• 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

The_Decryptor    1,105
...

Really? I find it annoying you have to mark all the images in a folder and open all of them in order to scroll through them with the keyboard arrows etc :(

Been using my brothers mac a few times, so novice-novice mac user here :p

Ehh?

I'm talking about the Vista picture viewer being colour managed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
michaelof36    0
I would argue that Macs were doing colour calibration while PCs were still fiddling with VGA cards.

Try explaining to the customers what CMYK and RGB is and the differences! The 3 colors you see on the screen is always different than what a 4 color printer spits out, not to much but its enough to notice. Then the "Pro" PC guys come in and all hell breaks loose around here!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
redvamp128    321
You may have owned a Mac but that doesn't mean you know stuff, 'cause you clearly do not. There are no 'proprietary' harddrives: there's just a harddrive that goes in a pc, in a Mac, in a Sun SPARC machine, in a IBM PowerPC supercomputer, etc. The harddrive from your pc can be put into your Mac and vice versa. For example, the drive in the Macbook is very easy to swap, so going to any store (like Walmart) and get a replacement drive is absolutely no problem whatsoever. There were some different parts from pc's because Mac used to be based on the PowerPC processor from IBM/Motorola. Nowadays they are the same x86 Intel machines as pc's are. So that may have been an old Mac vs PC commercial.

The viruses for OS X are nearly nonexistent, they are only PoC's (Proof of Concept). For earlier versions there were quite some viruses but they are all taken care of with a virusscanner. And no, they are not installed with Quicktime. You'd know that if you had some sense and if you check various security bulletins. There were some security bugs in Quicktime as are with most software. I think you meant to say bugs and not viruses.

Then again they may have changed them I haven't taken apart a Mac in about 7 years. But yes you are right about the I meant to say Bugs. The only virus I know of that a Mac can have is the one where it uses a security issue to initiate the Hard Drive restore tool upon next reboot. Where it wipes the drive. And Thus knocks out the useres files leaving the OS intact... So I guess there is no virus there. You would be safe from that if yours came with the CD disk restore which would allow you to cancell out of it... But if yours was on an image on a seperate drive the you would not be able to stop it. With the no user intervention option. I actually was considering buying the new light weight Mac book. But I have found that they tend not to crash like Windows Does and you can continue to work even after an error. Windows has been getting better at that. With windows it is mainly driver Issues. So I guess that is also another reason they are preferred. Where when it crashes you don't loose your work. As for the guy that said about the Mac's I had Firefox's spell check on it keeps on changing the word. And from what I understand that Issue has been fixed in the latest OSX release.

Edited by redvamp128

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ashiaveli    0

Ok boys, just ordered a Macbook Pro, saved ~$420, and I've told all my friends and family to save any graduation(tomorrow) and birthday(july 1st) presents and just give me money for my mac fund.

I've joined the...light side?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DrewJW    9

Welcome :D if you have AIM or Googlemail let us know and I'll add you for ichat :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ashiaveli    0

Thanks :) This thread pretty much pushed me to get it. I have wanted a Mac for a while but could not justify the money. THen I went ot an interview and they asked me if I can work on Mac's and they tested me on an iMac using InDesign. Since then I started researching the Macbook Pro's and which was the best value.

Besides this thread though, I owe a lot to OSX86. Nothing like a week of hands-on experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DrewJW    9

I am positive you will enjoy it :) I'm already planning my next one to replace my non used Quad Core as something fixed for a little gaming.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ViperAFK    797
Text rendering is far superior on OS X than it is on Windows.

Pure opinion, in my opinion cleartype looks FAR better than OSX's rendering.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NateB1    75
Pure opinion, in my opinion cleartype looks FAR better than OSX's rendering.

(Y) Agreed.

I have a CS3 suite on my Vista x64 box, and have a few comments:

1. Vista's thumbnail previewer makes the "quicklook" thing irrelevant, with the previews already there. Pressing Ctrl+scrollwheel will zoom the pictures in and out.

