Amplifying ancient history.
Rubicon Heritage Services preserves cultural heritage with compelling archaeological creative.
Make complex archaeological information accessible for clients and the public
Improve coordination within and across teams to support highest-quality work
Promote efficiency to deliver creative projects on time and within budget
Simplify software administration across the company
Rubicon Heritage has access to always-up-to-date creative apps with the latest capabilities
Achieved more seamless collaboration on projects, including instant sharing of assets
Reduced duplication of efforts and streamlined development workflows
Eased employee access to apps, licensing management, and costs
Rubicon Heritage Services staff at work on an excavation
For Jonathan “Jonski” Millar, telling the story of a place usually begins with digging holes in the ground. Getting into the silt and clay, sifting through sediment, and carefully brushing around stones and artifacts can all be part of his workday. After excavation, he sets out to tell the stories that shine a light on Irish, Scottish, and English heritage. To make the information accessible for his firm’s clients, the community, and generations to come, he creates visually interesting and historically appropriate graphics, videos, monographs, reports, e-books, coffee table books, and event exhibits using world-class creative software.
Rubicon Heritage artwork depicting historical scene reconstructions and maps of archaeological sites included in project monographs
From hard soil to software
In his 22-year career at Rubicon Heritage Services Ltd, an archaeological services firm based in Ireland with a sister company in the United Kingdom, Jonski has worn many hats. His degree and skills in archaeology led him to the firm, which offers archaeological fieldwork, heritage consultancy, and post-excavation services. The company is often contracted ahead of major construction projects such as roads and railways, housing and commercial buildings, or energy and water infrastructure.
Over the years, Jonski has served the firm as a field archaeologist, surveyor, geophysicist, illustrator, and graphics manager. Today, as Geomatics and IT Manager, he primarily focuses on technical support and training along with marketing, audiovisual, graphic design, and illustration work.
Jonathan "Jonski" Millar, Geomatics and IT Manager, Rubicon Heritage Services Ltd
Bringing ancient stories to life
A principal tool of his trade, Adobe Creative Cloud for teams, helps Jonski and his colleagues document and interpret the terrain and artifacts that Rubicon Heritage discovers in its excavations. Designed for small and medium organizations like his, it provides access to Adobe creative apps and services, collaboration features, and an Admin Console to easily set up and manage users.
The team’s workflow often starts with making primary site archive illustrations. Drawn on site using waterproof, tear-resistant permatrace drafting film with a scaled grid on the background, illustrations are scanned back at the office and refined with Adobe Photoshop. They’re then brought into Adobe Illustrator, where the team adds Bézier curves, labels and context numbers, and other explanatory information that ties to the report Rubicon Heritage provides to its clients.
An in-progress site archive illustration using Adobe Illustrator
Small finds such as pottery, coins, spear heads, and other artifacts, including Roman wooden idols, are also documented. Additionally, Jonski will sometimes develop creative illustrations based on the objects, reconstructing scenes that likely occurred at various sites. These might include villagers working at a medieval cereal drying kiln in Galway, a family doing chores outside their Bronze Age shelter, or hunters chasing a boar with long spears. Final assets are produced with Adobe InDesign to combine the drawings, report text, and specialized documents such as site maps. Ultimately, reports are delivered as PDF files using Adobe Acrobat Pro.
“The tight integration between Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, and Acrobat makes workflows and collaboration straightforward, seamless, and instant.”
Geomatics and IT Manager, Rubicon Heritage Services Ltd
Collaboration that makes smaller firms mightier
The process involves a great deal of coordination across Rubicon Heritage personnel who use features like Share For Review and Coediting as they work closely to pull the archaeological reports together. “The tight integration between Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, and Acrobat makes workflows and collaboration straightforward, seamless, and instant,” Jonski says.
Excavation site scene reconstruction illustration of a medieval cereal-drying kiln in County Galway, Ireland
For key initiatives, Creative Cloud Libraries are used for repositories of core design elements that the project team may need to access repeatedly such as fonts, colors, and graphics. “Libraries produce efficiencies by reducing the double-handling of assets,” says Jonski. “They can be created once and then they’re always there for team collaborators. This also helps us to maintain brand consistency across materials.”
Rubicon Heritage also uses Creative Cloud Spaces for centralized, shared access to Libraries, deliverable files, and links to help keep team members on the same page with projects. “It’s really convenient that key project resources are right at hand with Spaces. Rather than having to navigate through multiple locations to find content and information, everything is readily available where you’re already working,” he says.
Cloud services improve operations, open opportunities
The web-based Admin Console simplifies the IT management side of Jonski’s job. Over the years, the company evolved from individually licensed Adobe applications, which were challenging to manage across the organization, to a cloud-based plan for improved software access and control. Now, keeping tabs on licensing and costs is easier than ever.
“For smaller businesses, Creative Cloud for teams is brilliant. It's so straightforward to add and administer various software apps for different employees and keep track of licenses,” he says. “If someone needs something new, it’s simple to grant them access quickly, leaving me more time for doing the other aspects of my work.”
“For smaller businesses, Creative Cloud for teams is brilliant. It's so straightforward to add and administer various software apps for different employees and keep track of licenses.”
Geomatics and IT Manager, Rubicon Heritage Services Ltd
He also appreciates how the cloud service enables the Rubicon Heritage team to always enjoy access to the latest versions of software, including updated features, while exploring new apps they may not have used much in the past. For example, the team recently began making greater use of video to promote the company’s work, using Adobe Premiere Pro and Premiere Rush for video editing and Adobe Audition for sound mixing.
Video of a Rubicon Heritage event shot on a cell phone and edited on-the-go with Adobe Premiere Rush
“I love the freedom to gather video on a mobile device at an excavation site. I can do a preliminary edit on-the-go using Adobe Premiere Rush right on my phone, and then automatically upload files to the cloud so I can access them from my desktop computer to add finishing touches when I get back to the office,” Jonski says.
To create marketing assets for social media, he recently started using templates in Adobe Express to quickly create attractive, social media-ready graphics. This helps Rubicon Heritage more easily reach and educate a broader audience about the value of its work as well as the cultural heritage of the lands of Ireland and the UK.
Creating a video post for social media using Adobe Express
Looking ahead, Jonski is enthusiastic about exploring use of Adobe Substance for rendering scenes with 3D assets. Lately the firm has been doing more photogrammetry to record archaeological features, monuments, and structures. “I’m really interested in developments around 3D and augmented reality and how these might lead to new opportunities for presenting our work to clients and the public,” he says.
Jonski values Adobe’s long-standing record of innovation in delivering tools that enable people to create compelling visuals and clear communications. “Adobe helps us share complex archaeological information accessibly and meet our clients’ regulatory needs with high quality and efficiency,” he says. “And we’re doing justice to the history of the sites so that we’re contributing to humankind’s understanding of how societies evolved.”