase in revenue for their business overall.

The popularity of using video as a digital marketing tool for small businesses is slowly starting to grow. Nearly half of respondents said their video production increased over the last year, with another 10 percent of small businesses indicating that they started to experiment with editing video for the first time in 2020. However, despite the positive impact video can have on the bottom line, the majority of small businesses (65 percent) still are not using video as part of their marketing and social media strategy.

So, whether you have already added video to your social media toolkit or are just getting started, below are actionable tips and findings that you can use to up level your marketing game.

Shoot videos right from your phone

Making videos does not have to be expensive or a time-consuming process. The majority of small businesses use their smartphones to shoot and capture footage (66 percent), and create their own videos in-house, eliminating the added expense of using an outside expert.

Getting started is quick and easy with an editing tool like Premiere Rush that allows you to both shoot and edit video directly from your phone or computer, and publish straight to your social channels. Easy-to-use features such as Auto Reframe, Speed Ramping, and Color Presets give you an edge when it comes to quickly being able to up level video content already on your phone or desktop. Plus, they help with being able to use one piece of footage and differentiate it for different social channels, whether automatically adjusting aspect ratio for different social channels, speeding up footage or slowing it down, and changing the color of clips to create different moods or effects. Check out our quick tips for shooting awesome videos from your phone, creating the most engaging social media videos and our best practices for sharing on different social media platforms, and you will be off to the races in no time.

Want to take your videos further? Try importing your Premiere Rush videos directly into Premiere Pro for deeper editing.

Choose the content and cadence that is right for you

What kind of videos should you be posting to your channel, and how often? Finding the perfect balance that works best for your business might take a little bit of experimentation, but our survey found that 41 percent of businesses find a posting cadence of 1-2 videos per month to be the most effective, while 31 percent prefer a more frequent schedule of 1-3 videos per week.

Of course, you want to create the content that resonates the most with your audience and customers, and keep them engaged and coming back for more, but what does that look like? To help jump-start that inspiration, we have pulled seven types of videos that you can start folding into your digital marketing strategy.

Take your videos to the next level with animation

Make your videos really stand out by adding simple animated elements, like moving stickers or GIFs, to capture people’s attention. More than 78 percent of respondents said adding these animated elements made their videos perform better than videos without, but only half of small businesses are incorporating this easy-to-add feature into their content.

Check out all of the animated templates in Adobe Spark that will make your social videos pop in just one tap and give Spark’s animation styles a try by remixing the short social videos below!

Topics: Creativity, Creative Inspiration & Trends, Insights & Inspiration, Creative Cloud,

Products: Creative Cloud, Premiere Pro, Premiere Rush, Spark,

Read More

Taking action: Activism and expression in our visual landscape

Taking action: Activism and expression in our visual landscape

COVID-19 hasn’t dampened the dedication of many to making the world a better place. Adobe Stock explores trends in visual representations of activism around the world.

Group of poeople in masks with thier arm raised.

Image source: Adobe Stock / Jacob Lund.

By Sarah Casillas

Posted on 05-13-2021

Though the COVID-19 pandemic halted or slowed many aspects of our lives over the past year and a half, there is one thing it has not dampened: the tireless dedication of many to making the world a better place. Across the world, many of us have been showing up for racial justice, ecological reform, in support of essential workers, and to bolster nonprofit fundraisers and campaigns — often in new and creative ways. Online and off (and with safety measures in place), we have rallied around the causes we believe in, proving that there truly is no power like the power of the people.

The Adobe Stock team has been following the cultural shift towards a more deeply engaged youth and consumer population — and the ways this shift manifests in our visual and media landscape — for some time. In 2019, we identified a strong visual trend we dubbed Brand Stand: an increasingly outspoken expression of social consciousness emerging in brand campaigns. This trend continues to evolve — we have identified the latest iteration as Compassionate Collective. It is a similar cultural thread heightened by a complex stew of passionate emotions, accelerated by social media’s ability to both amplify global conversations and democratize collective action.

Much more than passing fad, the deepening of political and social engagement is permeating our media landscape, with brand campaigns frequently centering a heightened sense of values as a way of connecting with consumers. In the world of stock imagery, we are seeing a similar shift in the demand for current, socially conscious content that engages with modern activism.

Image source: Clockwise from top left: Adobe Stock / Hero Images: Adobe Stock / Jacob Lund: Adobe Stock / Hero Images: Adobe Stock / Hero Images.

Youth to the front, online and onscreen

Often, it is young people (especially youth of color) who are leading the pack, with overwhelming success. Chelsea Miller (age 24) and Nialah Edari (age 26), started their social justice initiative, Freedom March NYC, in May of 2020 — in just months, they propelled Freedom March NYC into a full-fledged organization with $50,000 behind it.

“The work isn’t done,” Edari told Rolling Stone’s Ryan Bort and Kimberly Aleah in December of 2020. “We were out there because Black people were being killed by police. From the looks of it, that’s still happening, so we’ll still be outside.”

