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Great Moments in Photoshop History: Happy 20th Anniversary!

Complex Magazine rounds up their 50 favorite Photoshop moments in honor of the software’s 20th birthday.


Photoshop turns 20 this year, and in honor of 20 years of making the impossible possible–or at least easier–Complex Magazine has teamed up with Brooklyn design studio Chips to gather their 50 favorite moments in Photoshop history. They’re hilarious, and hilariously true.



All the memes are here, from the Montauk Monster to Nicolas Cage. Cory Arcangel’s gradients make an appearance. So does Coudal Partners’ Layer Tennis. On a more serious note, they include Brian Walski’s infamously manipulated Iraq war photo for the L.A. Times and Iran’s faked missile launch. But it’s Complex, after all, so the most screen time goes to awesomely bad mixtape album covers, most by the mad geniuses of Pen and Pixel Graphics, who rose to fame on the ’90s Houston rap scene. It only speaks to the program’s power that it enables designers (and everyone else) to make everything from this to this.

For a little nostalgia, check out this anniversary video from Adobe. It opens with bolo-tied Photoshop founder Russell Brown demonstrating Photoshop’s “most unethical” uses on an ancient Mac and nay-saying Fred Ritchin warning that Photoshop will make the public “disbelieve photographs generally” and that photographs “won’t be as effective and powerful a document of social communication as it has been for the last 150 years.” How naive. Jump to 2010, Russell (bolo intact) sits with John Knoll, Thomas Knoll, and Steve Guttman to discuss the impact of their 20-year-old idea.

[Via Design Observer]