Why do creatives opt for Apple over PC?

23 Mar 2011


A new range of Apple MacBook laptops has recently been released, but what is it that makes many graphic designers, musicians and other creatives favour them over PCs?

Many designers choose to work with an Apple Mac instead of a PC

Well, the cool factor is a decent place to start, with stylish creative types finding the perfect fashion accessory in the ultra-hip Apple MacBook. But any designer will also tell you there is much more than style snobbery behind their loyalty to Apple.

Apple was the first computer manufacturer to meet the demands of the graphic design industry, making an impression in the early-Eighties with its Graphic User Interface (GUI).

This bond was further strengthened when Aldus released its desktop publishing software PageMaker for Mac systems only. In 1985 the development of the Apple LaserWriter printer brought PostScript fonts to the screen, with Quark page layout software following soon after. All of this made Apple the design industry standard.

Since then, much has changed. Most major design software is now available on both Apple and PC, so why do many designers remain loyal to Apple's range of laptops and desktops? Well, those who found their feet with Apple in the early days have been working with Macs for years. Any move away would take a fair bit of legwork, but the graphics cards, high-quality screens and ultra-fast processors mean such a move is off the cards for many.

It's not just sentiment and slickness keeping creatives with Apple. For its Mac OS X operating system is well known for showing resilience in the face of viruses and spyware. The fact that OS X is easy to use also contributes to Apple's popularity with arty types, with Wi-Fi easy to access and larger but compact hard drives a regular feature.

However, with a bit of time and effort, desktop PCs and laptops can be upgraded to give hugely impressive performance. Another thing which sees some designers opt for desktop PCs is the range of software available for Windows - and the price of hardware.

Designers, musicians and film-makers are creating every day, so is it any surprise that the firm that has offered innovations such as iTunes gets the thumbs-up? And while we're on the subject of iTunes, the fact that different Apple products work so well with one another is also seen as a major plus.

This compatibility sees many film-makers also opt for Mac. Apple's Final Cut Studio allows users to export their files easily to iTunes, or alternatively onto the web. Also, because the software is Apple's, issues can be chased up in a fast, fuss-free way.

Now what about making music? Well, ease of use is a biggie for those who choose Mac over PC, with people able to get up and running in double-fast time. And the Mac software Logic allows style-conscious indie kids to bat away 'style over substance' shouts with its easy-to-use recording and editing facilities.

On the other hand, desktop PCs or laptops also have plenty to offer musicians, with a wide range of software and the advantage of being able to send PC-compatible files.

Despite these more grown-up reasons, the distinctive Mac look cannot be ignored. For a recent US survey claimed that many people opted for a Mac because it helped them stand out from the crowd - and for many creative people that is a crucial requirement.

So it's not just one thing that keeps creatives with Apple. Sleek style, simple interfaces, history and smart technology are all key factors that bring them back for more.

Are you a designer who favours a Mac over the PC, or vice-versa? Tell us your view by posting your comment below…