The City of Denver takes Adobe Stock usage to new heights during pandemic

Animated visual showing how contact tracing is connected.

Image source: City and County of Denver.

In these times, the Mile High City of Denver, Colorado has mile-high responsibilities. Timely, accurate, and easy-to-understand information has never been more important — and the city’s marketing communications team knows it.

“The pandemic, the election, and the general unrest across the nation has resulted in unprecedented demands to create and communicate content to residents this year,” says Kersten Arnold, digital marketing strategist at the City and County of Denver. “Our content calendars are full of news and information our residents need to protect themselves.”

Keeping up with the increased need and appetite for up-to-date communications has been critical for the team — which includes the web, social, video production, marketing, and communications functions. With remote work limiting the team’s ability to go out and capture original imagery, Adobe Stock has been a valuable resource for photos that accurately represent the multiple, diverse audiences who make up Denver’s demographics. This includes underserved communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

“Denver is a diverse city, and it’s important that’s represented in our external communications,” says Chelsea Warren, communications coordinator at the City and County of Denver.

“Building a licensed library of images featuring more diverse audiences is a priority for the City of Denver, especially one that’s efficient and cost effective.”

Chelsea Warren, communications coordinator, City and County of Denver

Lending a helping hand to grateful constituents

With a large inventory of COVID-19-related illustrations to choose from, the team accesses both images and vector graphics from Adobe Stock for use in crisis communications. In addition to photos that represent the current times — a person out shopping wearing a face covering, for example — the team has also downloaded many icons for handwashing, face masks, and social distancing and customized them to meet the city’s brand standards. These icons are used consistently across the city’s collateral, creating a unified look and feel, while saving the team hours of time it would have taken to create them all from scratch.

Ad showing variety of non-medical face coverings to wear when in public.

Image source: City and County of Denver.

“Having access to high-resolution vector files allows us to make illustrations our own. Having control of these files saves us time and ensures the creative is always on brand with Denver’s brand colors and fonts.”

Kersten Arnold, digital marketing strategist, City and County of Denver

As a result, staff created a range of content including flyers and signage for local businesses to place in their storefronts to communicate requirements for customers before entering a store, social media graphics, and presentations for the mayor to deliver during press conferences.

And despite the information overload that many people are experiencing due to evolving public health guidance as well as pandemic fatigue — their work is not going unnoticed.

“We’ve received positive feedback on some of our face covering illustrations, and businesses appreciate that we’ve created these templates for them so that they can focus on more pressing matters,” says Arnold. “Other jurisdictions in the metro area have used our templates because they don’t have the resources to make their own. I think people are grateful that the city is providing this content.”

Capturing an authentic Denver, efficiently and cost-effectively

Content creators using Adobe Creative Cloud apps, including Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop, can easily access Adobe Stock images, graphics, and templates directly through their apps and customize as needed. Enterprise users can also see which assets are already licensed for use — so the city is not paying twice for the same asset.

This includes video B-roll. The City of Denver’s video team is one of the few teams not working from home, enabling them to still go out and shoot original footage, albeit with limitations. For example, when the city’s annual Bike to Work Day was cancelled, it shifted to Bike to Wherever Week. Promotional videos edited in Adobe Premiere Pro seamlessly incorporated Adobe Stock drone footage with the original video content.

“We strive to find licensed imagery that’s specific to Denver and reflects our community and their current needs,” says Arnold, “That’s how we authentically connect and break through the noise.”

See more examples of creativity in government by viewing the Adobe Government Creativity Awards (AGCA) entries here.