A look back at the last quarter century of creative technology

A look back at the last quarter century of creative technology

We’re celebrating our 25th year providing products that help everyone from studio managers to graphic designers to video producers stay productive and creative. As part of the festivities, we’re going retro and taking the plunge into a nostalgia pool filled with Zip drives, beige Power Macs, primitive social networks, old school design apps and more! 

Creation and innovation can be a tough business, but it’s worth it. A quarter century of hard work has led to countless milestone moments and tech developments. See for yourself how far we’ve come…

1992

– Roger Whittle founds Jigsaw24. The colour orange is never the same again.

– Animation gains a new dimension as classic horror game Alone in the Dark introduces us all to the joys of 3D polygon character animation, traumatising at least one member of the team so badly that they give up gaming forever.

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– Neil Papworth wishes Richard Jarvis “Merry Christmas” in the first ever SMS message.

1993

– The PDF is born (this may well be the least cool entry on the list, but the ‘compare document’ feature in the latest version of Acrobat DC is a lifesaver, and the new editing toolkit is properly brilliant).

– The internet is born. Cats everywhere shudder but don’t know why…

– NVIDIA is founded; gamers swear by their high-powered GPUs to this day.

1994

– American telecoms company AT&T run the first ever internet ad banner campaign. A single bead of sweat trickles down the forehead of every person working in the print business.

– Photoshop 3.0 is released and introduces the world to layers.

– Iomega’s Zip drive is released.

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– Apple launch their ‘Serious Business Computer’ ad, which we strongly urge you to watch:

1995

– JavaScript is released. Jamie, our Web Designer, says “JavaScript is crucial to web and non-web projects and it’s hard to imagine working without it. But the range of libraries can be baffling, so I prefer React and Angular.”

– Sony releases the first PlayStation, beginning an epidemic of vitamin D deficiency in children.

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– Coca-Cola’s iconic Christmas truck advert airs for the first time. All together now: “Holidays are coming, holidays are coming…”

1996

– The first CSS specification is published.

1997

– Apple encourage us to Think Different for the first time; science responds by cloning Dolly the sheep.

– IBM’s Deep Blue defeats chess champ Garry Kasparov. We know we’re not an IBM outfit, but credit where it’s due.

– Google domain name is registered. We could not have compiled this list without it, so feel compelled to include it.

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1998

– Wacom release the first Intuos tablet. There is much rejoicing. Graphic Designer Liana says “I remember getting my first job and being amazed by Wacom. I’d spent all of my time at uni huddled over an 11” MacBook, trying to do everything on the Touchpad, which obviously has nothing on a nice big Wacom.”

– First ever Google Doodle. Bit rubbish, to be honest.

– HDTV is introduced. Everyone becomes picture quality snobs.

1999

– The mighty Nikon D1 becomes the first DSLR to challenge the market supremacy of film cameras.

– Budweiser asks “Wassup?”

2000

– Post-apocalyptic horrors promised during the Y2K Panic fail to materialise.

– Everyone buys a Nokia 3310.

– Sony launches PlayStation 2, the best-selling video game console ever.

2001

– Apple launch iTunes and OS X, ushering us into the modern era of Mac.

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– Microsoft remove that Paperclip thing from Office. It is not missed.

– Wikipedia is launched. Students everywhere are elated, and nobody wins an internet debate ever again.

2002

– InDesign becomes the first ever Mac-native desktop publishing tool.

– Gartner calculate that one billion personal computers have been sold since their arrival in the 70s.

2003

– The first ever Creative Suite is released, including the all-new Premiere Pro.

– The Dalsa Origin becomes the first commercially available 4K camera.

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– Skype is launched, making video conferencing several thousand times easier.

2004

– Facebook beings its journey to world domination. People Poke each other.

– MySpace arrives, and manages to trick a generation of teenagers into learning HTML by letting you customise your profile.

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– Motorola release the Razr V3 flip phone. It’s really thin.

2005

– Adobe launch Creative Suite 2, featuring Smart Objects.

– The first YouTube video is released. Elephants’ trunks are really cool.

– Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle becomes the first film released on Blu-ray.

2006

– The .gif standard becomes freely available, making written language obsolete and neatly dividing the world into gifsayers and jifsayers.

