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Old Feb 13, 2008, 10:28 PM   #1
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Any "blue chip" design studios use iMac?

hi all,
we run a boutique little graphic design studio

My wife runs a G5 from like 4.5 years ago. Would a new iMac blitz it, and would it meet the basic needs of a print-only design studio? (No multimedia DVD's or anything like that...we're strictly books, brochures and nice catalogues... except one of our book catalogues has a client that's fallen in love with an almost K-Mart format. Eeerererereregggggh)

(Discussing hardware purchasing here because we're all designers in here.)
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Old Feb 13, 2008, 11:32 PM   #2
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I imagine most of them do.
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Old Feb 13, 2008, 11:38 PM   #3
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iMac glossy screen is not good for color correction for print. other than that the machine is perfectly capable of doing print design work.
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Old Feb 13, 2008, 11:42 PM   #4
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I thought all Mac monitors were colour correct? Wow, thanks for that... how much of an issue is it?
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Old Feb 13, 2008, 11:51 PM   #5
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its more about how the glossy screen displays colors, which for color proofing are not accurate or have a similar look to how colors print. to me, its a big issue. to others, its irrelevant. i am sure someone will follow my post momentarily saying that an iMac is perfect for color correction and to ignore my post.

having said all that, how much does it matter? depends on how often you depend on a soft proof and/or how much time you want to spend correcting after seeing a color proof. to me, the iMac would make more problems than it solves.

but there is no reason you could not attach a good monitor to it just for proofing. or for that matter, just use the G5 and a monitor for proofing. at the end of the day color correction is only one of many steps in making a print piece.
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Old Feb 14, 2008, 12:08 AM   #6
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OK, thanks all... at this stage, the colour correction is a big deal to my wife and reflective monitors hurt her eyes. (She had terrible eye trouble while working for a big firm in Sydney years ago.) Thanks for pointing this out. We just had to make a decision today about a cheap monitor, and whether or not we eventually hook that up to an iMac in the future remains to be seen. (Double 23" with the iMac one side and the flat-screen the other, cool hey?)

BTW — anyone know of any plans for a matt non-reflective iMac? Why have they gone with the reflective screen when designers hate them?
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Old Feb 14, 2008, 12:23 AM   #7
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M&C Saatchi and The One Centre use iMacs for their online projects, but I'm not sure if they'll use the newer black and silver ones because of the glossy screen.
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Old Feb 14, 2008, 09:46 AM   #8
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Personally I have a 24" 2,8 ghz iMac connected to a 21" Eizo... works perfect!

I almost don't notice the glossy screen, but my office area is rather dimm (which is the way I like it) and I have no window behind me (just on the side). If your office has bright lights or a window behind your desk it can be an issue.

Comparing the Eizo and the iMac screen I can say that the iMac screen can be calibrated to work ok, obviously it won't reach the Eizos quality.

Apart from that, if the exact color reproduction is extremely important there is no way around a proof from the printer anyway, regardless of what monitor is used in my opinion.
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Old Feb 14, 2008, 03:41 PM   #9
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An iMac should be fine. Although every 20" IMac I've seen has a washed out and yelow hue to it. I got a 24" iMac and haven't had any trouble. I do print, photo retouching, websites and video just fine.

No matter how good your equipment is or how spot on your color may be, it can all go to pot if you use a bad printer. Even the type of paper something is printed on can alter your colors. Some paper can really make your color pop and others may leave your color looking flat.
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Old Feb 14, 2008, 04:43 PM   #10
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I don't think the glossy screen is too much of a problem. If you think about it, all CRTs were glossy and no one complained then. It's all about doing the proper color corrections yourself - which I would recommend on a Matte screen as well.
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Old Feb 14, 2008, 05:42 PM   #11
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Thanks all, I love this forum.
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Old Feb 14, 2008, 05:49 PM   #12
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Why have they gone with the reflective screen when designers hate them?
Designers account of maybe 0.0001% of Apple's customer base now. Today most Mac users buy computers so they can rent movies and surf the 'net. Oh, and the glossy screens cost Apple less than the old screens. It seem that anti-reflective coatings cost money to apply

I think Apple is also trying to prevent iMacs from cutting into sales of the Mac Pro.
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Old Feb 14, 2008, 06:04 PM   #13
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I don't think the glossy screen is too much of a problem. If you think about it, all CRTs were glossy and no one complained then. It's all about doing the proper color corrections yourself - which I would recommend on a Matte screen as well.
No, the purpose of the glossy screen is to make the colors "pop". These screens are intentionally non-accurate. It's the same way some consumer audio speakers are designed to make "thumping bass". It drives audiophiles and musicians nuts and no recording engineer would use such a speaker for mixing. But consumers (some of them) like the sound, bad as it is. Same here. People like distorted, over saturated color. People doing pre-press color work are not the typical user.