Many young people have also moved their centers of activism inside, making use of online spaces with just as big of an impact.

“Youth have carved out a digital space for themselves to freely engage in activism all summer,” wrote Rainier Harris, a reporter for PBS’s Student Voices, late last year. “As early as this spring, after the wave of Black Lives Matter protests began, many young activists began using platforms like Instagram to share safety tips about protesting and document instances of police brutality at the protest sites.”

The voices of youth movements have made their way into the ad space, giving companies a way to communicate a commitment to positive change. At Adobe, we launched our Diverse Voices campaign in August of 2020 as an expression of our long-standing commitment to elevate underrepresented creators.

Other great examples come to mind, too. For their 2020 campaign, “Be the Future”, clothing retailer Gap produced an advertisement that featured dedicated young climate activists, and followed up with “Generation Good” and an ad spot that included activists (and artists) of all ages, in 2021. “Gap was founded with the mission to do more than sell clothes,” Mary Alderete, global head of Gap marketing, told David Moin of WWD earlier this year. “Generation Good reflects this ideal that we can all be our true selves and move things forward by being a force for good. It takes a collective to change the world and that’s exactly what Generation Good is up to.”

Image source: Adobe Stock / Trevor Adeline/Caia Image.

The whole world is watching — online

Even just a few years ago, fully realized, fully online platforms for activism were still getting their legs. In the hopefully-soon-to-be-post-COVID-19 era, they are thriving — and holding steady for larger and larger audiences. On Earth Day 2020, climate advocacy group Fridays for Future hosted what the organization called a “digital strike” livestream, which was attended by 230,000 participants worldwide. “With 87,000 on the strikers’ map, over 230,000 livestream viewers, 40,000 tweets and 15,000 demo signs, we made it clear,” read a statement on the strike event website. “We are to be reckoned with and we want the course to be set for a just, ecological society!”

One of the most successful and far-reaching forms of online activism, especially over this past year, has been monetary donations — a boon for organizations not only in terms of finances but also for data tracking purposes. The numbers are already in. According to research by the charity-focused firm Blackbaud Institute, “online giving in 2020 grew 20.7 percent year over year for the 4,964 nonprofit organizations in the analysis,” and that “taking a more longitudinal three-year view of fundraising from the same organizations revealed a 32.4 percent increase in online giving.”

Image source: Adobe Stock / Trevor Adeline/Caia Image.

Moments of joy and hope

Activism is also about celebration: of unity, progress, and hope.

“The joy in protest is in the details,” activist and photographer OJ Slaughter told culture columnist Jeneé Osterheldt of the Boston Globe in December of 2020 (Osterheldt is currently featured in ABC Networks’ Soul of a Nation). “The sound of moving feet, watching people hug each other at first with hesitancy and then unbridled appreciation, the smell of hand sanitizer, the cadence of a chanting crowd. Joy is there if you pay attention. Joy resides in watching your community cope and thrive. I feel joy every time I’m at a protest and I see folks taking care of each other. That’s what we are there for.”

That element of celebration is key — consider this ad by Deutsche Telekom (in English) that was released last summer, a love letter to the power of so-called “screen-obsessed kids,” narrated by singer Billie Eilish.

“But you know what?” Eilish says, as dreamy visuals of young people engaged in online activism flow in time to her track “When The Party’s Over. “When it comes to what we really care about, the difference we can make means even more now.”

Image source: Adobe Stock / Victor Torres/ADDICTIVE STOCK.

Artists: What does your activism look like?

More and more, global brands seek to express the energy and determination of today’s youth activists in their campaigns, either to identify with consumers or express their support. However, there is a danger of mischaracterizing social movements, and a well-intentioned brand campaign may be meant to express solidarity but end up unintentionally trivializing an important movement.

Walking this line is incredibly tough. Stock artists and brand designers have the power to contribute to significant and necessary changes in our media landscape, by insisting that the imagery we share reflects our world — accurately, inclusively, and with respect for the activists and leaders on the ground.

With the Adobe Stock Advocates program, we hope to inspire artists to create the authentic, inclusive content that’s most in demand now. We have released eight intersectional creative briefs to help inspire new and diverse visuals. To further scale our commitment to inclusion in stock, we have launched a $500,000 creative commission program called the Artist Development Fund, focused specifically on supporting artists who identify with — and depict — underrepresented communities in their visuals. Applications are open.

Artists, check out our full Circles of Activism creative brief. Then, share your best new photography, illustrations, vectors, or videos exploring how you and your communities are making your voices heard and supporting the causes you believe in.

Topics: Creativity, Insights & Inspiration, Responsibility, Diversity & Inclusion, Media & Entertainment, Creative Cloud,

Products: Creative Cloud, Stock,

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Tudor Coman on life at Adobe Romania all while still finishing high school

Tudor Coman on life at Adobe Romania all while still finishing high school

Tudor Coman, Adobe software development engineer.