– Jack Dorsey sends the first ever tweet (and is too edgy for vowels):

2007

– iPhone arrives, and promptly shifts 1.4 million units in its first year.

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– CS3 arrives, meaning you can finally use Photoshop on a modern Mac without having to go through Rosetta.

– Cadbury rehabilitate Phil Collins’ image with their classic drumming gorilla ad, which none of us can believe is really ten years old.

2008

– Nikon’s D90 is the first DSLR to introduce video recording.

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– Artist Shepard Fairey creates the iconic Barack Obama ‘Hope’ poster.

2009

– James Cameron’s Avatar becomes the highest-grossing film of all time.

– Microsoft launches Windows 7, sealing the fate of Vista.

2010

– iPad is released.

– The first commercially available jet pack is launched.

2011

– Adobe introduce Content-Aware tools.

– Wacom introduce the Cintiq 24HD. It weighs as much as a not-so-small child, but we all want one anyway.

– The number of Apple devices sold in this one year is larger than the total number of Macs sold ever. We imagine a lot of people spent this year frantically working out how to make their website responsive.

– Steve Jobs passes away aged 56.

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2012

– The final boxed version of Creative Suite, CS6, is released, which we mention only because our marketing team won a prize for their campaign and have been insufferable ever since.

– Jony Ive gets a knighthood; rumour has it he commented witheringly on the maximalist design of the medal.

– The Hobbit is the first movie filmed at 48 fps. Viewers suffer eyestrain.

– The world doesn’t end. In your face, Mayans.

2013

– Kenneth Grange scores a knighthood, joining Ive as Britain’s most decorated designer.

– Adobe launch Creative Cloud.

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– Film Gravity uses the most complex lighting setup in film history, using a custom-built light box with 1.8 million high-powered LEDs to film zero-gravity footage.

2014

– YouTube announce that they receive 100 hours of new video content per minute.

2015

– Windows 10 is launched, if you’re into that sort of thing.

2016

– Mobile browsing overtakes desktop for the first time.

– Harambe the gorilla dies and is memorialised forever in meme form.

2017

– Carter Wilkinson makes a plea to Wendy’s for a year’s worth of free chicken nuggets. It becomes the most retweeted tweet of all time, currently standing at over 3.5 million.

– Twitter shut down online video service Vine. At least it lasted longer than its videos.

– Jigsaw24 turn 25; immediately has crisis about logo.

If you’d like to find out more about about contemporary creative kit, give us a call on 03332 400 888, email sales@Jigsaw24.com or pop your details in the form below. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Last chance to save when you move to Adobe Creative Cloud!

Last chance to save when you move to Adobe Creative Cloud!

We really mean it this time. If you’re still on old versions of Creative Suite, you only have until 27th November 2015 to migrate over to Adobe Creative Cloud (and save a cool £543 over three years). After that, you’ll only be able to buy new, full price seats, so it’s definitely time to make the move!

Adobe have been offering discounted migration pricing ever since they first launched Creative Cloud (way back in 2012!), so the fact that it will no longer be available is a really big deal for anyone who hasn’t moved over to Cloud yet. And they’re making migration an even more enticing prospect by also reintroducing their three year price lock.

Calculating Creative Cloud costs

Now for the money bit. Adobe migration pricing costs £455 ex VAT per seat for a 12 month term, but with the three year price lock taken into account, seats purchased now at £455 will be locked in for the next two renewals – which all saves you a whopping £543 per seat. After 27th November, however, new licences can only be purchased at the standard cost of £636 ex VAT for a 12 month term. It’s a massive opportunity for anyone who hasn’t yet migrated, as well as anyone who is looking to expand their estates, especially when you consider everything you get in Adobe Creative Cloud for teams

Why migrate to Creative Cloud?

We don’t really need to tell you that using legacy versions of software means you’re missing out on all the new features and workflow improvements that have come out since Adobe moved to Creative Cloud, not to mention the issue of file compatibility. For more info on how it works, check out our handy Adobe Creative Cloud infographic here, or for more on the new features, Adobe tutorials, customer stories and tons of other Adobe resources, head to our Adobe Creative Cloud hub.

