Adobe Systems is a multinational software company known by everyone – whether you want to create a complex graphic design or just remove your wrinkles or spots from an image. People are most familiar with the company’s flagship product – Adobe Photoshop. However, there are many other products that are popular between the people who use computer on a daily basis – Adobe Reader, Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Flash, Adobe Dreamweaver etc.
Still, the aim of this article is to give information on the name origin of Adobe. A name which meaning is not easy to guess without some background knowledge in contrast to companies which are named after their founder’s family name or the name of the main product the company is providing. In this case, the founders’ names are John Warnock and Charles Geschke – both left their jobs at what was then a division Xerox Corporation in Palo Alto, California. One can see that there is nothing in the names of these guys that evokes the word “adobe”. The meaning of the word may be known to native English speakers, but there are millions of people using the Adobe software around the world so I am going to include the definition here for those of you. According to wiki:
Adobe (pron.: /əˈdoʊbi/, UK /əˈdoʊb/; Arabic: الطوب) is a natural building material made from sand, clay, water, and some kind of fibrous or organic material (sticks, straw, and/or manure), which the builders shape into bricks (using frames) and dry in the sun.
But in this case we are not talking about a construction company or infrastructure organization – not even real estate agency. So there must be another reason to name your company Adobe. And here it is – Adobe is the name of a creek that courses through Los Altos Hills, Los Altos and Palo Alto – all cities in California, US. As mentioned earlier, both founders of the company worked in Palo Alto. And it turns out that both of them lived right next to Adobe Creek. Actually, if you go on Google Maps it will take you quite a while to spot the creek unless you type the name and search it. Something so small like a local creek gave name to one of the most recognized computer software companies. So, next time you’re thinking of a name for a company, brand, or product you might as well look around first – you never know when a great idea might pop up!