Letterworks Blog

Happy Birthday Photoshop!

Posted by: Letterworks on: 3rd March 2010

Earlier this year Photoshop celebrated its 20th anniversary. In 1990, this groundbreaking program was launched onto the graphics communications world and I for one didn’t particularly want to buy into it…

Picture the scene, us and our competitors were safe in our lovely world, where traditional type foundries like Linotype and Monotype ruled the photocomposition world. Letterworks had by that time invested over £60,000 on the Linotype font library. This, for us, was all based on the closely guarded language CORA which Linotype had pioneered and was to all intents and purposes the dogs kahunas of the typesetting world. Everything we produced was sacrosanct to our trade, couldn’t have just anyone producing typography and artwork. We still had a unionised industry and even had to give our union membership number when submitting artwork to newspapers and magazine publishers, to prove you’d earned the right. So, what was this new system called Postscript hoping to achieve? We already had our own software and language thank you.

Well, Photoshop forced itself upon us, like it or not and for a time the graphics world did suffer from a dumbing down effect. Anyone could buy the software and a Mac (everyone in the graphics world preferred Macs back then) and call themselves a graphic designer.

Now, twenty years on I know that Photoshop has proven its pedigree, is an amazing software which is accessible to all and I genuinely believe that the graphics industry is better for it. I just needed some time to accept and realise it though.

So many happy returns Photoshop!

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