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Happy 30th Birthday Photoshop!

Peach Loves Digital Heart Icon Posted: 14-08-2018

It might seem like Photoshop has been with us since the beginning of time but it wasn’t always meant for public use.

Released in 1988 on October 2nd by founding brothers John and Thomas Knoll. Together with their father Glen knoll, began a primitive image editing program. Glen had access to an Apple II Plus computer from work and by using Thomas’s knowledge in programming and Johns design experience they began the Photoshop journey. The first version was not meant for public distribution and later changed the name to Photoshop officially. Shortly after the first version was complete, Barneyscan a company selling computer scanners took interest in their product and packaged it alongside their scanners when going out for shipment.  This was the second version of Photoshop and was the first time ever intended for public use. No similar program had existed up until then. Shortly after that, Adobe was won over and they formed a partnership releasing Image Pro under the Adobe company.




Code names for the different versions of Photoshop:

Bond, Suerat, Fast Eddy, Merlin, Brimstone, Tiger Mountain, Big Electric Cat, Strange Cargo, Venus in Furs, Liquid Sky, Dark Matter, Red Pill, Stone Henge, White Rabbit, Superstition, Lucky 7

Photoshop originally was only to be used on Macintosh until 1992

Image Pro was its first name

Created by the Knoll Brothers with help from their father.

In 1990  it was no longer bundled with a Barneyscanner but a standalone product you could purchase.

The original source code for Adobe Photoshop 1.0 was donated to the Computer History Museum in February 2013.

Mark Hamburg a newly appointed engineer is responsible for the Path tool – a completely new and innovative feature at the time.

The original software had to be completely re-written for operating on a Windows system which was time consuming and came with a memory bug that Mark Hamburg who had worked on it, offered to make house calls to users before a path for it was released. This meant for a late due date separate from the Mac version.

Thomas Knoll was responsible for the introduction of the layers tool before that designers has the time consuming job of saving files individually.





Photoshop 3.0 was the first version where the Windows version equalled the quality of the Mac version. Previously it hadn’t been as stable. This PS version also featured Tab Palettes.

Photoshop v introduced Actions or key board shortcuts and also adjustments layers  – allowing layers to be categorised into folders so multiple layers could be manipulated if an effect were to be repeated saving designers lots of time. Also this is when unifying other Adobe applications such as Dream Weaver was coming into play.

Photoshop 4 was the first version of the program where it was released together – both mac and windows version.

Photoshop 5 came with a plethora of new features such as Editable Type, Multiple Undo and Colour Management. Now that designers could use the history palette and undo an unlimited amount of times. Without the Colour Management tool – slower third-party applications had to be used. With web design beginning to kick off in 2000, a new save for web feature and Extract filter was added to PS 5.5 which was released only 9 months PS5. The Save For Web feature allowed smaller file sizes and optimisation for use on the web.

Photoshop 6 Since the release of Photoshop, each version was becoming more and more complex, worried they would lose some of their initial audience, they created Photoshop Elements which was designed with simplicity in mind for a less complex user experience. Many users only needed basic functions like resizing images or adding text over the top of photographs. This worked as more introductory course with many upgrading eventually to the normal Photoshop later on where they had mastered the basics. Photoshop Element saws sold at a sixth of the price of normal Photoshop.

Photoshop Changed it’s name to Photoshop CS – Creative Suite.



Photoshop CS2 and 3 began looking at improving the application overall and enhancing existing features rather than adding to new features entirely. Quicker loading times, less crashes and coping with bigger file sizes all made for a better performance.

Photoshop CS3 Also, keeping up with web design changes such as mobile optimised design becoming a focus, this was worked into CS3.  The clone stamp was also born here. CS3 launched much faster than CS2.

Photoshop CS4 Panning and zooming worked almost instantaneously where there was always lag before. Tabbed work documents introduced much like tabbed browser windows in web browsers.

Photoshop CS6 All the editing tool icons were redesigned and refined and autosaving was introduced which saved in the background instead of relying on the designer to save as they go long. A popular tool especially if the program happened to crash. CS6 was the 16th version of PS released and 18th version of PS ever created.

Photoshop CC Creative Cloud Began a new journey.


Jenna is a Masters graduate in Visual Communication & Graphic Design with a passion for hand drawing and typography. She is known for her inquisitive questions on life and childlike taste in bags. When she isn’t sat in front of her Apple Mac designing, she is hiking through nature or travelling across the pond to the West Coast, USA.

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