Redefining the digital experience.
The Stoke Group creates award-winning campaigns built on collaboration using Adobe Creative Cloud for teams.
Deliver multi-faceted campaigns that extend across all digital channels
Promote strong collaboration between designers specializing in different types of design
Accelerate productivity to give designers more time to be creative
Reduce prep time for a new project by 20% with sharable Creative Cloud Libraries
Cut risk, cost, and time by leveraging Adobe Stock assets
Streamline review cycles with interactive Adobe XD prototypes
Assign Creative Cloud licenses in just 10 minutes with the Admin Console
Brian Barrus has worked as a designer, art director, and creative director for nearly 25 years. One of the biggest changes he’s noticed in his job is the growing value that companies are placing on design and creativity.
“In the beginning of my career, it could be a tough sell,” says Barrus, now creative director and chief design officer for award-winning The Stoke Group. “People viewed design and creativity as window dressing. Now companies understand that design needs to be integral to a brand’s DNA.”
The Stoke Group redefines the agency experience for modern businesses with an end-to-end content approach. Stoke works with designers, developers, writers, and analysts to deliver a consistent creative tone and voice through multi-faceted campaigns that can extend across web, social media, email, mobile apps, and video.
The visual design team relies on Adobe Creative Cloud for teams to get all of their work done, from video and motion design to illustrations and infographics to UX for web and mobile apps.
“Our design team lives in Adobe Creative Cloud for teams,” says Barrus. “It has everything we need to create any type of content. Plus, Adobe Creative Cloud for teams offers additional capabilities that helps us collaborate and connect with remote team members and contractors to deliver the best work for our clients.”
“Adobe Creative Cloud Libraries not only reduces the time needed to prepare for a project by 20% but also saves time throughout the project by giving people one location to find all the assets they need.”
Creative Director and Chief Design Officer, Stoke Group
Collaborating on campaigns across every channel
Stoke specializes in campaigns that involve a wide range of collateral used across channels. In the company’s work for education giant Pearson, for example, Stoke oversees large campaigns meant to advertise training and certification courses for technology giants such as Amazon Web Services (AWS). As part of the campaign, designers might use Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator to create eye-catching social media advertisements. The ads take visitors to a website landing page designed using Adobe XD. People can learn more by watching video content created using Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects.
Working with Adobe Creative Cloud for teams helps Stoke maintain consistent quality, design, and branding across all content, no matter how it’s created. The integration between Creative Cloud apps allows designers to easily switch between apps to use the best tool needed for each project. Everyone works with the same, up-to-date versions of software, eliminating risk of versioning problems when sharing work with colleagues or contractors.
Adobe Creative Cloud Libraries enhances collaboration even further by enabling the team to create shareable libraries containing all of the colors, fonts, logos, images, and other assets associated with a project. When creating a campaign for Pearson promoting AWS certifications, for example, the library might include all approved logos, graphics, and background images for both AWS and Pearson.
Having a sharable library helps designers stay consistent when they switch between apps. If they adjust the color palette in one app, the changes are automatically reflected on other apps as well. Creative Cloud Libraries truly shines for how it helps share assets and maintain consistency among designers. Designers don’t need to worry about emailing files back and forth or keeping on top of the latest versions of assets located on a server.
“Before they started working on a project, everyone used to spend time reviewing the brand guidelines and loading the right colors, fonts, logos, and icons,” says Barrus. “Now at the beginning of a project, just one person creates a library and shares it with everyone. Adobe Creative Cloud Libraries not only reduces the time needed to prepare for a project by 20% but also saves time throughout the project by giving people one location to find all the assets they need. And time is a premium for a digital agency like ours. Adobe Creative Cloud Libraries eliminates busy work, so we have the time to experiment with different designs or give a graphic that extra polish to make sure that we deliver the most creative, exciting client work possible.”
Accelerating designs with Adobe Stock
The agency’s Creative Cloud for teams license also means that all members can purchase Adobe Stock assets through a shared plan. As a result, every month Stoke downloads dozens of photographs, graphics, vectors, video, and even music for use in its projects.
“Adobe Stock is often faster and less risky than commissioning work from scratch,” explains Barrus. “We can edit a photograph or modify an illustration to get the exact look we need. With commissioned work, we might not know what the final product will look like. It accelerates our process and helps us reliably deliver high-quality designs for our clients.”
With Adobe Creative Cloud for teams, all designers can download assets from a central pool of Stock credits. Designers can then share those stock assets with the whole team through Libraries. The ability to share Stock licenses and images saves Stoke a lot of time and cost compared to giving each team member their own license or relying on a single person to control and download assets for the whole team.
“Adobe XD makes a world of a difference and saves time for clients because it helps them instantly understand exactly what experiences we want to create.”
Creative Director and Chief Design Officer, Stoke Group
Faster, more insightful reviews
Stoke typically uses Adobe Acrobat for review cycles, as the universal PDF files make it easy to share and receive comments from colleagues or clients. But recently designers have started taking advantage of review tools in Adobe InDesign and Adobe XD for even smoother feedback.
With Adobe InDesign, Stoke designers can now send a link to a client directly through InDesign, eliminating the need to export the file to PDF and attach the file to an email. Clients can open the InDesign file in any web browser and leave comments that automatically sync with InDesign for faster review cycles.
Adobe XD brings web pages and mobile apps to life with shareable, interactive prototyping. Instead of trying to imagine what an interface will look like in action by flipping through static PDF pages, clients can interact with an XD interface on their desktop or mobile device through a shared link. They can leave comments on the design to quickly share ideas with Stoke designers and developers.
“Adobe XD makes a world of a difference and saves time for clients because it helps them instantly understand exactly what experiences we want to create,” says Barrus. “Clients can give us faster approvals and more meaningful feedback because the prototypes remove uncertainty from the design.”
“From the Admin Console, it takes about 10 minutes to assign a Creative Cloud for teams license. There are no delays, and I’ve never had to deal with issues once I’ve added a user. It’s just that simple.”
Accounting Director, Stoke Group
Fast access to Creative Cloud apps
When accounting director Tyler Christensen discovered some employees were still using individual Adobe Creative Cloud licenses, he brought everyone under the Adobe Creative Cloud for teams umbrella. While designers appreciate access to the additional creative and cloud services—such as Creative Cloud Libraries, shared Creative Cloud storage, and pooled Adobe Stock licenses—Christensen likes how Creative Cloud for teams makes license management a breeze. He can easily add users and assign licenses to new employees or freelancers in minutes. Users receive an email link to start installing apps right away, whether they are given access to a single app or all apps in Creative Cloud. Turning off access is just as easy.
“From the Admin Console, it takes about 10 minutes to assign a Creative Cloud for teams license,” says Christensen. “There are no delays, and I’ve never had to deal with issues once I’ve added a user. It’s just that simple.”
The content that Stoke delivers continues to change as client needs evolve in the modern digital age. But Barrus expects that one thing will stay the same: Adobe Creative Cloud.
“People have their own favorite apps,” says Barrus. “But for us, the only requirement is that everyone uses Adobe Creative Cloud. As long as everyone uses Creative Cloud, we can collaborate and share assets to create extraordinary designs for our clients.”