Is Apple’s lead in graphics in peril?

Is Apple’s lead in publishing and graphics in peril?

“Processor speeds are similar, if not directly comparable, colour reproduction is on par and the choice of an operating system is one of personal taste, rather than a business decision.”

“Photoshop and other specialist software runs easily on both platforms thanks to the mass-production of high-end graphics cards to meet the demands of gamers and the internet for video playback over PC.”

“Many printing companies also support both platforms, thanks to plummeting hardware prices and standardised programs, breaking open a once-secure market for Apple.”

“Although Apple is marginally ahead with a more stable and feature-rich operating system, the quality of output between the platforms is indistinguishable. ‘I challenge anyone to pick up a magazine and say whether it was made by a Mac or a PC,’ says Adobe’s Channel and Technical Manager, Nick Hodge,” reports Sholto Macpherson for Austrailian IT. Full article here.


  1. I seriously doubt it. Many designers use Mac, because it’s easy to use, it’s elegant, and it?s attractive. Most artsy fartsy people are willing to pay more for aesthetics. However, if you?re a designer in a penny pincher firm, then you may be out of luck. I believe most designers work out of their homes, small offices and large agencies, not cold-hearted corps ? so I don?t think it will ever really be an issue. I have known a few advertising firms that used all Windows, but to no surprise, their work was stunk.

  2. Mac still rules the graphics world. PCs don’t have the unified standards like Colorsync that are required for production-quality graphics. There are small tricks on the Mac that save hours of work that are completely absent on the PC platform.

  3. The graphics businesses that I, as a commercial photographer, am aware of that swithced to PC’s to save money are now out of business. Sure things are tough all over but using PC’s seems to be the common denominator. Corportate culture would have us all use PC’s, but it is only to their advantage and not to the actual users benefit. I do work for a large air freight carrier and you would not believe the outcry that went up in the communications and engineering divisions when the corporate geniuses proclaim all would migrate to the Windows platform. Needless to say they are still do their work on Macs. Productivity fell dramatically when they had to use PC’s.

  4. Color control is better in Macs. Dual monitor support is better. Calibration is built in. Drag and drop and graphics file compatiblity is better across all applications. The standard Apple color pallete has WEB SAFE colors on it. Networking is easier and more stable. There are almost no viruses. And last, it does not take an IT department to maintain them. That’s why graphics professionals use Macs….because of practical, workflow related issues.

  5. I’ve got one work for the author of the Aussie article: Fonts.

    Try working with the entire Adobe Font Library (and the Agfa one) on a PC.

    Yeah, right a PC is better.

  6. QUOTE: “Why does a Mac site even give credence to such crap?”

    Well, because in some areas of the graphics industry there are an increasing number of reverse switchers. One particular area of note is web design/development, while neither Apple nor Macromedia look likely to address the problem of Flash player speed on the Mac, and the Mac versions of web staples Dreamweaver MX and Flash MX are almost unusably slow, plenty of web professionals will continue leaving the Mac in droves, myself included. At home, I love my powerbook and wouldn’t dream of switching, at work however, I need to use applications that actually work.

  7. There might be some areas of opportunity for Windows in the multimedia and web world, but the PC is totaly irrevelant in the print industry. Printers demand Mac format almost exclusively. Small wonder, almoist all print industry RIPS and CTP workflows are designed to run on a Mac. Attempting to run a Windows file — even in a compatible format — almost always introduces problems. Special characters such as the copyright and currency symbols are different on the two platforms , PC fonts sre a total nightmare and even some graphic formats don’t translate properly. So the Mac will continue to rule in the print industry. Of course this hokum isn’t anything new — we’ve been hearing that the PC was “catching-up” to the Mac in the graphic arts sector for at least ten years now. Still seems to be lagging a bit behind, I’d say.

  8. My brother is a graphic artist and does a ton of ads/graphics/etc and he will only use a Mac. He has a PC for his day to day stuff (email web word etc) but the graphics on the PC takes much longer and it is harder to do. And we are talking Photoshop 7 PC vs Photoshop 7 Mac. He did one piece of artwork on the PC in 27hrs, did something larger, more complicated, more details on the Mac is 18. Hmm I wonder why he chooses a Mac? Plus the damn thing does not GPF/Exception Error all the time.

  9. I am an art director for a marketing firm. After taking helm of the department about 4 years ago, I had to fight the corporate ladder to get Macs into the fold. It was a hard battle but I am happy to say that everyone in the art/graphics department is now sailing on OSX. Why? I “had” to use PC’s for work when I first joined, but it was frustration after frustration just doing simple cut and paste between Photoshop and Illustrator. Everyone in the corporation tried find “weaknesses” and faults in Macs for no apparent reason at first, but now they thank God for the “graphics” Macs when their PC’s routinely die.
    Do a simple test: print a Illustrator graphics file to an Inkjet printer from a Mac then on a PC using the same set up. There is a huge difference in the quality of the output.

  10. Oh, and one more thing….

    I had to fire our last IT guy because he kept steering my boss that it was “studpid” to use Macs for graphics. Huh? No wonder his business card looked so childish.

    Look who’s laughing now.

  11. I’ve heard this often over the years. When Apple was struggling to turn itself around back in the ’90 MANY companies did jump ship and try to do the same things on PCs, but most ran back to Mac when Apple got its act together again — I should know, I was one of them, as were many who attend Seybold. Why, because macs are reliable and consistent for graphic and DTP production. Macs handle fonts well, cut-n-paste is amazingly simple/powerful, print support is rock solid, system/file backups are easy (ie., not stupid registry crap), macs have built-in color management, and files that were produced some 15 years ago can still be opened in newer versions of the same apps generally without problems. Even with the migration to OS X, the process is smooth and OS X just keeps getting more robust. When I hear colleagues daily switching TO MACS (especially hi-end, big screen powerbooks) away from their PCs, I find it hard to believe the mood is dour for our favorite computer.

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