ASK DN: Why are apple products (especially laptops and desktop) so prevalent in the design industry? Designers, why do you prefer a Mac?

over 6 years ago from , Creative Director @ Caffein8 Creative LABS

TL;DR One of my friend recently got chided in class for having a windows laptop instead of a Macbook Pro in his newly enrolled design course.

He is 16, totally new to graphic design. He bought a new ASUS laptop with apretty good GFX card and processor 2 months before school starts.Fast forward, first day of school.

Lecturer saw 2-3 students not using a mac, publicly chided them for registering for an art and design class without using a mac.

So here I am, wondering why do designers prefer a Mac?

I thought about it and the only reason I find that is not superfluous (e.g. nice looking UI, simple and elegant design on the laptop itself) is it's great font management.

It's great that I do not need to restart photoshop / illust. to be able to use the new font I just downloaded and install.

Any other things that you feel is the reason why Macs are prevalent in the design industry?


  • Nour MalaebNour Malaeb, over 6 years ago

    Macs are my personal preference, but that doesn't make them a must for designers. For me, it's the little things:

    • Quick Look: hitting the spacebar to view the contents of a file without having to open any application is a huge time-saver. It feels so normal now but I still get amazed reactions from PC friends when they see me do it. As designers, we work with so much visual stuff that having a quick way to see what's in our files is quite valuable.
    • Design Software: So much has been written about Sketch on DN. It's just one example of forward-thinking design software that tends to be Mac-only (or Mac-first at least). Sure, Adobe's tools can get any job done, but it's good to have alternatives.
    • Longevity and Reliability: I used PCs exclusively until 2008, when I bought the first unibody MBP. The next machine I bought after that was a retina MBP in 2013 – 5 years later. I'd never had any PC last me nearly that long without having a major malfunction. I only ever had to take my MBP to be repaired once, and that was because I spilled liquid on it.
    • Window Behaviour: The way Macs work with window management just clicks better with the way my brain thinks of computer applications. (Pretty fuzzy reason but it has made a difference for me).
    • I like nice things: Now that I am not in college and have some disposable income, if I can afford to buy the better (more durable, more beautiful, more efficient, higher quality materials) version of something, I always do. A designers surrounded with nice things is a happier designer :)

    It's important for designers to be able to work on both platforms. It's a shame that a teacher is chiding students on their choice of tools without having seen their work.

    26 points
    • Alson Kaw, over 6 years ago

      I'm not sure whether it's me or am I overusing my Macs, but none of my macbook pros survive more than 3 years. And all of them go out with a bang.

      By bang, I meant I can never use it ever again.

      First MBP, non-unibody, Graphic Card problem (nVidia card issue). Luckily I was alerted to that fact that Apple covers this out of warranty. (Died 1 week right out of the 1 year warranty). Trackpad died 1.5 years later at 2.5 years old. 2 Months after that, keyboard died. I had to use external keyboard + mouse. It was pathetic since I can't afford another MBP so soon.

      Second MBP, again, graphics died 1.5 years later, out of warranty. Repaired it for 800 bucks. Spilled some soup over it last year december and trackpad died. While repairing the trackpad, I forgot to de-static my fingers and probably shorted something out. It wouldn't boot. And it died.

      I'm on my 3rd MBP now. The current gen. This time, I have enough money to afford Apple Care. Let's hope this works out.

      3 points
      • Nour MalaebNour Malaeb, over 6 years ago

        Yikes! Sounds like a string of bad luck. Most people I know who use Macs have stories which are more like mine. Apple Care is definitely nice to have.

        1 point
      • Nick Sloggett, over 6 years ago

        I burn through a rMBP every 2 years. But based on my RescueTime I put in well over 4500 hours a year on it. Thats running 5-7 apps all the time as well.

        0 points
      • pjotr .pjotr ., over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

        YMMV. I have the following Apple products:

        • 2007 iMac (never once needed any attention)
        • 2011 MBA (spilled 10oz of water on this baby and it's still trucking without issue)
        • 2008 Macbook (yeah, that big clunky white plastic thing, it's still kicking and running smoothly)
        • 2013 MBP Retina (work issue, no issues so far)

        I'm not saying you're lying, just that the longevity of products is super variable. It's quite possible that you have bad luck with Apple products and I have good luck.

        2 points
        • Adil MajidAdil Majid, over 6 years ago

          That white Macbook is amazing. I used it for three years, passed it onto my little brother, and he's been using it for the last two years. It still runs like a beast.

