Mac for artists??? Still don't see it.

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by Patiencepie, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. Patiencepie macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2011
    Ok, I am 3/4 of the way through the Jobs biography and it's an awesome story but it keeps coming back to the "artistry" and that it has always been for creative people and so forth... For the past 12 years I had been wondering way people say this because I still can't make it do what I want it to do as far as art always bothered me that you have to buy something to put in it to be able to make even simple things like event flyers. When I look at the graphics section here, there seem to be a zillion choices of different stuff that you have to buy and install. As an artist, I have been told I need to get Adobe Illustartor which costs $800 and you basically have to take a college class to learn to use it! That's ridiculous!
    12 years ago, I sat down at some cheap IBM computer and zipped out a bunch of product labels, brochures and event flyers using my art work and it was so easy. Mostly, it allowed me to do what I wanted like overlapping lettering and curving and showing the fonts. Jobs was apparently crazy about fonts, yet Macs come with only a few plain fonts and they aren't even shown in the font that they are (on th iMac) and of the iPad you have to go through like 5 windows to find the bloody fonts and there's only like 10 to choose from!!!
    How do all you creative, artistic types tolerate the limits? What do regular people buy to be able to do basic graphics, like something under $100? and the limits in IPhoto to make cards and books are mind boggling, I can't believe Steve would make it this crappy and think its great. I think the updates have ruined iPhoto. All this talk about "perfection" and "it just works" , I t all seems overly complicated and limited still to me.
  2. definitive macrumors 68000


    Aug 4, 2008
  3. arkitect macrumors 603


    Sep 5, 2005
    Bath, United Kingdom
    What limits are you speaking of?

    I would love to see what artwork you turned out 12 years ago with the crappy nag-ware preloaded on your PC…

    A PC or a Mac is a barebones computer to which you add on software "tools" to accomplish your tasks.

    I do a lot of 3D stuff… I have never expected my Mac or PC to have the software out of the box to accomplish the job.

    Seriously. Are you just trolling?
  4. Zoreke macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2010
    A long time ago (very long) macs were the only choice for artist, Photoshop and illustrator and quarkXpress only existed on mac, you could have a lot of cool fonts and you could print postscript fonts to a super cool laser printer... All the designers have macs and windows was so crappy that you won't even think about using that...

    Macs became the standard for high end printing and pre-press systems, so yes that was the only choice for designers...

    Now things are different, Adobe software runs pretty well on Windows, windows still sucks (but not that much really) and apple doesn't updates his macpro workstations...

    After 20 years of using mac for design I switched to windows and since I work with the same software (photoshop, Painter and illustrator) things are about the same. I still have a 2011 macbook pro and I really like it but I don't care anymore, I can create in any system now.

    Looks like Steve was talking about the good old days of apple and creative people... Now who cares.. Ask FCP users...

    There are a lot of free programs to do graphics, you can use them and create good results, don't blame the system, try to do good design with the tools you have


  5. interrobang macrumors 6502

    May 25, 2011
    From the sound of really can't get forgive Apple for the fact that Macs don't come with anything like MS Paint?:confused:
  6. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    As other users have said...what limits? I can do everything on my Mac including running Windows if I choose. I chose Mac because Windows limited me and I couldn't do what I wanted it to reliably. (I'm a Windows tech by trade so I know it was nothing I was doing wrong).

    Also I'm not sure why you think Macs only have a few fonts, they have a ton of them as well as a built in font manager called Font Book.

    Judging by your post it seems like you aren't familiar with computer graphics and the way they work (which is fine, so I will explain). The old computer you mention simply had a program on it you liked that let you make brochures. Its a safe bet that that program doesn't exist anymore.

    Today everyone uses the Adobe Creative Suite (expensive), or lower cost programs that replicate portions of it (Pixelmator for Photoshop, Inkscape for Illustrator, etc). For magazine and flyer layouts you probably want to use In Design. You do not need a college class to learn these, you just need to use the help file which comes with the program, or a book, or an online training site like or for higher end programs, something like If you are beginning with a program go to for sure as Digital Tutors is pretty advanced stuff. Both of these sites have you watch videos that are only about 2 - 8 minutes each that show you all the tools of a particular program as well as tips and tricks. I highly recommend them.