2. I much prefer to look at one thing at a time - one of the things I can't stand about OS X is that there is no "maximize" button. When I'm working in Photoshop, all I want to see is Photoshop. If I want to drag something to Illustrator, I'll just drag whatever to the minimized window on my taskbar. If I have multiple things open in little windows, I tend to get distracted and my productivity drops precipitously. I also have 2 monitors - If I need to have a reference picture, I'll just put it full-screen on my second monitor - that way I can see what I'm working on, and the reference picture, without anything blocking it.

3. Photoshop loads so fast, I wouldn't mind it as my primary picture viewer - it loads in 2 - 3 seconds max (and yes, I've timed it). I have 4 Gb of RAM, so who cares if it eats up more. :p

4. CS4 will have a 64 bit edition on Windows, but only 32 bit on OS X, because of Apple's incredibly stupid idea to have two completely separate, incompatible APIs - Adobe has to port almost all their code over to Cocoa from Carbon. Since I have files that can use the benefits x64 has (30,000 by 30,000 pixel images, for example), Windows will be the ideal platform for me.

5. There are Expose clones for Vista that do the exact same thing as Expose for the Mac. Unfortunately, Adobe chose to code the Windows verson of Photoshop to not take advantage of Windows' window manager. That is a Photoshop problem, not a Windows problem. Still, I must admit, if you have a ton of Photoshop windows open, Adobe does this better in OS X.

6. I use my computer for many, many things - graphic design, playing games, using Office, web browsing, etc. I want one OS that does everything. I don't want to bother with VMs, dual-booting, etc. Windows is my only viable option. I'll take a few inconveniences (like the the window-switching thing) in order to remain on one OS.

7. And what's this thing about maintainance? I never pay attention to my antivirus app, my HDD defrags in the background, so I never see it, and I haven't seen a BSOD in ages. If I spend 0 hours of my week maintaining my OS, what's the advantage of switching to an OS that requires 0 hours to maintain?

Oh, and from a friend that has been in the industry for many years, he was saying that one of the primary reasons Apple remains the platform for graphic design is all the Applescripts that were written for the publishing industry - there has been no real reason to recode the scripts in another OS. Plus, like posters before me, Apple was the first company to sell a viable GUI. If it ain't broke, why fix it?

Edited by NateB1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Steve    2

I don't think Vista's file icon preview is quite the same as QuickLook somehow.

I only have Vista installed for testing in IE7, but I don't recall the file icons being all too consistent on what they showed. they also seemed to be awkward in size and really didn't appear to offer me much. I find the Mac thumbnails far better, and that's without Quicklook.

For me, it's about workflow. I work with hot corners enabled on Expos?, coupled with Quicklook, the dock, and all the other touches only Mac OS X offer are what makes the difference for me...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
giga    46
(Y) Agreed.

It's true--it's preferential. Some will like one way while others will like the other way.

The actual rendering bit between different operating systems is something that most don't notice (and probably never will) but once you see it and get used to it, it's impossible not to. [the goggles, they do nothing!]

As has been said before, ClearType will generally be better for readability at lower resolution outputs while OS X's implementation better for higher. This stems from the different approaches in which ClearType hammers the type into the pixel grid for more "crisp" text, but at the cost of making it more blocky and altering the type from what it's what meant to be. OS X differs in how it aims to preserve the actual typeface as much as possible, with the risk of some "blur" at lower resolutions.

Some examples.

103hkja.png

t6pbf7.png

Now before you make some sweeping judgements (yes, the smallest size on OS X is a bit softer, but there was a reason for that as said above. Is the WordPad text easier to read? Yes. Nicer on the eyes? Subjective--personally I'm not a fan of the blockyness that the characters exhibit, but that's just me.)

