The key differences between design and art

The key differences between art and design

Are designers artists?

This question is a manner of discussion for countless centuries, but can you identify the differences between them?

According to Oxford Dictionary, art is:

“The use of the imagination to express ideas or feelings particularly in painting, drawing or sculpture.”

Following the same dictionary design means:

“The process of deciding how something will look, work, etc., by drawing, making computer models, etc.”

OK! Let’s translate and understand it in fell steps.

Art is to be admired and design should be straightforward

1 – Art is to be admired and design should be straightforward

The Monalisa
The Monalisa

When you are looking at The Monalisa, you can start wondering:

Was she happy?

Was she a Da Vinci’s female self-portrait?

How about the black dress, was she a widow?

Does the background have a specific meaning?

Too many questions that will never have answers maybe.

Regarding design, it must communicate directly without letting any doubt.

Nike advertisement
Nike Advertisement

Just a glance at the advertisement, you instantly comprehend what it is all about.

Art sparks discussion, design should be rational

2 – Art sparks discussion, design should be rational

Art could be ugly, spread a message, polemic, be soft, violent, could have a concept or not, basically, it could be everything.

However, design is rational and should support users to make quick decisions.

Art is intriguing, design motivates

3 – Art is intriguing, design motivates

Art habitually is a possible trigger to deep thoughts, although design leads you to take action.

4 - Art is to express, design is to achieve something

4 – Art is to express, design is to achieve something

All kinds of art express a timeline, a style. It is a way to show emotions.

The design establishes a goal.


5 – Art could be everything, design should be crystal clear

Everything is art, graphite on toilet’s doors, shattered glass, even one simple dot on a white canvas, but the design works to overcome problems.

To conclude design and art walk together, but they are opposed, meanwhile one could be a potential troublemaker the other one is a problem solver.

PS: Being a troublemaker is good sometimes.

Do you agree with it?

Tell us in the comments.

We publish an article that clarifies if video games are art or not, check it out.

In addition, if you want to know what graphic design means, click here.

In this article, we are talking about Romero Britto, a very polemic artist. Read more.

Wrote by: Rafael de Rezende Basso

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