why is mac best for graphic design?

Discussion in 'Design & Media' started by Tasuki_Musashi, Sep 14, 2005.

  1. Tasuki_Musashi

    Tasuki_Musashi Registered

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    Not trying to start any debates or arguments here, but going into a graphic design career in a couple years, i'd really like to know why macs are better than pc for graphic design. I asked a girl in my class the other day who just purchased a g4 notebook why she got a mac, and she just said she bought it because they're better for what we're going to be doing. She couldn't explain any further than that, and no one else has been able to tell me anything either. Before i take the dive and actually buy one of these things, i'd like to know why.

    step up to bat, maybe you'll get a convert.
     
  2. RacerX

    RacerX Old Rhapsody User

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    First of all... don't convert. You should use what works best for you. We don't need more Mac users just to have more more Mac users.

    As for what makes a Mac different from a PC in the area of graphic design... it comes down to graphic designers being one of the few groups of users who truly need to multitask. I'm talking about user multitasking, not computer multitasking... there is a difference.

    In Windows, most applications are designed to take over the interface of the system (rooted apps within full screen windows). When working on an image in Photoshop in Windows, you have the image window inside a root window which takes over the screen.

    Now this is fine if the only app you use is Photoshop, but for most graphic designers, Photoshop is one of many tools being used, and when that root window takes over the screen, they are isolated from the other apps that they were working with.

    On Macs, applications take up only what is actually needed by them. In this way you can see other apps in the background and even the desktop, which many people use for holding items that they will end up dropping into a piece of work. You can't drag-n-drop from the desktop (or any other app) if you can't even see the desktop. The ability to drag-n-drop is a major advantage in work flow for users who multitask.

    Personally, I think Windows is a great platform for secretaries, gamers and the like. People who only do one thing and don't want to be distracted while doing that thing.

    That having been said... you should use what you like. If you don't know what that is, I highly doubt anyone else can help you figure it out.
     
  3. symphonix

    symphonix Scratch & Sniff Committee

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    I would say though that the Mac does have some distinct advantages to designers in a few critical areas. Font management is easier and better on a Mac, as Windows tends to suffer a real performance hit when you exceed 500-1000 fonts. Colour calibration is a lot easier to manage on the Mac, even with multiple profiles. Better support for PDF files in the operating system, anti-aliased screen fonts and the OpenGL based graphic system also give the Mac a bit more edge over Windows. AppleScript and Automator make for very powerful workflows that can convert images, without requiring a design house to hire a programmer (Yes Windows does have scripting, but have you ever tried to use it?).
     
  4. nixgeek

    nixgeek Mac of the SubGenius! :-)

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    It's interesting that you say this RacerX, because I was experiencing that exact problem with my Windows workstation at work while trying to create an MSI package for deployment using ADS.

    I had about 4 windows open at the time, and even though the taskbar was at the bottom, it made it very difficult to even work with all the apps I needed open at the time. I felt frazzled just getting the simplest task done.

    Mind you, in Linux with Gnome or KDE I don't have this issue so much since I use the other workspaces as well, so it's a little more flexible. While there is an add-on available from MS to do this on Windows, it doesn't do it well and it's not built-in to the OS like Gnome and KDE have it.

    However, neither desktop environments make it as easy as the Macintosh does with open windows. The beauty of it is exactly that: that it doesn't overtake your entire screen and the OS allows you to drag and drop where you need to. This is almost impossible in Windows without restoring windows to a size where the same can be done (and even then it doesn't do a good job of it).

    The Mac definitely makes computing enjoyable and more productive in my opinion.
     
  5. cyclyst1964

    cyclyst1964 Registered

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    What's up with that link? What is the point?
    muhnuminum?
     
  6. RGrphc2

    RGrphc2 ...InSaNe...

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    Multitasking projects, it's so much easier to switch between programs on a mac, because u never really close out of it, and it just runs in the background not takin up that much memory.