Migrate to Creative Cloud now

To migrate to Adobe Creative Cloud and take advantage of this limited time offer, you’ll need to get your orders in before 27th November. Just give us a call on 03332 409 251 or email adobe@Jigsaw24.com and we’ll sort you out!

Interested in Adobe Creative Cloud for teams? Give us a call on 03332 409 251 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Adobe Creative Cloud licensing explained

Adobe Creative Cloud licensing explained

With boxed copies of Adobe Creative Suite a thing of the past, and Creative Cloud taking over as the only way to get your fix of Photoshop, InDesign, Premiere Pro and more, the old upgrade policy has also changed. So here’s our guide to the latest Adobe licensing options, including how to buy, what you’re likely to pay, and what you can do if you’re only after one specific Adobe application.

With Creative Cloud, Adobe want to make it easier (and ultimately cheaper!) to make sure you’re always on the most up-to-date software, and the best way to do this is with a subscription service. Before, when you bought a perpetual licence, it was effectively out of date the moment you installed the software on your machine. But by now subscribing to Creative Cloud for teams, you get instant access to any updates the moment they’re out. Not only that, you get maintenance and support bundled in, extras like Muse, Lightroom and Digital Publishing Suite, and all the collaborative benefits of working with clients and colleagues in the cloud.

So how do we buy into Creative Cloud?

To get Creative Cloud, the best thing would be to get in touch, as we can help set you up with a subscription. If you’re looking to deploy Creative Cloud for teams, there’s a new scheme to manage the process called the Value Incentive Plan (VIP). This lets you purchase, manage, and assign permissions to use Adobe software and services to users through a really simple, easy to use portal.

Basically, your Jigsaw24 contact sets up a VIP portal and invites you in, then you deploy the software as needed, and can monitor who’s got access to what. Becoming a VIP member also lets you keep track of all your Cloud seats in a single agreement with a single anniversary date, even if you add extra seats part way through the year, so you never lose track of what needs renewing.

What’s happened to TLP/CLP?

If you feel particularly averse to the cloud, you can stick to your old TLP (Transactional Licensing Program, where you make a single one-off purchase) or CLP (Cumulative Licensing Program, where you get discounts for buying more than eight seats) model and buy Adobe Creative Suite CS6. However, it’s very important to note that any future releases and updates to software will only be available through Creative Cloud. After that, Adobe will only release support for operating systems.

[UPDATE, 16/04/2014]: From 1st June 2014, Adobe CS6 will no longer be available in TLP and CLP licensing programmes, with the last order date being 30th May. Adobe are doing this to simplify their creative offering and decision making process for customers and by removing this option and focusing on Creative Cloud, it will be easier for all customers to stay up to date with the latest and greatest features and tools. If you have any questions about making the move to Creative Cloud, please get in touch!

But I only ever use one application…

Adobe have now released individual subscriptions for all their top Creative Cloud apps. So if you only need to do some retouching in Photoshop CC, only require the drawing tools in Illustrator CC, or could just do with InDesign CC for some page layout, you can do just that. With a Creative Cloud for teams single app subscription, you get access to the latest features of your Adobe CC app, but with the added benefit of predictable budgeting and some great online extras.

The obvious difference is that, while Creative Cloud for teams complete includes access to the full range of Creative Cloud apps and services (including the online collaborative tools and file sharing functionality), a single app plan only includes access to one app and limits the amount of storage to 20GB per user (100GB for the complete option). Additionally, while the single app version lets you sync, share and collaborate with colleagues, and create a customised online portfolio with Behance ProSite, you don’t have access to the full range of Creative Cloud apps.

To put that into perspective, with complete, you’re getting access to 19 apps, 6 additional web tools and 8 workflow apps. With single apps, you’re only getting access to one chosen app and Behance, but it is around half the price of the complete version’s promo price.

How much am I likely to pay?

You pay an annual subscription fee for whatever version of Creative Cloud you use. As of 1st June 2014, the standard fee is £455 per user, per year for access to practically every application Adobe produce, plus any updates and some tech support from Adobe.

Want to know more about subscribing to Adobe Creative Cloud? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email Adobe@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

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Video: How good are the new content-aware tools in Photoshop CS6?

Video: How good are the new content-aware tools in Photoshop CS6?

