Thursday, Sep 03, 2020, 12:10 Web

30 years of Photoshop — and Video, how Photoshop 1 works on Mac

Adobe Photoshop has become such a widespread product in the world of graphic design that the verb “photoshop” is now used to describe any process of digitally altering a photo—regardless of whether or not Adobe’s software was used to do so. 30 years ago, the humbles graphics-program was released for Mac, only to quickly dominate the market. 2 years after the initial release in 1990 for MacOS, Photoshop support was finally expanded to Windows.

Work on Photoshop 1.0 had already begun in 1987/1988 (under the name “Display), with the young brothers Thomas (a known-to-procrastinate PhD. student at the University of Michigan) and John Knoll crafting the first lines of code on a classic Macintosh Plus. The former of the two, John Knoll, remained lead developer until the release of Creative Suite 4 in 2008 and oversaw the development of the Adobe Color Engine as well as the “Adobe Camera Raw” plug-in.

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From “Display” to “Photoshop”
The Knoll brothers had initially considered the names “Display” or “Image Pro” until Adobe settled upon the current title, with the professional software managing to prove itself before introduction to the market was even possible. John Knoll worked as a Visual Effects Artist at Industrial Light and Magic using self-developed tools, which would later lay the groundwork for Photoshop 1.0. We’ve included a video below, where you can see for yourself what happens when current graphic designers return to the world of Photoshop 1.0.



Photoshop 1.0’s quick progression to industry standard is not simply due to CMYK-Support and impressive tools, rather—its release date. Aldus (Adobe’s primary competitor at the time) was only able to launch the “Photostyler” in 1991, giving Photoshop a head-start and when Photoshop arrived on Windows in 1992, Adobe was already ahead of the game. More than a decade later, Photostyler was laid on the shelf—by Adobe, after purchasing Aldus in 1994.

A final word to the pricing: Version 1 costed 895$ at release, the price would be almost double that today after accounting for inflation. In contrast, those looking to buy Photoshop from Adobe today will be met with a price of 9.99$ a month. Quite awhile ago, Adobe made it unmistakably clear that they wish to rely on subscription rather than purchase model for Photoshop.

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