By Adobe Life Team

Posted on 05-13-2021

Tudor Coman discovered his passion for computers early. “I wrote my first line of code at eight or nine,” he says. “I taught myself programming on the internet, and by ninth grade I decided it was time to look for a job.”

His job search led him to the internship program in Adobe’s Romania office. “By then, I was studying computer science in school, but it was very theoretical. During my internship, I finally got to see applied technology in action.” Coman was digging deep into big data and machine learning, and finding fulfillment in his new professional relationships.

“As an intern at Adobe, everybody treats you like a real colleague. They don’t think you are too young or inexperienced, so that made it easy for me,” he says. “Everybody listens to you, whether you’re an intern or a research scientist in a senior position.”

After two years with Adobe’s internship program, Coman joined Adobe as a software development engineer with the Account IQ team—a job he does each day after his high-school classes are over.

Inventing new ways to stop online fraud with AI

As part of the Account IQ team at Adobe, Coman is working with artificial intelligence (AI) to help reduce online fraud.

“Our work will let companies see insights about users so they can help reduce online fraud, such as shared IDs and passwords,” he explains. “The most interesting part happens as we analyze users’ activities with machine learning, and we can begin to identify patterns—this helps us understand who might be sharing passwords.”

Coman’s work with Adobe has already contributed to three patent applications. And his accomplishments—including a first-place prize from NASA (at age 13) for his plan to build a permanent space settlement—have earned him high praise. He was also recently recognized on the Forbes Romania 30 Under 30 list.

On what’s ahead at Adobe and beyond

While he’s still early in his career, Coman plans on sticking with Adobe for the foreseeable future. “The culture at Adobe has been especially good for me,” he says. “I was the youngest one, so everybody knew me. It’s been easy to make new friends and it’s a very open culture—we debate, and problem solve a lot. There’s so much innovation.”

Next year, he plans to study computer science in college, and to stay in Bucharest so he can continue his work at Adobe.

Coman has some simple and wise advice for other young people planning to start their own careers: “Learn a lot. Everything can be used at some point in your life, and you never know when.”

Topics: Employee Impact, Brand, Adobe Life, Adobe Culture, Adobe Life – Europe, University,

Products:

Read More

Adobe completes Australian IRAP assessment for Adobe sign

Adobe completes Australian IRAP assessment for Adobe sign

Adobe Sign’s IRAP assessment further supports our commitment to work with digital governments around the world to help create better and safer citizen experiences.

Working using digital sign in office.

By Chandra Sinnathamby

Posted on 05-13-2021

Today, corporate and government leaders around the world are prioritising the urgent need for digital document and signature transformation. This focus is to enhance both citizen and employee experiences while continuing to work to meet industry security standards and regulations.

We are proud to announce that Adobe Sign was assessed on 24 February 2021 against official classification level controls outlined by the Information Security Manual (ISM). The ISM is a cyber security framework that organisations can apply, using their risk management framework, to help protect their information and systems from cyber threats.

The assessment is conducted under the Information Security Registered Assessors Program (IRAP), an initiative to provide high-quality information and communications technology security assessment services to the government, and further supports Adobe’s commitment to work with digital governments around the world to help create better and safer citizen experiences.

This assessment signifies that Adobe Sign provides assurance that our customers can use it when working with the Australian Government. It also enables Australian Government agencies to easily adopt Adobe Sign and create their own document and signature automation experiences.

The requirement for simple, secure and personalised digital citizen experiences was also highlighted in our Adobe and Deloitte Blueprint for Enhanced Citizen Experiences report. The report analyses the results of a survey of 1,000 Australians and explores how Australians engage with government online, citizen expectations from digital government services, and the benefits of personalisation.

Data security and privacy was revealed as a primary concern for citizens, with 20 percent of Australians stating that the safe and ethical storage of their data is one of the most important factors when choosing where to access public information.

Trustworthiness of digital government platforms was also raised as the most important factor for Australians when seeking public information. According to the survey, three in five people (60%) placed ‘trust’ as their top consideration. This was followed by ‘easy-to-understand’ (54%) and ‘most-up-to-date’ (53%).

With political trust reported to be on a strong upward trajectory, the IRAP assessment demonstrates Adobe Sign’s ability to help governments and businesses to deliver better digital experiences, with trust and security at the heart.

Adobe’s foundational framework of security processes and compliance controls, namely Common Controls Framework (CCF), has been key in completing its IRAP assessment. CCF by Adobe is a comprehensive set of simple control requirements, aggregated, correlated and rationalised from the array of industry information security and privacy standards.

Adoption of the CCF has helped enable Adobe’s cloud products, services, platforms and operations to achieve compliance with a host of security certifications, standards and regulations like SOC2, ISO/IEC 27001:2013, ISO 22301:2019, PCI DSS, FedRAMP and others.

We’ve open sourced our CCF to help other organisations who are mapping out industry security and privacy standards for their organisation and invite you to download CCF and adapt it for use in your organisation.