    As for why people choose Mac over Windows, back in the old days as others have said programs like Photoshop were Mac only. Today its changed. You can go with either operating system as long as it meets your needs but many, myself included find it much easier to be more productive on a Mac. Operating system features like built in multiple desktop support, fail-safe features like Time Machine, insanely easy networking and sharing options, and stability are the reason people choose Macs.

    If you are looking for lower cost alternatives to the Adobe programs, check out Pixelmator (which is a photoshop type program) or Inkscape (which is similar to illustrator). Those are both under $100 I believe and should do what you are looking for.
  7. THX1139 macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    Steve is referring to professional level art/design. Not scrap booking or hobby/yard sale type of "creative" work.

    If you just need to throw a couple of flyers together for your church bake sale, then any computer will work just fine. Especially nowadays. But for high-end prepress work and professional design, in the past, the Mac was the only affordable game in town. Today, it doesn't matter as much because both platforms are on parity for high end work.

    The very fact that you are complaining that Illustrator is difficult to learn and is expensive says everything about what demographic you are in. You can't even manage your fonts... I can't imagine you being able to do anything productive other than with the software comes preinstalled in your system. Don't worry about what a Mac was/is capable of... you clearly don't need it for what you do.
  8. Laird Knox macrumors 68000

    Jun 18, 2010
    I was going to buy a new Mac until I learned that you have to plug them in. Bah! Why should have have to pay extra just to run the stupid thing?
  9. macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2011
    I think you're misinterpreting Steve's quote. He's not saying that it does the art part for you, he's talking about 1) The beautiful aesthetics of the hardware and interface and 2) How both work together to push the technology aside so that you're free to create with whatever apps you choose. Being a designer, photographer, artist myself I can say that his thoughts are 100% accurate. While I am a tech-savy person and CAN get deep into file management, settings, and all that other technical stuff I deal with on a daily basis with my works Windows machine, it doesn't mean that I like doing it. I'd rather let somebody manage it for me so that I'm free to create. Which my Mac always me to do. :D
  10. charliex5 macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    From an operating system standpoint the use of Spaces is incredible. I try to use a Windows machine and multitasking becomes so much more difficult for me. From a hardware perspective, the screen on my macbook, while not even close to perfect, displays colors much more accurately than your average windows laptop. I do a lot of 3D modelling and drafting and often have to use a trackpad and using anything other than an Apple trackpad is just torture now.

    OSX seems to get out of your way when you use it and allow you to focus on creating what you envision. When I use Windows at work I feel as though part of my energy goes into making sure the OS does what I want it to.

    I mainly use Windows due to my job and Revit being only for Windows right now so I'm not unaccustomed to it.
  11. SAdProZ macrumors 6502a


    Mar 19, 2005
    Washington, DC
    What point are you trying to make? Or do you really expect an answer?

    First of all, an artist of any kind can use a Mac or PC. The differences amount to preference, but each is equally capable. Both Mac's and PC's further empower the average user to create artistic materials. I would argue that Mac's have branded themselves as empowering the average Mac buyer, especially when you consider the iLife Suite. Part of the magic of Apple software is the restriction. Which one's easier to use? An iPhone camera or a manual Canon DSLR? The answer is iPhone camera, and the results are that more people are using the iPhone. But that doesn't mean the artist isn't restricted. An artist can load their mac with the Adobe CS Suite or 3D software or AutoCad and create digital content beyond the default software. iLife does a great job of empowering the average user to layout a photo book. If it's not enough there's always Adobe Photoshop & InDesign. So really the options for artists are all there. I really don't see your complaint.
  12. SAdProZ macrumors 6502a


    Mar 19, 2005
    Washington, DC
    Perhaps you're referring to the label that Mac's are designed and PC's are engineered. I would say that Steve Jobs, on the Apple side, went through the trouble of finding an industrial designer (Jonathan Ive) who was capable and had a humanist vision for how computers should look and function. Then he made sure this one designer designed all their products so that the look was cohesive throughout. Thus the Apple brand embodies this very implemented style.

    On the PC/Microsoft side there was no such care for design. The care went into the function and engineering of tech. I view this as a great thing. And so the PC's innovated in that direction. Also, design (which involves material and manufacturing processes) is an expensive attribute to have. PC manufacturers are driven to the bottom of the price barrel. Thus, design is the first thing to be cheapened. Or it was. Now PC manufacturers are waking up.

