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Design: Why Do Graphic Designers Use Macs?

Updated on August 1, 2017

Graphic Design + Macs = Love?

Often people ask "Why do graphic designers use macs?" Most of the time a short answer is given and they walk away not knowing why they use macs and not pcs. Sometimes the graphic designer you ask doesn't even know why they have to use macs, and will be honest and tell you that. Sure, macs and pcs both have there strong points, so why do graphic designers use macs?

Graphic Designers

Why do graphic designers use macs?
Why do graphic designers use macs?

Graphic Design History with Macs

There was one critical reason why all graphic designers only used macs for there profession. Long ago Macomedia and Adobe both made there products (Photoshop, Fireworks, etc) for Apple Macs way before the pc version. These companies often released the pc version well after the mac, almost a complete 6 months later! Now anyone who knows anything about the graphic design field would know you have to have the newest programs when they come out and learn how to fully use them or your already behind everyone else. Sure, there are a lot of pc graphic designers then too but macs gave that time edge.

A Mac Dream

A work station of Macs with 4 macs and a Graphic Tablet in the Center.
A work station of Macs with 4 macs and a Graphic Tablet in the Center.

Clean Mac Workstation

An Apple Mac workstation of two macs.
An Apple Mac workstation of two macs.


There is enough Mac equptment here to run a Media Business. 1 laptop, 3 Desktops, a lot of lenses, video camera, and a graphic tablet. A media designers dream also!
There is enough Mac equptment here to run a Media Business. 1 laptop, 3 Desktops, a lot of lenses, video camera, and a graphic tablet. A media designers dream also!

Other strengths a mac has over a pc

Apple was very smart with its approach to computers. Macs had quite a few edges over PCs that made them the ideal choice for designers. These include:

  • Safer - Macs are less prone to viruses. Graphic designs are stolen quite often off Pcs that connect to the internet somehow, and often many of the thieves profit off it.
  • Better Graphics - Apple often put in high end graphic cards in macs. The way macs are programed, these graphic programs run easier and quicker on a mac. They also made a lot of Mac specific things to help designers.
  • Less Crashes - Macs run in a way that keep them from running into errors easier then pcs. This means when you save to the hard drive you won't lose your data more often. (Designers often back up there files on external drives now, this wasnt always the case.)
  • Brighter - Apple again, pulls thought with an often brighter built in laptop screen.
  • Portable - Macs portability is much higher then Pcs, which require both a tower and a monitor. Macs always weighted less then pcs and always preformed.
  • Capable - All macs are compatible with other Macs with the same similar OS. I have dragon naturally speaking upstairs for windows 98 and it will not work with windows xp+

Mac + PC = Great Designs

A Mac and PC work station. Two rivals working in complete Harmony.
A Mac and PC work station. Two rivals working in complete Harmony.


With all a Mac had over a PC, even though some didnt pull a lot of ram or had slightly slower processors - the only downside for an Apple Mac computer was the high price. This high price is easily pushed aside because the computer is the tool of the graphic designer. Thats like saying your not gonna pay the price for a set of long Spark Plug ratchet extentions being a mechanic that offers car engine tune ups.

Most graphic designers now are versed and use both Macs and PCs. Macs are great and pcs are powerful but both have a weakness and both have strengths. Lucky, the shortcuts for both programs are dam close to each other making it easier to use macs or pcs and they both are compatible with each other (.psd).

A Pimped out Mac Station

With this Mac station with its cool lights and added speakers, I would use it more for play then work!
With this Mac station with its cool lights and added speakers, I would use it more for play then work!


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    • Vector design profile image

      Saim 5 years ago from California

      You explain very well history of graphic designing with macs. Really a nice and useful hub to learn something interesting. thanks for sharing.

    • Anjo Bacarisas II profile image

      Anjo Bacarisas II 5 years ago from Cagayan de Oro, Philippines

      another useful hub.. thank you for sharing this.. i like it so much.

    • profile image

      Person 6 years ago

      I'm not an Apple fanboy in any way, shape or form, however, it is my belief that Macs are more directed for Graphical users (Photoshop, Sony Vegas [that's PC, oops] Blender 3D, etc) and PC is more directed for business/home users. However, from my experience, Macs do NOT crash less than PC (It has many more security holes than Win7, has been proven) I'd say about the same amount. My PC and Mac have only crashed a couple times since I've first gotten them.