Topics: Digital government, News, Digital Transformation, Security, Government, Document Cloud, APAC,

Products:

Read More

Unlocking the power of video for small business

Unlocking the power of video for small business

Woman at a vegtable stand looking at her phone.

By Meagan Keane

Posted on 05-13-2021

Saying that today’s small business owner has to wear many hats is an understatement. Not only do you have to juggle the day-to-day of running a successful business, you have to stay on top of the latest in social media — from new platforms to viral videos — to make sure you’re connecting with your customers in meaningful and relevant ways. With so many new platforms and types of content available at your customers’ fingertips, it can be difficult to know where to focus your marketing efforts so that you’re actually catching their attention.

Enter video. We’ve seen the popularity of video increase over the past decade, but 2020 was the year it skyrocketed. Consumers are watching more videos online than ever before and are showing no signs of slowing down, making it a powerful tool and must-have part of your small business marketing strategy. According to a survey we conducted of small business owners, 88 percent said that video drives more social media engagement than static images, and 86 percent said it leads to an increase in revenue for their business overall.

The popularity of using video as a digital marketing tool for small businesses is slowly starting to grow. Nearly half of respondents said their video production increased over the last year, with another 10 percent of small businesses indicating that they started to experiment with editing video for the first time in 2020. However, despite the positive impact video can have on the bottom line, the majority of small businesses (65 percent) still are not using video as part of their marketing and social media strategy.

So, whether you have already added video to your social media toolkit or are just getting started, below are actionable tips and findings that you can use to up level your marketing game.

Shoot videos right from your phone

Making videos does not have to be expensive or a time-consuming process. The majority of small businesses use their smartphones to shoot and capture footage (66 percent), and create their own videos in-house, eliminating the added expense of using an outside expert.

Getting started is quick and easy with an editing tool like Premiere Rush that allows you to both shoot and edit video directly from your phone or computer, and publish straight to your social channels. Easy-to-use features such as Auto Reframe, Speed Ramping, and Color Presets give you an edge when it comes to quickly being able to up level video content already on your phone or desktop. Plus, they help with being able to use one piece of footage and differentiate it for different social channels, whether automatically adjusting aspect ratio for different social channels, speeding up footage or slowing it down, and changing the color of clips to create different moods or effects. Check out our quick tips for shooting awesome videos from your phone, creating the most engaging social media videos and our best practices for sharing on different social media platforms, and you will be off to the races in no time.

Want to take your videos further? Try importing your Premiere Rush videos directly into Premiere Pro for deeper editing.

Choose the content and cadence that is right for you

What kind of videos should you be posting to your channel, and how often? Finding the perfect balance that works best for your business might take a little bit of experimentation, but our survey found that 41 percent of businesses find a posting cadence of 1-2 videos per month to be the most effective, while 31 percent prefer a more frequent schedule of 1-3 videos per week.

Of course, you want to create the content that resonates the most with your audience and customers, and keep them engaged and coming back for more, but what does that look like? To help jump-start that inspiration, we have pulled seven types of videos that you can start folding into your digital marketing strategy.

Take your videos to the next level with animation

Make your videos really stand out by adding simple animated elements, like moving stickers or GIFs, to capture people’s attention. More than 78 percent of respondents said adding these animated elements made their videos perform better than videos without, but only half of small businesses are incorporating this easy-to-add feature into their content.

Check out all of the animated templates in Adobe Spark that will make your social videos pop in just one tap and give Spark’s animation styles a try by remixing the short social videos below!

Topics: Creativity, Creative Inspiration & Trends, Insights & Inspiration, Creative Cloud,

Products: Creative Cloud, Premiere Pro, Premiere Rush, Spark,

Read More

Taking action: Activism and expression in our visual landscape

Taking action: Activism and expression in our visual landscape

COVID-19 hasn’t dampened the dedication of many to making the world a better place. Adobe Stock explores trends in visual representations of activism around the world.

Group of poeople in masks with thier arm raised.

Image source: Adobe Stock / Jacob Lund.

By Sarah Casillas

Posted on 05-13-2021

Though the COVID-19 pandemic halted or slowed many aspects of our lives over the past year and a half, there is one thing it has not dampened: the tireless dedication of many to making the world a better place. Across the world, many of us have been showing up for racial justice, ecological reform, in support of essential workers, and to bolster nonprofit fundraisers and campaigns — often in new and creative ways. Online and off (and with safety measures in place), we have rallied around the causes we believe in, proving that there truly is no power like the power of the people.

The Adobe Stock team has been following the cultural shift towards a more deeply engaged youth and consumer population — and the ways this shift manifests in our visual and media landscape — for some time. In 2019, we identified a strong visual trend we dubbed Brand Stand: an increasingly outspoken expression of social consciousness emerging in brand campaigns. This trend continues to evolve — we have identified the latest iteration as Compassionate Collective. It is a similar cultural thread heightened by a complex stew of passionate emotions, accelerated by social media’s ability to both amplify global conversations and democratize collective action.