Now for the real meat where many don't seem to notice. Pay particular attention to the 'g' in 'Dog', the 'a' in 'Lazy', and the 'e' in 'The' from small to large. First on the WordPad screenshot. Now look to the TextEdit screenshot. Interesting, right? Just an example of how ClearType tries to fit the characters into the pixel grid--thus altering the true design of the typeface.

Now smoothing. A simple glance at the largest size should easily illustrate the problem ClearType seems to have as fonts get larger.

Hell, here's Calibri, from their own ClearType collection.

2cmm7oy.png

o8cpcn.jpg

The next test is going to be on probably one of my favorite typfaces, Zapfino. It's one of the more prettier typefaces with extensive use of ligatures and glyph variations. (1670 glyphs to be exact)

Example:

j7b328.png

So let's take a look at how well this does on the web: http://alex.thefrapp.com/files/Zapfino.html

Both Firefox 3b2, Leopard/Vista. (the only browser right now that actually supports kerning, ligature substitution, etc)

2r2848j.png

Font smoothing just thrown out the window here (OpenType with PostScript outlines), but there also seems to be some spacing issue. (I don't blame anyone for this, Zapfino is a tough font)

So oddly enough, WordPad smoothed it fine. I'm guessing it used Standard font smoothing instead of ClearType here.

2na1mvq.png

But of course, ligature/glyph substitution and other typographic features were nowhere to be found as there are on TextEdit.

rhr05g.png

o8iefp.png

I have a CS3 suite on my Vista x64 box, and have a few comments:

1. Vista's thumbnail previewer makes the "quicklook" thing irrelevant, with the previews already there. Pressing Ctrl+scrollwheel will zoom the pictures in and out.

By Vista thumbnail previewer, do you mean this?

24q3kms.png

While similar, Quick Look really isn't comparable as it offers much larger previews (full screen if you want), index pages, slideshows/video playback, support for multi page documents and many file formats. (extensible as well if a format isn't supported)

quicklook_gallery08_20071016.jpg

quicklook_gallery03_20071016.jpg

2. I much prefer to look at one thing at a time - one of the things I can't stand about OS X is that there is no "maximize" button. When I'm working in Photoshop, all I want to see is Photoshop. If I want to drag something to Illustrator, I'll just drag whatever to the minimized window on my taskbar. If I have multiple things open in little windows, I tend to get distracted and my productivity drops precipitously. I also have 2 monitors - If I need to have a reference picture, I'll just put it full-screen on my second monitor - that way I can see what I'm working on, and the reference picture, without anything blocking it.

Once in Photoshop, press F. You can cycle through different window view modes which you can have the background gone if you want.

rvkj10.png

CS4 is actually introducing an even more improved application frame with tabs and better palettes though.

4. CS4 will have a 64 bit edition on Windows, but only 32 bit on OS X, because of Apple's incredibly stupid idea to have two completely separate, incompatible APIs - Adobe has to port almost all their code over to Cocoa from Carbon. Since I have files that can use the benefits x64 has (30,000 by 30,000 pixel images, for example), Windows will be the ideal platform for me.

Some research would be nice before making such rash comments. Carbon was introduced by Apple for backwards compatibility when making the switch from Classic. It was far from "stupid", as they're actually very flexible with each other. Cocoa has been pushed by Apple from some time now but Adobe got caught off guard by Leopard's forward push of it. It's no ones "fault"--just happens because it did.

5. There are Expose clones for Vista that do the exact same thing as Expose for the Mac. Unfortunately, Adobe chose to code the Windows verson of Photoshop to not take advantage of Windows' window manager. That is a Photoshop problem, not a Windows problem. Still, I must admit, if you have a ton of Photoshop windows open, Adobe does this better in OS X.

Quality > Quantity. I have yet to really see an Expose the way it's supposed to work as it does in OS X. (the clones mainly mimic the "All Windows" expose. Many don't realize that there is more to expose than just that: individual application expose and show desktop)

Switcher though has been my favorite so far on Vista.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The_Decryptor    1,105

It can get confusing, but there isn't just one thing here that we can point to and blame.