          0 points
  • Brian A.Brian A., 6 years ago

    It sounds like that lecturer is a raging douchebag. There's absolutely nothing wrong with using a PC for design work.

    20 points
    • Nathan HueningNathan Huening, 6 years ago

      Totally agree. I'm a long-time Mac user and don't agree that the systems are equivalent, but a) plenty of professionals do great work with Wintels and b) that lecturer is a douche bag.

      3 points
  • Sam SolomonSam Solomon, over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

    First of all, I think that is absolutely ridiculous coming from a teacher. Computers are expensive, especially for students. Macs are usually even more expensive.

    I think the point you hinted at before—the industrial design quality and UI detail is likely the primary reason.

    Anecdotally, I built a few PCs in high school, They were great. The only reason I moved over to a Mac was because I wanted a light laptop with decent battery life. The Air was a mile better than the ASUS and other Ultrabooks out there at almost the same price point.

    20 points
    • Alson Kaw, over 6 years ago

      Yes, I find it ridiculous a lecturer could make such uneducated statement. It is true that the design industry is a OSX-dominant industry but it does not, in any way, state that non-OSX designers are bound to fail.

      On your point for lightness. I believe there are tons of computer that are around the weight and size of the Macbook Air at more competitive prices as of 2014 isn't it?

      4 points
      • Sam SolomonSam Solomon, over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

        Perhaps now, but not in late 2012 when I purchased my Air. I do think battery life continues to be an issue for Windows Laptops.

        It will be interesting to see what happens with the new Macbook lineup. I have a 2014 Retina MacBook Pro for work. It's thin enough and has a better battery than my Air. I think that will probably be my next purchase.

        EDIT: Also as mentioned above, I work primarily in Sketch. I'd have a difficult time parting with Sketch and Writer Pro.

        0 points
    • Andy MerskinAndy Merskin, over 6 years ago

      Same here. I've always been a PC person and have always enjoyed building my own systems primarily for gaming. I started off college with a Dell XPS M1730 @ 14lbs (including power adapter).

      I really needed to save my back, so I did a bunch of research and debated getting a netbook (oof, remember those?) or a Macbook Pro 13 unibody (2009). I decided on the Mac, and never looked back since. When I found that I could run Adobe CS3 on it relatively well, and Source engine games, I was more than pleased.

      I am getting pretty disappointed with Adobe CC's performance on my Macbook Air versus my Windows desktop at home, purely because Adobe's GPU improvements only work on Windows and NVIDIA hardware (i.e. not any Mac below $2000).

      1 point
  • Nathan HueningNathan Huening, over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

    tl;dr Choose whichever system you like; you can get good work done on both. But there's no universe in which both systems are the same, or even close to the same.

    Lecturer saw 2-3 students not using a mac, publicly chided them for registering for an art and design class without using a mac.

    Total douche bag. Unnecessary and in poor taste. If you want to work with a Wintel box, fine! No need to call the kid out.

    I thought about it and the only reason I find that is not superfluous (e.g. nice looking UI, simple and elegant design on the laptop itself) is it's great font management.

    Haha yes, plenty more than that (though that is nice, especially the sub-pixel anti-aliasing: fonts on Windows ClearType hurt my eyes). Windows is fine -- you can do good work on it. But that doesn't mean the systems are equivalent by any stretch. Few examples:


    Much better / higher build quality. This translates into greater durability and, therefore, greater resale value: for all the poo-poo'ing of the cost of Apple machines, I don't think I've ever re-sold a laptop for less than $600 on Craigslist / eBay so that whenever I upgrade, I've got the down payment for my next machine. Which then brings the cost inline with -- or cheaper than -- a comparable plastic Wintel box.


    Moreover, the diversity and quality of software for makers on OS X is dramatically. Off the top of my head, I know of few Wintel equivalents for Transmit, Coda, Acorn, CodeKit, Sequel Pro, Launchbar/Alfred, Pixelmator, Sketch, Affinity Designer, Ulysses, Tweetbot, Screenflow, Framer Studio, Keynote, Git Tower, or xScope. More and better-designed tools help makers get their work done more efficiently.


    Nobody mentioned this anywhere, but with a Mac, you don't have to choose: I run virtualized Windows instances inside OS X all day. Got some software on Windows you like or are required to use for work? No big deal, just fire it up and run it alongside.


