Background

Since it it's founding in 1982 Adobe Systems incorporated has steadily become the leader in what it calls "Creative Solutions." With a wide variety of products Adobe has managed to pentrate the consumer market, steadily rising to fame. In 1986 the company introduced it it's first software program for the consumer, Adobe Illustrator, a vector graphics program. After Illustrator set firm ground in the digital arts platform, Adobe unveiled Adobe Photoshop 1.0 in 1989 -a program which would later dominate the market of graphics editing software.

The versitility of Photoshop in photo-editing, drawing, painting and other areas has permitted the software to grow into the industry leader and Adobe Systems's largest product. The word "photoshop" has become common term for artists in the same way people say "coke" meaning "soda" or buy a "polo" meaning a collared shirt. As well as becoming the standard in today's society, the term "photoshop" is also used in a verb sense: "I photoshopped a piece."

In 2005 Adobe Systems bought its leading competitor, Macromedia. Now popular programs such as Dreamweaver and Flash are owned by Adobe. In 2005, Adobe Systems grossed almost 2 billion in annual revenue.

Photoshop

Adobe's ace product, top-seller and the market leader in digital imaging.

Photoshop Elements

In 2001 Adobe rolled out a simplified and more affordable Photoshop coined Adobe Photoshop Elements. Elements is a fully capable photo-editing software though more focused on post-production photography rather than drawing or painting. It is a fully able to create digital art akin to it it's big brother. Elements is perfect for an beginning to intermediate artist and to those with a modest budget. When you become more comforatable with the Photoshop Elements program and feel that you will use the additional features of the higher version, it is recommended to make the switch. Compare it to playing a flute. You start out with a beginner flute: poor quality and sound but it'll do for the time being. Once you grow comforable with the instrument, improve your musicanship and feel that you will continue to play at a higher level, then you purchase a more professional model. Now you have a Gemeinhardt solid silver, b-foot, opened-holed make. True, you could have started with with the professional instrument, but until you are certain you are going to make use of it, the beginner model will do. They both do the same thing --it's just that one is better.

Illustrator

Description of illustrator.

Free Trials

Adobe.com offers free 30-day trials of all their popular software. These downloads are the complete version with 99% of the program's features usuable and can later be activated with a purchase code. There are no obligations tied to the trial period. Before investing money in expensive software such as Photoshop CS2, it would be a wise idea to give it a test run first. The programs run as if they were purchased for the first 30 days and then the program will cease to function until you buy the product and recieve an activation code. Simply uninstalling the trial and redownloading the program does not give you another 30 days, so when setting up a try-out period, schedule it during a month that you can find the most time to make use of it.

Education Pricing

Adobe offers discounts to students (K-12 and higher level education) and teachers and schools. These deductions can be up to 80% off their software. This is particularly helpful considering that Adobe Photoshop CS2 retails at around \$650 but is priced at \$300 for students. If you are interested, read more on adobe's eligibility guidelines or visit the adobe education store.

On another note, when people pirate Adobe Software, services such as these are hurt. To keep these options available, purchase Adobe programs from certified retailers.

Pricing Guide

All programs are the current version.

Other Resources

offical adobe website