ClearType is MS's name for sub-pixel AA, which Freetype (Linux, Windows, OS X, my dog, etc.) and OS X both do. Where the difference comes in is hinting and such, Windows snaps the stems to the pixel grid (look at g at a small font size, the bottom gets flattened), OS X doesn't snap to the pixel grid, keeping the form of the font, leading to people used to pixel snapping to exclaim how blurry it is (honestly, it is, but we only see it because our screen's have very low DPI).

And then we have AA, with Vista (and XP if you have WPF installed), you have 2 separate forms of ClearType, the GDI form and the WPF form. The GDI form doesn't do Y direction antialiasing (hence why the tops of characters and such look like crap, they aren't anti-aliased, the Calibri screenshot giga posted is an excellent example) the WPF form on the other hand is much improved, doing X and Y direction AA, etc. And then we have how Windows handles anti-aliasing PostScript fonts, that's just a mess so lets not get into that.

Personally, I like sub-pixel AA, and I prefer hinting that keeps the forms of characters rather than "mangling" them (i.e. OS X on an LCD screen), but that's entirely personal, some people might prefer Greyscale AA with Pixel snapping (Windows with Standard font smoothing, no sub-pixel), and some people might prefer no AA and pixel snapping hinting (those people are crazy and we don't talk about them :whistle: )

Anyway, http://www.antigrain.com/research/font_rasterization/ explains it a heck of a lot better than I can, and he has pretty pictures and sample code (!), go by that document over what I say.

...

So let's take a look at how well this does on the web: http://alex.thefrapp.com/files/Zapfino.html

Both Firefox 3b2, Leopard/Vista. (the only browser right now that actually supports kerning, ligature substitution, etc)

2r2848j.png

Font smoothing just thrown out the window here (OpenType with PostScript outlines), but there also seems to be some spacing issue. (I don't blame anyone for this, Zapfino is a tough font)

...

Yeah, I haven't bothered setting a line-height, its probably getting the height from the font system (It's windows, not surprised it gets it wrong)

Edit: Windows seems to deactivate ClearType over a certain size, I think it would be better if it switched to Standard, but why does it even need to disable it?

Edited by The_Decryptor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
giga    46
Edit: Windows seems to deactivate ClearType over a certain size, I think it would be better if it switched to Standard, but why does it even need to disable it?

What size would that be? :pinch:

b62dco.png

205772t.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fusion    0
It seems to be consensus that Windows is better for web design...

Um, no. That is not the consensus, nor the reality. I've been a professional designer for the web now for 8 years and my Mac is an *essential* tool to my craft ... and I'm certainly not alone. Attend *any* web design conference and you'll see nothing by Macs everywhere.

There's lot of reasons for this but a couple stand out to me:

1) Better standards support. Safari within the last couple years has been pushing things along nicely in the standards community. Firefox has traditionally done a good job of this as well ... but the point stands.

2) Cross platform development. Macs are the only computers that can natively run pretty much any operating system which makes browser testing a dream. All in one workflow I can have Windows open with IE7, IE6, IE5.5, Firefox 2 and then OS X with Safari, WebKit nightlies, Opera and Firefox 3 ... all open at the same time and all integrated with my local web server for testing. Its a dream. Safari coming to Windows has eased this a little with PC users but I still don't find the workflow as great.

3) Most people I know, including myself, find Adobe apps a bit easier to work with in a document-centered OS rather than an app-centered OS.

4) Editors. I have yet to find good comparable editors for PC that all integrate as nicely with each other like the workflow I use on my Mac. TextMate, CSSEdit currently and in the past things like BBEdit. Also new tools like Coda have been well received.

5) This one's highly subjective and personal, but its been a big one for me and that's that the OS is simply prettier to look at. I just find text rendering, old pixelated icons and just about everything else on Windows just horrible to work with. I've always appreciated the attention into detail that goes into OS X and all its apps ... as well I should since I'm a designer :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The_Decryptor    1,105
What size would that be? :pinch:

...

