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Streamlining workflows and redefining tradition with Pearlfisher

In 2012, Pearlfisher were using Design Premium CS5 to handle traditional print jobs, and were having to limit the types of work designers could attempt due to the costs of additional software. By moving to Creative Cloud, they were able to take on new skills and projects, and even refine their pitching process... 

“We’ve had Creative Cloud since its infancy,” Nat Frisken, Pearlfisher’s Head of Creative Technologies explained. “I think you need to keep progressing with your software, you can’t stand still. With each progression we make, it gives us more scope for improvement. The opportunities open to us now are much more vast than when we were using the three core apps of InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop – Creative Cloud gave us 18 apps to mix and match, and we saw immediate potential for ourselves and our clients in that.”

Improving visibility and management for IT 

Jon Nicholls, Pearlfisher’s IT Manager, instigated the move to Creative Cloud, and started out by setting up the Creative Technologies team as a test group, in order to identify any issues that would prevent them rolling Creative Cloud out across the studio. 

“The main difference was in terms of licensing administration,” he told us. “Before, you had a CD with your licence code on it and you could stick it on any machine you wanted. So moving to [the Adobe VIP programme] was a bit of extra work, but now it’s a streamlined process and I have full visibility over who’s using what licence on which machine. There are no grey areas, you don’t need software to crawl all your computers and find out where Adobe licences are on your network or how many you’re using, it’s all there in a nice, concentrated console for you.” 

Originally, Jon used Jamf Pro (formally Casper Suite) to deploy Creative Cloud to the studio’s 32 workstations, but then allowed people to manage their own updates “because we didn’t want to put any barriers into place to people downloading the apps that interested them. However, with the size of the studio, it started to get a little messy - some people were using it regularly and others couldn’t be bothered with updates. Therefore, I had to resort to enforcing updates via Casper to make sure everyone was on the same version.”

Streamlining the design workflow 

While Pearlfisher’s IT team are now benefitting from improved visibility, Nat’s noticed benefits in the studio as well. “What Creative Cloud has actually done is to streamline our workflow. Previously, we weren’t all necessarily using our core apps in the linked up, Smart Object workflow but we are now and so it’s made us more efficient, which is change for good.” 

“My team have been doing a lot of work with After Effects and Edge Animate, which allows us to enhance our offering and improve our pitch work, so we can show off more facets of our brand.” 

They’ve even found a use for much-maligned web design tool Muse: “We’re a very visual company, but when you’re presenting, people find it very difficult to get wireframes. With Muse, you can put together a website in quite a crude way, with a few clickthroughs, and it gives the client that little bit more definition that helps take the idea over the line. It’s really fit for purpose in that respect.” 

Staff have also benefitted from the fact that each Adobe Creative Cloud licence can be installed on two machines, so they can access work from home or on the go.

“We have a long history with Jigsaw24. Before we used to have loads of suppliers and it was hectic, but doing it all through Jigsaw24 is far easier. We get all our software and hardware from them now."

Expanding Pearlfisher’s offering 

“Moving to Creative Cloud has really opened up our idea of what we can be,” Jon told us. “As a business, we’ve evolved from doing traditional design work to a process that has become much more digital, with web-based work and video. The boundaries created by the software we had previously meant it wasn’t sufficient for our needs.” 

“Now, when the designers ask for new things, instead of having to say, ‘we can’t do that’, ‘we don’t do that’, ‘that’ll cost too much money’, we’ve started answering those questions with ‘yes, we can do that now’.” Nat explained: “As designers, our work now has to exist on mobile, on a website, behind a QR code, as well as on more traditional touch-points like packaging. The move has opened up everybody’s eyes’ in terms of how they can execute their designs.” 

In order to make the most of the new applications and make sure no staff are left behind, we’ve recommended that Pearlfisher bundle all their Adobe Expert Support calls (each Creative Cloud user gets two) together into group meetings, so that they can effectively use them as training sessions. “I’d definitely recommend Jigsaw24,” said Nat. “I’ve been using the company since I was a freelancer, when I used to get my kit from you.”

Download the full case study here. For more on updating your Adobe workflow, get in touch with the team on 03332 400 888 or email


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