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Adobe's San Jose offices are camera-ready

Adobe's San Jose, California, headquarters. Photo: Ina Fried/Axios
Adobe's San Jose, California, headquarters. Photo: Ina Fried/Axios

When you think of impressive tech company campuses, Adobe's San Jose skyscrapers don't always come to mind. But they've come a long way since the drab gray office-laden areas that the company first set up in the 1990s.

The big picture: Thanks to ongoing renovations, most teams have done away with offices in favor of the Silicon Valley standard of open-plan cubicles combined with conference rooms and quiet spaces.

Why it matters: Attractive workspaces, good cafeterias and other perks help recruit in the super-tight Silicon Valley labor market. Plus, a company focused on creativity the way Adobe is needs an office that helps spark new ideas.

Some of Adobe's call booths have an extra layer of flair, especially those on the floor housing the Photoshop team. The coolest one pays tribute to the first version of the software, dating to 1990. In addition to a working Macintosh Classic running Photoshop 1.0, there is a PowerBook 170 as well as a cassette player, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures and a clunky Nokia cell phone.

Other rooms on the floor pay tribute to later releases, including a 1994-themed room with a "Pulp Fiction" poster and boombox, along with a copy of Photoshop 3.0. A later room, devoted to the 2003 debut of Creative Suite, contains a blueberry iBook and a signed poster of Carson Daly.

  • Then there's the basketball court in the middle and the skywalks connecting the buildings. Plus the gift shop, with some great kids' wear, including a T-shirt that says "I'm not messy, I'm creative" and a onesie that says "That's not drool. It's art."

What's next: Adobe has just broken ground on a 4th tower that will be able to hold more people than the other 3 combined (4,000 vs. the 3,500 workers in the current 3 buildings).