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The Coexistence of Art and Design

What is the distinction between art and design and where are those lines blurred?
According to Carrie Cousins these are the things that distinguish art and design.

What is Art?

  • Art has an emotional context.
  • Art sparks questions.
  • Art has varied meanings that can be different based on a person’s experiences and emotions.
  • Artistic ability is a talent that a person is born with. It can be cultivated and refined but part of the ability is innate.
  • Art is created for the artist. The process is free flowing and organic.
  • Art is often an individual sport.
  • Art has meaning but is seldom usable.

What is design?

  • Design must be comprehended and understood.
  • Design projects aim to solve problems or provide information.
  • Design communicates a distinct message.
  • Good design will engage a person to do something
  • Design can be taught and learned.
  • Design projects are created for a client or purpose.
  • Design projects are planned and “designed” before the actual graphic work is ever done.
  • Design projects have an audience in mind.
  • Design is collaborative.
  • Each design project has a purpose or usefulness.

I believe the place where successful projects live is in the collision of where art and design collide. There are many successful designers who do not identify as being artists. Design is a calculated and informative process that leans towards engineering and—unlike art—lacks an emotional aspect. The complex line between art and design can be blurry. Especially when artists follow a method, pattern or standard that was previously established by another artist in which art can become design. Producing unique work that does not follow anyone else’s rules is what makes an artist and not a designer. There is a clear distinction of what defines art and what defines design however the ocean of grey area in the middle where you will find a truly harmonious balance of the two.

3 Comments

  1. shaddou wrote:

    I do believe that some designers don’t identify with being artists but several artists identify with being designers.

    Friday, March 23, 2018 at 3:09 pm | Permalink
  2. hhamwi wrote:

    I agree with some of this. As a designer, I feel that it does take some level of creative ability to be able to create some aesthetic things. But not every artist can be a graphic designer.

    Friday, March 23, 2018 at 7:45 pm | Permalink
  3. hhamwi wrote:

    I agree with some of this. As a designer, I feel that it does take some level of creative ability to be able to create some aesthetic things. But not every artist can be a graphic designer.

    Friday, March 23, 2018 at 7:45 pm | Permalink