25 years of Adobe Photoshop: between past and future

Original author: Jackie Dove
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February 19, 2015 Adobe Photoshop turned 25 years old. This application continues to occupy a leading position in the world and is in widespread demand among designers and all those involved in the processing of photographs and images. Photoshop was originally created by two brothers, John and Thomas Knoll, as scanner software. But what does Photoshop expect now? What path has he traveled in 25 years?

Back in 1988, the brothers began looking for investors for their project, which was then called Image Pro. Many companies became interested in the development, but not everyone had the opportunity to buy a project.

Nevertheless, the brothers managed to agree on the delivery of the program complete with Barneyscan scanners. And only after some time, Adobe agreed to purchase a startup. So the project became part of Adobe under the name Photoshop, and in February 1990 the first official release of Adobe Photoshop 1.0 came out.

However, Photoshop was not the first Adobe graphic editor. Prior to it, Adobe Illustrator was created. But it was Photoshop that was recognized by users, despite some difficulties in mastering the program. Because the decisive advantages of the application were powerful functionality and orientation to a wide range of users with different levels of training. In addition, the cost of the program was incomparably lower than the cost of graphic applications designed for professionals.

Today, Adobe is confidently looking to the future, but does not forget about its past. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary, an advertising campaign has been launched, the essence of which is to demonstrate the work done in Photoshop for famous films: Avatar, Vanished, The Hobbit, How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Shrek. And the 25th anniversary commercial will be shown at the Oscars.


Adobe also launched a new campaign, during which the most creative young artists using Photoshop in their work will post their works on Instagram for a year. Mandatory requirement - the age of artists should be close to 25 years.

Zorana Guy, senior product manager of Photoshop, told us about the past and future of the project.


What has Photoshop accomplished in 25 years?

It’s hard to say one thing. We have added new features, new ways to work with existing features. We are in constant dialogue with our customers and try to satisfy their needs.
We have improved the product so that the first acquaintance with it was as easy and enjoyable as possible for designers, for photographers, as well as for anyone who encounters image processing for the first time.


What has happened over the past 5 years? Did Photoshop find its place in mobile technology?

Over the past 5 years, we have conducted many experiments on working with mobile technologies. And now we can offer you a version of Photoshop for all mobile platforms - Adobe Photoshop Mix. Of course, there is still work to do, but we have implemented the basic functions.

What are you going to work on in the next 5 years?

We plan to continue the development of Photoshop Mix, since right now we had interesting ideas on how to better organize the work of users on mobile devices.

In addition, we plan to modify the architecture of Photoshop. If we can separate the core logic and the user interface logic, then it will be possible to simultaneously develop several interface options at once without the need for kernel processing. For example, the use of HTML5 / CCS will allow you to take a new approach, thanks to which the interface will become more understandable and convenient for users.

How did the emergence of the Creative Cloud project affect the development of Photoshop? After all, now the only way to access it is by subscribing to Creative Cloud.

People are just starting to understand the full benefits of Creative Cloud. I especially want to note the function Libraries. Its main advantages:

• Access from any location
• Easy storage in Creative Cloud Libraries
• Permanent access to necessary resources
• Providing colleagues access to their libraries

You can share not ordinary objects, but objects that are directly used in Photoshop: Smart Objects, layers, 3D layers, PSD files and so on.


The Creative Cloud service has already made a big concession to the community of photographers in the form of a cheap subscription on an ongoing basis, but some are still unhappy. Is Adobe thinking of granting a perpetual license to photographers?

One cannot be 100% certain. You never know what will happen tomorrow. But we have already done a lot, and so far it is unlikely.

How does the company relate to competition with other applications in those market segments that Adobe is starting to learn?

Of course, there are many really successful apps like Instagram or VSCO. They have already achieved a lot, and Adobe is just starting to move in this direction, and Creative Cloud is only the first step.

What is Adobe’s position on a phenomenon such as Photoshop? People redo the images as they please: change their skin color, shape of their face, body ...

We believe that, nevertheless, our product is more used for good than for harm. Nevertheless, we try to carefully guide our users in a positive direction.

What do you think of other companies' attempts to compete with Photoshop?

We carefully monitor what is happening in the market and try to keep our positions.
Competition is always good, because it makes you be in good shape.

What do you think of the Affinity Photo product? They have implemented a 4-channel color model, and this is a giant step from amateur software to professional.

Affinity products have much in common with ours, especially the suite and desktop versions. But for now, we cannot say that they can be compared with Photoshop.

What would you like to say at the end?

We are having a wonderful time. Engineers are passionate about developing Creative Cloud. We hope that we can achieve a lot in cloud computing. There is always something to work on - therefore, I am still in this project.

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