I don't know why glossy screens make the color appear more saturated than it really is. But I think paper can do the same thing. I remember seeing some ultra-gloss papers (maybe from Cibrachrome, I think) Color looks different of gloss vs. mat paper too Maybe someone who works with print can explain it.
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Old Feb 14, 2008, 06:55 PM   #14
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I don't know why glossy screens make the color appear more saturated than it really is. But I think paper can do the same thing. I remember seeing some ultra-gloss papers (maybe from Cibrachrome, I think) Color looks different of gloss vs. mat paper too Maybe someone who works with print can explain it.
As I read this to "the guru" (she who must be obeyed! ) she said, "Yes, that's very true."
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Old Feb 15, 2008, 05:59 AM   #15
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...Color looks different of gloss vs. mat paper too Maybe someone who works with print can explain it.
That's because matte paper absorbs more ink. As an example it's more or less the same effect if you spill liquid on a glass table or on a wood table.
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Old Feb 15, 2008, 07:37 PM   #16
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The problem is not just that the screen is glossy, the new aluminum iMacs have a sheet of tinted glass covering the entire LCD display. This glass diffuses light and making hardware calibration difficult if not inaccurate.
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Old Feb 15, 2008, 08:56 PM   #17
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iMac glossy screen is not good for color correction for print.
On the other hand, it might look more like that catalog on glossy paper.
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Old Feb 16, 2008, 01:07 AM   #18
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hi all,
...My wife runs a G5 from like 4.5 years ago. Would a new iMac blitz it, and would it meet the basic needs of a print-only design studio? ...
What are the specs of the G5, and what exactly does it not do? Too slow? more ram and a faster boot and scratch might do the ticket.

Depending on the G5 model, it might still be faster than an imac according to the retouch artist benchmarks.
Powermac G5 PPC DP 2.5, 2.5GB ram, CS2 =53sec (CS3 would be slightly faster yet)
iMac, Intel C2D 2.16, 2GB ram, CS3 = 1min
the same spec imac with cs2 = 5m0s (running in rosetta)


My bigger concern would be the display on the iMac, I would have serious problems trusting anything going to press. Working on an iMac, getting contract proofs would be a must. If your using swatch's that helps a ton. But adjusting images, especially skintones will be sketchy at best. Calibrating will be a problem because I don't think you can adjust the contrast or RGB values. (as far as i'm aware)

A much better solution IMHO would be to invest in a high quality display and a Mac Pro. A calibrated 30" Cinema display is used in a swap certified system for their proofing station (from what i've been told from a retoucher) I personally use a 24" Eizo Coloredge CE, and it works great and is very very close to print. The Eizo is far superior in quality compared to the apple displays and is the standard for most big retouching houses in NY (try over at retouch pro's forums for posts on them) As far as the computer hardware a Mac-Pro might be a better business decision as that should last you another 5 years or so, while an iMac will need replaced sooner.


***edited benchmarks from MBP to more revelant iMac benchmarks on Retouchartists.com***
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Old Feb 16, 2008, 01:20 AM   #19
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Designers account of maybe 0.0001% of Apple's customer base now. Today most Mac users buy computers so they can rent movies and surf the 'net. Oh, and the glossy screens cost Apple less than the old screens. It seem that anti-reflective coatings cost money to apply

I think Apple is also trying to prevent iMacs from cutting into sales of the Mac Pro.
I think that's pretty far fetched. While PC's are catching up in acceptance a lot of designers are still using mac's. All of Apple's pro products have the matte screens, with the MBP having an option of glossy screen.

Glossy screens are more colorful but it's not accurate color.

I will admit Apple is putting the pro's on the backburner whenever it's convenient so they can make more gadgets like apple tv and iphone, instead of refining the 2007 MP, develop a better pro display or releasing aperture 2 faster...that really bugs me.
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Old Feb 16, 2008, 09:14 AM   #20
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The problem is not just that the screen is glossy, the new aluminum iMacs have a sheet of tinted glass covering the entire LCD display. This glass diffuses light and making hardware calibration difficult if not inaccurate.
Have you taken that glass off? I've seen mine taken off by Apple repair technicians twice now, and unfortunately, I have to disagree with your post. In fact, what I've found is that the glossy LCD screens are simply lacking extra coating(s), such as the matte diffuser on most LCDs. The theory behind doing this is that it lets the technology be more pure. It's like taking off the speaker covers from your home stereo. Technically, the sound from the uncovered speakers HAS to be a little more true, in reference to what the equipment is trying to put out. Therefore, when calibrating an LCD, if there's no post-display film filtering the display's output, it should be easier to get an accurate adjustment profile for said display. What I've found here in my office is that when I calibrate the display to the color temperature in my print viewing area, the color on-screen is then accurate to print.
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Old Feb 17, 2008, 11:17 PM   #21
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I don't run a "blue chip" design studio (although I aspire to someday ), but i'm quite sure the minds at Fantasy Interactive use matte external monitors (2007WFP and 2407WFP most of the time). Most "blue chips" use S-IPS panels.. or S-PVA ones.

I don't know of any that use the iMac, but it's a great machine to do any work on! I'm sure there must be SOME out there (after some hardware calibrating)..
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