Meet The Developers: Saulius Dailide of Pixelmator

If you’ve never come across Pixelmator before, you’re really missing out. Pixelmator is an absolutely incredible image editor for the Mac, exuding quality, style, and speed. It’s a piece of software I use every day, and it’s a pleasure to feature one of the founding partners – Saulius Dailide – today.

Saulius co-founded Pixelmator in 2007, and since then it has seen a great deal of success. Today we’ll be chatting about his motivation for creating the app, taking a look inside their incredible “iOffice”, and getting a better picture of what goes on behind the scenes at Pixelmator!

Tell us a little bit about the Pixelmator team – how many of you are there, and what do you all do?

Pixelmator is a Mac software company founded in 2007 by two brothers – me [Saulius] and Aidas. In three short years, the Pixelmator Team has grown to nine people and is still growing. At the company, there is one user interface designer (that’s me), five programmers, another designer, a beta tester, and a support person.

We all create Pixelmator — the best image editor for the rest of us. And all of us love what we do very much.

What motivated you to create Pixelmator?

Actually, it was a wish to have an easy-to-use, uncluttered image editor for those of us who don’t want to deal with the expensive, full-of-unnecessary-features Photoshop. Don’t get me wrong, we think Photoshop is a great app, but it looks and feels like it was created for Windows and then, for some reason, was ported to the Mac.

We always wanted to have an image editor that was 100% Mac, with basic key image editing features. So, instead of waiting for Adobe to create such an app, we decided to do it ourselves.

And boom, we’ve created an image editor that we use and love, and what’s more, it is a very successful Mac app that makes lots of money.

Where do you find the beautiful images that always seem to accompany Pixelmator’s promotional screenshots?

We make those images while testing Pixelmator betas. We usually play with photos and try to capture the soul of the release. Each of our releases has a codename that gives a hint about what’s in it.

We create those images using the new features to reflect that soul. That’s how we get those screenshots. For example, I’ve worked on a Pixelmator 1.6 Nucleus screenshot for a month – we really do care about the look, the feel, and the details.

The Nucleus Image

The Nucleus Image

Tell us a little bit about your Mac setup – which hardware and software do you use to get the job done?

We use a lot of stuff!

We’ve got two Mac Pros, four MacBook Pros, three new iMacs (best Mac ever), some older iMacs, MacBook Air, MacBook, PC, Mac mini, 30′ Apple Cinema Display, 24′ and 27′ LED Cinema Displays, a bunch of Apple keyboards, Magic Mouses, and Magic Trackpads.

We also have many iPhones and iPads, and I am not even talking about AirPorts, Time Capsules, and other Apple accessories.

What we don’t have any more is a PowerPC-based Macs and Xserves, although we had one before.

A recent delivery to the Pixelmator office

A recent delivery to the Pixelmator office

On the software side, we use lots of Xcode, Pixelmator, and (surprise!) Keynote for the UI mockups. Some other apps include Sofa’s Versions, Photoshop, Illustrator, Pages, and Motion (from Final Cut Studio).

For personal project management, each of us uses TextEdit (yup, no-getting-things-done apps), and for full project management, we use a web-based Lighthouse service.

On top of this, we use many other third party apps from developers like Realmac Software, Panic, and OmniGroup.

What’s your take on the recent announcement of the Mac App Store? Do you think it will be a good place to market and promote Pixelmator?

We are extremely excited about the new Mac App Store, and we were one of the first to announce that officially. We believe it is the best thing to happen to small Mac developers in years.

We won’t ever need to worry about how to reach our customers – all we will have to do now is worry about how to make the best software.

Since our main task is to create the best image editor for the Mac, the Mac App Store will help us to do exactly that.

Which websites, Twitter users, and magazines do you follow to stay up-to-date with the activities of other developers and the Apple eco-system in general?

We love MacRumors, Daring Fireball, Macworld, TUAW, MacUpdate, Mac.AppStorm, Smoking Apples, and many others. Also, there are tons of Mac developers that we follow and enjoy.

For people interested in developing their very first Mac app, where would you recommend they start?

The best place to start developing for Mac is to actually use the Mac. The next step is to read everything at the Apple’s Developer website. And the third step is to experiment a lot.

Oh, also, a good place to start Mac development is to try to make some apps for the iPhone. It’s like a tiny Mac.

Do you have any interesting updates or apps in the pipeline that you can give us a sneak peak at? Any plans to branch out into iPad development?

