The Difference between art and design careers

Many artists and designers have an array of similarities and often they have cross over paths, however there is a difference between having an art career and a design career.  Both career paths in art and design effect an appeal to the eye, and both have an essential mix of practical skills in the use of color, space, shape, and form.  Art is traditionally created purely for its aesthetic appeal, whilst design tends to revolve around everyday life. Design could be though of as art with a function. Here are a few other areas that artists and designers differ:

1.) Purpose

The biggest difference between art and design is Purpose.  While artists typically create a piece for an emotional bond whether for themselves or to share with an audience, a designer has a goal in mind, they are creating something for a reason.

2.) Understanding the message

An excellent piece of art generally needs to be interpreted.  Art creates a connection to each individual differently, because it’s interpreted different by each person. An excellent piece of art can send a different message to everyone.  Art is an open debate

Good design takes a message and is automatically understood.   A good design sends the same message to everyone. If your design communicates a message or is used with its intention then it has done its job and is a good design.  If an objective is accomplished  and motivates people to do something, then it is not a matter of opinion.  Design solves a problem.

3.) Production

Because so often the way a piece of art is created is very emotional to the individual creating it, the artwork created is normally one item that is either sold as an original or a replica.

Design however has an end user in mind, it is created for the mass public.  Whether it’s a consumable product, an application, graphics, or interiors, a designer will often keep in mind the end user as the project becomes more complex.  The way a design is produced is also completely different than the way one would approach a piece of art.


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