1987 – QuarkXPress & Adobe Illustrator

Two important new applications ship in 1987: Quark starts shipping QuarkXPress for the Macintosh. The first Windows version comes out 5 years later.

QuarkXpress 1.0 splash screen

Adobe Illustrator 1.0 is published for Macintosh. A Windows version doesn’t appear until 1989. Adobe primarily creates the application as a demonstration of the capabilities of its PostScript page description language. Many of the settings in the program directly refer to the matching PostScript operators.

The startup screen of Adobe Illustrator in 1987

Iris Graphics, a Massachusetts-based company, creates the Iris 3024. This digital proof printer is the first in a long line of printers, including the Iris 3047 shown below. In 2000 the company is acquired by Scitex. The 1995 Scitex Iris Realist is another groundbreaking proofing device.

Iris 3047

ImageStudio from Letraset is the leading gray-scale image-editing program for Macintosh and a source of inspiration for the developers of Photoshop. Another popular image edition program and my personal favorite is Digital Darkroom.

PC users can upgrade to MS-DOS 3.3 or enhance their system’s video capabilities with a VGA graphics card. After installing Windows 2.0 they can get going with the first PC release of Aldus PageMaker. Microsoft also change their logo for the fourth time in their history.

Microsoft logo from 1987 onward

Linotype starts producing Type 1 typefaces which they license to Adobe.

The Macintosh SE costs $2900 at its introduction. It has an expansion slot and an optional built-in 40 MB hard disk. The new Macintosh II is even more expandable. The Extended Keyboard II that ships with these systems is the best keyboard I have ever used.

Apple extended keyboard II

Soy-based inks make offset printing a bit more eco-friendly.

While working for Adobe, Sumner Stone designs ITC Stone. The variation shown below is Stone Informal. There are also serif and sans serif versions.

Stone Informal typeface example


These are some important or remarkable events from 1987:

  • The world population reaches 5 billion.
  • On Black Monday (October 19) the stock market drops 22%.
  • The Herald of Free Enterprise sinks in the North Sea.
  • An international treaty calls for a 50% reduction in the use of CFCs by the year 2000.
  • The Italian porn star Cicciolina wins a seat in the parliament.

<1986 1988>

13 May 2017

One response to “1987 – QuarkXPress & Adobe Illustrator”

  1. SlaveToTheMan says:

    Ahhhh, ’87 was a good year – I graduated high school! Then I started the (unintentional) descent into printing & it’s all downhill from there. So sad.


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