Illustrator 1.0

John Warnock, from the VHS tape that shipped with Illustrator 1.0.

I happened to be looking at Reuben Miller’s blog today and stopped when I got to the item “Introducing Illustrator 88” in which he embedded a link to a YouTube video showing a portion of the VHS tape that shipped with Illustrator 88. I have that tape and also the one that came with Illustrator 1.0. (And the disks, and the packaging. I know. It’s a disease.) I’d been toying with the idea of digitizing these videos and posting them online, but someone saved me the trouble. (It appears that John Nack of Adobe posted the 1.0 video.)

I particularly remember the tape that was included with 1.0, which featured John Warnock, the CEO and founder of Adobe himself, doing the demos. I’ll never forget the way he exclaimed “Isn’t that neat?” after showing how the pen tool works. And it was neat. The YouTube clip only shows about the first ten minutes of the tape, so it’s missing that little gem.

It’s amazing how good the program was right from the start. It had a long way to go (no color, no layers, no drawing in preview mode, no composite paths, only one font in a text block, no converting text to outlines, no pathfinder tools, etc., etc.), but the foundation was solid. It sure looks slow running on that tiny Mac Plus screen, though.