    Another thing not mentioned: if I have a problem with any product -- phone, laptop, tablet -- I bring it into my nearest Apple store. Not only will I receive free advice but on at least a half dozen occasions, I've have a product replaced on the spot, free of charge, no questions asked. That's happened with 2 bum iPhones, a Time Machine whose power supply went bad, and a Macbook whose logic board went out but was covered under recall. If you have a problem with your Lenovo, what are you going to do with it? If you think that this degree of support doesn't have value and isn't worth paying for, that's fine. Tinker all day till your heart's content, I have client work to do.


    Terminal is one of OS X's killer features. A full Unix machine, right under the hood.

    7 points
  • Jessica GrisctiJessica Griscti, over 6 years ago

    As a lifelong user of PC until three weeks ago--always bought PC because you could get the same power for half the price--I'm now fully bought into the Apple ecosystem for one reason: hardware.

    My Macbook Pro has a higher resolution screen, a far better trackpad, and astoundingly long battery life compared to every PC I've used before it. Was it worth the premium price? It kills me to say this, but absolutely.

    As far as software/UI goes, I never had a problem with PC. People say they're more difficult and viruses are prevalent, which is simply untrue. Treat your machine with respect and care and it'll be fine.

    I love, however, that my Macbook comes to life immediately after I open it with 0 wake-up delay. And the easy screenshotting is an wonderful tool for a designer. Finally, I want to pursue type design, which is pretty much the only field of software left that is only written for Mac.

    And it's really, really nice that I no longer have conversations about why I'm designing with a PC.

    So, there's my reasoning, and after spending 6 or so years insisting I'd never buy a Mac, I'm not looking back.

    5 points
    • Alson Kaw, over 6 years ago

      You hit it right on another nail. The Apple trackpad is by far, the best trackpad I have ever used. It's so smooth and so fluid. I have problem using other super/under sensitive trackpads. It's not something that can be adjusted in the settings either. You can just "feel" it now matter how you adjust the settings.

      Also, may I know what software you use for type design? I'm honestly curious.

      0 points
      • Jessica GrisctiJessica Griscti, over 6 years ago

        FontLab at the moment, but all of the graduate programs I'm looking into use Robofont, which has only been developed (and probably will only ever be developed) for Mac.

        There's Glyphs too, but Robofont seems to be the most popular option.

        0 points
  • cliff nowickicliff nowicki, over 6 years ago

    Its one of those things. I use both PC and MAC for my design work and I see no real advantage MAC has over a PC. I have SSD's in both, great speeds and the only difference between the two were the price tag. A better computer will never make you a better designer.

    5 points
    • Alson KawAlson Kaw, 6 years ago

      I fully agree with you. Which is why I don't care what computer my designer use as long as it's good.

      I mean, a lot of designer still use pen and paper to prototype and design. Does that mean they are prehistoric? Of course not!

      But somehow, I've seen designers ask "Why arn't you using a Mac?" And that intrigues me enough to write this post to try and understand the underlying factor behind why the design industry is Pro-Apple on a practical standpoint.

      1 point
    • Nathan HueningNathan Huening, over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

      In practice, a competent professional can use either machine to get the job done. I would disagree that they are distinguished by "the price tag" -- that seems naive at best and disingenuous at worst. Like saying, "Yeah, you could spend $50k on a BMW and $20k on a Ford and the only difference is the price since they both have 4 tires, a stereo, air conditioning, and will get you to and from work reliably."

      To take just one example: MacBooks are laser-carved from a single piece of aluminum, making them more durable than creaky plastic. It's fine if you don't care about that -- or think it's unnecessary -- but the process to develop that manufacturing technique has value and so does the cost of production.

      Moreover, the diversity and quality of software for makers on OS X is dramatically. Off the top of my head, I know of few Wintel equivalents for Transmit, Coda, Acorn, CodeKit, Sequel Pro, Launchbar/Alfred, Pixelmator, Sketch, Affinity Designer, Ulysses, Tweetbot, Screenflow, Framer Studio, Keynote, Git Tower, or xScope. More and better-designed tools help makers get their work done more efficiently.

      Finally, with a Mac you don't have to choose: I run virtualized Windows boxes inside my OS X installation all day. I can choose how much RAM to assign and partition the hard disk however I like. In fact, I can boot into Windows 7 or 8 at any time. Why restrict yourself to one OS?

      PS. I'd probably cite Terminal as OS X's killer feature: all my *nix CLI knowledge is automatically available (I've honed by bash_profile over many years!). Goes without saying that Unix is more reliably stable than the Wintel registry system.

      0 points
      • cliff nowickicliff nowicki, 6 years ago

        So for what I do, the price tag is the big distinguisher so thats not being naiver or disingenuous. I have both so try not to think I am just simply bashing and being ignorant. Maybe for you, there is more than just a price tag, so let me trying to explain what I do.

