• Sign in to Neowin Faster!

    Create an account on Neowin to contribute and support the site.

Sign in to follow this  

Why are Mac's preferred for graphic design?

Recommended Posts

Ashiaveli    0

Hey guys,

I've been set to buy a MBP in a few weeks because I'm seriously pursuing graphic & web design. Regardless if you agree with it or not, I've been using OSX86 on my Thinkpad T42 for the last few days to learn and get comfortable with the OS, and I love it.

I've realized that the apps are not much different, a lot better looking, but overall the same (including the Adobe Suit). I've googled and haven't really found anything solid on the topic of why Mac's are preferred for design, besides "because they have always been" and "because of expose".

I have been thinking about it, and seeing as I don't exactly have a lot of money, and I'm back on the fence.

Basically, to the people who have switched from PC to Mac because of design reasons, do you think it was worth it?

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gigapixels    99

I thought it would be better too, but after having both a Mac Mini and an iBook, I can say there's really not much difference anymore. The Adobe Suite works very well despite the OS. All you really get is the eye candy (and as far as general computing is concerned, no real virus or spyware threat). If you're a savvy Windows user I would bet that you'll probably be more efficient if you stick on Windows, rather than having to learn a new OS.

I don't have anything against Macs, and I'll gladly use one if it's in front of me, but I just find myself working much more efficiently on Windows. I daresay some of the eye candy actually gets in the way of efficiency when using a Mac.

I'm now back on a PC full-time and have actually gotten rid of both Macs that I used to own.

Edited by gigapixels

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Andrew    2,861

They used to be preferred because Adobe created Photoshop for Mac way back in the day. Obviously it was ported and now I believe Windows actually performs better using CS3. At least in my experience it has been.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
CPressland    176

Good comments gigapixels. I'm exactly the same just I find working on a Mac easier then windows. The difference is very minimal these days. In fact the only advantage I can think of is when using a lot of Photoshop files at the same time Expos? really helps

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Twisted Chaz    0
I thought it would be better too, but after having both a Mac Mini and an iBook, I can say there's really not much difference anymore. The Adobe Suite works very well despite the OS. All you really get is the eye candy (and as far as general computing is concerned, no real virus or spyware threat). If you're a savvy Windows user I would bet that you'll probably be more efficient if you stick on Windows, rather than having to learn a new OS.

I don't have anything against Macs, and I'll gladly use one if it's in front of me, but I just find myself working much more efficiently on Windows. I daresay some of the eye candy actually gets in the way of efficiency when using a Mac.

I'm now back on a PC full-time and have actually gotten rid of both Macs that I used to own.

This may just be the best reply I have ever seen to this question. Nowadays they are basically the same. There really isn't much in it. But if you're a savvy windows user as you said, it'd would be a lot more beneficial sticking with windows.

Most people get a Mac to either look good, or because it's "Industry Standard" and everyone else has one in the business.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Oompa    1

Text rendering is far superior on OS X than it is on Windows.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
giga    46

For one reason, fonts are handled much better in OS X for designers as they're represented on how they look on print. (as said on IRC)

I feel the workflow is indispensable as well with Expose, CMD+~ (switching between application windows), and CMD+H (hide application).

You should see the movie Helvetica if you want to see how common macs are in the design industry.

edit: Leopard takes efficiency further with Quick Look.

Edited by giga

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
osirisX    2

I switched from Windows to OS X and I prefer doing design work on OS X. Expose and Spaces are awesome when working with lots of files. I also like being able to drop a file onto an icon in the Dock to open it. Saves me having to bother with the Open dialogue when the file is on the Desktop or in a Stack.

Preview also having support for file types like PDF, PSD, RAW, DNG, EPS, AI, etc and Quick Look having support for most of those file types makes things a lot quicker. I don't have to open a heavy app like Photoshop just to look at the file.

Out of the box font management is also a lot better in OS X compared to Windows. Yes, you can download a font manager. But having a built in one is quite nice. You can also use Quick Look to preview a font before you install it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
joyntkid    0

For me it's all about the shortcuts.

Although there are shortcuts for the PC, I find the mac shortcuts to be much more efficient.

And ofc CMD+~ like giga said. The workflow for me is much better on the Mac.

I go to a school with graphic design and digital media design and it is almost exclusively Mac.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Xerxes    230

This is a bit of a stab in the dark here, but I also believe another reason a Mac is the weapon of choice for graphic design, is how they display colour. I remember reading a while back that Macs display colours more accurately then a Windows machine and this is very important to a graphics designer. I could be wrong but that is what I understood was one of the reasons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
osirisX    2

Macs also default to a Gamma of 1.8, which is better for print.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
giga    46
This is a bit of a stab in the dark here, but I also believe another reason a Mac is the weapon of choice for graphic design, is how they display colour. I remember reading a while back that Macs display colours more accurately then a Windows machine and this is very important to a graphics designer. I could be wrong but that is what I understood was one of the reasons.

There's no difference if you calibrate them both properly.

Macs also default to a Gamma of 1.8, which is better for print.