Much more than passing fad, the deepening of political and social engagement is permeating our media landscape, with brand campaigns frequently centering a heightened sense of values as a way of connecting with consumers. In the world of stock imagery, we are seeing a similar shift in the demand for current, socially conscious content that engages with modern activism.

Image source: Clockwise from top left: Adobe Stock / Hero Images: Adobe Stock / Jacob Lund: Adobe Stock / Hero Images: Adobe Stock / Hero Images.

Youth to the front, online and onscreen

Often, it is young people (especially youth of color) who are leading the pack, with overwhelming success. Chelsea Miller (age 24) and Nialah Edari (age 26), started their social justice initiative, Freedom March NYC, in May of 2020 — in just months, they propelled Freedom March NYC into a full-fledged organization with $50,000 behind it.

“The work isn’t done,” Edari told Rolling Stone’s Ryan Bort and Kimberly Aleah in December of 2020. “We were out there because Black people were being killed by police. From the looks of it, that’s still happening, so we’ll still be outside.”

Many young people have also moved their centers of activism inside, making use of online spaces with just as big of an impact.

“Youth have carved out a digital space for themselves to freely engage in activism all summer,” wrote Rainier Harris, a reporter for PBS’s Student Voices, late last year. “As early as this spring, after the wave of Black Lives Matter protests began, many young activists began using platforms like Instagram to share safety tips about protesting and document instances of police brutality at the protest sites.”

The voices of youth movements have made their way into the ad space, giving companies a way to communicate a commitment to positive change. At Adobe, we launched our Diverse Voices campaign in August of 2020 as an expression of our long-standing commitment to elevate underrepresented creators.

Other great examples come to mind, too. For their 2020 campaign, “Be the Future”, clothing retailer Gap produced an advertisement that featured dedicated young climate activists, and followed up with “Generation Good” and an ad spot that included activists (and artists) of all ages, in 2021. “Gap was founded with the mission to do more than sell clothes,” Mary Alderete, global head of Gap marketing, told David Moin of WWD earlier this year. “Generation Good reflects this ideal that we can all be our true selves and move things forward by being a force for good. It takes a collective to change the world and that’s exactly what Generation Good is up to.”

Image source: Adobe Stock / Trevor Adeline/Caia Image.

The whole world is watching — online

Even just a few years ago, fully realized, fully online platforms for activism were still getting their legs. In the hopefully-soon-to-be-post-COVID-19 era, they are thriving — and holding steady for larger and larger audiences. On Earth Day 2020, climate advocacy group Fridays for Future hosted what the organization called a “digital strike” livestream, which was attended by 230,000 participants worldwide. “With 87,000 on the strikers’ map, over 230,000 livestream viewers, 40,000 tweets and 15,000 demo signs, we made it clear,” read a statement on the strike event website. “We are to be reckoned with and we want the course to be set for a just, ecological society!”

One of the most successful and far-reaching forms of online activism, especially over this past year, has been monetary donations — a boon for organizations not only in terms of finances but also for data tracking purposes. The numbers are already in. According to research by the charity-focused firm Blackbaud Institute, “online giving in 2020 grew 20.7 percent year over year for the 4,964 nonprofit organizations in the analysis,” and that “taking a more longitudinal three-year view of fundraising from the same organizations revealed a 32.4 percent increase in online giving.”

Image source: Adobe Stock / Trevor Adeline/Caia Image.

Moments of joy and hope

Activism is also about celebration: of unity, progress, and hope.

“The joy in protest is in the details,” activist and photographer OJ Slaughter told culture columnist Jeneé Osterheldt of the Boston Globe in December of 2020 (Osterheldt is currently featured in ABC Networks’ Soul of a Nation). “The sound of moving feet, watching people hug each other at first with hesitancy and then unbridled appreciation, the smell of hand sanitizer, the cadence of a chanting crowd. Joy is there if you pay attention. Joy resides in watching your community cope and thrive. I feel joy every time I’m at a protest and I see folks taking care of each other. That’s what we are there for.”

That element of celebration is key — consider this ad by Deutsche Telekom (in English) that was released last summer, a love letter to the power of so-called “screen-obsessed kids,” narrated by singer Billie Eilish.

“But you know what?” Eilish says, as dreamy visuals of young people engaged in online activism flow in time to her track “When The Party’s Over. “When it comes to what we really care about, the difference we can make means even more now.”

Image source: Adobe Stock / Victor Torres/ADDICTIVE STOCK.

Artists: What does your activism look like?

More and more, global brands seek to express the energy and determination of today’s youth activists in their campaigns, either to identify with consumers or express their support. However, there is a danger of mischaracterizing social movements, and a well-intentioned brand campaign may be meant to express solidarity but end up unintentionally trivializing an important movement.

Walking this line is incredibly tough. Stock artists and brand designers have the power to contribute to significant and necessary changes in our media landscape, by insisting that the imagery we share reflects our world — accurately, inclusively, and with respect for the activists and leaders on the ground.