        Having diverse software is fine and I use about half of what you showed on my MAC. However, I'm not new to design and I've used Photoshop and Illustrator as my core programs since 2000. I know the in's and out's of those programs, so Sketch and Affinity are the hot new things that do amazing things. However, they can't do half of what adobes things can do or do efficiently as someone who is a pro at adobe software. They are awesome programs though and for anybody starting out, I do recommend checking them out.

        Its not about the software though because if you know the right way to build a PC, you can get it more powerful for less. What I do miss about the MAC is the way Spaces was handled and changed out. I do prefer terminal on mac though, but only because thats where I learned the command line.

        0 points
        • Nathan HueningNathan Huening, 6 years ago

          because if you know the right way to build a PC

          Another difference: I'm not interested in building a PC and, if I have to become a mechanic just to drive my car efficiently and cost-effectively, I'm going to look for another car. I need to get to my destination, not futz about with swapping out the alternator my car comes with.

          And so I'm clear: nothing at all wrong with being / liking mechanics. Just different approaches.

          2 points
  • Mattan IngramMattan Ingram, 6 years ago

    Most of my reasons are about overall productivity and speed rather than things specific to design.

    Also if you are a web designer who codes it makes a BIG difference to have a UNIX based OS.

    Also the number of apps available for Mac and not for Windows is quite significant at this point.

    I don't think I could use a computer without my custom Alfred workflows. Windows has nothing nearly as powerful or elegant as that one piece of software.

    4 points
  • Kai TurnerKai Turner, over 6 years ago

    I'd like to dwell on the 'superfluous' points – Apple has always been design-led. They have a history and tradition in crafting experiences that have changed the industry as the others play catch-up– including, at least in the early days, Microsoft. You wouldn't have the desktop as we know it, without Apple. Nor would you have the slickly designed smartphone look & feel we have come to expect without their diligent pursuit of the best experience.

    So, as a designer – do you want to support an innovator or a follower? I think it's important for design professionals to see a company that values design innovation when design can be often overlooked in the corporate world.

    Today, there may not be a functional reason to choose Mac over PC, but since they have this legacy as the platform of choice for designers – it is still a pragmatic choice to be using the same platform as your peers.

    2 points
    • Alson KawAlson Kaw, 6 years ago

      I'm sorry, I think superfluous might be the wrong word to use. I should have said UI/UX instead.

      But again, I would like to go past these 'surface' things and dwell upon the hardware requirements and etc.

      As a designer, I'm 100% an Apple fanboy. In fact, I'm more a more Pro-Jony guys, than a Pro-Steve guy.

      But again, from a very practical standpoint. I am asking what is it about Mac and OSX that a designer can't do without. Or is there none at all as of 2015?

      Is there any interesting features that OSX can bring to designers that Windows cannot? Much like the font management I cited in the first post. I would like to understand and learn more design-centric things that only OSX can do.

      Also, I know that Sketch is OSX only, so there is that.

      0 points
      • Nathan HueningNathan Huening, 6 years ago

        Also, I know that Sketch is OS X only, so there is that.

        See above. Ton of superb OS X-only software these days... I'd venture to say that most great new apps are Mac-only/-first the same way they're iOS-only/-first.

        0 points
        • Alson KawAlson Kaw, 6 years ago

          I believe the main reason of great mac apps are because of Apple's UI and philosophy. Mac users tend to appreciate small detailed of the Apple's UI, and thus, translate this to the apps that they write.

          It's a circle. Designer uses OS A, Designer create a beautiful UI/UX for app for OS A because Designer is an OS A user.

          This is the same for Windows. Tons of engineers and number crunching users use Windows, they came out with tons of great engineering and number crunching apps for Windows too.

          2 points
      • Kai TurnerKai Turner, 6 years ago

        You can track all of the subtle UX improvements they've made through each version of OSX– but I'd struggle to think of specific design-centric features.

        But as you pointed out, and I mentioned – you have the platform-effect of most designers being on Mac, so design focussed products like Sketch will likely launch on OSX/iOS before PC/Android.

        0 points
  • Alec LomasAlec Lomas, over 6 years ago

    Why are we assuming the professor is a douche? It's entirely likely he was making a lighthearted remark. I've gotten a few of those over the years.

    I'm currently on Windows but plan on getting a MBP (or maybe one of those new MacBooks), mostly for development reasons. Apple hardware is killer, and there's a lot of great Mac-only third party software. But I see no problem with doing design work on Windows, and switching between the platforms is trivial at worst.