246pt = ClearType

247pt = no ClearType

:huh:

Edit: That's for TrueType outline fonts, for PostScript outline fonts it's

151pt = "Standard"

152pt = None

:huh:

There has to be some relation with the actual pixel sizes.

Edit: They've unified it in WPF! If the font goes too large to perform sub-pixel AA, they switch to greyscale. And WPF supports a lot of OpenType features.

post-17647-1212827094_thumb.png

And Ledward, when you talk about Web Designers, but you actually mean ASP developers, It's probably a good idea to mention that.

Edited by The_Decryptor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
+Leddy    2
Um, no. That is not the consensus, nor the reality. I've been a professional designer for the web now for 8 years and my Mac is an *essential* tool to my craft ... and I'm certainly not alone. Attend *any* web design conference and you'll see nothing by Macs everywhere.

There's lot of reasons for this but a couple stand out to me:

1) Better standards support. Safari within the last couple years has been pushing things along nicely in the standards community. Firefox has traditionally done a good job of this as well ... but the point stands.

2) Cross platform development. Macs are the only computers that can natively run pretty much any operating system which makes browser testing a dream. All in one workflow I can have Windows open with IE7, IE6, IE5.5, Firefox 2 and then OS X with Safari, WebKit nightlies, Opera and Firefox 3 ... all open at the same time and all integrated with my local web server for testing. Its a dream. Safari coming to Windows has eased this a little with PC users but I still don't find the workflow as great.

3) Most people I know, including myself, find Adobe apps a bit easier to work with in a document-centered OS rather than an app-centered OS.

4) Editors. I have yet to find good comparable editors for PC that all integrate as nicely with each other like the workflow I use on my Mac. TextMate, CSSEdit currently and in the past things like BBEdit. Also new tools like Coda have been well received.

5) This one's highly subjective and personal, but its been a big one for me and that's that the OS is simply prettier to look at. I just find text rendering, old pixelated icons and just about everything else on Windows just horrible to work with. I've always appreciated the attention into detail that goes into OS X and all its apps ... as well I should since I'm a designer :)

I guess you don't write your webapps as well as design them, then.

Most of the people I know also do their own coding. This is really important in terms of which OS to use because Visual Studio only operates on Windows. Unless you're an exclusive PHP coder... or you don't code.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Steve    2
I guess you don't write your webapps as well as design them, then.

Most of the people I know also do their own coding. This is really important in terms of which OS to use because Visual Studio only operates on Windows. Unless you're an exclusive PHP coder... or you don't code.

He says he's a designer, so I'd imagine he really masters client side code. I personally would choose Coda (or similar) over Visual Studio, which is overkill I believe. I work on a development team inside my company and am the only person to use a Mac, the rest work on JAVA web development using IntelliJ on Windows. I have to say, the interface, and interaction with the application for me is just horrible, and I find it painful when I have to work on tweaks to my client side code on their machines.

I've not actually personally met a designer who is a "good" designer too - I struggle to imagine you'd have both the visual part of your brain turned on, as well as functional. The developers I work with, are great at what they do, but they often make bad design choices (when they are actually even allowed to make choices), not just in terms of simple things like colour and font selection, but seemingly don't even consider usability. From my perspective, real projects with large clients require individual developers and designers to really excel.

As for Vista icon previews, giga is very right about the Mac being superior here, and I actually MEANT to include a screenshot. (attached this time) I couldn't really ask for more, in these file icon previews, and with one click I can preview the documents rendered at native size without launching another app - that is a time saver for sure.

post-1665-1212833688_thumb.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
+Leddy    2
He says he's a designer, so I'd imagine he really masters client side code. I personally would choose Coda (or similar) over Visual Studio, which is overkill I believe. I work on a development team inside my company and am the only person to use a Mac, the rest work on JAVA web development using IntelliJ on Windows. I have to say, the interface, and interaction with the application for me is just horrible, and I find it painful when I have to work on tweaks to my client side code on their machines.

