I’ve always used mainly Macs--never had a PC at home--but recently I’ve been thinking about switching to a PC and to Windows (mainly because the hardware is so much cheaper and freely combinable and the support is easier to get).
So I’d like to ask this: which platform is really better for a typophile? I know that graphic designers have traditionally used Macs, but the focus there tends to be in images and color, not typography.
I do plan to do some photo scanning and image editing, but that’s basically as a hobby, at least for now. My planned focus is in book composition with InDesign and, as an auxiliary to this, font editing with FontLab Studio (so I’m neither a real type designer nor a font production kind of guy). I might also use Illustrator e.g. to draw graphs from imported data. (You can’t do that in FL--but are there better programs for this?).
One aspect of typography is text display on screen. Windows has ClearType, but I have the impression that it doesn’t affect the way InDesign and other Adobe apps display text. Am I right?
There seem to be differences in OS-level OpenType support as well, but how much does that really matter for InDesign/Illustrator composition?
Also, from my experience with Windows XP it seems that the look of that OS is more freely customizable (I dislike the unnecessarily complicated look of Tiger, where everything is transparent and shaded). If I remember correctly, you can change the font, and most importantly the font size, of menus etc. It seems stupid that you can’t use the full resolution of your display (OK, my current one is quite bad anyway) because you’d then be unable to read any text and symbols outside the document/image window itself.
Of course, the comparison might be a little difficult or unfair at the moment because Mac OS X Leopard hasn’t been released yet; on the Windows side, I’d presumably use Vista (which I haven’t even seen “live” yet).
(I also know that doing serious font production, you’d have to use both platforms, if only for testing. But as I said, that is not really my field.)
I may be a little naive here, but I don’t want to start another platform war. I would just like to hear rational arguments for and against each platform. As you can probably tell form the above, I’m not very tech-savvy myself, and I would therefore appreciate your insights.
I must also say that the switch doesn’t seem quite as real an option for me now as it did when I first thought about starting this thread. One reason is the difficulty of cross-platform software switches/upgrades. (FontLab for one said they could only offer me a 30% second-copy discount. I haven’t asked Adobe yet.) Another reason is simple familiarity; and then there is the virus situation, of course, as I’ve known all along … But my hardware (and thus platform) situation is basically still open--and I thought this would be a fun thread to start anyway, in an open-minded spirit!