With the Adobe Stock Advocates program, we hope to inspire artists to create the authentic, inclusive content that’s most in demand now. We have released eight intersectional creative briefs to help inspire new and diverse visuals. To further scale our commitment to inclusion in stock, we have launched a $500,000 creative commission program called the Artist Development Fund, focused specifically on supporting artists who identify with — and depict — underrepresented communities in their visuals. Applications are open.

Artists, check out our full Circles of Activism creative brief. Then, share your best new photography, illustrations, vectors, or videos exploring how you and your communities are making your voices heard and supporting the causes you believe in.

Topics: Creativity, Insights & Inspiration, Responsibility, Diversity & Inclusion, Media & Entertainment, Creative Cloud,

Products: Creative Cloud, Stock,

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Come as you are: Celebrating the self and self-expression in stock imagery

Come as you are: Celebrating the self and self-expression in stock imagery

The Adobe Stock team explores gender representation in stock imagery and media, and shares updates on what we’re doing to promote positive change.

Large Colorful People Pattern With Grunge Texture.

Image source: Adobe Stock / Barry Bödeker/Stocksy.

By Sarah Casillas

Posted on 05-13-2021

These days, there are a lot of conversations happening around the importance of being able to bring the “whole self to work” (hat tip to Mike Robbins, who coined the phrase in 2015), but we are going to tailor it a little bit:

What about the importance of bringing the whole self to stock?

It is certainly no secret that the stock universe has — historically and currently — favored a specific look, from body type to ethnicity to age. This tends to leave many subjects on the sidelines, leaving us with a narrow, single-sided vision of how we — and our world — should look.

So how can we do better to address the inequity in our visual landscape? Recognizing the problem is just the first step.

The Adobe Stock team recently spoke with Gearah Goldstein, an inclusion and diversity consultant who often shares her experiences as a transgender woman to connect with her audiences, about this very topic.

“The action of inclusion truly comes about when people feel comfortable sharing who they truly are,” Goldstein told us. “And without that environment, without that space to feel truly safe to be who you are, then I don’t think the right conversations are being had in order to facilitate the change that’s required.”

Image source: Adobe Stock / Adam Perez.

At Adobe Stock, we strive to provide that space, in a few different ways, including featuring, supporting, and working with artists from historically underrepresented communities through initiatives like the Artist Development Fund, and prioritizing more inclusive visuals in our collection overall. Let’s face it: to truly represent us all, we need all of us.

Come as you are

The act of simply being oneself is often its own story.

“My entire life, I simply wanted to tell people who I was,” Goldstein recalled, in her interview with Adobe Stock. “And then once I transitioned, I thought, ‘well, why would I ever stop telling people who I am?’”

Without real-world examples, even acknowledging that story becomes far more difficult. “Visual representation is key to unlocking that sense of belonging,” Goldstein explained. “The work I’m doing in the youth space — the reason I do that is because I know that the lack of representation as a young person is what prevented me from coming out much, much earlier. It just didn’t exist — even the word transgender didn’t exist.”

Image source: Adobe Stock / Julia Forsman/Stocksy (left), Adobe Stock / Julia Forsman/Stocksy (right).

There is one particularly important distinction that we need to highlight, here: representation does not mean sensationalism. It means just the opposite, a fact that everyone but especially creatives should keep in mind. Inclusion and celebration are welcome, but to sensationalize, even with the best of intentions, can be othering.

Disability rights activist and comedian Stella Young, who died in 2014, described a main faction of these problematic portrayals as a positive but ultimately skewed view of a person’s lived experience.

Image source: Adobe Stock / Fjello/Stocksy (left), Adobe Stock / Fjello/Stocksy (right).

“When people say you’re an inspiration, they mean it as a compliment,” Young said in a 2013 TED talk. “We’ve been sold this lie that disability makes you exceptional and it honestly doesn’t. … I want to live in a world where we don’t have such low expectations of disabled people that we are congratulated for getting out of bed and remembering our own names in the morning.”

One way to help fix this is increased accurate visibility. To that end, the Adobe Stock Advocates program has partnered with LaVant Consulting, a firm dedicated to improving and expanding representation of people with disabilities, through their consulting work and strong ties to a network of disability organizations and communities across the U.S.

“I think having more accurate and authentic and normal [content] of people with disabilities doing normal things like housework and chores normalizes disability,” said Sofia Webster, Impact Officer at LaVant. “It paints it just as another form of the human experience instead of a thing to be othered and pathologized.”

Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham, an extreme sports athlete and Guinness World Record holder for longest wheelchair ramp jump, made a similar statement in a 2017 interview with USA Today — “I want it to be a normal thing when you go to a skate park and you see someone on a wheelchair shredding the gnar,” he said.

Image source: Adobe Stock / Maskot (left), Adobe Stock / Ignacio Ferr√°ndiz Roig/Westend61 (right).

