Happy 20th birthday, Adobe InDesign

The year was 1998.

Microsoft had just become the biggest company in the world. Google (with an exclamation mark!) was unveiled, the single Euro currency was born and Titanic bagged 11 Oscars at the 70th Academy Awards.

Meanwhile, a new product coming out of PageMaker – codenamed Shuksan by the ‘94 Adobe-acquired company Aldus and then later codenamed K2 – was being developed.

It was Adobe’s weapon to take on QuarkXPress, who by ‘98 had all but eradicated PageMaker’s share in the professional desktop publishing market.

In an interview with CRN during the K2 development phase, Adobe Systems co-founder Dr. Charles Geschke was stellar in his vision of how the future would unfold.

“We’ve thought about it carefully. For example, someone who wants to go into catalogue publishing or producing yellow pages, we’ve designed the software so that it’s easy for them to add their own niche markets and application expertise to it. That generates a micro-industry. It brings value to the user because you get specific expertise that Adobe may not have internally, and it’s more quickly brought to market. It makes for an inherent partnership between those value-added developers, SIs and ourselves.”

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MIke James, CTO of GoProof

Our very own CTO Mike James was in his home office with an early Mac. He’d already been to Seattle to attend the first ever ‘K2’ Adobe developer conference and evaluated how it squared up against QuarkXPress, a product which he had been building on for the previous 8 years.

He and Oppolis CEO Jon Simcox were solidifying how they would become part of Geschke’s vision with their own specific expertise and monetise the opportunity.

Adobe InDesign v1.0 was officially launched in 1999. There was a new kid on the block, alright.

Mike remembers the time well. “It was hard! The desktop publishing concepts were similar to QuarkXPress but it was a totally new way of working. We had to re-learn how to build plugins. But the potential was huge.”

The first big InDesign project Mike rolled out was a custom editorial system in 2003 for a major UK newspaper. “It took their publishing workflow into a completely new dimension. After that rolled out, we just kept building and building, filling gaps and plugging holes to increase efficiency.”

“The real step-change came in 2007 when it got bundled with Photoshop and Illustrator in Adobe CS3,” recalls Mike. “Suddenly the tide had turned and there was a huge demand by publishers to switch to InDesign. What can you say – the rest is history.”

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Download the GoProof extension for Adobe InDesign

20 years on in 2019 and InDesign is the go-to platform for print and digital page layout design work – and a core module in the Creative Cloud toolkit.

The GoProof extension for Adobe Creative Cloud is a modern-day example of how the Adobe partner and developer ecosystem adds value to standard InDesign workflows, with hundreds of others available on the Adobe Exchange.

A recent addition to the GoProof extension includes new developments to support InCopy, as Adobe’s Senior Manager of Partner Strategy and Programs Mike Zahorik explains.

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Adobe’s Mike Zahorik talks about GoProof’s InCopy integration

“We’re pleased to see GoProof expand collaboration for designers, contributors and stakeholders by adding support for InCopy. While InCopy has been available for some time, GoProof has utilized a cloud platform making it easy for designers and agencies to work with their clients and see changes in a wysiwyg interface.”

It sure has been one heck of a ride – check out this history of splash screens up to 2018 – and GoProof and Oppolis Software is proud to have been a part of the whole journey.

Happy 2-0, Adobe InDesign!

Reference credits:
‘Interview: Charles Geschke’ CRN
Adobe InDesign Wikipedia
InDesign Secrets