Before starting a career in graphic designing you might have thought about what tools you would need on your journey.
Till now, I have written an article on why graphic designers choose Adobe products above all and whether they need a graphics tablet.
But, it’s time to discuss the most important asset of a graphic designer, a computer.
If you take a look around, you’ll notice that a majority of graphic designers prefer to use a Mac over a PC.
Despite its expensive price, it is the industry standard for designers because of its history, user-friendly operating system, and high quality build.
In this article, I’ll discuss in further detail why designers use a Mac and help you choose between a Mac and a PC.
The History of Macs and Graphic Design
Many graphic designers may have chosen to stick with the Mac because of its long-lived legacy.
Postscript and PageMaker were introduced on the Mac
Back in 1985, there was a thing called DTP which stands for desktop publishing. Desktop publishing was the practice of designing for print such as, books, posters, and magazines.
The original Mac was the first computer to support PostScript which made it more suitable for designing print mediums. PostScript was a format created by Adobe that was required by printers to print DTP work.
What really hammered home the Mac was its exclusive access to PageMaker.
PageMaker was a program created by the Aldus Corporation and introduced on the Macintosh. It was the world’s first DTP tool which allowed users to design for print publications. This brought a revolution in the desktop-publishing world.
Photoshop was first introduced on the Mac
In 1988, John and Thomas Knoll introduced the first version of Photoshop on the original Mac. They created Photoshop on a Mac exclusively as it was the only computer capable and powerful enough to handle it.
After creating the software they pitched the idea to Apple and Adobe.
2 years later they followed it up with a release of the Windows version in 1990.
Mac made Digital Typography possible
Thanks to its range of display, the Macintosh was the device that made digital typography possible. Susan Kare, “the Woman who gave Mac a smile”, was known for her interface designs and typefaces on the Mac.
Where does the Mac stand today?
The Apple Mac is a fantastic piece of machinery however, it’s not as necessary as it used to be.
Looking at the history of the mac, it makes sense it was the go-to computer for graphic designers. Modern computers are much more capable of running the latest design software with extended capabilities removing the necessity of a Mac only operating system.
Despite the advances in technology many designers tend to still stick with the Mac. Graphic designers who have been in the industry for years have always used a Mac and are loyal to the brand as it didn’t disappoint. They tend to pass on these preferences to their students as well increasing the Mac user base.
But, that’s not the only reason designers use Macs…
Why Most Graphic Designers Use Macs
Here are 6 reasons why graphic designers may choose a Mac over a PC for their graphic design career.
1. Mac is the Industry Standard
It’s not a coincidence you see a Mac in every graphic design office tour on YouTube. The Apple MacBook Pro and Apple iMac are one of the most common devices used in the graphic design industry. It might be necessary to grab yourself a Mac if you plan on joining a design agency. If the company is operating on Mac you might be required to have some experience working on a Mac.
2. Minimal Design
Most graphic designers prefer having a minimal desk setup and the Mac is perfect for that kind of vibe. Apple is known for its sleek, minimalistic and modern designs which can definitely give you a comfortable work environment to work in. On top of this, the Mac is highly durable because of its strong build. Investing in a Mac is a great idea as it will stay with you for years.
3. Simple Operating System
The biggest advantage the Mac has over windows is simply the operating system. The Mac OS feels a lot smoother, is cleaner and much more user-friendly than windows. This allows for a productive, non-interrupted workflow. It also doesn’t require frequent updating and maintaining as the Windows OS does. This saves you from the massive headache of opening your laptop and being bombarded with updates not being able to get the job done.
4. Integrating with other Apple products
If you own a couple of Apple products such as the iPad, iPhone or an iMac then you’re in luck. The Mac comes with interconnectivity allowing you to send and receive files across all the devices easily. The integration with other products allows you to have a productive workflow especially when taking on multiple tasks at once.
5. Access to exclusive apps
There are a number of popular graphic design apps that are only available on the Apple store. Procreate (iPad only) and Sketch is amongst the most popular apps used by graphic designers for their work. Some design agencies might also require a person to be skilled in Sketch making Mac a necessity. If you are a motion graphics designer you might also use Apple motion or Final Cut Pro as opposed to Adobe applications.
If you are fond of adding more gadgets to your toolkit, Apple’s ecosystem will serve you well. Once you adapt to Apple’s products you will want to check out their accessories. They have everything to build your ultimate workstation. Apple features a magic keyboard, track-pad and mouse (magic is its name it doesn’t magically make you a graphic designer.)
Should you choose a Mac or PC?
The main complains people have with the Mac is its expensive price. A PC is usually much cheaper than a Mac with better specs and features.
Some might suggest that you buy a used Mac but even that can easily exceed your budget.
At the end of it all, it depends on your budget and personal preference. Some people find the Windows OS more user-friendly as it is highly customizable. Keep in mind that many companies prefer using Mac OS
Personally, I would advise you to go with a Mac but if you are on a budget it would be best to go with a PC with good specs. This is because you don’t necessarily need the Mac exclusive apps if you are using the Adobe Creative Cloud. Adobe themselves had clarified that they focus on the performance of the device rather the operating system.
So, choose which you feel best fits your priorities.
Think you’re ready to build your graphic design home office?
Check out this Step-by-Step Guide on the Best Office Setup for Graphic Designers.