To the faithful It’s Nice That audience reading this, we know that all of you are intensely creative people. But whether you’re freelance, in-house, on maternity leave or still a student, it can be hard to keep up the momentum of churning out project after project. And that’s where the term “createfulness” comes in. Devised by Adobe – a company with products that certainly know how to nurture all kinds of creative abilities – this summer, Adobe is encouraging us to take a deep breath, and get to know our createfulness.
But what does the term mean? According to Adobe, “Createfulness is the practice of being fully aware of your own personal creative journey.” Forget about the latest design trends on Instagram or what your peers or friends are interested in, createfulness asks us to rediscover the past and get inspired by exploring the latest technologies facing the future of design.
To make the most of this personal creative journey, Adobe are offering free vintage vectorised assets to help stimulate new and exciting ideas. Amongst this bank of dynamic assets, Adobe’s users can discover illustrations hand-picked by design legend Erik Spiekermann’s private archive. Users can also dive through exclusive typography assets courtesy of the Tipoteca Museum in Italy.
To celebrate these vintage assets, Adobe is inviting creatives from all over the world to design a poster using at least two elements from this treasure trove of materials. The lucky winner’s receive a trip to Italy to visit Tipoteca in the beautiful setting of Trevisio, not to mention a workshop space directed by Erik Spiekermann himself, and the chance to take part in an exclusive video.
As an extra plus, we at It’s Nice That have also asked four creatives that we admire to take part in the campaign. Noa Snir, Annu Kilpeläinen, Célestin Krier and Jonathan Castro have each spent the past few weeks interpreting at least two of the assets in their own unique ways. Below, each creative discusses the assets they chose to use in their designs and ultimately, why the collection inspired createfulness and a breath of fresh air from their usual working routines.
Illustrator, Noa Snir
For illustrator Noa Snir, it was the Deberny et Peignot Bifur/Tapisserie shapes which immediately drew his attention. “I love the geometric shapes which seemed ideal for pattern-making,” she says on her bold design.” But when she took a closer look at the archive, she realised that there was so much potential for surface and pattern design, seen for instance, in the Nebiolo Fregio assets.
For the Berlin-based illustrator, the poster design challenge presented the perfect excuse to be playful. The moment she saw the createfulness assets, she knew she wanted to create unexpected compositions from unexpected parts. But it wasn’t all fun and games, for Noa the main challenge in reappropriating the assets lay in taking them out of their original context and giving them a fresh look and feel.
“They’re a great testament to the era in which they were created,” says the illustrator, and it’s a skill to take the assets out of their historical context and repurpose them for today while still paying tribute to their original meaning. Taking on the challenge with vast amounts of creative freedom the task at hand “felt like a gift” she says. In turn, she’s created something that will “make people smile and appreciate the sunshine,” celebrating nature in all its glory and the comfort of every day delights. Channeling a recent obsession with the 1970s, her poster is summery, pattern-y, vintage-inspired and above all for Noa, “cheerful and fun.”
Illustrator, Annu Kilpeläinen
When Annu Kilpeläinen first saw the createfulness collection, the art nouveau style of the Fregio 915 assets reminded the Finnish illustrator of powerful swarms of butterflies. Known for her vividly colourful compositions, Annu became interested in the assets’ technical transformations which in turn, reminded her of a butterfly’s metamorphosis.
“The idea that Fregio 915 was originally used as heavy metal type casts then converted to vector graphics, then given a new life by me, felt like an absurd yet fitting life cycle of a butterfly,” says Annu. Known for her boldly patterned illustrations, the createfulness assets offered an exciting set of tools for Annu to play around with. And, once she came across the mirrored visuals of the Fregio 195 imagery, several ideas instantly came together in a befitting moment of serendipity. Ideas of transformation, symbol and soul, and the search for new inspiration all connected for Annu and she realised that she had to use the butterfly assets.
The illustrator began by spending a day at the National Art Library researching Art Deco ornaments, type setting, rave flyers and of course, the spirit of butterflies. Then, assembling these influences on her laptop, she sketched out her initial poster design (which she has since refined) and experimented with different colour ways.
Illustrator and designer, Célestin Krier
Also drawn to a pattern-based design, Célestin Krier looked for assets that could be used effectively in a wider composition. When the Paris-based designer first came across the collection, he thought the decorative elements would be difficult to use, primarily because he never uses found images in his work, preferring to draw everything himself.
Célestin’s approach to making work is often intuitive and this project was no different, approaching the poster’s design as a “purely stylistic exercise” and sketching out his initial ideas with no precise intentions. “I like to start off my work as a big, shapeless pile of clay that needs to be reshaped again and again,” he explains on his creative process. Utilising only one asset from the Deberny et Peignot Bifure Elemente collection, the designer duplicated the visual a number of times to create a new brush stroke. By transforming the geometric Createfulness asset into a drawing tool, Célestin was able to adapt something static and rigid into an organic design full of fluidity and movement.
Graphic designer, Jonathan Castro
A regular name on It’s Nice That, renowned graphic designer Jonathan Castro is no stranger to poster design. When he first saw the Createfulness assets, he didn’t want to use them in a purely visual way, instead, he used the assets as an intervention to disrupt his own distinctive graphic language.
When he first explored the mammoth collection, Jonathan noted how the assets “look similar to elements that I am always interested to work with.” On his bright neon design, Jonathan explains how many of the assets “look like ancient symbols and patterns from fabrics or carpets and I really like that.” He selected elements from Deberny’s collection which felt close to his existing work and, in turn, created a poster that simultaneously evokes an idea of fictional ancient cultures.
“I wanted to create an object that felt inspired by the Rebellion of the Artifacts mural from the Peruvian Mochica era (100 to 700 AD),” says the designer. Adopting an intuitive process to design the poster, Jonathan went through a cycle of “composing, decomposing, building, destroying, then building again,” to produce a layered design that connects the createfulness assets with his Peruvian heritage.
Find out more about Createfulness and learn how to make a poster with no creative limits here.
About the Author
Jyni became a staff writer in March 2019 having previously joined the team as an editorial assistant in August 2018. She graduated from The Glasgow School of Art with a degree in Communication Design in 2017 and her previous roles include Glasgow Women’s Library designer in residence and The Glasgow School of Art’s Graduate Illustrator.