December 13, 2016 Cassie Hirsh

6 Technology Trends for Creative Directors

What are the most common trends among creative directors worldwide? A survey of international creative agencies from Berlin, NY, London, Hong Kong, to Paris and Tel Aviv revealed six prevailing trends. Glean the wisdom of acclaimed ad agencies and join the ranks of top media innovators.

Transforming original concepts into compelling ad campaigns seems simple in theory. But in practice it can be another story. One of the main obstacles is time lost on the logistics of the collaborative process. Key trends in 2016 indicate that creatives increasingly rely upon the leading digital tools to manage their workflows. Media teams need solutions for smoother communication, novel ways of capturing animation, real-time video collaboration, sharing files, client review and approvals. These trends will get your creative juices flowing without the frustration of keeping everyone up to speed on the latest project version.

1. The Team Communication Trend – Check Out Slack

Slack – a messaging app for teams

Slack is an integrated communication tool for teamwork. This is where unnecessary bumps in the road can slow down your workflow. Separate channels provide a private or public space for individual discussions on separate topics. This is especially useful for organizing feedback from different media departments. These channels facilitate effortless message navigation relevant to your specific role on the team.

Alongside rooms for independent conversations, Slack also unites the team as a whole with group messaging. Here you can brainstorm together and experience imagination as it unfolds. It’s quick and easy to share work – just drag and drop files into channel conversations. One unique feature includes adding comments directly to the icon of a file once you upload it to a channel. A potent search function sorts through all conversations and even combs the contents of uploaded files. Download the Slack app for Mac and receive direct notifications on your desktop.

As creatives, our workflows should be productive and fun collaborative playgrounds.

Key Benefits:
-separate channels for conversations on separate topics
-connect to apps like Figma and storage spaces such as dropbox
-continually updated information that is accessible to the entire team

“The ongoing digital transformation in the media and business sectors benefits greatly from technology tools. Our recent use of Slack for an important pitch enabled our team to be more agile.”

Patrick Lithander, Director of Business Development, fischerAppelt, Berlin

2. The Collaborative Design Trend – Check Out Figma

Figma – a design tool for collaborative workflows

Figma is an interface design tool enabling you to collaborate in real-time. What’s unique about this all-encompassing tool is that it offers the whole enchilada: the ability to share, store, comment and design. The result is faster iteration and less hassle digging up the latest version of a project. Plus you can install the app on your desktop for free.

One game-changing feature is it’s impressive collaboration functionality. Users can share files and work together on the same file, in real time. The live Device Preview syncs changes and mirrors them instantly on mobile devices. PC users can import Sketch files created by Mac users and continue to work on the files. Once you share a document, team members can comment and communicate directly on designs.

As a promising newcomer to the market, at this point there is not enough user experience to fully evaluate the extent of Figma’s capabilities.

Key Benefits:
-grids and constraints enable resizable layouts
-vector networks

“Figma is a brand-new design tool with tremendous potential. It has powerful collaboration features and is ideal for PC users who can not work with Sketch (which is only Mac compatible).”

Yaelle David, UX/UI Designer, Paris

3. The Screen Recording Trend – Check Out Snagit 13

Snagit – a customizable screen recording and capture tool

Snagit is a one-stop shop for capturing both images and recording screen videos right on your computer. The revamped version offers increased screen capture flexibility and speedier editing. This tools aims to reduce email exchange by communicating instead via edited videos and annotated images. Snagit 13 is especially conducive for remote communication.

By simply clicking and grabbing the frame you can delineate precisely what you wish to capture. The updated version is equipped with versatile image annotation features such highlights, text, speech bubbles, stamps, blur, text, etc. Or use the Techsmith Fuse app to send local images wirelessly from your mobile directly to Snagit. Need to present an aerial view larger than a single screen? Panoramic Screen allows you to go beyond the parameters of a single frame. Incorporate several frames pieced together into a single high resolution image.

Web-cam footage adds a personal touch to screen videos you create with Snagit. The screen capture works with webcams or screen recordings to snap documents, web pages and online articles. Use the scrub and capture frame to direct colleagues to a specific point in videos you send. You can also turn part of a video into an animated gif.

Audio recording is possible via an external microphone or by using your internal computer mic. You can trim your audio with Snagit’s precise editing tool. Take notes directly on captured images.

Professional features include creating your own stamps and stickers to personalize your screenshots. An array of special effects add pizzazz to your images. The magnify tool is advantageous for power zooming and increasing magnification. All the basic editing tools including a free-style drawing pen are available.