    Also, I've never had to restart my Windows machine for a new font to appear in PS/AI.

    1 point
    • Sam MularczykSam Mularczyk, 6 years ago

      Imagine spending $1k+ on a brand new laptop. One that's powerful enough to run everything you need for uni. You're extremely happy with it, until you turn up on the first day and have a professional tell you it's not good enough.

      Lighthearted remark or not, it's a pretty shitty thing to say and immediately makes you feel inferior to your classmates.

      1 point
      • Andrew CiobanasiuAndrew Ciobanasiu, 6 years ago

        Herein lies the problem IMO.

        There is definitely a certain pretentiousness that swells up around people passionate about their Macs.

        Everyone is entitled to an opinion, and I can respect that. The issue is that some people equate holding an opinion with, knowingly or not, a license allowing for complete douchebaggery.

        As any designer will at some point admit, Macs are pretty damn great. Aesthetics aside, Sketch is revolutionary, Astropad looks dope, font management is less of a PITA than on Windows, VFL implementation is the future, and so on. These are some reasons I would switch to a Mac.

        For a lot of people, including myself, it comes down to performance, price, and looks; in that order. I bought/souped up a 13" Asus UX32VD (used, forgive me puritans) with 10GB of RAM, 1GB NVIDIA 620M, i7 3517U, 256GB SSD and other various bells and whistles for just over $900 and I can still swap this shit out if I need to. Once I find a good deal on a 512GB SSD, for example.

        At that value and with those guts, I just couldn't justify spending an additional $1500+ of my own money for my uses. Especially as a student myself.

        If you have the means for a brand spanking new MBP, more power to you. But in the same way that buying a CC subscription doesn't make you a designer, buying a Macbook doesn't magically put you on par with Mr. Ives.

        2 points
  • Charlie McCullochCharlie McCulloch, over 6 years ago

    There's nothing superfluous about simple and elegant design. It's hard to concentrate when working in a messy, aesthetically deprived environment (like Windows).

    1 point
  • Alex YakirAlex Yakir, over 6 years ago

    The main reasons I use a macbook and other apple products:

    1. App/Software ecosystem
    2. Software continuity across devices
    3. OS/iOS interface and general user experience
    4. Font rendering
    5. Product longevity
    1 point
    • Floyd WilliamsonFloyd Williamson, 6 years ago

      1 and 4 are basically are the main reasons. While you could do some layouts in photoshop on Windows, you could never do anything more akin to illustrations and high fidelity design.

      0 points
  • Karl SanderKarl Sander, over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

    That behavior from the lecturer is ridiculous. Maybe if they where using mac only software that really has no equivalent, like Quarz Composer, it would make sense, but even then the school should provide computers to do the work on. In the worst case chiding a student for not having a mac is chiding them for being poorer and thats just not acceptable at all.

    I sometimes get made fun of for using a macbook air in a computer science degree, because its apparently an overpriced toy. Never seriously though. Also classes that require Visual Studio, but I can run virtual windows for that, like everyone on linux has too. And the school provides computers to do the work on.

    That said like everyone else in this thread I can see why most designers prefer OS X. Working on UX its natural that you would see the value in it and consider it worth additional money. And there is a whole bunch of software thats mac only, barely any thats windows only. (For common design tasks, different e.g. for architecture). Something else major is that you can only use a mac to develop for all mobile platforms (sans windows phone lol).

    1 point
  • barry saundersbarry saunders, 6 years ago

    I use both for different reasons.

    Mac for work, as my favourite software is Mac-only (Sketch, Omnigraffle, Devonthink, Omnioutliner, Affinity Designer, Things, Tweetbot, IA Writer) and because certain things are just easier to deal with on Mac (Ruby / Rails, integration with iPhone / iPad, storyboarding iPhone apps).

    It also works out cheaper for me - I can't find a windows machine with retina screen, durable metal body and quality trackpad that's anywhere near competitive on price. I get 3-4 years out of each laptop's work life, and then they end up running for another 2-3 years as email / Plex / server machines.

    That said, I use a desktop PC at home. It's a boxy-looking thing that is great for gaming and video rendering or anything that requires bulk power. I have Photoshop on it, but syncing fonts and files across from my mac has always been a pain, so I don't use it much. There's no retina option, and 4k interfaces on Windows are still a bit janky, so I have to work at standard definition. Which is a problem if you're designing for high-density screens such as mobile or tablet.

