Meet Mobile Press

Academy of Art University launches latest app for marketing and student-driven digital content


Courtesy of Academy of Art University Mobile Press.

A tiny de facto department lead by Haydn Adams, also an instructor in the School of Web Design + New Media, has launched Academy of Art University’s own free digital apps for iPad called Mobile Press, now available on iTunes. Still in its beginning stages, Mobile Press will serve as both a marketing tool and a showcase for student-produced digital material at the university.


Courtesy of Academy of Art University Mobile Press.

“Mobile Press was conceived because we were doing a lot of DPS digital publishing technology through Adobe,” said Adams, who teaches the technology in his classes including a multi-departmental collaborative course that produces Peephole Magazine, which features stories, artwork and interactive graphics. A new edition comes out every semester. “It’s been successful with over 55000 downloads,” said Adams.

180 Magazine, created by the School of Fashion, came on board next. Because of the popularity of these digital publications, the Academy was starting to have a need to have one department to manage the various assets.

“Basically, no one was minding the store,” said Adams, whose goal is to make all these apps work under a DPS license. “A bunch of us were in a room one day. Chuck Pyle, Susan Toland, Gordon Silveria [were] there and we talked about doing a Mobile Press. I was already doing the technical work so they said, ‘Haydn become tech director.’”

Now “Mobile Press” refers to all of the Academy’s offerings through the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite (DPS). At the moment, there are two parts to Mobile Press. The first part is a series of digital marketing brochures for each department (i.e. fashion, industrial design, graphic design) that can be accessed all over the world.

“The brochures highlight program courses and alum successes, with stories and samples of their work, as well as great work by current students,” said Jennifer Blot, who is the content editor for Mobile Press and is responsible for gathering the alumni success stories. “I knew the project needed someone to focus on the text portion of the brochure,” said Blot. “But I also like the logistics part of it, assigning photo shoots, finding new stories, etc.”

The brochures have capacity for video, rotating slideshows and images that can do a 360-degree rotation or pan and zoom.

The Mobile Press team, which also includes Digital Production Artist Annelyn Ayran, will be ready to begin launching the digital creations in April.

“Anyone in the world can download the brochures at any time,” said Adams. “It really has an immersive quality on a tablet. The tablet is a third device not used in the same way as a phone or desktop.”

Part two of Mobile Press will encompass student-driven work and publications, such as Peephole Magazine, 180 Magazine and highlights from the Spring Show.

“It’s a way to show students that your work will be seen live on anybody’s iPad around the world,” said Adams. “It’s a huge selling point and will give students a really great portfolio.”

The Adobe DPS technology is being used by most major magazines and publications. For instance, 100 percent of Conde Nast publications use this technology and it is being deployed heavily all over the industry.

“We teach students in the real world where the magazine industry is going,” said Adams, who manages the back-end technology of the apps. “They create really cool stuff in class and we publish it for them. Within a matter of a week to a month they can call their grandparent in China and say, ‘Download this app and take a look at my work.’”


Above images courtesy of Academy of Art University Mobile Press.

Above images courtesy of Academy of Art University Mobile Press.