Key Benefits:
-Windows and Mac compatible
-instant videos that can be viewed from mobile devices
-customizable toolbar
-batch processing for repetitive tasks such as watermarking

4. The Review and Approval Trend – Check Out LookAt

LookAt on-frame comments

LookAt – annotation, review and approval for creative teams

LookAt streamlines the complete creative process with an intuitive interface for reviewing design, print and video campaigns. From the brief to the launch of your project, LookAt dramatically optimizes the management of your creative workflow.

Visual times call for visual tools. Just click to annotate any point in designs and videos. Easily see and respond to team member time-stamped comments. No more confusion in locating the most recent version. Even view two separate versions side by side to track changes. Access your files from any device, to readily view and comment anytime, anyplace.

Working on a VR/360° project? Simply upload your 360° video. By using the 360° feature your team can view the video and comment on any point in the spherical space. When reviewing comments, the camera changes its angle, revealing where comments were made.An Enterprise version has just been released, offering API, SSO and White Label options. It can be conveniently integrated into a range of asset management platforms. If needed, the LookAt in-house team can customize the solution for any workflow and company.

LookAt side-by-side version comparison

Key Benefits:
-review & feedback directly on footage, on most updated version
-BI and dashboards easily manage users and assets
-faster workflows
-tailor-made solution to fit any workflow

“LookAt sped up and enhanced our entire review and approval process. The comment download feature expedited the turn-around on modifications and project completion.”

Arik Ben-Ari, Co-Founder and Creative Director, Igloo Creative House, Tel Aviv

5. The Slide Automation Trend – Check Out Slidebot

SlideBot automatically designs stunning presentations

SlideBot offers a countless range of striking images that are matched to the user’s text input
to instantly create impactful slide presentations. Its algorithm works by combining pictures, design rules and layout styles to generate sleek professional presentations. Using artificial intelligence, SlideBot sorts through thousands of images, preselecting fonts and colors for you. By curating the visuals, users are free to focus more on the text content to compose intriguing speeches.

A trusted solution used by riveting speakers at some of the largest conferences around the globe including TEDx, World Business Forum and SXSW.

Key Benefits:
-infinite variety of visual material
-instant expertly composed presentations
-accessible without installation
-import, save and share on the cloud

6. The Image Capture Trend – Check Out Adobe Capture Creative Cloud

Adobe Capture CC – Turn any image into a color theme, pattern or Look to use in your creative projects

Trying to craft a truly unique look for a video, gif or photomontage? Capture CC enables you to transform photos you take with your mobile into shapes and patterns to use in your Photoshop projects. This inventive app turns any image you take on your mobile device into four artistic functions: video Looks, Paint Brushes, scalable Vector Shapes and Colors. The resulting customized digital assets can be applied to videos or photos and edited in After Effects, Premiere Pro or Premiere Clip. An ingenious and affordable alternative to traditional compositing.

Using Capture, your mobile camera analyzes the colors of real life images, translates them into color schemes and saves them as Looks. Your assets are easily accessible and compatible with other Adobe mobile apps. Open them on desktop platforms like Indesign, Illustrator and Photoshop Sketch. Or Download assets from the extensive Adobe Creative Cloud Library.

Adobe encourages us to experiment and express our own visual signature. Heightening a sense of our surroundings. Daring us to augment our own reality by utilizing raw materials drawn from everyday life. Reimagine objects as abstract colors and shapes. Capture equips you with a custom-mixed palette based on your own personal perception of the world. Adobe Capture CC galvanizes novices and professionals alike to take new creative leaps and bounds.

See how it all works here:

Key Benefits:
-multi-task with split-view
– simultaneously view assets and Capture
-transform photographs into paint brushes
-convert any object into an infinitely scalable vector shape

Staying on top of the latest technology trends can make or break successful campaigns. So dive in and test the waters of these six cutting-edge tech tools. Step out of your comfort zone of the usual suspects of Google drive, dropbox and Illustrator. Not only do these tools enhance daily workflows, they provide efficient platforms for team collaboration. Harness these secret weapons to stir up viral social media storms. Work the magic of technology and captivate your audience with truly innovative commercial campaigns.


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About the Author

Cassie Hirsh WRITER / NARRATOR / CREATIVE Raised between the US and Europe, Cassie works and dreams in six languages. Experienced media professional. Storyteller. She expresses herself in text, voice-over and visual content.