Tom, our resident multimedia designer, takes the latest incarnation of Photoshop for a spin. In this video tutorial, he puts the content-aware tools through their paces. In this tutorial he shows us how to use content-aware patch, move and extend features.

Want to find out more about Adobe Creative Suite 6? Call us on 03332 409 306, email sales@jigsaw24.com or send us a pigeon.

Adobe Creative Week 2012: Our design team’s thoughts

Adobe Creative Week 2012: Our design team’s thoughts

Our design team spend most of their waking hours toiling over Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Premiere Pro and Dreamweaver, so we thought it would be a good idea for us to check in with some of Adobe Creative Week 2012’s online seminars and see what other creatives were up to.

With the UK economy still idling in recession, big themes up for discussion were how creativity could help push growth, the decline of print, constrained budgets and changing skill sets. Adobe also showcased their new Touch apps for Apple’s iPad, Creative Cloud and Creative Suite 6. Here’s Liana, Ed and Paul’s thoughts on the week’s hotly contested debates…

Day 1: Creative Industry Overview

The overarching question to kick off Creative Week was ‘Can creativity help drive the UK out of recession?’, and the results showed the viewers had a pretty sunny outlook, 88% of them voting ‘Yes’. One of the themes touched on was creativity in education, and whether we were failing the younger generation by not giving art and creative subjects enough credibility.

Designer Liana Jackson wasn’t so sure it was such a big hindrance: “While gaining basic skills in maths and science is necessary, I’ve never felt like I wasn’t able to pursue a career in design because art wasn’t ‘credible’. I suppose it can be seen more as a hobby than an actual job, and I think more people are trying to get into creative roles now, and earning money doing jobs for people because they ‘kind of know’ what they’re doing. This can lead to a lot of pants design out there and a lot of qualified designers out of a job.”

With the rising use of mobile devices in the classroom (Adobe showed an interesting case study from Ravensbourne College), students are getting far more collaborative and diverse design skills. Whether this new crop of creativity can provide the stimulus the UK needs for economic growth remains to be seen.

Adobe Touch apps and Creative Cloud

Throughout Creative Week, Adobe evangelists were showcasing their latest products with in-depth video tutorials, which are all handily uploaded to the Adobe Creative Week site to watch back at your leisure. Of particular interest to our iPad expert Ed Reisner were the new Adobe Touch apps and Creative Cloud, as presented by Rufus Deuchler (Senior Worldwide Design Evangelist at Adobe Systems – @rufusd on Twitter).

“While Apple have been pushing their cloud services for a while, it’s great that you can now ‘work in the cloud’ with Adobe,” he said. “Creative Cloud also lets you download and manage desktop apps like Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign or the Touch tablet apps such as Kuler and Proto, a bit like Apple’s App Store. Interestingly, you can also download an app for a specific time period. This would be useful if you’ve taken on a contractor for a month or two, and only need a Photoshop licence for that time.”

Ed also thought Adobe’s six Touch apps – Photoshop, Kuler, Proto, Collage, Ideas and Debut – would be really useful for designers on the move: “Each of the Touch apps is designed specifically for multitouch use, and as they integrate with Creative Cloud, will let you work on initial concepts and save them while you’re out of the office.

“Photoshop Touch gives you control of some basic Photoshop commands, but also lets you add comments so you can collaboratively review ideas with colleagues and clients. The Ideas app is great for sketching out concepts, letting you draw intuitively with touch gestures as vector paths, ready to scale up in Illustrator when you’re back at your desktop computer. Of all Adobe’s Touch apps, the most interesting is probably Proto, which integrates with Dreamweaver to let you create basic websites on the fly. You can be with a client and sketch out ideas on your iPad as you’re talking, using multitouch gestures to put in headers, tabs and more.”

Day 2: Design and Publishing

The decline of print media is no big news, so it was heartening to see that 69% of people surveyed on Day 2 thought that print could survive the digital revolution. Jeremy Leslie from the magCulture blog said that having both print and digital “gives us the option to pick and choose the right solution for the project in hand”, while Future Publishing’s digital Editor-in-Chief Mike Goldsmith enthused that “digital technology gives you permission to fail”, as it’s so much easier to rectify mistakes and make amends.

