Adobe’s premier image editing software, Photoshop, turns 20 today, February 19, 2010. Around the world, Photoshop fans are celebrating the impact their favorite software has had across photography, art, design, publishing and commerce.
In the United States, the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) will be hosting a special Photoshop 20th Anniversary celebration for over a thousand attendees in San Francisco at the Palace of the Fine Arts Theater. The event will feature Adobe’s SVP Creative Solutions, John Loiacono, as well as VP Photoshop Product Management, Kevin Connor, Photoshop co-creator Thomas Knoll and famed Adobe creative director and Photoshop evangelist, Russell Brown.
To be a part of this celebration and view the live Webcast, visit: www.photoshopuser.com/photoshop20th.
The festivities continue overseas in Japan, Southeast Asia and throughout Europe. In honor of the 20th anniversary, Adobe Germany will host a special 20-hour online marathon, featuring over 15 local Photoshop “gurus” demonstrating their favorite tips and tricks live for Photoshop fans. In India and France, digital imaging contests will be held to showcase the work of Photoshop users.
A special Adobe TV broadcast will also air on the anniversary date at tv.adobe.com/go/photoshop-20th-anniversary, reuniting the original “Photoshop team” for the first time in 18 years, to discuss their early work on the software and demonstrate Photoshop 1.0 on a rebuilt Macintosh computer.
The Photoshop community is also sharing their favorite stories online, with the product and its over 400,000 fan-strong Facebook page, the hub for a worldwide look at the product’s impact. A new “Celebrate” tab directs users to a 20th anniversary logo, which many have already personalized with Photoshop and used as a replacement for their profile image. Connect with the Photoshop team at www.facebook.com/Photoshop or twitter.com/photoshop, and add the tag #PS20 to tweets about the anniversary.
“For 20 years Photoshop has played many different roles—it has given creative people the power to deliver amazing images that impact every part of our visual culture and challenged the eye with its ability to transform photographs,” said Shantanu Narayen, president and CEO at Adobe.
“It’s no exaggeration to say that, thanks to millions of creative customers, Photoshop has changed the way the world looks at itself.”
The impact of Photoshop is everywhere—billboard signs, magazine covers, major motion pictures, even the logo on the coffee cup you drink out of every morning. All have likely been touched by the software. Over 90 percent of creative professionals have Photoshop on their desktops and today Photoshop is used by professional photographers, graphic designers and advertisers, as well as architects, engineers and even doctors. Whether it’s bringing visual effects to life in the blockbuster film Avatar, helping save lives in partnership with forensics departments and the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, or challenging the human eye to determine if an image is real or fake, Photoshop continues to find new uses and advocates.
The beginnings of Photoshop are rooted 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 1988, Adobe made the decision to license the software, naming it Photoshop, and shipping the first version in 1990.
“Twenty years ago, Adobe predicted that it would sell 500 copies of Photoshop per month,” said Thomas Knoll, co-creator of Photoshop at Adobe.
“I guess you could say, we beat those projections! It’s amazing to think that millions of people use this software today. We knew we had a groundbreaking technology on our hands, but we never anticipated how much it would impact the images we see all around us. The ability to seamlessly place someone within an image was just the beginning of Photoshop’s magic.”
Over its 20-year history, Photoshop has evolved significantly from a simple original display program to a wildly popular application that has over 10 million users worldwide. With each release, Adobe has introduced technological innovations that defy the impossible. Layers, introduced in Photoshop 3.0, gave designers the ability to create complex compositions easier than ever before. The Healing Brush, another groundbreaking feature introduced in Photoshop 7.0, allowed users to magically retouch images by seamlessly removing blemishes and wrinkles, while preserving lighting and texture. Photoshop tools like crop, eraser, blur and dodge and burn have become part of the creative vernacular worldwide.
The Photoshop team thrives off its rich beta tester program, with active and vocal users who have submitted requests and helped shape the development of features throughout the years. Adobe has maintained a strong connection with its customer base through blogs, user research, customer support, forums and feedback from Adobe “evangelists” who travel the world to engage with Photoshop users.