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.
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.
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 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!