    But in the end they both copy each other and they end up somewhere in the middle. It's just that artists generally appreciate simplicity and care in design. Engineering people aren't bothered by "too many buttons, cheap material, and horrible UI" so long as it functions and it's customizable to add even more function.

    So in a sense PC's are function focused and Macs are design focused and so artists chose Mac 9 out of 10 times (if they can afford it).
  13. chaosbunny macrumors 68000


    Mar 11, 2005
    down to earth, far away from any clouds
    I don't get it too. I just bought some sheets of paper and now I have to buy pencils too so I can draw? Back in school they were just given to me! And if I ask artists they recomend expensive Copic markers. But back in school I did such great things with some crayons. My parents always loved them!
  14. Sandman1969 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 5, 2007
    Well played sir...Well Played... :D

    For high end graphic design no OS comes out of the box able to support that.

    And I have no idea where the OP can say there are only 10 fonts out there... LoL... Someone needs to take a computer class.

    You do know that there are even college classes that a lot of designers take. So it is a little ignorant thinking that you can just use a high-end graphics design program without some sort of training or at least a solid grasp of it before hand from OJT.
  15. Patiencepie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2011
    I am gathering that Photoshop is the most economical "thingy" I have to buy to do basic graphics. I honestly do not understand much of the language used here. I do not know how to post pictures of my artwork online either. I did manage to make a flyer in Pages even though i could not put the lettering exactly as i wanted it and could not curve lettering. I saved it on my thumb drive as a PDF and took it 50 miles to the nearest print shop. Thier computers could not read it and they all said "oh, we'll you have a Mac, that's why!" it's annoying.
    I have an iMac with Pages 08 and it shows the fonts all in ONE font so you literally have to click on each one to see what it looks like, it takes hours and you can't compare them together. When making flyers, the different text boxes push each other so you can't get lettering close together or overlap. I guess I just need photoshop for this. Also, I don't have a Font manager (is it called fontbook?). I have an iPad2 also but haven't been able to do much other than listen to music and go online.
    Ya, as an artist I get frustrated that I have professional photos taken of my paintings and then when I want to make a label for someone's lavender oil or a concert poster, I can not because of I don't have something in the computer to be able to make it has good as it should be and in an artistic way.
  16. SAdProZ macrumors 6502a


    Mar 19, 2005
    Washington, DC
    If a print shop can't open mac formated USB drives then perhaps you should be blaming the print shop. Mac/PC compatibility is a standard in their business.

    I think we all understand and feel your frustration. You may have the wrong attitude, though, which is preventing you from seeing the solution: taking classes (or reading books) on the software and learn more about software, in general. Give yourself a gift and sign up for personal classes at the Apple Store. They are called "one to one" classes and cost only $99 for a full year of classes. Register here:

    Good luck!
  17. Akarin macrumors 6502


    Oct 16, 2011
    Nyon, Switzerland
    That's where I stopped reading. Basically it's "I want to do cool stuff but can't be arsed to learn how". Get a PC, install MS Publisher, use the templates and voilà, there you go with your flyers.
  18. ezkimo, Nov 19, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2011

    ezkimo macrumors regular

    Sep 12, 2002
    You can do this buy making the text boxes "floating" and deselecting "object causes wrap" in the inspector in the wrap tab.

    Fontbook has come with every Mac for years, so you should have it.

    As far as printing goes, PDF are universally read by Mac and PC, so you either are having issues with your thumb drive being formatted strangely, or have an incompetent print shop.

    I work as a graphic designer for a living. I promise you that while Pages is not a professional application by any means, it is fully capable of doing the basic hobbyist type of work you're looking to accomplish — you just have to learn how to use it more effectively. If you're in over your head with Pages, Photoshop is going to be way out of your league, and on top of that they aren't even really for the same type of work.

    In all honesty, and I don't mean this to be rude, it sounds like you need to brush up on your day-to-day computer skills before you should be diving into design.
  19. Jim Campbell macrumors 6502a

    Jim Campbell

    Dec 6, 2006
    A World of my Own; UK
    Indeed. Setting type in Photoshop makes the Baby Jesus cry. On top of that, God kills a kitten every time you do it. Just because Adobe shoe-horns type tools into their bitmap image editor doesn't make it a typesetting application.


  20. THX1139 macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    You are in way over your head. Take a few classes. Read a book or two. Try to understand what your needs are and then use the best computer for that. Better yet, buy spray paint and stencils. Those might be more to your level of ability.

