Why are macs so good for design?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by advocation, Jul 23, 2007.

  1. advocation macrumors member

    Oct 18, 2006
    Yeovil, UK
    I have seen people saying this everywhere, about how Macs are better than PC's for design, and i'm just wondering how they came to that conclusion.. I mean, sure, if stuff like photoshop was only available for Mac's then yeah, its a no brainer, but since the majority of the software is available for both Mac and PC, whats the advantage in going Mac?
  2. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Dec 23, 2006
    In my imagination
    People say that because most visual professionals (video, graphics, photo) use Macs since they care about their work and getting it done on a machine that won't fail them or crash or get viruses.

    That saying is really an excuse to not get a Mac.... i.e. "Macs are good for graphics, i don't do a lot of graphics, so I don't need a Mac." They sucker themselves into thinking that Macs are only good for high end stuff and they assume that the Mac is over kill for the simple stuff. In reality Macs and PCs are good for everything... PCs are better at Gaming but that is slowly changing (especially if Apple gives us a mini tower/gaming rig), while Macs are just good for everything and in many cases far superior to their Windows counterparts.
  3. odinsride macrumors 65816


    Apr 11, 2007
    There's also a LOT of really good design software (photo, video, audio) that is only available on OS X.
  4. stimpycat macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2007
    they are not better at all - photoshop is photoshop be it on a Mac or on a PC.

    No dif what so ever.
  5. stimpycat macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2007
    by the way - i think Adobe actually now sell more copies of their software to pc platforms as opposed to Macs so the chap above who said most professionals use Mac is actually wrong.
  6. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    I hear tell from the few graphics professionals that I encounter that WYSIWYG is STILL a big issue that keeps them on Macs.
  7. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    It's because the main graphic design software programs were originally developed and released for the Macintosh platform; PhotoShop, Adobe Illustrator, Pagemaker, Ouark are all examples. The success of these programs coupled with the relatively easy to use Mac OS lead to the Mac becoming the platform of choice for designers back then. The Windows versions of these programs came later and as others have said, there may not really be all that much of an advantage anymore......but the reputation still sticks
  8. DesignerOnMac macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2007
    Why are MAC's so good at Graphic Design?

    I agree with most of what has already been posted, but one of the things not mentioned is Adobe and their RIP!

    When you send files to a printer, they have to RIP your job for printing! Because Adobe invented the Postscript language to do this, it has always been a preference with most of the printers I have ever done business with that they preferred MAC file.

    Even today when I deal with several different printers, they still prefer MAC files over PC files, (for the same reasons already mentioned). I can not tell you how often I talk to one of my printer reps and he is complaining about some PC files he has gotten with no fonts, incorrect image formats, etc.
  9. Killyp macrumors 68040


    Jun 14, 2006
    But is this in relation to the number of people using Macs compared to those who use PCs?

    Macs render images differently (they have a different colour profile), they have better file support, they have Quartz which can help the actual visual rendering of the image on the screen be passed over to the Graphics card, freeing up the CPU to process the image with filters.

    Also there is actually more software available for Macs when it comes to productivity such as art, film and music...
  10. fistful macrumors 6502a


    Mar 29, 2004
    It may be true that Adobe sells more software on the PC side rather than the Mac side but how many of those people are professionals? As in people that make a living out of it as opposed to people that use the software for personal use only.

    Personally I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that most creative people care about design and esthetics which no one does like Apple. As far as a technical reasons why professionals may prefer Macs over PCs besides stability and ease of use I'm not sure that there is one, at least not that I myself am aware of.
  11. c.joe.go macrumors regular


    Apr 15, 2007
    the nexus of the universe
    it also has to do with the fact that apple's have been on the cutting edge of hardware design (aesthetics). designers, in general, are more selective with everything, clothes, cars, furniture, etc. apple usually sets the bar for innovative or pleasing designs, apart from brilliant quality and color rendition.
  12. stimpycat macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2007
    I can't imagine many people by the creative suite for fun - the only people spending that kind of money on software is professionals and perhaps a handfull of rich enthusiasts.
  13. headhammer macrumors regular

    May 15, 2007
    coming from someone who's worked in print and web design, the main reasons that i prefer working on a mac are really quite simple, and in fact have very little to do with graphics:

    --the mac os is less complicated than windows if you know how to use both fluently. anyone who says otherwise doesn't know how to use both fluently (i.e., they know more about windows than the mac os). i'm not saying that they have to like mac better than windows, it's just a case of simple user interface design: i don't have to open 6 different dialogue boxes in the mac os to change one printer setting, let alone try and source a printer driver, install this or that bit of software to drive some peripheral etc.

    in short, what takes me half an hour in mac os takes longer in windows, which means the time my client is paying me is better value on the mac, because more of it's going toward actual work rather than just using the os.

