Dec 14, 2007

Adobe at 25 Years Old

Adobe is celebrating its 25th year in existence. Started in December of 1982 by John Warnock and Charles Geschke, Adobe has grown to become a $2.5 billion-a-year-company. Not bad for a couple of refugees from the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center–the same place Steve Jobs went to visit to “discover” the GUI and the computer mouse.

John Warnock and Chuck Geschke

From the book Inside the Publishing Revolution: “We were prototypical scientists in that we wanted to have an impact. We weren’t in it for financial gain” –Chuck Geschke
In 1985 it was Apple that licensed PostScript and helped Adobe form the backbone of the desktop publishing revolution. In the middle 1980s Adobe broadened their horizon by entering into the professional design software market by releasing Adobe Illustrator. Announced in 1989 and shipping in February 1990, Adobe took a leadership position in digital imaging with the release of Adobe Photoshop.

Steve Jobs, Chuck Geschke and John Warnock

Also from Inside the Publishing Revolution: “When we all saw that first sheet of paper come out of the LaserWriter, we knew we were going to hit it out of the park.” –Steve Jobs
In 1993 Adobe created the PDF file format and offered Acrobat Reader in June of 1993 for the Mac and later for DOS and Windows.

Extending its leadership role, Adobe acquired Aldus in 1994 primarily to get PageMaker and eventually After Effects was released. About a decade later Adobe acquired Macromedia and all of that company’s technologies which, with the release of Creative Suite 3, further broaden Adobe’s software and technology portfolio.

David Hockney

Also from Inside the Publishing Revolution: “If anyone had told me 20 years ago that we would have a fundamental impact on the publishing industry, I wouldn’t have believed them.” –John Warnock


To get a better inside look at the first 20 years of Adobe, check out Inside the Publishing Revolution: The Adobe Story written by Pamela Pfiffner. Available on Amazon.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.