    I'm trying hard not to give you a bad time. But you are very condescending about the Mac and it's very clear to me that you don't know what you are talking about. You even admit it in your post. I get it... you want to do things and you're disappointed that your Mac won't do it for you. Is that the computers fault? No... it's simply because you don't know how. Spend time learning then come back here with specific questions. Or just grab those crayons and paper and stop complaining.

    Oh and forget Photoshop. If you can't grasp understanding or learning simple applications that come with the computer, you'll die trying to wrap your head around Photoshop! We all have had to start somewhere, it's just that you're starting off with a bad attitude and that is your main disadvantage.
  21. MechaSpanky macrumors 6502


    Sep 11, 2007
    Patiencepie, are you an artist who needs to do graphics work to promote your works of art or are you trying to be a graphic designer? It is an important distinction.

    Just some advice. First of all, Illustrator doesn't cost $800, it is around $600. Sure that seems expensive but when it comes to tools, you get what you pay for. Cheap software like Microsoft Publisher are not professional grade tools. Even Pages isn't professional grade software. It might do okay for a mom making birthday fliers but if you want to be a professional graphic designer or if you want professional results, use a professional grade tool (for layout use Indesign or Quark Xpress).

    Being artistic alone doesn't make you a good graphic designer (or a good artist for that matter) and buying a computer and a few graphic applications doesn't either. It requires skills, knowledge, and a little luck at times coupled with some artistic ability. Your story would be like someone who buys a hammer at their local hardware store and then proclaims that he is a carpenter and he is later disappointed because the buildings that he built are terrible. Instead of blaming his lack of knowledge and experience, he blames the hammer. A computer doesn't make the artist or the graphic designer, the artist/designer simply uses it as tool and for most artists and creative types, the Mac is the best tool to get the job done.

    Patiencepie, not all hope is lost and you are not alone. I have met far too many people who fail to understand even the most basic ideas and concepts of graphic design and yet, they call themselves graphic designers (and many of them land incredible jobs only to do terrible work). But it isn't the end of the world, as many of the previous posters have said, go and take a few classes (either at the nearest university or community college or online if you live in the country). You are at the starting point and the world is your oyster. With a little time studying, you will be surprised by what you can accomplish. At the beginning of your journey, the most important thing to remember is to have an open mind (and from your posts, your mind doesn't appear to be completely closed but it is far from open).
  22. beg_ne macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2003
    Patiencepie sounds like you should start simpler. Don't try to get ahead of yourself and make something fancy on your own. I would suggest using Pages again and select one of the Flyer layouts, plug your information in and then export a PDF for the printer to use. Chances are Apple's included template is infintely better than what you would be able to produce with dozens of hours of work.

    Apple has some basic tutorials for Pages here to get you familiar with how the app works:

    Secondly, no Photoshop isn't the most economical software to achieve what you want, in fact it's probably the worst and most UN-economical way to do what you want.
  23. chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    Sailing beyond the sunset
  24. SAdProZ macrumors 6502a


    Mar 19, 2005
    Washington, DC

    Well, I think that settles it. With all due respect we all agree you need classes. You've failed to read the manuals and guides, for good reason I'm sure, so the next step is friendly assistance. You can take Apple's One On One classes or pay a kid/student/family-member to teach you how to use your Mac, your iPad, and Facebook (since you don't know how to upload your photos to Facebook). It's quite alright, we all need computer education. No one here was born knowing how to use computers, we all learned and continue to do so. Good luck!
  25. Yamcha, Nov 20, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2011

    Yamcha macrumors 68000

    Mar 6, 2008
    Being a Web Designer myself, I can tell you that the Adobe experience on Windows is no different then on a Mac.. I can also tell you that you do not need college courses in order to learn Photoshop, Illustrator or Fireworks..

    I'm a self taught designer myself, and many great designers out there haven't gone to a college or university. In my personal view - hands on experience counts much more then a degree, either you have a knack for it or you don't..

    Also I don't believe there is any truth to "Macs are for Artists".. I think It's more like "Adobe is for Artists", but not everyone relies on Adobe Software either..

    Just use whatever platform your most comfortable with, as far as software goes I'd recommend Adobe Applications simply because its the industry standard, and most people work with .PSD's PNG's AI's etc.. so If your working with a team It's important for everyone to be able to open the file..

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