    --apps on the mac crash far less often than on windows, and the actual os rarely (if ever) crashes. when an app crashes, in most cases, it's possible to recover work. on windows, crashes are a lot more frequent, and are harder to recover from. if the windows os crashes, you can say goodbye to all your unsaved work (and this happened to me at least once a month every time i used windows, more commonly weekly or fortnightly)

    in short, again, far less time screwing around with the os, more time doing work

    --the mac os has been designed with the specific hardware of the computer in mind, meaning it's more efficient when running programs. this is noticeable in any app, but is really, really noticeable in heavy apps, like, for example photoshop. i.e. 1gb ram in windows and 1gb in mac are not equal, because windows uses more ram to process the actual os than the mac os. i don't know exact figures, but say you're running photoshop with 1gb ram:

    mac os might use a quarter to a third, leaving 3 quarters to 2 thirds for photoshop, windows might use a third to a half, (or more, under vista) leaving 2 thirds to half (or less) for photoshop. meaning photoshop will be slower with the same specs under windows.

    in short, windows uses more of your resources, essentially slowing down your software. doing exactly the same thing on a mac takes less time.

    here's a really brief analogy:
    say you're a courier. you currently drive a ford. it breaks down a lot, you always need to buy parts for it. you have to factor this in to all of your deliveries, in both cost and time. one of your friends drives a holden. he tells you that they break down less that your ford is. you buy the holden so that you get your deliveries out faster, and you are also able to deliver more, because your van is in the shop for less time.
    i'm not saying anything about fords or holdens here; i drive a toyota, and know nothing about holdens or fords. but i hope you see the point.

    all these things mean that the time i spend on a mac is better spent. it's not that i can't do it on windows, but my clients are paying lots to get the job done, and i save them money, and get the job done faster (and lose less sleep, and get more work done, and win more jobs, and get more clients) on a mac.

    there's a number of other reasons why i like the mac better, but these are all the reasons why any work (but graphics work in particular) is better on a mac.
  14. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Dec 23, 2006
    In my imagination
    When you use the phrase 'I think' it renders your comment into world of opinion or speculation and therefore not a fact. So, you can't really say 'I think, therefore you're wrong' in a statement. No offense by the way. But as said before the number of sales of Adobe products to PC or Mac users doesn't really hit at how many 'professionals' use the Mac. There are schools with idiot IT guys that bought hundreds of PCs for the graphics department then hundreds of copies of the Adobe Master collection. There are probably a few hundred schools like that.

    There is one student in my school that lost his MacBook Pro with CS2 installed and had to get a cheap PC and buy another copy of CS2 for Windows. When he gets the chance he will get another Mac.

    There are plenty of people out there ready to make the switch to Mac.

    That school scenario I gave is also relevant to Macs as well, and the students trained on them will become professionals that use Mac.

    Just because there are more PCs does not mean that every Graphics/Photo/Video Professional is using them over the Mac.
  15. Brize macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2004
    That nails it. The reason that Macs are better for design professionals is the same reason they're better for everyone else: they can multi-task properly, they rarely crash, and the OS is unobtrusive.
  16. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Native support for ligatures, far easier to set up a colour-calibrated workflow, better software support for various plug-ins and utility programs like flightchecking.

    Historical reasons, better machines for that type of work overall and compatibility with other designers and print houses; industry standard because they are the industry standard because they are the industry standard...

  17. Sdashiki macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2005
    Behind the lens
    My reasoning for why I like OSX over Windows, cuz this isnt an Apple vs PC compatible discussion, its an OS discussion:

    multitasking is made so much easier with OSX idea of it.

    windows has you see everything full screen, full width, and windows within apps of windows within more apps. Its all too confusing. Especially with design which uses at least 2 apps at once always.

    give me Expose and OSX, I can run 5 programs at once and be doing something within each that correlates to the next and be able to switch between then quickly and easily.

    With windows, im always using the task bar and having to try to layer windows correctly just to get some drag n drop.

    In OSX, it just works.

  18. Mac In School macrumors 65816

    Jun 21, 2007
    My reason: I can load a Mac up with 16 GB of RAM, and my design programs will actually use it. On Windows XP, upgrading RAM didn't seem to make much of a difference after 1 GB.

    A few things I have to LOL @:

    The Mac interface being easier. Sorry, but they're both extremely simple.

    Not liking Windows because things are maximized. You're welcome to run things windowed, just like you do on a Mac. If you prefer to work that way, there's absolutely no reason not to.
  19. Mac In School macrumors 65816

    Jun 21, 2007
    BTW, the depressing side of this is that OS X seems to be taking a back seat in the graphic design world these days.

    When I browse through the Publishing Perfection catalog that comes every few months, I'm seeing more and more Photoshop add-ons that are Windows-only, and fewer that are OS X-only.
  20. odinsride macrumors 65816


    Apr 11, 2007
    But windows doesn't have Expose, which makes things so much easier!
  21. Mac In School macrumors 65816

    Jun 21, 2007
    I agree 100%. I love Expose so much I have a mouse button mapped to it.
  22. Sdashiki macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2005
    Behind the lens
    and the fact that, look at Adobe products, its not windows, is windows within windows within apps.

    You can "window-mode" the apps, but your windows within are stuck inside that window.

    So, no, full-screen windows is what Windows is all about.

    From a work-flow standpoint, its pure and utter garbage.
  23. Mac In School macrumors 65816

    Jun 21, 2007
    As much of a Mac pimp as I am, I disagree. I worked in Photoshop since version 3 in Windows, and The workflow doesn't feel any faster to me on a Mac. Alt-tab is very efficient.
  24. Genghis Khan macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Jun 3, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    Which you also have on mac making that a moot point.
    I find the whole UI much more intuitive on mac...Photoshop works great and so does everything else.

    Put it this way...i'm not going back to windows
  25. MaddieBrad macrumors regular


    Apr 8, 2007
    New York City
    i think the main strength of the mac is the stability of its OS, making it safer and more efficiant to use for design work.

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