Every body welcome as brands embrace more inclusive casting

While a lot of what is going on in advertising is business as usual, brands are catching on to the increased demand for, well, realism. In a 2020 casting call on Backpage, Verizon Wireless specifically requested their actual customers — no actors — apply for a spot in an ad campaign. The call, which expired on June 13th of 2020, did not specify the age, race, size, or gender of applicants, choosing instead to focus on their media consumption habits.

The ad read as follows: “Seeking real families who live in Los Angeles or New York. Families who love entertainment and can never agree what to watch… Families who are dedicated Disney, Marvel, or Star Wars fans and can quote films and/or sing the songs.”

Image source: Adobe Stock / Hero Images.

The result: a series of commercials, all shot on a seamless soundstage, that featured a diverse cast of participating families.

Clothing brands are also expanding their horizons when it comes to advertising (and sizing!). American Eagle Outfitters, known for their extensive denim lines, launched their “Make Moves” campaign in 2018, which included a dance video set to Kendrick Lamar’s track “DNA.” Like in Verizon’s ad, the featured dancers were all actual American Eagle customers, and a range of genders, ethnicities, and body types.

Image source: Adobe Stock / Image Source (left), Adobe Stock / Image Source (right).

There are times, too, when it takes a bona-fide industry insider to shake things up. Lauren Wasser, an established model, was twenty-four years old when she underwent surgery to remove her right leg after complications related to toxic shock syndrome (also known as TSS). Six years later, her left leg was also amputated. Wasser, who wears sleek, golden prosthetic limbs, was able to continue her career — something she did not expect.

“I never would have thought this industry would be so supportive and accept me with open arms,” Wasser told HyperBae in 2019. “If this [TSS] happened to me 10 years ago, I don’t think I would be where I am. It shows that this industry is changing and expanding its idea of beauty to include all shapes, sizes, abilities and colors. We still have a lot of work ahead, but progress is progress.”

And, when that progress comes from a place of genuine interest and commitment, it shows. Sofia Webster cites LinkedIn’s “The Hiring Chain” spot and Hulu’s ad for International Day of People with Disabilities (which includes a version with audio descriptions), among others, as encouraging examples of accurate representation. “You can tell when [a] team is dedicated to getting it right,” Webster said. “It’s really great to see companies, big ones, who show a commitment to diversity and inclusion. That is a big deal.”

Create the stock imagery you want to see

The need is strong and growing for authentic, diverse imagery that reflects a full range of real people in advertising. One of our highest priorities at Adobe is to continually add and promote accurate, empowering visual narratives that express the world today to our ever-growing collection.

We launched the Adobe Stock Advocates program to help inspire and support the creation of impactful, honest, inclusive content that meets today’s needs. As part of the program, we have released eight intersectional creative briefs to help inspire new and diverse visuals. To further scale our commitment to inclusion in stock, we have launched a $500,000 creative commission program called the Artist Development Fund, focused specifically on supporting artists who identify with — and depict —underrepresented communities in their visuals. Artist applications are open.

For more inspiration — and to learn about Adobe Stock’s ongoing Advocates program — take a look at our Celebration of Self creative brief. Then, submit your best content celebrating unique bodies and personalities to Adobe Stock.

Topics: Responsibility, Creativity, Insights & Inspiration, Diversity & Inclusion, Media & Entertainment, Creative Cloud,

Products: Creative Cloud, Stock,

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Clark County realizes the value of Adobe Sign to deliver outstanding services to residents, visitors, and businesses

Clark County realizes the value of Adobe Sign to deliver outstanding services to residents, visitors, and businesses

By taking advantage of Adobe Sign and integrations with Microsoft 365, the county created reliable digital workflows that keep services running.

Clark County Nevada skyline.

By Craig Peasley

Posted on 05-13-2021

From the bright lights of the Las Vegas Strip to the awe-inspiring vistas of Red Rock Canyon, Clark County is home to some of the world’s most popular tourist attractions. The county’s 2.4 million residents support a dynamic economy that hosts more than 42 million tourists every year. Behind the established tourism economy is a growing technology sector, with the county gaining a reputation as a hotspot for innovative startups.

For CIO Nadia Hansen, technology and innovation also play an important role in helping Clark County meets the diverse needs of Southern Nevada — from providing effective and fast services for millions of residents and visitors, to promoting sustainable administration that protects the area’s valuable natural resources.

“Clark County is unique given its size and diversity,” says Hansen. “We have 10,000 employees across 140 locations, and we collaborate closely with state and city agencies. We pride ourselves on providing outstanding services, and technology makes that level of service possible.”

As part of the county’s digital transformation, Clark County deployed Adobe Sign, the e-signature application within Adobe Document Cloud. By taking advantage of Adobe Sign and integrations with Microsoft 365, the county created reliable digital workflows that keep services running in any type of remote, in-person, or hybrid work environment.

