Bruce Fraser, Photoshop Pioneer, Dies

The news, posted by Dan Margulis tonight on the Color Theory list, pays much homage to the “father of digital color management”.

bruce fraser

Bruce Fraser, Photoshop pioneer and considered one of the most important influences on how Photoshop interprets and manages color, died yesterday after fighting a terminal illness. From Dan Margulis’ post to the Color Theory group:

With deep sorrow, I report that Bruce Fraser died yesterday. His contributions to our understanding were great. He was also a gentleman in every respect. Our field is diminished by his absence.

And this, probably what sums Margulis’ message best:

Based on [Fraser’s] public writings, [his] contribution is a mixed bag. Unquestionably he helped popularize Photoshop and, later, Camera Raw. He made the concepts of color management accessible to many more people than otherwise would have been the case…. What Bruce had, though, was common sense, and he also had the ear of many influential people in the industry. He knew that the biggest obstacle to workflow adoption was making it too complex. The term “rocket science” as applied to many color management concepts was his. He was continually saying to vendors, “you are making rocket science out of a simple concept!” He was, therefore, an advocate for you and me.

According to his biography on, Fraser wrote, taught and consulted on publishing, imaging, and color issues since 1985. He was coauthor of the award-winning “Real World Photoshop” series, as well as “Real World Color Management,” all from Peachpit Press, and wrote countless articles on Photoshop, color management and image reproduction. He was also a founder and principal of Pixel Genius, LLC, an industry think-tank. In 2005 Fraser was also honored with induction in the Photoshop Hall of Fame, and just this year doubly honored with the first Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP).

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