We don’t usually talk about that. We’ve got lots of stuff going on here that I would love to share with everyone, but I can’t since not everything we make is released – since we don’t ship crap.

What I can tell you is that the next major update of Pixelmator is called Pixelmator 1.7 Geneva. As always, it is going to be a great free update.

As for the iPad – we love our iPads, and yes, we are playing with its technology, and doing some experiments. Even if we do release what we’ve done so far, Pixelmator will still be #1 for us. We love what we do, very much.

The Pixelmator iOffice

Interested in seeing where the Pixelmator team spend most of their working day? Here are a few shots of their (really fantastic!) office:

More About Pixelmator

Pixelmator is a beautifully designed, easy-to-use, fast and powerful image editor for Mac OS X. It has everything you need to create, edit and enhance your images – and it’s pretty awesome!

If you regularly work with graphics or images on your Mac, you owe it to yourself to take a look! You can also check out our review of Pixelmator, although it’s a few years old now and quite a bit has changed since early 2009!

Thanks, Saulius!

Thanks so much to Saulius and the Pixelmator Team for contributing to our interview. I really appreciate you taking the time to share your insight with us, and we wish you all the best with the future success of Pixelmator!


Add Yours
  • Great interview! But I just gotta ask this: what the hell is a gun doing in the office? And not just a simple handgun, but you got something like a semi-auto there!

    • Who knows?! I’d imagine that it’s a replica, just there to add a touch of style and fun :-)

      • I am less impressed. I was going to ask what kind of sight that was on the back, but seems like it’s an airsoft gun.

        I used to keep a full length AR-15 next to my desk but closer to where my chair was. On other days, an M1 Garand.

        No ammo of course. That would be crazy!

    • That was my first thought as well ;) But otherwise really nice office.

      • It’s an airsoft gun. WE M4 gas blowback. :)

  • I really like Pixelmator, as i could never stand any of Adobes offerings. Adobe apps always try to take over my computer.
    It’s also nice to see a minor development team, instead of the one-man-show that is rather common with OSX indie developers. I have nothing against one-man-shows per se, other than that they seem to be abandoned from time to time, and they often shine in one area, but lack in another. What i mean is that people complement each other. Well, not *too* many.

  • When will Pixelmator support drop shadows ?
    (the way Fireworks does it – very easy to use)

  • Great interview! I just bought pixelmator last week when it went on sale :) Looking forward to Pixelmator 2.0 in 2011 :) Along with Panic Coda 2.0 too :D

  • Nice office, Pixelmator looks good on the screen and printed too! I’m looking forward to see and use Geneva, but I’m very happy with Nucleus as is.

  • What is that orange chair? It’s very unusual. BTW, pixelmator website is extremely beautiful

  • I love the look of how Pixelmator is progressing. Support for Layer effects and text handling of any description and I’m yours!

    Keep it up, Saulius and co., you’re doing a fantastic job.

    • Super ifnormaitve writing; keep it up.

  • Funny interview.

  • Miserable “answers” to made up “questions”. What a shame.

    • What makes you say that, Maggie? Let us know what questions you would have liked to see answered!

  • Where does that natural wood furniture(bookshelves/drawer units) come from? It looks fantastic!

    • Probably IKEA!

  • Wow, what an extremely lovely and calming environment!
    I particularly liked the furniture and the guitar.
    Nice work guys, wish you the best.

  • I bought Pixelmator back at v1.0 and have to say was impressed with the quality of a first release (my day job is working as a Software Test Manager hence it takes a LOT to impress me): easy to understand GUI (never could understand Photoshop’s) and has the tools I need to edit web graphics. Each update since then has increased stability, added new and genuinely useful features, and has been free :) Plus I’ve found the Pixelmator team great at providing support as well – I recall raising a bug in one version and although the next was due imminently it got fixed just in time to make it into the next version. Awesome, just plain awesome all the way through.

  • No lumbar support in that chair. Sacrificing comfort for design.

    • That’s the point of saddle chairs – you don’t need lumbar support. You don’t lean backwards because your posture is in balance. Did you ever see a horse saddle with lumbar support? :)

  • Puikus kūrinys, puikios nuotraukos (biuro) ;-) Sveikiname su sėkme. Labai gaila, kad tautiečiams tai nerūpi (paskaičius jūsų facebook-ą ir net šioje skiltyje) arba gailimi pagarbos žodžiai tiems, kurie yra verti to :)