“Digital media can reach people far quicker than print, and with platforms like Twitter, it’s changed how we read and consume content,” said Liana. “But they reminded viewers that the challenge is still engaging that person to want to follow a link and read on.

“Design, like fashion, is also cyclical, and Adobe brought up the good example of InDesign’s first introduction, and people moving over from Quark. Everyone learned to use new tools like drop shadow, but then it became so ubiquitous that it fell out of favour, only to come back when it started being seen as different and original again,” she added.

Tutorials for Day 2 focused on Adobe’s big three apps for design and publishing – Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator – as well as newcomer Muse, which lets you do WYSIWYG web design without lines and lines of code. Check out the videos on the Adobe Creative Week site.

We’ve been using Creative Suite 6 for a while now, and our videographer Tom has also put together his own handy tutorials for Photoshop’s Content-Aware and text extrusion tools, and Image Trace in Illustrator, which you can see over at our YouTube channel.

Day 3: Film and video

‘Do smaller budgets make for more original ideas?’ Last year, the BBC spent 13% less on TV, and ITV spent 21% less (2011 compared to 2010), yet revenue went up for both. Pressure and expectation from above to do more with fewer resources and less technology can force creatives to think differently, seemed to be the reasoning.

One new avenue which has helped is social media platforms like YouTube and Twitter which, former BBC social media expert Marc Goodchild reckons, “brings producers closer to their audience”.

Liana agreed that social media is now a key part of creativity: “As Marc said, YouTube allows you to test your work and fine tune it before the final cut, decreasing risk and making it as good as it can be. It’s also great for talent scouts and HR managers looking to hire people. Pilots used to be secretive and for a specialised audience, but now they’re expected to be seen by lots of people, thus giving more constructive feedback.

“The panellists also discussed how Twitter is now a valid source of openly eavesdropping – people aren’t afraid to give their opinion because they aren’t talking to your face. There are also enough people to get a rounded, calculated result, from a different range of expertise and backgrounds.”

Day 4: Web and mobile

Cross-disciplinary skills are all well and good, but the fourth day of Creative Week asked – ‘Should you be a Jack of all trades instead of a master of one?’. A very talented 64% said designers should be skilled in newer processes like app design in addition to traditional skills.

With the ways people consume media changing, and clients wanting to be at the forefront of that change, keeping up to date with technology has never been so important. Just as a coder needs a basic grasp of design, designers should have an understanding of coding, they said.

Adobe demoed a great new resource – The Expressive Web – showcasing CSS3, HTML5 and content aware pages. As Ed mentioned above, there’s also the new Touch app Proto. Proto lets you create a website wireframe directly on your tablet device, preview in on the tablet and then export it out to the Creative Cloud where you can then start fleshing the website out in Dreamweaver.

Day 5: Photography and Imaging

The last day’s topic was bound to cause a bit of controversy – ‘Is digital imaging all tech and no talent?’. Any designer worth their salt knows that software is a brilliant addition to photography, but it can’t make a great photo on its own, and an overwhelming 70% agreed that ‘No’, you need talent too.

It was said that Photoshop gives you the opportunity to experiment using techniques and ideas without massive costs – for example award-winning photographer Timothy Allen (BBC’s Human Planet) argued that it was much more cost-effective to use the Tilt-shift feature in Photoshop than it was to buy new lenses to shoot with to achieve the same effect.

Senior designer Paul Shillabeer thought the rise of ‘iPhoneography’ and photo-sharing sites was having a very real effect on the industry. “More amateurs and professionals are using apps and iPhones to create imagery,” he said. “This movement is getting bigger and is very accessible to all levels of photographer from pros to casual snappers. Erin Moroney [of the UK Young Photographers’ Alliance] also noted that photo stock libraries are finding it hard to compete and cannot command the high price tags they used to because people are sourcing images from so many other sources – a very similar image to what a client’s looking for could easily be found on Flickr.”

– A good taster of the current state of the design and media industries, Adobe’s Creative Week 2012 managed to wrap up all the big questions about the changing face of digital creativity. If you missed any of the debates and tutorials, you can catch up on demand here.

You can find out more about Adobe Creative Suite 6 and our full range of design tools at our site, or by calling our team on 03332 409 306 or emailing CAD@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.