    Try this on a PC and then on a Mac, have Photoshop Running (with nothing open, just the program) and then open Illustrator and try to utilize the 3D effects in it. On the PC side Illustrator will Fail and probably crash...do the same extact thing on the Mac side, it will be fine, as long as you have enough ram :eek: :eek: :eek:

    I want a Mac Desktop!
     
  7. adambyte

    adambyte Registered

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    I would like to second all of the arguments made already. I work heavily with graphics and video files, and between Photoshop, Illustrator, Final Cut, and After Effects, I end up doing a lot of dragging and dropping. The Mac simply has better window-management. The dock, unlike the taskbar, is a very VISUAL place to minimize windows to. In addition, windows only take up as much space as they need/ you want them to, making drag and drop EXTREMELY useful. And lastly, but most CERTAINLY not least, is Expose, which, with the touch of a button, or a multi-button mouse click will either A) scale down all windows just enough so that you can see them all and pick which to see/drag things to, B) scale down all the windows in the currently active application, and C) shove all windows to the sides so you can see files on your desktop. Combine Expose's abilities with drag and drop, and you can put ANYthing ANYwhere quite easily.

    Expose is the worth the price of a Mac, alone. http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/expose/

    lol. Alright, I'm done.
     
  8. RGrphc2

    RGrphc2 ...InSaNe...

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    I second that, you wouldn't believe how many damn times i hit F9 to F11 on my PC when i'm doing mutliple things...and then i realize that expose isn't there and get frustrated.
     
  9. Viro

    Viro Registered

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    What about just alt-tabbing? It helps you deal with multiple applications and I've found it much much better than just trying to navigate using the taskbar.
     
  10. nixgeek

    nixgeek Mac of the SubGenius! :-)

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    Shame on you for not following directions!!! Now you'll have that song in your head forever!!! BWAHAHAHAA!!!! ::ha::

    If you have to ask what the point is, you'll never understand. ;)

    _____________________

    Viro, as for Alt-Tab, I use it most of the time. However, when you need to work between two apps and move files over, it is not as elegant as it is on the Mac. You actually have to drag the file down to the taskbar and hover over the app you want for a few secs, and then it will pop to the front allowing you to move the file over. However, it's annoying. Being able to see the app and do it on the fly is more efficient. Now if this would work under Expose it would be even MORE efficient. ;)
     
  11. Lt Major Burns

    Lt Major Burns "Dicky" Charlteston-Burns

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    i think one of the major reasons the mac is better for graphics is also one of the most shallow - because graphic designers use macs. there is the pool of compatibility there, with software, with print houses etc.

    i have to say i converted to mac purely because of the argument: graphics is better on the macintosh. to be honest, it isn't, not really. photoshop is the same photoshop on windows etc, all the software is the same, but the fact that the mac is a better platform completely, not just from a graphics POV, makes it better for graphics.

    as mentioned before, expose is fantastic for graphics. the third option, "show all windows in current application" is a godsend.

    example:

    you are working on an image. you save it but carry on working, placing an idea into it you'd just had, and the work starts to take on a different appearance. open the save before you started developing this idea, and hit F10. both images are then placed, perfectly scaled and the same size, next to each other. now you can compare, and decide which way to go. it's not even like it's an intensive feature, i have it set to the bottom left hotcorner, so i just throw my mouse to the bottom left and there's all my photoshop windows (i've had 20+ images open at once before).

    there could be 10 more in illustrator, 10 safari webpages open, iTunes, iPhoto, iCal, numerous Finder windows, 10 messenger conversations, and the system is still stable.

    you keep all your camera images in iphoto. you can drag these images onto the desktop, copying it, then drag it from the desktop onto the photoshop icon, opening it. you edit it, save it then drag into your director project. along with music you just dragged from iTunes. you save it as a Flash file and drop it onto safari to preview it. you can drag from one app to the next using expose, show all windows (gets fun with the amount of windows open mentioned before (50 windows all open and tiled and scaled properly....) )

    you get the feeling you are using a powerful tool, unlimited but to your action. with windows i always felt i was struggling against the computer, not working with it.
     
