Skip to main content

7 unmissable Adobe MAX talks to watch for free

Adobe MAX 2020 was the creative event of the event of the year, giving millions the chance to engage with the world’s top artists, designers and entertainers. But if you missed it, then here’s some great news. Many of the best sessions are now available to rewatch on demand, for free!

In this article, we gather together seven talks from Adobe MAX 2020 we think all creatives should see. There are plenty more to enjoy, though: check out the full list here

Meanwhile, if you’re inspired by Adobe MAX and don’t yet have the Creative Cloud, here’s another bit of great news. Adobe is offering a generous 20% off the entire collection of 20+ apps this Black Friday period. This offer is live now but only available until 27 November, so don’t hang around!

01. Keynote: Creativity for All

Shantanu Narayen

(Image credit: Adobe)

Want to know about all the new tools and features in the Creative Cloud? In this keynote session for Adobe MAX, comedian Conan O'Brien joins Adobe's Shantanu Narayen and Scott Belsky to introduce the latest developments. These include the launch of Illustrator for the iPad and jaw-dropping new Photoshop features such as the Neuro filter, which automatically changes the age of a person from older to younger. The trio also reveal some exciting new video tools, additions to XD, Lightroom and Fresco, and more.

02. MAX Sneaks

Paula Scher

(Image credit: Adobe)

Sneaks is always one of the big highlights of Adobe MAX: an opportunity for Adobe to share sneak peeks at the top-secret new tech it’s working on. Here, American comedian and actress Chelsea Handler, along with Adobe's own Paul Trani, unveil some eye-popping new developments, including Typographic Brushes, which turns brush strokes into type; Material World, which transforms a picture of a real material into digital material with one click; 2DPlus, which turns 2D vectors into 2.5D with ease… and lots more. 

03. What I’ve Learned Since March 15: Aaron Draplin

People filming and wearing masks

(Image credit: Adobe)

The world’s been turned upside-down since March, and designers everywhere are struggling to make sense of what it means to them. So this talk by celebrated designer and CEO Aaron Draplin is perfectly timed. In his session, Aaron gives a humble but insightful account about how he tried to keep up with events surrounding the pandemic, and what he learned from his 5,000-square-foot universe during lockdown.

04. Unexpected Outcomes: Paula Scher

Paula Scher

(Image credit: Adobe)

She’s one of the most famous and accomplished graphic designers in the world, and so when Paula Scher talks, the industry listens. In her enlightening talk for Adobe MAX 2020, Paula examines how designers often operate without fully understanding the public’s reactions to their work. In the process she revisits some accidents, and some designs that resonated with audiences, to reconsider the relationship between design and the public.

05. Prop Design for the Real World: Annie Atkins

Annie Atkins

(Image credit: Adobe)

Fancy using your graphic design skills to help make movies? Annie Atkins does exactly that. In this revealing session, the graphic designer for Wes Anderson and Steven Spielberg explains how she translates her film experience into the artwork she creates for the real world.

06. Design for Belonging: Tim Allen

Three men smiling at camera

(Image credit: Adobe)

In the 2020s, design doesn’t just have to be useful and beautiful, it must be inclusive too. Tim Allen leads the global product design team at Airbnb, centred on design and inclusivity. And in this must-watch session, he explains how design is being used to deliver on Airbnb’s promise to create a world where anyone can belong anywhere. 

07. Photoshop on iPad for the Modern Surrealist: Elise Swopes

Elise Swopes

(Image credit: Adobe)

Elise Swopes is a Chicago-bred, Brooklyn-based photographer, graphic designer, videographer, and public speaker. In this hands-on talk, she demonstrates how she uses her iPad to transform expansive cityscapes, use water and light as a paintbrush, and use colour to evoke emotion. A must-see for anyone who uses Photoshop in their work.

Get 20% off Adobe Cloud today!

Inspired by Adobe MAX to get creative? Get the world's best creative apps at a great price. In the runup to Black Friday, Adobe is offering an incredible 20% off Creative Cloud (All apps plan). You can take advantage of this offer right now, but it ends on 27 November, so be quick!

Tom May

Tom May is a freelance writer and editor specialising in design, photography and tech. He is author of Great TED Talks: Creativity, published by Pavilion Books. He has previously been editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine.