Are you Mac or PC?

Since the dawn of time, humans have spent endless amounts of time pondering some of the most important debates in history: Did Han shoot first? Or was it Greedo?, Were Ross and Rachel on a break?, Do you prefer Pepsi or Coke? Now, we all know that Han did in fact shoot first (regardless of what George Lucas would have you believe) but what about Macs and PCs, which of these titanic machines really does reign supreme?

It may seem pretty obvious that for designers, it's got to be a Mac. And many would agree. But they can be pretty expensive - for the money you'd spend on an iMac, you could potentially build a PC from scratch to the same specifications and also save yourself some cash.

Macs do tend to be the best platform for design and creativity, that's mainly down to the strength of its applications and the fact that Macs are usually top quality machines.

Not to say there aren't PCs that could do the job just as well. Considering you can build a PC, it can basically be anything you want it to be (You could even install a Mac OS on to it if you were so inclined). The only real issue is that there are applications that only run on Macs, and sometimes their PC counterparts can be bug-ridden after-thoughts.

Until I started my first 'proper' job in design, I was a champion of the PC (mainly because I couldn't afford a Mac) and it was fine. It had enough RAM and good enough hardware to cope with the adobe applications I needed it to run.

Macs always frightened me with their lack of buttons and simple app icons, but by the end of my first week working on my Power Mac G5 (old school, I know) I had fallen in love with the fluidity and simple elegance of the machine. And I firmly believe that once you've had Mac, you can never go back!

But that's just me! What's your preference? And more importantly, why?

Check out the latest poll from our friends over at @GrDeUK to see what some of your fellow designers thought!


So, what is Graphic Design?

When it comes to my job as a Designer, most of my friends and relatives assume that I "Sit and draw all day". I imagine that when my grandmother thinks of me at the office I'm cross-legged on the floor with a big A3 pad drawing a logo with various different crayons. There is probably a simple and much more technical answer to the question "What is Graphic Design?", but it certainly isn't sitting and drawing all day.

The best way of putting it, in my opinion, is that Graphic Design is the art of visual communication. Be it in a logo, in advertising, in art, on the web, in a book etc - Graphic Design is meant to communicate with and evoke emotions in its target audience, good design should do this instantly. And no, that doesn't mean it has to make you cry (not always anyway).

What a lot of none-designers (and some designers #shade) don't realise is that design isn't about trying to make the prettiest picture, it's actually all about interpreting what your client needs and turning that into something - you might even say, communicating it visually. Unfortunately it's not always easy, as the client doesn't always agree with your interpretation of their needs and may even want to make their own modifications.

Often what follows is an uphill battle of disagreeing with the client's wishes and explaining why, while they'd really like their logo to have a million colours and a detailed drawing that explains the entire history of the business, that may not be the best course of action.

It's not always the case though, I've received plenty of valuable input from clients in the past which has made me look like a much more competent designer.

Graphic Design is definitely not just putting together a pretty logo or sitting and drawing all day, it's a process of visual problem solving that's definitely not as easy as it looks.