Can You Believe Photoshop Debuted Just 25 Years Ago?

To gauge how rapidly innovations can revolutionize entire industries and create new opportunities for millions, note that the first version of Photoshop was launched just 25 years ago this month. Who could have imagined how much creative power that program would unleash in designers, photographers, artists, and publishers?

Today, we see imaginative imagery and visual communications everywhere — in smartphone apps, on building-size wall murals, in interactive digital signage, and immersive multimedia displays.

According to a fascinating timeline and an interview published on the Adobe website and Photoshop blog, Adobe shipped its first version of Photoshop on February 19, 1990. The program originated in 1987, when Thomas Knoll developed a pixel-imaging program called Display. It was a simple program to showcase grayscale images on a black-and-white monitor. However, after collaborating with his brother, John Knoll, the two began adding features that made it possible to process digital image files. The program eventually caught the attention of industry influencers, and in 1989, Adobe decided to license it.

“Adobe thought we’d sell about 500 copies of Photoshop a month,” recalls Thomas Knoll, Adobe Fellow and Photoshop co-creator. “Not in my wildest dreams did we think creatives would embrace the product in the numbers and ways they have. It’s inspiring to see the beautiful images our customers create, the careers Photoshop has launched, and the new uses people all over the world find for Photoshop every day.” On YouTube, you can watch a video of Thomas Knoll giving one of his first demonstrations of Photoshop.

“For 25 years, Photoshop has inspired artists and designers to craft images of stunning beauty and reality-bending creativity,” said Shantanu Narayen, Adobe president and chief executive officer. “From desktop publishing, to fashion photography, movie production, website design, mobile app creation, and now 3D printing, Photoshop continues to redefine industries and creative possibilities. And today that Photoshop magic is available to millions of new users, thanks to Adobe Creative Cloud.”

Photoshop’s massive popularity can be attributed to its constantly evolving capabilities and pipeline of deep image science. This steady stream of innovations is now reaching customers faster than ever before. The Photoshop and Lightroom desktop and mobile apps are constantly updated as part of Adobe Creative Cloud.

Photoshop 1 was aimed at graphic arts and publishing

In an interview with Russell Brady posted on the Photoshop blog, Thomas Knoll points out that the first version of Photoshop was really ahead of its time: “Photoshop 1.0 and the first several versions weren’t really tools for photography – not only because there wasn’t appropriate hardware available in digital cameras, but more importantly, because there were no digital printers. The only real way to get photographic-quality output from Photoshop back then was to create four-color separations on film and take them to a printing press, where the first copy of your photograph might cost you $2,000…If you wanted to print a roll of 35 millimeter film, you’re talking $35,000 to $40,000. So, Photoshop 1 was primarily aimed at the publishing and graphic arts markets.”

After full-color inkjet printers were introduced, Photoshop users could scan the film, manipulate the images, and print them out. The explosive growth of digital photography in the 1990s further accelerated the widespread adoption of Photoshop.

Photoshop’s success has helped Adobe develop and deliver a wide range of products and services used by tens of millions of creative people worldwide. In addition to Photoshop, applications such as Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Dreamweaver and others have pushed creativity forward, no matter what the media. And today Adobe Creative Cloud services such as Behance and Creative Talent Search are helping a new generation of creatives find a global audience and market for their work .

Adobe is celebrating Photoshop’s milestone in a big way. For example, Adobe is showcasing 25 of the most creative visual artists under 25 who use Photoshop. To be considered, artists upload their projects and use the tag “Ps25Under25.” In the coming months, those selected will take over the Photoshop Instagram handle (@Photoshop) for two weeks and present their work for the world to see. Fredy Santiago, a 24-year old Mexican-American artist and illustrator based in Ventura, California is the first one chosen to display his incredible images.

Adobe has also launched its “Dream On” advertising campaign as a tribute to 25 years of amazing art created In Photoshop. The TV commercial includes incredible work from Photoshop artists and iconic images from major motion pictures that used Photoshop In the making, including Avatar, Gone Girl, How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Shrek.



Adobe Blog Post: Celebrating 25 Years of Photoshop

Thomas Knoll Q&A

Adobe Photoshop Anniversary Timeline


Adobe Gives CS Users New Reasons to Join Creative Cloud

Adobe has announced a significant update to Adobe® Creative Cloud™, the company’s flagship offering for creatives. The update includes rebranded “CC” versions of Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, and Premiere Pro that represent the next generation of the desktop applications formerly known as Creative Suite (CS). These CC versions will be available exclusively to Creative Cloud Members.

The update, which is expected to be available in June, includes enhanced services for building and powering websites, mobile apps, tablet publications, online portfolios, and content for virtually any medium and device. Creative Cloud users can store, sync, and share creative files on Mac OS, Windows, iOS and Android devices. Plus, on the integrated Behance online creative community, Creative Cloud users can showcase work, get feedback on projects and gain global exposure.


The update to Creative Cloud was announced at Adobe MAX, The Creativity Conference, May 4-8 in Los Angeles. Adobe MAX is an annual four-day event that convenes more than 5,000 industry leaders to explore how creativity is changing the world. Shown here: Adobe president and CEO Shantanu Narayen.(Photo Courtesy of Adobe/David Zentz Photography/Novus Select)
The update to Creative Cloud was announced at Adobe MAX, The Creativity Conference, May 4-8 in Los Angeles. Adobe MAX is an annual four-day event that convenes more than 5,000 industry leaders to explore how creativity is changing the world. Shown here: Adobe president and CEO Shantanu Narayen. (Photo Courtesy of Adobe/David Zentz Photography/Novus Select)

“Creative Cloud brings together everything you need to create your best work. We’re delivering incredible new versions of our desktop tools, services that take publishing content to the next level and we’re making it easier than ever for creatives to collaborate and share their work worldwide,” said David Wadhwani, senior vice president and general manager, Digital Media, Adobe. “Creative Cloud is a destination that champions inspiring work and builds lasting connections within a vibrant global creative community.”

