Happy Birthday! Adobe Photoshop turns 25

Adobe Photoshop turned 25 on Thursday – although, thanks to some creative photoshopping, it doesn’t look a day over 20. Let’s take a look back at the iconic application that has us forever guessing “is that photoshopped?”


Thomas Knoll developed computer code in 1987 to display grayscale images on black and white monitors. He’d later add colour, and in 1988 John and Thomas Knoll pitched Adobe with this “Jennifer in Paradise” image. Adobe acquired the initial rights in 1989.

Jennifer in Paradise - Jennifer Walters (now Jennifer Knoll) in Bora Bora, August 1988 - PLEASE CREDIT JOHN KNOLL

Photo by John Knoll

In February of 1990, Adobe 1.0 was released to the world – if your world was a Macintosh. Early tools include the lasso, magic wand and the eyedrop, as well as gradient and feathered edges.

Photoshop 1.0

After the release of the first DSLR camera by Kodak in 1990, in November of 1992 version 2.5 of Photoshop was released, including the first Windows version. Code-named Fast Eddie, it also added CMYK, Paths and the pen tool.

Photoshop 2.0 web_photo_gallery

With Photoshop 6.0’s release in September of 2000, support for vector images is added. Liquify filter, layer styles and blending and text wrap were other new features.


Adobe Creative Suite made its debut in October of 2003, seeing Photoshop bundled with InDesign and other Adobe applications for the first time. Shadows and Highlights and Lens Blur support were also added.


Over the next decade, Photoshop became part of the cultural lexicon, from a “Photoshop of Horrors” segment on The Daily Show in 2008 and a “Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop” exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2013 to a bill in Congress in 2014 that would prompt the FTC to investigate the impact of digitally retouched images on society.

Created in Photoshop: “Muse” By Mario Sánchez Nevado

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras is a technology journalist with IT World Canada and a member of the IT Business team. He began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada and the channel for Computer Dealer News. His writing has also appeared in the Vancouver Sun & the Ottawa Citizen.

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