With just 2 weeks to go before we head out to San Diego for this year's Adobe Max, we’re beginning to get a little excited about it!

Using our plug-ins, Graphics Scientist and Training Support Extraordinaire Sebastian Bleak, and Astute Graphics Founder Nicholas van der Walle will be sharing secrets for a speedier workflow with a live creative/workflow demonstration. As of today we have just 50 places left for this event and we can hardly wait!

Alas, wait we must, and so in the meantime we asked Designer, Adobe Certified Instructor and MAX regular Kevin Stohlmeyer to share his tips on getting the most from your MAX and San Diego experience.

© Dancestrokes

Hello Creatives and welcome to another Adobe MAX! As you will have noticed, MAX has migrated south this year to the wonderful city of San Diego. If this is your first MAX or if you have attended in the past, you are in for a real treat! Every year has been an improvement on the last.

MAX has always been inspiring and enjoyable for me personally, which is why this will be my sixth MAX in as many years. With this in mind, I’ve been asked by the fun folks at Astute Graphics to give my personal insights into one of my favorite events and it’s host city.

Here are some great MAX events you will want to check out:


  1. Let’s start with the Make-It Experience, which I am happy to report is returning for another year. Located in the Community Pavilion, these stations allow each attendee to use Adobe applications to create a take home piece of art and learn about how an actual workflow using Adobe solutions can improve the creative process.
  1. Speaking of the Community Pavilion, this is the best floorshow in town. After you have had your fill of sessions and walked away brains full, do not skip the pavilion to decompress. Meet with various industry vendors and experts; relax in the lounges, or challenge someone to a creative showdown (don’t ask how mine went last year – we don’t talk about that). The Community Pavilion is the place to relax and recharge during the hectic schedule of MAX.

© f11photo

  1. Be sure to attend the Opening Night Reception at the Pavilion. Socialize with fellow attendees; recap the days events with food, drink and then “Meet the Teams” from Adobe. This is a great chance to ask questions and discuss ideas with the people who make your favorite applications.
  1. Outside of the Pavilion, one event you should never miss is Sneaks – hosted this year by Jordan Peele (taking over from Keegan-Michael Key). This guarantees a fun atmosphere and will give you great insights into the projects at Adobe (which may or may not become reality). Items from previous year’s sneaks have already come to fruition- Adobe XD, Photoshop Font Match and Perspective Warp to name a few.
  1. Immediately after Sneaks and equally unmissable is the MAX BASH. Similar to last year, two bands will be taking the stage – Alabama Shakes and The Mowglis. Both will bring an eclectic sound to the event along with great food, live performances and more. Watch for live performers throughout the venue as well. Always a fun atmosphere.


If this is your first time to San Diego, be sure to give yourself extra time to experience the city. There is something for everyone and a few days before or after MAX can be all you need to enjoy the area.

Here are some fun things to do outside of MAX while visiting the area:

© KPG_Payless

  1. San Diego Zoo. This is a must-see for everyone. Located in Balboa Park, the Zoo recently turned 100 years old and is one of the largest zoological associations in the world. The exhibits are more like habitats than enclosures, giving the animals and guests a unique experience of seeing animals in a natural environment. If you are a first time visitor to the zoo, be sure to check out the bus tour, a great way to experience and learn about the park. My personal pick is the elephant exhibit.


© Songquan Deng

  1. Balboa Park. A great place to take a photo walk or just relax and enjoy the gardens. Besides the San Diego Zoo (mentioned above) the park is home to several different museums and theatres, with various events running throughout the year. Be sure to stop by the botanical building or the miniature railroad.


© Nick Fox

  1. Old Town. Known as the “birthplace of California”, this is the site of the first permanent settlement in California. Today, it is a Spanish historic district with a variety of food, nightlife and activities for all ages. A short ride from the Convention Center, yet a completely different atmosphere. My 'can’t miss' here would be the fresh tortillas from Café Coyote on the main strip. Amazing!


© Chris Curtis

  1. Coronado Island. The best way to view the city, day or night is from Coronado Island’s Centennial Park. A ferry ride from the Convention Center marina will drop you off a short walk from shopping, dining and sights of the city from across the bay.


© Sean Pavone

  1.  Eating & Drinking. One of my personal favorite things to do while travelling is to enjoy the unique dining or drinking establishments, two of which happen to be in San Diego. The city offers two great Tiki bars – the classic Bali Hai and the newer Cat Eye Club. Both offer a fun atmosphere with unique drinks. Wear your favorite Hawaiian shirt and enjoy a Mai Tai. As for a fun place to eat, you have to try to get into is Lucha Libre Taco Shop. “Try” is the operative word here as this place is always packed. The name says it all. Luchador masks and championship belts adorn the walls as you enjoy the Surfin’ California burrito (as seen on Man V. Food).


© EarthScape ImageGraphy

  1. USS Midway. Since we can’t all go to TOPGUN at Miramar Naval Base the next best thing awaits you at the USS Midway Museum. A short walk from the Convention Center, this museum is housed in the longest serving aircraft carrier in the US Navy. With over 60 exhibits and more than 20 restored aircraft this is a fun day’s adventure appropriate for all ages. A great hands-on way to learn about history.


I hope you find these insights helpful as you venture out in the area and enjoy Adobe MAX 2016!

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