Adobe Photoshop

Photoshop logo 1990
Photoshop logo 1990
Project name: "Display" (1987-88)

Pre-launch names:
--- "PhotoShop" (with the 'S' capitalized, 1989)
--- "Barneyscan XP" (name for the first edition, marketed with Barneyscan scanners, 1989)

Name: "Photoshop"

Categories: Electronics, Home - Office - School

Subcategory: Raster graphics editors

Developers: Thomas and John Knoll

Producer: Adobe Systems Inc. (founded by John Warnock and Charles Geschke on February 28, 1982)

First version: 1.0 Macintosh version. Photoshop does not support Microsoft Windows until November 1992, ver. 2.5.

Licensed: September 1988

Released: February 19, 1990 - San Jose, California, USA

Platform: Macintosh

Programming language: C++, formerly Pascal

First price: 895 USD

Features: Adobe Photoshop 1.0 minumum system requirements are: Macintosh II, IIx, IIcx, IIci, SE, or SE/30; Hard disk; 2 megabytes RAM; Apple system software 6.0.2 or later. A gray-scale or color monitor is recommended, and a Macintosh compatible scanner is optional. Adobe Photoshop 1.0 editing tools are: color correction with balance, hue, and saturation; image optimization for output; curves; levels; clone tool.

Interesting facts: Photoshop was developed in 1987 by the American brothers Thomas and John Knoll, who sold the distribution license to Adobe Systems Incorporated in 1988. Thomas Knoll, a PhD student at the University of Michigan, began writing a program on his Macintosh Plus to display grayscale images on a monochrome display. This program, called "Display", caught the attention of his brother John Knoll, an Industrial Light & Magic employee, who recommended that Thomas turn it into a full-fledged image editing program. Thomas took a six-month break from his studies in 1988 to collaborate with his brother on the program. Thomas renamed the program "ImagePro", but the name was already taken. Later that year, Thomas renamed his program "PhotoShop" (with the 'S' capitalized) and worked out a short-term deal with scanner manufacturer Barneyscan to distribute copies of the program with a slide scanner; a total of about 200 copies of Photoshop were shipped this way. During this time, John traveled to Silicon Valley and gave a demonstration of the program to engineers at Apple and Russell Brown, art director at Adobe. Both showings were successful, and Adobe decided to purchase the license to distribute in September 1988. Photoshop 1.0 was released on 19 February 1990 for Macintosh exclusively. The first release was successful despite some bugs, which were fixed in subsequent updates. Most users ended up using version 1.0.7.

Property: Adobe Systems Inc.

Source Code Download: Adobe Photoshop 1.0.1 (

Product website:

Display splash screen
"Display" (Photoshop prototype) splash screen (ver. 0.07, Jan. 1988 - Not for distribution except by author). Later, Thomas Knoll renamed the program ImagePro, but the name was already taken. Someone suggested to rename it "PhotoShop", and that became the program's name.

PhotoShop splash screen 1988
PhotoShop splash screen (ver. 0.63, Oct. 1988 - Not for distribution)

PhotoShop work area 1988
PhotoShop work area (ver. 0.63, Oct. 1988)

PhotoShop splash screen 1989
PhotoShop Alpha version splash screen (ver. 0.87, Mar. 1989 - Not for distribution). Thomas Knoll worked out a short-term deal with scanner manufacturer Barneyscan to distribute copies of the program - renamed "Barneyscan XP" - with a slide scanner; a total of about 200 copies of PhotoShop were shipped this way.

PhotoShop icons 1989
PhotoShop Alpha version icons (1989, design by John Knoll). The application icon was a little image of a 1 hour photo kiosk, file icons looked like rolls of 35mm film.

Photoshop pre-launch review 1989
Adobe Photoshop 1.0 pre-launch review (by Erich Lach, InfoWorld magazine, Oct. 2, 1989)

Photoshop package 1990
Adobe Photoshop 1.0 retail package (February 19, 1990). Package contains: the program disk; the tutorial disk, containing two sample images; a program disk containing software designed by third-party software developers; the calibration disk; Adobe Photoshop User Guide; Adobe Photoshop Tutorial; The Adobe Photoshop Quick Reference Card; Registration card and envelope.

Photoshop floppy disks 1990
Adobe Photoshop 1.0 floppy disks suite. The program was deliberately constrained to 745KB so that it could fit on a single, 800KB floppy disk. The other disks contain a tutorial with two sample images, a third-party software and a calibration software.

Photoshop splash screen 1990
Adobe PhotoShop 1.0 splash screen

Photoshop icons 1990
Adobe PhotoShop 1.0 icons

Photoshop work area 1990
Adobe PhotoShop 1.0 work area

Jennifer in Paradise
First image processed in Photoshop
"Jennifer in paradise": first ever image that was processed in Photoshop. This photo shot, taken by John Knoll of his girlfriend (then wife) Jennifer while on holiday in Fuji, was used in the early testing of the Display program, so can be said to be the first ever image to be processed in Photoshop. It was also used in early Adobe Photoshop demonstrations.

Thomas and John Knoll
Adobe Photoshop 1.0 developers: Thomas Knoll (Ann Arbor, April 14, 1960), software engineer, and his brother John Knoll (Ann Arbor, October 6, 1962), visual effects supervisor and chief creative officer (CCO) at Industrial Light & Magic.

Adobe Photoshop celebrates 25 years (official video, 2015)