The Print Shop

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The Print Shop
Original author(s) Pixellite
Developer(s) Brøderbund, Software MacKiev
Initial release 1984
Stable release 23 / 2009
Operating system Windows, Mac OS X, Apple II (discontinued), Atari 8-bit (discontinued), DOS (discontinued), Commodore 64 (discontinued)
License Proprietary software
Website Broderbund, Software MacKiev

The Print Shop is a basic desktop publishing software package developed in the early 1980s by Brøderbund. It was unique in that it provided libraries of clip-art and templates through a simple interface to build signs, posters and banners with household dot-matrix printers.[1] Over the years the software has been updated to accommodate changing file formats and printer technologies.

The original version was for the Apple II and created signs, cards, banners, and letterheads.[1] Designed by David Balsam and programmed by Martin Kahn, it became one of the most popular Apple II titles of all time. Versions for the IBM PC, Commodore 64, and Atari 8-bit computers followed, as did a variant for the Apple IIGS. These versions were published in Europe by Ariolasoft.

The software became very popular. In 1988 Brøderbund announced that it had sold more than one million copies, and that sales of The Print Shop comprised 4% of the entire United States software market in 1987.[2]

The Print Shop Companion[edit]

The Print Shop Companion, developed by Roland Gustafsson and released in 1985, added a calendar feature, an updated graphic editor, font and border editors, and a "Creature Maker" game, as well as an expanded library of fonts, borders, and graphics. Initially, to use the new fonts and borders in The Print Shop, Companion had to modify the original program; subsequent releases of The Print Shop included built-in support for Companion.

In 1986 the first Apple Macintosh version was released. It featured graphics by Marney Morris and was the most powerful version at the time. It was popular in schools and contained a unique feature in which graphics could be transferred to or from a MacPaint file.

Graphics libraries for The Print Shop came from Brøderbund and other vendors.[3] Libraries were produced for the original version and continued to be rolled out as late as the 1990s. User-produced graphics were also commonly distributed by various user groups, and even submitted to disk magazines, such as the Softdisk family of magazines.

The New Print Shop[edit]

The New Print Shop came out in 1988 for Apple II and DOS, and improved on the original. Print Shop Deluxe, for Mac, DOS, and Windows, followed in 1993. Deluxe used a new all-graphical interface still found in Print Shop programs today and allowed for creation of calendars. Print Shop Deluxe Companion added new modules and graphics, and the Ensemble version combined The Print Shop, the Companion, and several graphics libraries on one CD.

Many new versions of The Print Shop followed, such as Ensemble II. Now over 20 years old, Print Shop still generates printed greeting cards, banners, and signs. It has kept with the times by offering new types of printed output, including CD and DVD labels and inserts, iPod skins, and photo book pages. To assist the small-business users, it also offers projects such as business cards, letterheads and presentations.

On January 15, 2010, a new version for the PC supporting Windows 7 titled The Print Shop 2.0 was released, published by Encore, Inc.. This version is not backwards compatible and has been poorly received. It is published in Standard, Deluxe, and Professional variants.

To address Windows 7 support for pre-2.0 projects, an incremental release to the old line, The Print Shop Version 23.1 was released in July 2010.

For Mac OS X, the most recent version is 2.0, developed and published by Software MacKiev.


  1. ^ a b InfoWorld magazine, page 57 - 17 september 1984
  2. ^ "Inside the Industry". Computer Gaming World. April 1988. p. 8. 
  3. ^ "Allow Us to Draw Your Attention (advertisement)". Compute's Gazette. June 1987. p. 5. Retrieved 6 October 2013. 

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