PixelPaint 1.0

252 words

3K on disk

November 1987

PixelPaint 1.0

First 8-bit Painting Program

Image: Jon Gibson; Photo: SuperMac

Perhaps the first 256-color paint program for the Mac, PixelPaint was written by Pixel Resources and published by the hardware vendor SuperMac. It was positioned as a software showcase for the company’s new Spectrum 8-bit color video card for the Mac II and accompanying 19″ monitor, introduced at MacWorld Expo Boston in August 1987.

Excitement built about PixelPaint in the trade press leading up to its release.

…SuperMac Technology of Mountain View, Calif., is preparing a color paint program for the Mac II called PixelPaint.

The context was an article about the flood of graphic design programs that extended Apple’s original MacPaint concept: FullPaint added multiple windows and full-screen editing, while PixelPaint focused on complete support for the 256 colors possible in Apple’s 8-bit color standard.

Introduced the previous summer, PixelPaint was shipping by January 1988 – one of the few pieces of color Mac software then available.

SuperMac’s positioning of this software reflected more their sales goals for their large, expensive monitors than it did the eventual landscape of graphics software. The coverage in MacWeek emphasized “Bit-mapped color presentation graphics” “color transparencies for business presentations,” and “presentations for corporate clients” rather than any kind of personal creative work. But in the early landscape of color graphics circa 1987, virtually the entire workflow had yet to be invented. Journalists discussed the notion of using software such as PixelPaint to “colorize” existing artwork – in a time years before color scanners made that a trivial task.

PixelPaint 1.0
Kind: First 8-bit Painting Program
Size: 2520 bytes, accounts for 3K on disk
Where:Software, internal drive
Created:Wednesday, November 25, 1987 at 6:50 PM
Modified:Sunday, April 7, 2019 at 9:58 PM