    That said, I'd really like a Windows machine such as the Surface or Cintiq Companion - the ability to directly manipulate your design without having to lug around a Mac + Cintiq display is a huge selling point, and there's not much equivalent on the Mac side. (Hackintoshes, iPad pairing and modbooks aside).

    So, to answer your question: it depends. I know great designers who use Windows, who use Mac, who use both. You can do good work on pretty much anything. There are great cross-platform tools (Adobe / Autodesk / Axure suites). There are certain specific benefits to going one over another (Ruby is good on Mac, .Net on Windows) and programs that only work on one platform (Sketch on Mac, BlackInk on Windows).

    If your lecturer has a specific reason for wanting Macs such as a lecture series on Sketch, then ok, he's a dick but he might have a point. If he just thinks Macs are the only option for designers, he's completely wrong.

    0 points
  • Andrew CrookstonAndrew Crookston, 6 years ago

    My two cents on this as a design enthusiast and 12 years in the tech business:

    First of all the teacher is an ass and should keep his personal issues to himself. PC's can do an excellent job. That said I personally prefer working with a Mac due to a few points:

    Apple pioneered desktop publishing and it's one of those core foundations that Apple was built on. If you've ever heard Steve Jobs talk (I think it's in "Steve Jobs The lost interview") talk about Apple he's extremely proud of the way Macs render typography. It's a core pillar for them, and I think it still is.

    Their screens are better; all macbooks, iMacs and external apple displays have great color and lighting. I've never seen a PC laptop with a good screen (maybe they exist, I don't know). You can buy supposedly good external monitors too but I haven't seen one and I think the price for those are not far from the Apple versions (feel free to correct me, I'm recalling from old memory).

    Software: Honestly there's not much difference here. There are some applications that are exclusive for each platform (like my new favorite Sketch on mac) but the basics (Adobe) can be bought for any platform.

    I completely agree with all the Hardware points listed previously; the mac has the "best" (maybe not on a point by point basis but as a complete product incl enclosure) and longest lasting hardware (I used to get a new (or format) PC every 1-2 years, now it's a mac every 3-5 years).

    Because I program for unix based systems a lot the choice is easy for me; I think the mac delivers the easiest to use, best UI and experience in general (eg vs Linux), with a good range of software, has the best default displays.

    0 points
  • Anthony RobertsonAnthony Robertson, over 6 years ago

    To be very honest, and this is entirely personal, I really am sick to death over Microsoft OS missteps over the years and ad/bloatware that accompanies a new computer on the Windows platform. I buy Macs because they are predictable, no ad/bloatware from weird third-party vendors, and I can start working right away in the terminal. I have design issues with the latest versions of OS X, but those issues do not keep me from working. The one serious drawback to the Mac, hardware-wise, is Apple's insistence on keeping the base models at 4 GB of RAM. 4 GB of RAM is stupid IMHO. Just make the baseline 8 GB and be done with it. Sheesh.

    0 points
  • Ricky SynnotRicky Synnot, 6 years ago

    Woah Im surprised no one has mentioned RGB so far.

    All Apple Mac's come with sRGB compliant screens.

    This means that out of the factory, they all display the same colours, and are all benchmarked against an industry standard colour gamut.

    That's 'generally speaking'... if you're into high-end photo then you probably take it to the next step and colour calibrate your monitor.

    But for most print and web design, the Mac provides a consistent and expected display that is standardised and reliable - they all have the same amount of colours.

    I have found that PC's in general are all over the shop, and each manufacturer does things differently. Providing sRGB compliance is costly, evidenced in Dell's screen range, where only a few of the high end screens can re-produce this whole colour gamut.

    So in the case of your uni situation - the teacher may be saying that the art / design / photos that YOU will be looking at will be different. They'll be flatter, may not have the same contrast, and the colours could be off.

    0 points
  • Abhishek SureshAbhishek Suresh, 6 years ago

    I am reminded of a conversation I had with another designer regarding coffee.

    He was ranting about his fresh brewing coffee hipster fetish

    You should see the amount of condescending I got when I said I also don't mind instant coffee.

    He said (not jokingly) - "Uhm, I am not sure I would be saying that considering I'm in the design industry. That's like saying that you enjoy designing on a PC."

    I told him to get stuffed.

    0 points
  • Phil RauPhil Rau, 6 years ago

    So, if you ask me, the basic act of using a Windows PC is unintuitive & unnecessarily complex. Basic functions are hidden away in panes within tabs accessed from drop-downs. Simple things take multiple steps. Most of all, the most inane things are constantly demanding my attention... between Windows security features to crappy bloat-ware wanting to update. I struggle with basic tasks on windows, like opening two .rtf files side by side. In Metro, I literally could not figure out how to do this.