      Yes, it is true that Mac OS X is more user friendly than Windows is, however it can be very confusing for new users, such as I when I got my MacBook Pro for movie making. Not having right-click by default really threw me off, but I enabled that, and then we were fine. Macs, I'll have to admit look very nice, and do my graphics work perfect, but my Windows machine, I'd have to say does it about the same, just differently. I mainly use my PC's for games and word processing and program development. My MacBook is my movie studio, music studio and graphics work. I'm not fond of the built in speakers, so I just use headphones. Now, one unfortunate downside to this that my MBP does get quite hot, as there is no proper cooling system in it. Heck, even my Dell Latitude has a better cooling system. But I just use a laptop cooler for my MBP, and it's just fine.

      It's just my experience, others experiences will vary though.

      I like to be as unbiased as possible.

    • bookerboy profile image

      bookerboy 6 years ago from Ireland

      Ive used both also and have crashed both numerous times...but if you get the right specs - memory, graphics card etc - then go for a pc - thers no difference except snobbery and 50% cost saving

    • Little Light profile image

      Lilly May Rose 6 years ago from Australia

      I adore Macs and I really struggle trying to use a PC now. The Macs are so much more user friendly and I find that illustrator is much easier to use on a Mac. It's nice to know they are less prone to viruses too.

    • brandasaur profile image

      brandasaur 6 years ago from Planet X

      Im a graphic designer myself and also an seo specialist. Apart from the designing softwares, i also use bots for SEO. Im currently using windows but sometimes im thinking of having a macbook or imac.. though im a loyalist of windows, having an apple pc/laptopn canbe useful since it has different programs and softwares that windows dont have. Great hub though.

    • TTC12 profile image

      TTC12 6 years ago

      In the mid 1990's, Mac vs PC was a big deal. Vendors would always open up my PC work on a Mac for prepress. PC graphic designers were a minority and print vendors made it known that PCs were hard to work with. Glad those days are over. Makes no difference (at least to me) which one. It is just a tool. It is the ideas in your head that make the difference.

    • JessShow profile image

      JessShow 6 years ago

      Yeah well if I was a web content developer then - I might have a different opinion then. I don't know =P But I see the point you are making. A lot of people that I talk to today about design still use MACs and prefer them.

    • thranax profile image

      Andrew 6 years ago from Rep Boston MA

      @JessShow Right, nowadays it isnt a problem. Long ago it used to be because software were released for Macs before Pcs. Most school teachers will still swear their students to Mac use primarily, but do train on both PC and Mac


    • JessShow profile image

      JessShow 6 years ago

      I am not a "graphic designer" specifically, but I am a web content developer so in a way it goes hand-in-hand. I have always used a PC. The only time I used a MAC was when I was out of town and didn't have a choice. I really didn't notice the difference. Everyone has there preferences and opinions, but I have never had a problem using my PC for anything.

    • profile image

      tom 7 years ago

      I am a graphic design student and photographer and run into this all the time. Luckily I know how to use a PC and actually look at specs before I buy things. I have never understood why people in my field demand MACs over PC's. PC's give so much more for the money and cost a lot less. I see macs break and mess up everyday, but for some reason no one seems to care and even stick up for the macs breaking. Ridiculous.

    • profile image

      Web Design St. Louis 7 years ago

      Great article. I love my mac and in fact my whole company uses them. They're definitely the choice when it comes to graphic design!

    • profile image

      Gaz 7 years ago

      came across this site, discussing the very same issue. i'm Pc they are mac.

      This is a chicken and egg argument as surely talent and ability over-ride ANY platform.

    • Gordon F. profile image

      Gordon F. 7 years ago from New York City

      I just stumbled across your Hub, and it is funny because I arrived at the same conclusion in my hub discussing wich OS is better for students in a variety of fields.

      Graphic Designer is one of the fields were I recommend OSX.

    • profile image

      Eddie 7 years ago

      Dude...way off base here. You're talking about hardware, but all the hardware available on Mac is also available in a Windows machine for waaaay cheaper. The only valid point you made was about viruses, and that's only because Mac OS isn't as ubiquitous as Windows yet. As soon as Apple starts catching more market share, there will be more Mac viruses floating around.

    • profile image

      Hibbidyhai 7 years ago

      I would also like to add that Macs have a beautiful user interface. I work much more efficiently on a mac than I do on a pc.