I'm pretty sure 2.2 is the standard now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Xero    15

Saying OS X has more eye candy is absurd with Vista on the loose now. The Leopard GUI is far more efficient and less distracting than any form of windows and the consistency between programs is very nice. As far as design goes CS3 is much more useful to me on OS X than it was on windows, one prime example is the lack of a background in photoshop. This allows me to work on my designs while having pictures, documents, sites, whatever behind that I can work off of. Another huge benefit in Leopard is spaces which allows me to work on many things at once without cluttering up one desktop. There are many more reasons why a mac is better for design but I'd rather not get into it all, but one minor thing is designers usually like making things look good, so its a no brainer they would want their computers to look good too :)

My general reasons for using it aren't so much that the system is made better for designing, its that the tools they provide to do it are much more effective, use this analogy, would it be more effective to put a nail in with the end of a screwdriver or a hammer?

Edited by Xero

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ashiaveli    0

Tanks for the replies. I have noticed the workflow is smoother, switching from one app to another. Everything seems well integrated.

Xero> if you could get into all the reasons, that would be great, hence this topic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
giga    46
........coz thats all they can do :)

6ok9x8w.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Menge    33

well... from the early days, Macs had better font rendering (focusing on the print quality instead of the pixel grid) and had lots of graphics effects built into the OS in very efficient algorithms.

with OS X, they took that a step further by having a back buffer for each window, so window repainting like you had in Windows when you alt+tabbed to another window didn't happen in OS X, it was already painted.

Expos? helps a lot to mitigate the lotsa windows problem and actually SEE where you're switching to.

color calibration has been there from the early days and worked REALLY well from what i read.

i think those are the main reasons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
shakey_snake    1

Mac has been the industry standard for the graphic design and audio industries for years before any of the conveniences of OSX and all that jazz. They were the graphic design standard before Adobe ever dreamed up Photoshop. They were the graphic design standard before font rendering became a crucial issue. In fact, Photoshop was first made for MAC and fonts are rendered in the preferable way because Mac was/is the industry standard.

So ultimately none of those could be the real reason.

The reason is because Macs have had a GUI the longest.

It can be kind of difficult to do graphic design through a DOS command line.

They are still the "industry standard" in Graphic design, (and by osmosis video editing and audio engineering, as well) because there has never really been a reason for the industry to switch, and historically, an "integrated" computing solution is ideal for "graphic design-types" who don't want to have to needlessly dick with their boxes to get them to do what they need them to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ashiaveli    0

I'm liking the fact that it's like working on a real desktop where you can see everything you have on it, and you can switch back and forth naturally.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
+Leddy    2

It seems to be consensus that Windows is better for web design, and Mac OS X is better for print design. The default settings of a Mac are better suited to print because of gamma and font rendering, but it becomes a real issue in web design where everyone is using Windows, which has different font rendering and defaults to a gamma of 2.2.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
redvamp128    321

YES I do believe it is easier... Just by the way you can label files/sub label them and manage your files,but it is getting better on Windows Platforms.... Though I still laugh when I see the commercial for Mac's Vs. PC. Especially the one where the PC has a virus and the MAC does not. Though I know of about 30 viruses that have infected MAC ... Mostly because by default they are installed with Quick time. Or the one where they say Microsoft PC's are built with different Parts... Though If your Hard drive goes bad you just can't goto the all night Walmart at 3am and buy a new one. Proprietary components.

Now don't get me wrong I have owned Mac's before... Just sold my Mac Laptop...

With Macs you can Take a picture of many different dogs then save them by subclasses like color,breed, scenery.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
giga    46
It seems to be consensus that Windows is better for web design, and Mac OS X is better for print design. The default settings of a Mac are better suited to print because of gamma and font rendering, but it becomes a real issue in web design where everyone is using Windows, which has different font rendering and defaults to a gamma of 2.2.

Font rendering really isn't an issue for mac users focusing on web design. I would actually say it would be the opposite as cleartype just gets plain awful at larger sizes.

I do wish they that they would require all users to calibrate their monitors at system start (where they can select 1.8 or 2.2).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
redvamp128    321
And all you can do with Windows is play Solitaire, right? And all Linux is good for is, well nothing right? :rolleyes:

You can Do more with Linux if you know how to use it... I actually Had to teach my Aunt how to use her Mac Properly... All she did on it was put CD's in and listen to them...

Though I am about to start on some heavy testing on the Safari for windows.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The_Decryptor    1,105

From what I remember, it was colour management and fonts look like they will when they print. (and something about screen vs. print layout that I can't remember so I won't mention it)

These days, Vista supports colour management right through the OS, but it's still lacking in font rendering.

Edit: ClearType seems to completely break as the font gets larger, it's quite odd.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Flae_qui    31

from what i've seen they aren't better... most people i know in that field, the companies they are working for are doing away with MAC's since PC can do just as good a job for 1/3 the cost.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Melfster    711
from what I've seen they aren't better... most people i know in that field, the companies they are working for are doing away with MAC's since PC can do just as good a job for 1/3 the cost.

Having used printing I think MAC's are superior. But I think Clear Type superior with small fonts...In fact for readability on screen it is superior to the Mac OS X equivalent. With Large fonts it is different story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.