    In addition to many of the things listed below (Quick Look and Spotlight being the killer features I can't live without), using a Mac teaches you to think about software & interface design, because it shows you what good design looks like. Mac OS X respects its users, Windows barely registers that they might be human beings rather than engineers.

    0 points
  • Ariel VerberAriel Verber, 6 years ago

    Still using PC. Every good designer/developer I know uses mac, which frustrates me, but I still didn't see the benefit of having a mac over PC. The only things I actually miss in windows are Framer and Sketch.

    0 points
  • James LaneJames Lane, over 6 years ago

    Short Answer: It's probably historical reasons, designers only really used to use macs, times have moved on since, the lecturer needs to catch up.

    Longer answer: Whilst I agree that the lecturer shouldn't have gone and singled out students for using PC's, I think one of the main reasons is historical.

    Most design agencies and companies (I'm not saying all) use macs, so surely it makes sense to teach them the basic mac skills they will need in the future?

    I remember starting college having never used a mac, and now it's all I use, but I still need a PC sometimes... A mac can't do everything! One thing I do remember at college is wishing I'd known how to use a mac sooner.

    As a designer, it doesn't really matter what tools you use, it's just how you use them.

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  • Billy CarlsonBilly Carlson, over 6 years ago

    This same thing happened to me in college my sophmore year. The first year of design school we did not use a computer, but learned by drawing and use a photocopier to scan things and then lay them out on paper. My next year i was also ridiculed for not having a mac (even though we had a computer lab) but the reason given was that the companies I would be working for would have all Macs and I would be at a severe disadvantage if I did not know how to use one. Since then, I found this to be the truth. Sadly I had to get a credit card to buy one for school.

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  • Account deleted over 6 years ago

    I was a PC guy for 20 years.

    This changed one long night in the studio when I just wanted my PC and a mixer/soundcard to work together. I was using some kind of firewire card adapter, installing countless drivers, even reinstalling windows just to make it work. Next day I bought a used macbook with Logic 9 in it. Plug and play.

    So they just work. There's a lot more creating and a lot less of everything else. I find OS X more intuitive and reliable than Windows, just like I find iOS more intuitive and reliable than Android.

    Also nowadays since they're the de facto choice in design, more and more apps are mac only. There's no way I'm designing web without Codekit.

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  • Isaac Paavola, over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

    OK wow, that's a really shitty, totally unacceptable thing for a professional educator to do. Like, did they somehow forget they were talking to a fucking 16 year-old that wanted to try an intro level design class? Or do they just get off on bullying children?

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  • Mike Torosian, over 6 years ago

    I feel like one of the most important aspects of Apple's branding has been completely overlooked: they're hip! Their products have become synonymous with being hip, cool, modern, etc. and that can create a lot of pressure on people to feel like they have to be using one or they won't fit in, I happen to use both comfortably, I do like my MBP, and in the design/dev world a lot of software seems to lean more heavily toward Mac these days, but you can still do great design work on a Windows based machine, the teacher making that statement and the ridicule of other students is completely ridiculous, but then again a bunch of 16 year old designers don't know anything about design yet anyhow, they have no real world experience, they're just being typical teenagers.

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  • D AD A, over 6 years ago

    Simple answer. OS User Experience.

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  • Spencer HoltawaySpencer Holtaway, over 6 years ago

    I've used both for work and both worked. Overall I prefer a mac because there's some handy workflow stuff outside of Adobe like quicklook, preview, quicktime, etc, but when it comes to Adobe stuff there's no difference.

    That lecturer needs an education.

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  • John Athayde, over 6 years ago

    I've used both professionally (Windows more for 3d and architecture work in the late 90s/early 2000s).

    I used Mac growing up b/c my Dad got one from the Coast Guard to do environmental response mapping in the 80s. At the time, a 9" black and white monitor was a lot more powerful than the green and orange unix/dos setups they had and the program (CAMEO) could only run there.

    In those early days, Macintosh System 7 and even earlier were the only systems that actually cared about font and typography rendering on the screen. They've always been ahead of Windows in this regard. What I saw on the screen in Pagemaker would print out exactly the same. Windows caught up around 1995, but then the font format wars were in full swing (TTF? Mac or Windows? Postscript fonts? difficult to use at best but essential for going to press).

    Printers would often only support Mac files from Quark or PageMaker (and very specific versions as well). This was before PDF became ubiquitous and OTF ruled the waves.

