Adobe Photoshop turns 20 today and around the world, Photoshop fans are celebrating the impact their favourite software has had across photography, art, design, publishing and commerce.

In the United States, the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) will be hosting a special Photoshop 20th Anniversary celebration for over a thousand attendees in San Francisco at the Palace of the Fine Arts Theatre today. The event will feature Adobe’s senior vice president of Creative Solutions, John Loiacono, as well as vice president of Photoshop Product Management, Kevin Connor, Photoshop co-creator Thomas Knoll and famed Adobe creative director and Photoshop evangelist, Russell Brown. To be a part of this celebration and view the live Webcast, visit:

The festivities continue overseas in Japan, Southeast Asia and throughout Europe. In honour of the 20th anniversary, Adobe Germany will host a special 20-hour online marathon, featuring over 15 local Photoshop “gurus” demonstrating their favourite tips and tricks live for Photoshop fans.

In India and France, digital imaging contests will be held to showcase the work of Photoshop users. A special Adobe TV broadcast will also air on the anniversary date (EST) at, reuniting the original “Photoshop team” for the first time in 18 years, to discuss their early work on the software and demonstrate Photoshop 1.0 on a rebuilt Mac.

“For 20 years Photoshop has played many different roles – it has given creative people the power to deliver amazing images that impact every part of our visual culture and challenged the eye with its ability to transform photographs,” said Shantanu Narayen, president and chief executive officer at Adobe. “It’s no exaggeration to say that, thanks to millions of creative customers, Photoshop has changed the way the world looks at itself.”

In 1987, Thomas Knoll developed a pixel imaging program called Display. It was a simple program to showcase greyscale images on a black-and-white monitor. However, after collaborating with his brother John Knoll, the two began adding features that made it possible to process digital image files. The program eventually caught the attention of industry influencers, and in 1988, Adobe made the decision to license the software, naming it Photoshop, and shipping the first version in 1990.

“Twenty years ago, Adobe predicted that it would sell 500 copies of Photoshop per month,” said Thomas Knoll, co-creator of Photoshop at Adobe. “I guess you could say, we beat those projections! It’s amazing to think that millions of people use this software today. We knew we had a groundbreaking technology on our hands, but we never anticipated how much it would impact the images we see all around us. The ability to seamlessly place someone within an image was just the beginning of Photoshop’s magic.”

The Photoshop community is also sharing their favourite stories online, with the product and its over 400,000 fan-strong Facebook page, the hub for a worldwide look at the product’s impact. A new “Celebrate” tab directs users to a 20th anniversary logo, which many have already personalised with Photoshop and used as a replacement for their profile image. Connect with the Photoshop team at or, and add the tag #PS20 to tweets about the anniversary.

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