The operating system graphic designers use most.

Poll: 72% Of Graphic Designers Use Windows As Their Operating System

Poll: 72% Of Graphic Designers Use Windows As Their Operating System 800 470 Nick Saporito

Have you ever wondered which operating system graphic designers use most? Personally, I’ve always just assumed that designers use Mac exclusively. After all, it’s what most studios and agencies are equipped with, and Apple devices have always seemed especially popular among the design and branding crowd.

Speculation isn’t enough. So I polled my YouTube subscribers on the Design Made Simple channel to find out which operating system they use. Needless to say, the results may be surprising:

Which Operating System Graphic Designers Use Most

883 subscribers to the Design Made Simple YouTube channel were polled and asked them which operating system they primarily use for graphic design. The results are as follows:

WindowsWindows
72%
MacOSMacOS
23%
Mobile/iPadMobile/iPad
3%
LinuxLinux
2%

Source: Design Made Simple on YouTube

According to the results of the poll, 72% of graphic designers use Windows as their preferred operating system. MacOS, on the other hand, only represents 23% of surveyed users. Mobile devices (such as phones, tablets and iPads) came in third at 3%, and Linux came in last, representing only 2% of graphic design users.

That said, it’s important to put these results into context. At face value it may appear as if Windows is the preferred operating system among designers, but there are some factors that should be taken into consideration before jumping to that conclusion.

Why Graphic Designers Prefer Windows

As someone who uses both Windows and Mac on a daily basis, I can see the value in each. Here are some reasons why a graphic designer may prefer Windows over Mac though:

  • Windows devices tend to be cheaper, making them more accessible to the general public.
  • Windows devices can be custom-built to your needs. This makes them a wiser choice for designers who may also be into other computer tasks where Mac comes up short, such as gaming and 3D design.
  • Windows provides access to every non design-related application and software suite you need, which cannot be said for Mac or Linux (you can learn more about the OS requirements of all the major design apps here.)
  • Inertia. Those of us who have used Windows devices our entire lives may as well stick with what’s most familiar.

There’s many reasons why a graphic designer would choose one operating system over another. If privacy and Open Source values are important to you then Linux would likely be most suitable. If you’re more of an artist who does a lot of sketching then the mobile environment is clearly the best option. And if you plan to seek employment as a graphic designer someday then familiarizing yourself with the Apple ecosystem is a must.

I’d love to hear what you think though! Are you a graphic designer, or more of a casual user? Which operating system do you prefer, and most importantly, why? Let me know in the comments!

Nick Saporito

Hi, I'm Nickβ€” a Philadelphia-based graphic designer with over 10 years of experience. Each year millions of users learn how to use design software to express their creativity using my tutorials here and on YouTube.

All stories by: Nick Saporito
2 comments
  • Arash

    Windows guy here. As a former VFX guy I have used Linux and Mac, but yeah it is mostly inertia. But also, if I already get all my work done on a PC for years, why would I go and buy more expensive Mac machine? PCs in general are much more versatile and cost effective. Sure Windows is not the best OS, but it is the most common and readily available. I have seen job postings that specifically ask for Mac only graphics artists, which is unfortunate because some solid creatives simply don’t use Mac and they have done great work on amazing projects.

    • Logos By Nick

      The crazy thing about that is that there really isn’t all that much difference between Windows and Mac when using design apps. It’s virtually the same. Even the keyboard shortcuts are nearly all the same. It’s wild to think that would be a job requirement, but I suppose they have their reasons.

      I’m with you on the Windows thing. I think for those of us who are into tech, Windows is the obvious choice. I think Macs appeal to people who aren’t techies and just want something that works and isn’t cheap junk. I’ve heard them described as “computers for people who hate computers”, which I can certainly relate to at times.

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