    This was also true for post. If you wanted to do post work, you either bought a very expensive SGI IRIX system (e.g. Octane, etc) or you had a mac that could get you pretty well along. Sure you could do it on PCs, but a lot of the I/O hardware and labs I saw in that late 90s era were decidedly mac-based. The pro facilities were SGI based. A friend of mine helped me edit my thesis video in 2001 on the Inferno system at his work (after hours, of course).

    So with this background (good visual screen representations, font support, early adoption by print industry), most design firms went all-in on Mac (pre OS X). Apple learned from their Apple II to Mac transition and made OS 9 to OS X far more seamless (supporting OS9 apps for 5+ years after the system was EOL'd through the Carbon layer).

    Once Jobs/Ive's design aesthetic got into full swing, designers started looking at Apple products as part fashion statement. You can have a grey box, or a really cool translucent G3 tower? G3 please! (I still have my G4 tower around here somewhere).

    This history may seem digressive, but it's the foundation that setup what you see today. Even in the darkest days of Apple, many design shops ruggedly stuck by them.

    With all that said I think part of this is a badge of honor mentality, part of it is new students following what the industry does, part of it is fashion, and a good amount of it is the experience of using the system.

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  • Du HoangDu Hoang, over 6 years ago

    That's terrible of the lecturer for scolding students for not buying expensive Macs. Urghh.

    That said, I think the main reason a designer has to use Macs isn't because of software or hardware differences so much as the design industry requires you to be familiar working with Macs because that is the environment you will be working in 99% of the time.

    When you get a job, they will give the designer a Mac, even if the rest of the company uses PCs. Your fellow designers you work with will also use Macs, so it helps that you are on the same OS as they are to negate any differences in hardware/software.

    As a designer, you are expected to be fast and effective using Macs. So it is a good idea to make a Mac your main working OS.

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  • Kyle MitchellKyle Mitchell, over 6 years ago

    Here's my answer.

    It's what I've been using for 15 years. Probably not going to change.

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  • Jeremy TreudenJeremy Treuden, over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

    To be fair, I believe that Macintosh computers were set as the standard far before most of us were even around designing things. The very first versions of the Adobe design products were exclusively available for the Mac OS. There really just wasn't another option for designers back in the day. It was either design with a Mac or design by hand. Same goes for a lot of music programs. Apple has always been rooted in the arts, but back in the 80s they were the only ones rooted in it at all. Apple was the first powerhouse that actually started offering design, art, music, etc. related programs.

    As the years progressed, and certain design and music programs were starting to be offered on PC computers, most designers stuck to Mac because of how difficult it was to get files back and forth between Mac and PC computers--the two computers just weren't compatible at all. You can imagine that working in a design agency where half the people have Macs and the other half have PCs could have been a huge issue back then. Apple, by being the first to the punch, got a strangle-hold on the entire arts culture. It was difficult for anyone to move away from it.

    Us younger designers were more-so born into the idea that Apple is the only "real" option for designers, when in reality, at this stage in the game, most any computer will work just fine for design programs. Everything else (great design, innovation, user friendly, etc.) has just continued to re-enforce the idea that Apple is the only (or at least best) option for a design computer.

    For me, I still us Mac (and Mac only) for all design work. Why? Because I Apple's computers so, so, so much more than anything else. Beyond that, there is hardly any reason any more. I say just use what you like. But, to me, Apple products consistently seem to have less issues and better support than their PC counter-parts.

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  • Julie RobertsJulie Roberts, over 6 years ago (edited over 6 years ago )

    I grew up with PCs but bought my first Mac laptop before college because it was expected. I hated it at first—it was so different. Eventually I came to appreciate its simplicity and 10 years later, my entire family has switched to Macs.

    Did I really need to switch? Probably not. It did make it easier to use the computer lab in the art department (all macs). One of my design teachers noted that she used PCs at home because she could get a machine that was just as powerful for less. At this point, I'll probably continue buying Macs because I've invested in multiple Adobe Creative Suites and I like the option to use previous versions (for instance, the Print Booklet functionality changed between CS 2 and 3).

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    • Alson KawAlson Kaw, 6 years ago

      I see. I was a Windows user before college too. But that was because I couldn't afford one back then. I was first exposed to a Mac at a design firm I "interned" at when I was in high school.

      It was beautiful. And there was a bunch of apps that couldn't be found in windows. The most memorable app was quicksilver.

      This was before an app was written for Windows that had the same function. And I loved how the dock looks compared to the start button.

      Got my first MBP my last year of high school. And loved them since.

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