Sagmeister & Walsh Reinterpret The Adobe MAX Logo

As most designers know, innovation cannot be confined to the hours between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Stefan Sagmeister and Jessica Walsh, the dynamic duo behind design firm Sagmeister & Walsh, decided to exploit the idea of time-constrained creativity even further by reinterpreting the Adobe MAX logo during a 24-hour “play” session. The design team gave the logo a facelift using limited materials and the Adobe Creative Cloud during a full-day event that was streamed live. Audiences were able to tune in via the Adobe Creative Cloud Create Now Facebook app and tweet questions using the #AdobeMAX hashtag. If you were in New York City, you could watch on a billboard displayed in Times Square. The new logo will be revealed soon, but in the meantime, I caught up with Jessica Walsh to hear what she thought of the 24-hour artistic extravaganza.

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A full-day work day must have been intellectually and physically exhausting. How do you feel the event went?
It went well! There were things that worked better than others, and there were moments around 4 a.m. where I thought we might fail and would not finish the giant pencil installation, but we pulled through, and we finished in time. It was exhausting but certainly worth it.

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What were a few of your favorite logo recreations?
Probably the one we did out of pencils, as there was a lot of risk involved. It was a crazy thing to try to accomplish in 24 hours. We had to sharpen 8,000 pencils, remove the erasers and glue them into the Styrofoam. Another one of my favorites was the fabric ones from jumping on the trampolines, which we composited together in Photoshop to create the logo type.

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How did you stay focused and inspired for so many consecutive hours?
Lots of coffee, good music and great people. It is also really important to work around nice fun people who inspire you constantly, so having other designers (Santiago Carrasquilla and Wade Jeffree) from Sagmeister & Walsh helped keep the inspiration going.

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Did being confined to the studio space help prompt interesting results in the way you had hoped?
Yes. Creative is all about experimenting and taking risks. When you do this, every now and then you discover something. We got to try out numerous things we would have never done on a normal work day. Many of the ideas arose spontaneously, like using the pencil shavings or the leftover erasers from the pencil installation to make the logo type. Since we had the time and space to play and explore, we were able to make them happen. On normal photo shoots, you have a set schedule and time limit so you can’t be as experimental. The project makes me want to set aside more days like this where its all about experimenting with materials and having fun.

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