25 years of Photoshop training
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Published on February 26, 2015
It is the 25th anniversary of Photoshop this month, and at American Graphics Institute our instructors are also celebrating 25 years of delivering Photoshop training. The single biggest tool for digital imaging and design has become a young-adult. Originally developed only for the Mac platform, which was known as Macintosh back then, Photoshop became available on Windows computers a two years after the initial version was released. By 1992 you could use Photoshop on either a Mac or Windows computer. Several instructors from American Graphics Institute have been working with Photoshop for the full 25 years that it has been available. These educators have grown-up with digital imaging, and they bring more than two decades of digital imaging expertise into each of the Photoshop courses they teach. They recall using the precursor to Photoshop back in 1989 as bundled with an early digital scanner known as Barneyscan, which was even before Adobe purchased Photoshop. Working for a graphic arts firm, they were delivering Photoshop training to some of the very first people to work with digital images using very early Macintosh computers.
Photoshop was invented by the Knoll brothers on their own, and it was purchased by Adobe from them and then sold under the Photoshop name starting in 1990. At the time Photoshop was first released by Adobe, there was no Internet, no web design, and Adobe had yet to invent InDesign. In fact, Adobe didn’t yet have any desktop publishing tools– a company known as Aldus created PageMaker, which Adobe had not yet purchased. The best-selling electronic publishing tool at the time was QuarkXPress, and Adobe had their Illustrator product for creating logos and artwork. It would be many years before Adobe would buy PageMaker and even longer before they would develop InDesign. While Illustrator was successful, it was Photoshop that put Adobe on the map for what was then known as desktop publishing.
Because Photoshop was developed before digital photography was in use, it was originally sold primarily with scanners. If you purchased a high quality scanner, Photoshop was often included as part of the purchase. Because the big CRT monitors were inconsistent with their color displays, the Knoll brothers also included the Knoll Gamma Utility with early versions of Photoshop. This made it possible to create more consistent color across multiple computer displays. With millions of users now working with Photoshop worldwide, it has evolved into a series of tools. There remains the professional version of Photoshop for designers and graphics professionals, while the consumer version of Photoshop Elements provides basic image editing for hobbyists, and Photoshop Lightroom helps professional photographers organize and edit large numbers of photos. Adobe has recently acquired a server-based program that allows users to edit images using mobile devices, and we should expect to see this acquisition wrapped under the Photoshop brand as well, as Adobe adapts Photoshop to the trend of most images being captured by mobile devices.
About the author
Jennifer Smith is a user experience designer, Photoshop expert, educator and author based in Boston. She is the author of more than 20 books on design tools and processes, including Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies, Adobe Creative Cloud Digital Classroom, and Photoshop Digital Classroom. She has been awarded a Microsoft MVP three times for her work with user experience design in creating apps for touch, desktop, and mobile devices.
Jennifer delivers UX training and UX consulting for large Fortune 100 companies, small start-ups, and independent software vendors. She has been hired by Adobe and Microsoft to deliver training workshops to their staff, and has traveled to Asia, Europe, India, the Middle East, and across the U.S. to deliver courses and assist on UX design projects. She has extensive knowledge of modern Windows UX Design, having worked closely with the Windows team to create educational material and deliver UX workshops to key partners globally on behalf of Microsoft. Jennifer works with a wide range of prototyping tools including Fireworks, Photoshop, Illustrator, Blend for Visual Studio, and Balsamiq.