Photoshop at 25

25 Years of Photoshop

Amazingly, Photoshop is twenty-five years old. Adobe is celebrating that quarter century of manipulating our understanding of reality with a micro site honoring the software’s illustrious past. It includes this commemorative video featuring Aerosmith performing “Dream On,” below. As the video demonstrates, Photoshop is responsible, on the one hand, for some amazing strides forward in our ability to give visual form to the expansive human imagination, as well as, on the other hand, some egregious aesthetic crimes that future generations may never forgive us for.

Also included on the site is this timeline of Photoshop’s history which, in its own way, is refreshingly candid about many of Photoshop-related events of the past twenty-five years that a corporate communications department might not normally highlight. Examples include the darkened O.J. Simpson cover of Time; the 2004 doctored image of John Kerry and Jane Fonda at a 1971 anti-war rally; and even the 2010 launch of Instagram, which Adobe was essentially shut out of.

Twenty-five years is an amazing achievement, and Photoshop seems sure to be one of those cultural landmarks that will endure in the history books. Congratulations to everyone who participated in this phenomenon.