Adobe Illustrator is 30 years old


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Didn’t Adobe acquire Photoshop? It was called Digital Darkroom at the time. irc, but I prolly aint as I can recall using illustrator daily for the last 30 years… remember Streamline? A two monitor set up with a full page display from Radius and a second monitor for your palettes, then CRTs got big and we just dialed up the res and down the refresh into headache country. Trinitron goodness, mm mm MMM!

Is Joe Holt a real person? (Jolt, as in Jolt Cola?)


I’ve had it since day 1 and I think this is the year I’m finally gonna use it!


I miss Macromedia Freehand, and had been using since when it was Aldus Freehand. I liked the UI for manipulating bezier curves better. And though I like Illustrator well enough, I am warming up to Sketch.


I learned vector in Macromedia Freehand, and I vastly preferred that to Illustrator because it could also do all the page layout and get me all the way to camera ready files to send to the service bureau. Or the printer if they handled the camera work themselves. No need to bring it into Pagemaker or Indesign.

Too bad Adobe killed Freehand after they bought it. I’m still using Freehand 10, though, and I’ll keep my Windows 7 box forever so it can run. Well, no, my ultimate plan is to virtualize the machine, but I’ll keep the VM forever for that purpose.


Right now it’s looking its receding hairline in the mirror and wondering if it might have led the exciting lifestyle an MMORPG, had it not settled down and started a creative suite.


I miss the illustrator lady in the the toolbar.

Also Freehand for the win.


Loved Freehand. Miss it still when I’m forced to use Illustrator for something. I just “got” the Freehand tools and could never seem to adapt to Illustrator.


Your version may be slightly out of date.

Every day I use Illustrator is a day I miss FreeHand. I remember first using it to create flyers for a 'zine I started on campus in the '90s. I don’t miss those days, but it was so exciting learning to use a laser printer for free before campus administration started charging for paper and toner.


Hey, did anyone else have the NeXT version of Illustrator? (Between that and the SGI version I probably logged as many hours into it as I have for the Mac version.)


I’ve often wished Adobe would release an Elements version of Illustrator.


Hey, you forgot “or Quark.”


I use Illustrator all day long for my job, and I fondly miss Freehand. Its tools were so much more intuitive and elegant, somehow. I first used it when it was Aldus Freehand, and loved how easy it was to manipulate type – its text on a curve tool was lovely – and to use its tools to form shapes. Illustrator gained far more features, but I dread having to hassle with text on a curve.

I remember using both tools in college and thinking how annoying it was to have to work in black & white ‘wireframe mode’ in Illustrator before rendering my art, versus simply drawing in Freehand.


I got sick of paying for CS cloud, and recently transitioned to using a g4 tower with illustrator 10 and photoshop 7. If you need every last cutting edge feature then maybe the old stuff is not for you, but scanning, painting, drawing curves, and laying text is surprisingly efficient for a setup that cost me $50 with a craigslist mac and a scanner 15 years old.

I’m not in major industries, but for a while now I felt adobe have already created most of what the illustration/photo world need and recent of the advancements have been about survival over function.


I’m on CS5 and have zero desire to upgrade to Creative Cloud. I’d get along just fine with Illustrator 10 except that I often have to use art sent to be by various clients and content partners, and Adobe has that fun thing they do where Illustrator art stops being backwards compatible after a certain number of versions.


I imagine the eventual goal is cloud version files only, which is terrible.

Another reason proprietary file formats suck the big one.


Oh. Pity.


Quark was my daily driver / workhorse for years. It took a long time, but it became almost invisible as I put things together.

Then, an upgrade fiasco destroyed the whole thing. I was working for a company at that time, and between the terrible customer service, the somehow-borked Macs, the six months to get a refund, they switched us all to InDesign. Which was fine.

These days, I seem to spend my waking life in Adobe applications, so I’m on board, I just wish I could purchase the software outright and not have to make myself a vassal in their feudal empire.

And, I will throw in my fond remembrance of Freehand, sigh.


Quark had a virtual monopoly on multiple page layout design for many years; I did all the layout for the college newspaper for a few years, and after getting the hang of Quark, I could do all my work with a few quick-key clicks. We just had to put up with the fact that it refused to work with Photoshop or Illustrator and cost nearly $2000 per copy.

When I started using InDesign, it was so lovely to have so many tools I used to have to get as plug-ins be standard. Things like CMYK PDF support, glyphs, opentype, preflight checking…


Jeez, I’d almost forgotten having to print to postscript then distill… I must have blocked the bad memories.

And, I really should better appreciate the direct support for AI and PSD files, that does make things easier.