That's actually pretty normal (for a dev IDE to get pretty messy). Especially in web development, and especially if you're working with interpreted (rather than compiled) code. When I work with PHP it's done in Dreamweaver and seeing as how you're a Mac user I think you'd be horrified at how messy it gets.

Edit: @Decryptor: I guess I made an assumption there that I shouldn't have; but I have yet to meet a person who designs and cannot script/code. Perhaps I haven't worked in teams that are large enough to have 'pure' designers.

Edited by Ledward

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fusion    0
I guess you don't write your webapps as well as design them, then.

Most of the people I know also do their own coding. This is really important in terms of which OS to use because Visual Studio only operates on Windows. Unless you're an exclusive PHP coder... or you don't code.

Yeah sounds like we just operate in 2 separate worlds then. All of the projects I work on, Visual Studio or any other MS technology like ASP isn't even on the map. Its all done in either PHP or Rails.

I do some back end code, e.g., PHP & Rails, but it usually only entails minor patches or markup changes. I'm primarily involved with a team that has dedicated coders, and FWIW they are almost always Mac users as well. I do tend to handle my own front-end markup about half of the time which includes just standard html/css/js work. For that, TextMate and CSSEdit (using it as a text editor) are an amazing combination.

As far as the developer vs. designer, specialist vs. generalist argument, there are people out there that are good at both yes. But also, yes it takes a special person. Shaun Inman (developer of Mint stats) comes to mind as a good example, but there are plenty of others. I do believe it helps to focus on one area though.

So I guess I should revise my point with saying "this all only makes sense if you don't work with MS technologies."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fusion    0
As for Vista icon previews, giga is very right about the Mac being superior here, and I actually MEANT to include a screenshot. (attached this time) I couldn't really ask for more, in these file icon previews, and with one click I can preview the documents rendered at native size without launching another app - that is a time saver for sure.

Agreed. QuickLook is amazing, I really can't remember how I lived without it.

And btw, its good to see you still around here bro. I haven't been around Neowin for quite awhile and it was cool to come back and see some Mac section OG's still hanging around. Nostalgia :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
punktematrix    9

I'll tell you why macs are better for graphic design...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ashiaveli    0

Having worked with my Mac for over 24 hours, I have noticed my workflow is smoother: I'm not minimizing and maximizing apps, or keeping an eye on how many apps I have open.

I run Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Coda, Transmit, FF3, Safari, iTunes, Adium, and Azureus with no slow downs at all..oh and have a dual screen setup with a 22" monitor.

I feel like I can focus on what I'm trying to make rather than minimizing and maximizing apps and trying to find the program I need and jumping back and forth. Expose = amazing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cara    0
Having worked with my Mac for over 24 hours, I have noticed my workflow is smoother: I'm not minimizing and maximizing apps, or keeping an eye on how many apps I have open.

I run Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Coda, Transmit, FF3, Safari, iTunes, Adium, and Azureus with no slow downs at all..oh and have a dual screen setup with a 22" monitor.

I feel like I can focus on what I'm trying to make rather than minimizing and maximizing apps and trying to find the program I need and jumping back and forth. Expose = amazing.

Exactly. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Steve    2

Command + Option + H, is also handy if you want to concentrate on what you're working on...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Doli    547
Having worked with my Mac for over 24 hours, I have noticed my workflow is smoother: I'm not minimizing and maximizing apps, or keeping an eye on how many apps I have open.

I run Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Coda, Transmit, FF3, Safari, iTunes, Adium, and Azureus with no slow downs at all..oh and have a dual screen setup with a 22" monitor.

I feel like I can focus on what I'm trying to make rather than minimizing and maximizing apps and trying to find the program I need and jumping back and forth. Expose = amazing.

Dont really have to jump back and forth by minimizing and maximizing if you use alt+tab or WinKey + tab in Vista.

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.