Getting community involved in digital transformation

Clark County started its digital transformation with a massive overhaul of its website. The web team wanted to make it fast and easy for people to get the services that they need either through a computer or mobile phone, minimizing the need to visit an office in-person.

“One important thing that we did was involve the community in the design,” adds Hansen. “We asked people for the top reasons they visit the website and then tried to determine how fast and easy it was for them to find that information.”

The updated website was instrumental in keeping county operations running during the COVID-19 pandemic. With employees working remotely and travel limited, people appreciated how they could use the new website to look up information and download forms from any device. However, signing and submitting forms could still be challenging. For many forms, people had to print them, fill them out by hand, and then scan and attach them to an email. For processes requiring multiple levels of signatures and approvals, such as purchase orders, having to constantly print and scan documents wasted a lot of time and paper.

“Electronic signatures were definitely on my technology roadmap, but the pandemic bumped it to the top of the list,” says Hansen. “If we wanted to minimize contact and hassle in a remote environment, we needed e-signatures. We looked at other solutions including DocuSign, but we decided on Adobe Sign for the competitive pricing, strong functionality, and integration as the preferred e-signature solution for Microsoft.”

IT as a technology testing ground

Clark County purchased Adobe Sign in the summer of 2020 and the IT department immediately started working on pilots within the group. “We like to be the ones that test out technology deployments for the county,” says Hansen. “When we pilot projects in IT, we gain a greater understanding of all the little tricks and tips in a new technology. That allows us to deliver strong ongoing support and maintenance once we roll it out to more people.”

IT deals with stacks of paperwork every day, from processing paper invoices for the county’s 300 technology vendors to processing network and remote access user agreements for the county’s 10,000 employees. Some of these processes require multiple signatures — IT invoices, for example, often need multiple approvals before being passed through the Finance department and delivered to the comptroller for final processing. An IT admin collected, tracked, and forwarded every piece of paper by hand.

With Adobe Sign, the entire process is completely automated. Admins can check an audit trail on any signed documents to instantly know exactly who signed a document, when, and where. The digital workflows reduce paper waste by 75 percent, and invoices are signed in hours instead of days.

“The time savings and sustainability benefits with Adobe Sign are clear,” says Hansen. “But the other real benefit is that it shows people how even seemingly small changes can make processes so much faster, easier, and more accurate. We’re encouraging people to think creatively about what else they can take beyond the status quo.”

Microsoft integration speeds adoption

Just a few months after the IT department started expanding the use of Adobe Sign, Clark County was already processing 700 documents per month. Within a year, Hansen predicts that number will rise to 30,000 each month. Budget and Finance, Risk Management, Parks and Recreation, Purchasing, and the Comptroller’s office are just some of the teams that quickly adopted Adobe Sign. The District Attorney Family Services (DAFS) uses Adobe Sign to more securely sign and file conflict of interest documents involving child welfare cases. The automated, digital workflow minimizes the number of times a document exchanges hands, helping keep sensitive information even more secure.

One of the keys to the fast expansion is the integration with Microsoft 365. “We wanted the e-signatures to be incredibly easy to use to encourage adoption,” says Hansen. “The Microsoft Outlook add-in makes it so that people don’t even need to leave their most-used application — their email inbox— to add, track, or sign documents securely. And the same can be said for the Adobe Sign integration within Microsoft Teams, which groups use all day to collaborate and meet.”

Employees can also use the integration to create signable documents directly from Microsoft Word or PowerPoint files. This makes routing documents or sharing files for review much easier. Employee Performance Evaluations forms are routed to all parties before being pulled into the employee database. While it typically took a minimum of three days to sign evaluations, Hansen says that in one instance that time was reduced to just 10 minutes.

Enhancing citizen services with digital workflows

Adobe Sign isn’t just for internal processes. Clark County also uses the digital workflows to better serve citizens. The Public Administrator fully digitized Next of Kin declarations for easy access and simple submission. Using Adobe Sign, a next of kin can now fill out, sign, and submit forms from any device, anywhere in the world. Grieving family members spend less time dealing with administrative paperwork and more time focusing on themselves and their loved ones during a difficult time.

Clark County plans to encourage even more public facing uses that will allow residents to complete and submit paperwork in one easy step. With Adobe Sign, added features such as required fields, drop-down boxes, tooltips, and auto-fill fields make it easy to complete digital documents. This makes life simpler for residents, while reducing the time that employees spend checking forms and following up for missing information.

“The pandemic underscored the need for accessible, contactless channels to keep county operations running, but electronic workflows were always part of our digital transformation plan due to their productivity and sustainability benefits,” says Hansen. “Adobe Sign offers advantages to everyone: office workers, remote workers, and the public. It’s helping us transition to a hybrid work model and provide even better services to the residents, visitors, and businesses that make Clark County such as great place to be.”

Contact us to talk about how we can help your organization use e-signature with Adobe Sign.

Topics: Customer Stories, Insights & Inspiration, Government, Document Cloud, Productivity, Future of Work

Products: Document Cloud, Sign,

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