Write On card set from Adobe celebrates human connection
Whether you’re an Illustrator magician, Photoshop fiend, or an InDesign wizard, creatives know Adobe.
Chances are there’s a program in the ubiquitous Adobe Creative Suite that you can’t get through the work day without. But as we use the software to bring our ideas to fruition, there are creatives just like us on the other end, laser-focused on making the products more powerful and easier to use.
Each year, Adobe creates a special “Write On” note card set as a gift to the creative community. Sonja Hernandez, Senior Experience Design Manager at Adobe and acting creative director for this year’s Write On project, said the analog product is an opportunity to highlight the talents of Adobe designers worldwide.
“We wanted to showcase a lot of the amazing talent that’s here within Adobe, and Adobe Design in particular,” Hernandez said. “Many of their talents are hidden by the design for UI. We don’t get to see their individual personalities.” The Write On card set creates an opportunity for Adobe’s in-house creatives to step outside their usual tasks and have some artistic fun.
“We wanted to be able to invite people from all around the world to design or create something that we could share with others,” Hernandez said. This year’s group of 12 designers worked from California, New York, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Washington, and India.
Each designer was assigned a month and had the opportunity to select from a list of lesser-known holidays, like Cat Appreciation Day and Unusual Musical Instrument Day. Then it was time to create and refine a concept for the cards, and finally, to take each one into production.
“This year it’s special because we were able to partner up with [Mohawk and Crane] and have the ability to do different types of printing styles,” Hernandez said. They chose to divide the dozen cards in the set up into four printing processes: thermography, letterpress, engraving, and digital. All the cards were printed at Crane Stationery on Crane’s Lettra Letterpress Fluorescent White.
Each process was also matched with an ink color so the cards would look consistent. The thermographed cards were printed in a warm, chocolate brown, engraved in blue-green, and letterpress printed in purple and yellow. The digital cards made use of all four shades to tie the color family together.
Bailey Sharrocks, Design Operations Program Manager at Adobe, said the presence of analog processes has been critical to the Write On project from its inception. “Our designers work so digitally, and this project is so focused on the analog,” Sharrocks said. “It’s fun for us to play with different tactile aspects.”
“This was really special because there were a few designers who had never designed anything for thermography, for example,” Hernandez said. “There were some people we encouraged to do letterpress.” The project ended up being a way not just to delight Adobe’s friends, but also to stretch and inspire the company’s designers, who challenged themselves and stepped out of their comfort zones for the task.
The human element of the project—striving, exploring, and growing—is what makes the project worthwhile for the Adobe team. Hernandez said she hopes people who receive the set of cards will keep the momentum by writing notes and mailing them to loved ones, tempting as it may be to save the kit as a collector’s object.
“We really want them to be sent,” she said. “We want people to be inspired by the artwork and connect to the people that inspire them.”
“Everything is email or Slack,” Sharrocks added. “To get a handwritten, physical artifact is really special.”