Frictionless Creative Workflows

This milestone update to Creative Cloud is designed to simplify the entire creative process. Core features include:

Desktop, Web and Mobile Access. Creative Cloud allows users to stay connected with workgroups and the creative community via their desktop, website, or mobile device. With Creative Cloud, your entire creative world gets its own centralized hub where ideas, files, fonts, settings, notifications, and team members are connected and organized. Join group folders to work collaboratively; track updates and comments to shared files; stay connected to work on Behance; get notified when app updates are available and download the latest updates; and access favorite colors, fonts and settings, wherever you are.

Integration With The World’s Leading Creative Community. With Behance now integrated with Creative Cloud, members will be able to publish their own portfolios, follow other creatives, publish work-in-progress from within a growing number of CC apps and solicit feedback from the worldwide creative community. Over 1.4 million creatives globally are part of the Behance network.

Synchronize, Store, Share and Collaborate. All files and assets will be automatically synchronized between the desktop, cloud and mobile devices. A designer can take a photo on an iPad, use Photoshop® Touch to refine the photo while on the go, then access that file, via the cloud, and use Photoshop CC on their Mac or Windows PC to further enhance the image. Designers can designate shared folders and invite others to collaborate on files. Edits are stored with version history so users can share their files with confidence. Individual members receive 20GB of storage.

Seamless Publishing. Creative Cloud members have access to the services necessary to publish highly personalized portfolio websites using Behance ProSite, high-impact digital magazines for iPad using Digital Publishing Suite (DPS) Single Edition, and PhoneGap™ Build to create and publish mobile apps for any device. Adobe Typekit features an unmatched library of old-classic to new-favorite fonts for use on websites – and, with this update, creatives can use many of these same fonts directly in their desktop applications.

New Family of CC Desktop Apps

This update to Creative Cloud includes the next generation of Adobe desktop applications — including Adobe Photoshop CC, InDesign® CC, Illustrator® CC, Dreamweaver® CC and Premiere® Pro CC. Each of these tools has been reinvented to support a more intuitive, connected way of creating professional-grade content for print, web, mobile apps, video, and photography. Hundreds of new features are included in these latest versions of Adobe’s desktop tools.

PhotoshopCC will ship with new sharpening technologies and designer workflow enhancements. Camera Shake Reduction deblurs images that would have otherwise been lost due to camera movement. All-new Smart Sharpen makes texture and detail pop, and Adobe Camera Raw 8 adds even more powerful photographic controls to straighten and perfect images. Photoshop CC is the first Adobe desktop application to include the ability to post files directly to Behance from within the application, showcasing work immediately and integrating peer feedback into the creative process.

IllustratorCC includes a Touch Type tool that gives designers a new level of creativity with type. Move, scale, and rotate text characters knowing that it remains editable. This feature works with a mouse, stylus or multi-touch device. Illustrator also enables painting with a brush made from a photo. Art, Pattern, and Scatter brushes can contain raster images, so designers can create complex organic designs quickly, with simple brush strokes.

InDesignCC features a new, modern architecture that turbocharges performance and in-browser editing.

Adobe Muse CC, a tool that enables designers to create and publish HTML websites without writing code, allows clients to make edits to a published website. These edits can then be reviewed, approved, and updated by the designer

AdobePremiereProCC includes new editing features, customizations and improvements to help editors work efficiently. Premiere Pro CC integrates powerful color workflows, with the addition of the Lumetri™ Deep Color Engine to easily apply rich color grading looks.

Adobe After Effects® CC brings more creative possibilities to motion graphics and visual effects artists. Users can work more easily in 3D with the new Live 3D Pipeline with Maxon Cinema4D integration. There are also all-new versions of Adobe SpeedGrade CC, Audition® CC, Prelude™ CC and Adobe Story CC Plus.

Web designers and developers can look forward to significant advances in Adobe’s family of Edge tools and services. The latest Edge Animate CC lets web designers create animated and interactive content with amazing ease and precision, using native HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

Adobe is also previewing a new workflow from Photoshop CC to Edge Reflow CC that will enable creatives to build web designs in Photoshop that can easily be turned into responsive web sites.

DreamweaverCC users can look forward to the most up-to-date CSS and properties via the intuitive visual editing tool, CSS Designer. And Adobe Flash® Pro CC features a modern, modular 64-bit architecture rebuilt from the ground up to be fast and reliable.

Membership Plans

Although the updates won’t be available until June, Adobe is encouraging creatives to sign up for Creative Cloud now so they can be prepared to download the latest innovations as soon as they are available. Creative Cloud membership for individuals is US$49.99 per month based on annual membership. Existing customers who own CS3 to CS5.5 get their first year of Creative Cloud at the discounted rate of US $29.99 per month.

Students and teachers can get Creative Cloud for $29.99 per month. Promotional pricing is available for some customers, including CS6 users. Subscription plans are also available for teams, enterprises, educational institutions, and governments.