One of the most important instruments a web or graphic designer can have in his tool belt is Photoshop. Then again, it’s hard to find an average computer user who hasn’t heard of Photoshop or seen what it can do. (Take for example, my 65 year old father who types one finger at a time and doesn’t know what a web address is. He has indeed heard of Photoshop). Adobe first officially released Photoshop’s Version 1 in 1990, and it sure has come a long way. 20 years later, this editing and image manipulation tool has established itself as the absolute industry standard with the high-quality output that companies worldwide put their trust in.
Photoshop is a powerful program. And like many powerful tools, it can be used for both good and evil. And yes, I know that sounds silly. But with Photoshop being a tool that is so accessible to the public, and with practically anyone having the ability to post content on the internet, Photoshop has been used as a vehicle for trickery. Users post “amazing” photos, only for other users to comment on how it has clearly been “Photoshopped.” The widespread ability to manipulate photos can often mean deceiving others, and pulling the proverbial wool over the eyes of the public. Many people have become aware of this and the ethical issues it raises (Think of Dove’s award-winning Evolution ad).
Regardless of how people choose to use Photoshop, it’s undeniable that it has evolved greatly over the years. Although it was first strictly meant as a tool for editing and manipulating photos, today many users think of Photoshop as a tool for creation and layout as well. Its uses have expanded and grown, making it even more of an asset for designers (hence the price tag that comes along with it). Still, Photoshop is invaluable for all sorts of companies – marketing companies, ad agencies, movie studios, photographers, magazine publishers, and more.
My own experience with Photoshop coincided with my entry into the world of copywriting and advertising. To my dismay, our copywriting program at school made learning Photoshop and other computer programs an essential part of the curriculum. Never having had solid software skills (or a civil rapport with computers in general), I was a bit more than apprehensive to dive into the world of Photoshop. But with time and the patience of my teachers, I finally came to grasp a basic understanding of Photoshop. Even those who aren’t designers can make use of this program, especially with its user-friendly tutorials that were made for non-computer savvy folk like me. It helped me build up my copywriting portfolio with decent-looking work and get out into the realm of advertising.
All in all, Photoshop is a pricey program that’s worth every penny. It is powerful, versatile, and has played a big role in the industry. Its prevalent use has actually introduced a new language to many companies, where workers loosely speak of “layers”, “masking” or “filters.” This program has impacted the industry’s everyday vernacular, as people throw around terms that were derived from Photoshop features. At the end of the day, it’s hard to come across a web or graphic designer that isn’t well-versed in Photoshop. Most interesting and attractive websites today have used Photoshop in one way or another, to achieve that polished final product that only Photoshop can deliver. In conclusion, all hail the Adobe gods.
Hi, I'm Ian T. I'm a York grad and a copywriter for Eden Advertising. I'm the master of procrastinating. I like to use parentheses (sometimes). I love the LCBO because wine makes me happy. I don't blog, I capture moments in time.