Adobe Systems History

This article was written by Samuel Phineas Upham

The Adobe Creek separated two houses in the town of Los Altos, California. The founders of Adobe Software were the primary occupants of those properties, and they united to focus on multimedia and creative applications.

Adobe initially launched with digital fonts, which they encoded in a proprietary format called Type 1. This spurred Apple into developing its own fonts under the format True Type, a subtle jab at Adobe. True Type was superior to Type 1 mainly in the sense of pixel control. True Type fonts allowed for perfect scaling to any size without pixilation.

Somehow, Type 1 remained the standard of graphics publications despite True Type’s clear advantages, but True Type became the standard for home usage. Adobe needed something more to sustain itself.

The company set to work on a new product in the mid 1980s that allowed for vector drawing, which gave way to similar scaling of the kind found in True Type. They called their product “Adobe Illustrator,” and it far eclipsed MacDraw as the vector graphics program of choice for designers. MacDraw allowed much of the same concepts as Illustrator, but Illustrator used smoother Bezier Curves and formed a much clearer picture.

The first edition of Photoshop was released in 1989, then the PDF came in 1993. Adobe also makes publishing software like PageMaker and Dreamweaver as well.

Most of Adobe’s services today are now in the cloud, where users pay for monthly access to the system.

About the Author: Samuel Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Samuel Phineas Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media & Technology group. You may contact Samuel Phineas Upham on his Samuel Phineas Upham website.