  12. sirstaunch

    sirstaunch Registered

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    I'm glad I had iTunes playing something completely different which helped drown out that mind boggling tune :D
     
  13. nixgeek

    nixgeek Mac of the SubGenius! :-)

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    You're welcome. :D ::ha::
     
  14. MacGizmo

    MacGizmo Graphics Guy

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    The really simple answer to this is that 90% of the ad agencies and design firms in the world use Macs... so that's what you're going to use at work. For that reason, most design-related software is made for the Mac first, or simply isn't available on a PC at all. It's really that simple.

    As Mac users we're known to complain about the same situation in an office environment that uses Windows simply because that's what everyone else uses. But the fact is that it isn't going to change anytime soon, so you have to ask yourself if it's really worth the hassle to try and change it.
     
  15. Tasuki_Musashi

    Tasuki_Musashi Registered

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    Thanks everyone. I guess from what you're telling me, that until i'm comfortable with using macs, wich hopefully i will be by the time i get my associates, there's no real hurry to get one. that "show all"/"expose" thing sounds pretty cool, but besides that i think i'm all set with the pc versions of those other features. Alt Tabbing is a pretty well used option on my part, and right clicking and just selecting where i want to open the file is easy enough as it is without just dragging it somewhere. As far as the stability of a mac, and use of resources, i'm not particularly worried, i've got a pretty powerful PC. which by the way, i'm planning on getting a new motherboard and video card for, then moving into a mac g4 case.

    thanks again everyone. i'm really glad you were finally able to clear up that mystery for me.
     
  16. RGrphc2

    RGrphc2 ...InSaNe...

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    to respond to your profile question about a superdrive, its 1 DVD tray that does it all, it plays your music CD's, your Movies, Software CD and DVD's, and it writes to all formats now CD-R, CD-RW, & DVD+/-R and RW

    granted the double drives are good for backing up CD to CD...
     
  17. nicksrd

    nicksrd Registered

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    Have none of you lot ever ued the ALT + TAB function in both PC and Mac Platforms?

    This is a simple universal application switch shortcut on both.

    I work on a Mac desktop, a PC desktop and A powerbook, all Networked and I can't say I have a preference with either, If your PC won't function with Illustrator and Photoshop both open you probably need to upgrade you PC...
     
  18. nixgeek

    nixgeek Mac of the SubGenius! :-)

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    Again, that's not the issue. It's being able to move files back and forth between apps in either Macintosh or Windows. On the Mac it's more efficient as oppposed to Windows, where you have to drag down to the taskbar, hold it there until it decides to popup the needed program in the background, and then drop it in the program. On the Mac it's just a matter of moving it from one application's window to another.

    And with Alt-Tab, you don't get the nice views as you would with Expose. Expose has become so useful that even other platforms have been implementing them through add-ons (KDE's version of Expose...the name doesn't come to me now) or through third party apps.
     
  19. meshcount

    meshcount Registered

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    When I was in art school, in the design classes, there was one person that had a PC. On the first day of design class, she declared she just bought a new Gateway (?) Windows 3.5 machine, the entire class turned around and stared at her in that tilted head, scrunched eyebrow, open mouth manner. She thought she'd wing it fine, but then we had to take Design Tool courses where asides from the 1st level T-Square, ink, and Duralene tools, we had to sit in a computer lab to learn how to master applications on the Mac. Needless to say, she spent a lot of time hanging around campus waiting for a spot to open up so she could do her homework.
     
  20. CaptainQuark

    CaptainQuark 93 93/93

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    …and anyway – the Mac's just better! :p

    I'll stop there, or things will just get too political, not to mention issues with being able to sit down after ol' Bill has had his evil way with us! :D
     

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