Smoother, Simpler, Smarter Stock Content
By Jerry Silverman
Adobe Stock and the Public Sector
Designers know the value of stock content. It’s fast and convenient to use, costs less than creating custom content, and is available in a huge variety to serve almost any design. When stock content is repurposed over time, it can be an investment rather than an expense.
But realizing the efficiencies of stock content is not always so easy, especially for the public sector.
Agencies can experience inefficiencies
Designers in both public and private sectors are shackled by the awkwardness of finding and using stock content. Incorporating content requires logging into one of the big stock content providers, searching for the right image, and downloading a watermarked copy to a server or a desktop. Those pieces of placeholder content end up on hard drives, collecting digital dust and eating up space whether they are eventually purchased or not.
After a piece of content is purchased, public agencies face a unique challenge in using licenses the way they need without violating license agreements. Designers and asset managers may have access to a piece of content but not know the restrictions on number or manners of permitted use. Staying in compliance adds another delay to the already sticky problem of publishing content in an environment that already contains a lot of bureaucratic processes.
Adobe Stock simplifies stock content
Now there’s an easier way. Instead of emailing an entire work team or sifting through a massive archive filled with stale or outmoded content to find a set with the right lenses, colorcast, resolution, and so on, designers can use Adobe Stock to insert exactly the right placeholder graphics straight from their Creative Cloud layout tool. The graphic populates the design in seconds and can be licensed directly from the app itself. Designers can use Adobe Stock from any device; since content is stored in the cloud, any smartphone or tablet can display stock content of any size.
Using Adobe Stock is more than just convenient; it’s in line with the standards developed the U.S. Digital Service and 18F to help designers create the best online experiences for their users.
Stock content and the U.S. Web Design Standards
The standards are based on four principles:
- Make the best thing the easiest thing
- Design for flexibility
- Reuse, reuse, reuse
- Accessibility out of the box
Stock content is both easy to use and generally high in quality. It can be used to deliver creatively consistent designs without being boringly uniform because it allows designers to customize as much as desired. Of course, stock content is reusable, and Adobe Stock makes licensing so simple that reuse is not only possible, it’s practical. And because Adobe Stock is part of the Creative Cloud, final designs that are converted to PDFs can be checked for accessibility in Adobe Acrobat DC.
Disrupting the practice of design
With the launch of Adobe Stock, designers in the public sector have a better way to obtain and use stock content. The massive inventory ensures that a visually consistent set of content is likely to be available for every asset. Placeholder content is stored in the cloud, so there’s no wasted space on internal hard drives. Agencies are saved from worry about violating license agreements because licenses are obtained directly through the layout tool and compliance is built in.
Adobe Stock was built in response to the ways designers and asset managers do their work. Traditional stock content sites were built around the way databases work. Compare the ease and flexibility of Adobe Stock with the traditional methods of visiting one or more big stock content sites and going through all the steps to find and deploy an asset. Adobe Stock is so convenient that it’s going to change the way designers work. And when something changes the way we work, it’s more than convenient—it’s revolutionary.