The Complete Graphic Designer
1212
Graphic Design
Is Not Art
Design identifi es companies or
organizations, giving them a unique
presence. For Theater Brava, bold
colors and shapes suggestive of
stage lights create immediately
recognizable signage on the build-
ing and street lamp banners.
Design: Shinnoske, Inc.
Graphic design is not the same as
ne art. It is true that designers
sometimes use the same tools as
the painter, sculptor, or photogra-
pher in the creation of their work,
and they may even include pieces
of art within a composition. Both
ne art and design are creative
endeavors; however, the purpose of
each is completely different.
Fine art is typically self-serving,
personally motivated, and expres-
sive. The true artist explores social
issues, makes a statement, or pres-
ents viewers with images of the
world around them. Although most
artists hope to sell their work to
people who connect with their art
Art [and design] represents a social necessity
that no nation can neglect without endangering
its intellectual existence.
—John Ruskin
on an emotional or visual level, the
art is usually created for personal
reasons rather than for a specifi c
buyer. Graphic design, on the other
hand, is a vocation involving the
creation of visual communication
on behalf of a paying client with
very specifi c needs. In this sense,
the designer must address the
needs and desires of the client fi rst,
which may at times mean making
design decisions that do not align
with their own. Whereas fi ne art
is purely subjective (“beauty is in
the eye of the beholder”) and open
to personal interpretation, design
must be completely objective with
clearly defi ned goals, objectives,
and measurable results.
TB
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