Photoshop turns 30: that's what it was like in 1990

Anno Domini 1990. Totò Schillaci's Italy was preparing to host the mascot football world championship. Ciao then won by West Germany, after a while Tornatore would have won a statuette on Oscar night with Nuovo Cinema Paradiso and Microsoft was about to launch the Windows 3.0 operating system on the market. On February 19 the brothers Thomas and John Knoll, sons of a photographer, published the first version of a software dedicated to image editing with the aim of facilitating the work of the father: it was the day of Photoshop.

30 years of Photoshop: it was February 19, 1990

Today the software edited by Adobe is synonymous with Photo editing, a powerful and versatile solution adopted on a global scale by graphic designers (professionals and non-professionals) operating in almost any sector: from printed paper to the Web, to the world of advertising. A lot has changed in 30 years, as shown in the video below with the first version made on a vintage Mac. The demo is curated by one of its creators.

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The 1.0 tools are not today's complex ones (in a dedicated article the news announced today), they do not leverage intelligence and machine learning to simplify the workflow within the levels of a PSD. The basic ones are all there, however: from the lasso for the selection of objects to the dropper for the extraction of a specific color, from the management of the channels to the magic wand.

The interface of the first version of Photoshop

The current incarnation of Photoshop has embraced the cloud and the mobile universe with the debut of the iPad edition, offers an almost infinite range of possibilities thanks to the support of plugins and extensions, interfaces with other software (primarily Lightroom and Camera Raw) to accompany professionals in the process image editing. However, the goal remained unchanged, the one that three decades ago prompted the Knoll brothers to lay the foundations for a project that perhaps they themselves would not have considered capable of such a path. Happy birthday, Photoshop!

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