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Graphics

Everyone knows about the big guns in the graphics field. Adobe is pretty much the unchallenged master of image editing with Photoshop, Illustrator, and Fireworks. Adobe’s InDesign shares the digital publishing field, albeit grudgingly, with Quark’s QuarkXPress. Serious graphic designers find themselves stuck between these two large corporations, due in part to format lock-in and in part to features that other pieces of software just don’t have.

For those of us who don’t need things like the ability to switch from right-to-left text to left-to-right text with one click of the mouse, or even more obscure features, there are a number of other third-party applications out there that may meet our needs.

They range from cross-platform open source programs with more power than beauty, to applications with innovative user interfaces developed by pillars of the indie Mac developer community. One thing is true in all of them: they’re less expensive than the Adobe alternative!

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Mac applications are known for their superb design, and in the past few years UI designers have really embraced this trend by creating some really remarkable interfaces. They embrace realism, ooze texture, and generally make you stop and stare.

Today we’ll look at 30 pieces of Mac software that really push the limit of great interface design. First we’ll say what the app does, then provide a screenshot followed by a brief statement about what I really love about the interface.

Let’s get started – prepare to be dazzled!

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No wallpaper has more of a right to be on your Mac’s desktop than one that showcases your appreciation for Apple Inc.

Today we’re showcasing a massive collection of 60 desktops that are Apple-centric and completely un-cluttered. Show off your Apple pride in style, and feel free to share any others in the comments!

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It’s been over a year since we started reviewing Mac apps here at Mac.AppStorm and in that time we’ve come across some pretty damn nice looking app icons. I decided to go on a quick trawl of our archives to put together the cream of the crop for a super quick showcase of great icon design. Check them out below and of course if you see something you like, just click through to see our Mac.AppStorm review! (more…)

Your search for that new wallpaper just got a whole lot easier! Everyone loves a great wallpaper to up the visual awesomeness of your machine. So here’s a collection of 50 of the best I’ve found on the net! Thanks to these wallpapers, your desktop is guaranteed to kick much more ass than before. So relax and pick a design that you suits you!

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Although the icons that ship with OS X are wonderfully designed, there’s no harm in a change from time-to-time. It might be a complete rework of your system icons, or just a case of replacing one or two for specific applications.

Today I’ll be showcasing 6 places where you can find the perfect icon. We’re focusing on the absolute highest quality, so you can rest assured you won’t find any second rate design here!

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Everyone has an inherent fascination with desktop wallpapers. Operating system developers spend a long time shipping the perfect set with a new OS release, even commissioning photographers to shoot suitable, vivid images.

We’ve certainly covered wallpapers in the past – rounding up gorgeous Mac wallpapers, a selection of iPhone backgrounds, and even running our own wallpaper competition. Today we’re looking at 7 different places to find your own wallpaper inspiration. Hopefully you’ll find something you like!

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There are countless screensavers available for showing beautiful photographs and funky swirling graphics – we’ve even rounded up a selection previously. But what if you’d like your monitor to show something more useful?

Today we’re looking at 30 different screensavers that will inspire and inform you. Whether that’s keeping you up-to-date with news, showing information about incoming messages, recent tweets, or even helping you learn a new language!

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Organising your thoughts can be a difficult task when approaching a complex problem, and there’s no reason why you can’t enlist the help of your trusty Mac. “Mind Maps” have become increasingly common as a way to manage a stream of thoughts, ideas and information – though their graphical nature doesn’t easily fit into a traditional software package.

Today I’ll be looking at 9 different specialist mind mapping applications for the Mac. Some are fairly expensive, commercial solutions – others are relatively budget-friendly. Hopefully there’s something for everyone, and you’ll be mapping our your own thought process in no time!

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Another huge thank you to everyone who took the time to enter our desktop wallpaper competition. We’ve already announced the winners, and today we’re making all the other entries available for use on your desktop.

Just over 160 of the best wallpapers are rounded up here. You can click on any image to download the full-size version (each wallpaper is at least 1920x1200px in size). Entries are also available on Flickr.

I hope you enjoy the selection of stunning wallpapers. Feel free to follow Mac AppStorm on Twitter or RSS to be notified of future roundups and competitions!

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