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Ever Wondered How Designers "Photoshopped" Before Photoshop?

Kevin Whipps March 31, 2021 · 1 min read
When Photoshop first came on the scene back in 1988, the publishing industry was a very different place. Back then, there were no digital tools to create their devices, and everything was done manually using leaky pens and rubber cement. Good times, to be sure. With Adobe Photoshop being 25 years old at this point, the people at Lynda.com created a cool website and video (embedded below) walking you through the process of how people “photoshopped” things before Photoshop existed. It’s a fascinating watch, and it shows you why things in Photoshop are the way they are, and how difficult the process was back in the day. Isn’t it great living in the future?
Kevin Whipps is a writer and editor based in Phoenix, Arizona. When he’s not working on one of the many projects in his queue, he’s looking for fun and irreverent things online to share with his friends.

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About the Author
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Kevin Whipps

Hi! My name is Kevin Whipps, and I'm a writer and editor based in Phoenix, Arizona. When I'm not working taking pictures of old cars and trucks, I'm either writing articles for Creative Market or hawking stickers at Whipps Sticker Co.

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8 Comments
  • My former life... ahhh the good ole' days of Lettraset and hand cut masks. I could cut like a ninja! :-D 7 years ago
  • I wanted to cry watching this. You couldn't pay me enough to be a designer in 1988! 7 years ago
  • I like the "post title" :) 7 years ago
  • Thank you. I've been looking for a video like this for quite some time. Great! 7 years ago
  • This isn't photoshopping, this is artworking/Illustrator work. We used to photoshop properly using solvent and masking. True ‘Retouching Masters’ of early 2000's were still trained this way to understand what a tone would look like when colour separated. If you printed anything you have to know the backgrounds of the skill. 7 years ago
  • Taking care of my rapidograph pens made me realize how obsessive-compulsive I really am. And I could also "cut like a ninja". Amberlith was my friend. 7 years ago
  • ME, best time! 7 years ago
  • This was a craft; standing at a drawing table, physically using your hands to create something. It took years to learn how to do this properly. It was also a good way to make a living; the process took time, all of which could be charged to the client. Think about it... the only group that has gained by the digitalising of design are the clients; jobs can now be produced in a quarter of the time. If the client pays a quarter (your hourly rate), the designer earns a quarter. You get 'designers' nowadays making logo's for $5. That's progress..? 7 years ago