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Q: What is the difference between art and design? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   10 Comments )
Subject: What is the difference between art and design?
Category: Arts and Entertainment
Asked by: almondsjoy-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 02 Apr 2005 11:35 PST
Expires: 02 May 2005 12:35 PDT
Question ID: 504064
What is the difference between art, or fine art and design, graphic or
Web? How you explain that design and art or both part of a process. An
artist designs her work, a designer communicates by visual means as
well, so the real question is, why is Art History an established
disipine that explores the context of the particular era as well as
the style or formal elements (think Reinassance, for instance)?

Request for Question Clarification by techtor-ga on 03 Apr 2005 09:51 PDT
By the way, aside from the comment I've given below, I've also done
some looking around the Net and I found at least one essay discussing
that issue of the difference between art and design. A few other pages
have brief discussions, but they might be helpful. Would you like a
list of those places I've gone to on the Net as an answer?

Clarification of Question by almondsjoy-ga on 17 Apr 2005 02:19 PDT
I think I am responding to a request for question clarification by
technor-ga. If so, I would love the list you refer to as an answer. I
am interested in what lessons designers can learn from the study of
art history, context and formal aspects. THanks!
Subject: Re: What is the difference between art and design?
Answered By: techtor-ga on 17 Apr 2005 03:11 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Thanks for allowing me to post my answer. There are a lot of websites
I've seen with essays about the difference between art and design.
Here are what I've found listed:

The Complementarity of Art and Design (PDF File)

Michael Brady Eyesite: Art and Design: What?s the Big Difference?

deviantART: deliriousoracle: The Difference Between Art and Design:

CIRCA Art Magazine - Summer 2002 - Same Difference?:

A Word In Your Ear: Graphic Design Is Not Art

UNSW - COFA - ARTWRITE - School of Art History and Theory:

The Brooklyn Rail: Art - Design ? Art: Functional Objects from Donald
Judd to Rachel Whiteread

Speak Up > Graphic Design vs. Art

AbleStable Resources - Lego Building: Art and Design:
- There is a brief explanation on the difference in the subheading 'But Is it Art?'

Here are some that have only a little to say on the issue:

- It has a brief comment on the difference between art and design.

Philweavers - Members - Profiles: Josh Nimoy

substance || art || design.: Simone Biffi
- This interview has a question about the difference between art and design.

There are many other postings on the Web discussing the difference
between art and design when you use the first search string mentioned
below (use quotation marks) in a Google Search. For now I will leave
you with the top web sites and postings which look like the best
references for this issue.

Google search string(s) used:

"difference between art and design"
difference art design
"difference between" art design

I hope this has been a helpful answer. If you need something
clarified, or have a problem with the answer, do please post a Request
for Clarification before rating and I'll come back to you as soon as I
can. Thank you.
almondsjoy-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $20.00

Subject: Re: What is the difference between art and design?
From: probonopublico-ga on 02 Apr 2005 12:11 PST
Art just happens as an expression of an artist's creative urge; Design
is an artistic expression that has a predetermined purpose.

Art can be judged in the abstract but Design can only be judged by its
effectiveness for the predetermined purpose.

An example: YOU designed the Question but MY art allowed me to answer.

Subject: Re: What is the difference between art and design?
From: charlie2222-ga on 02 Apr 2005 16:14 PST
Thank you, that is a good answer. I should have been more specific. I
know that "art" (meaning the fine arts) is an expression of, among
other things, the artist's  inner life. The "designer" try to
communicate visually information that does not have a personal stamp;
it is transparent. However, one can never avoid a fingerprint of some
sort, a style or look that is recognizable. So I think of it as a
pendulum. There is no black or white, that is.

I thought you were limited to a brief question, so I didn't get the
subject I really want feedback on. This is, how can the discipline of
Art History, the study of the renaissance period for instance, help or
teach lessons to contemporary designers, including new media designers
(I am a Web designer). I see great lessons for artist society labels
"artists" but I see the similar ones for designers. Yet there is such
a fuss about the difference today, the answer in the renaissance era
would be that there is no distinction. "No hierarchy of art types
existed & no distinction between arts & crafts" As well, the artist
had commissioned works of art, big one like the David from clients
such as the Vatican (tough clients, yes?).

So I really am opinion seeking because I do believe that art movements
and the context in which an artist worked in, has many lessons for
today's design community. That might have been the best way to put it:

How can Art History, the discipline, help Web designers?  (I majored
in it in college). I just fear that readers will get hung up on the
art vs. design issue, which is not the point I am writing about
(although the Bauhaus puts that question to bed). Thank and sorry I
was not as clear.
Subject: Re: What is the difference between art and design?
From: charlie2222-ga on 02 Apr 2005 16:18 PST
p.s. Sorry about the horrible grammar, I was rushing to a mtg. I do
know how to write, believe it or not....LOL
Subject: Re: What is the difference between art and design?
From: probonopublico-ga on 02 Apr 2005 21:34 PST
Thank you, charlie2222-ga, for your Comment on my Comment.

This was not 'an Answer' ... Only a RESEARCHER can provide an Answer
and, alas, I am still far too young to be so empowered.

'Researchers' have their names coloured BLUE, as a tribute to their
blue blood, and these are also underlined with the stripe representing
a rank equivalent to that of Lance Corporal in the British Army.

Maybe almondsjoy-ga (the Questioner) is already aware of this?

To elaborate further, Researchers provide DESIGN commissions (for the
price listed) whilst we Commenters provide ART that comes from the
heart, for FREE.

Welcome to GA, almondsjoy-ga and charlie2222-ga ...

All the Best


A mere Foot Soldier with a Heart of Gold
Subject: Re: What is the difference between art and design?
From: techtor-ga on 03 Apr 2005 01:43 PST
I saw this opinion posted on an Art Forum:

I have yet to find more authoritative opinions that are posted on the Net.

But if you were to ask for my view, I'd say Art is use to please the
emotional aspect of people and consumers, while design is meant to
fulfill specific and practical purposes, such as for structural
integrity, performance, etc.
Subject: Re: What is the difference between art and design?
From: techtor-ga on 03 Apr 2005 03:12 PDT
By the way, Bryan, that was a very artistic comment about us
researchers being blue-blooded. Alas, but in my case, I wasn't
designed to be blue-blooded. I've become blue and bloody after being
"crowned" by women friends to whom I've said, they were getting
weightier in life. :P I'm an artistic person myself, but sometimes
life gets me painted black and blue on the canvas. :)
Subject: Re: What is the difference between art and design?
From: guillermo-ga on 03 Apr 2005 04:33 PDT
I'm puzzled about almondsjoy-ga asking the question and charlie2222-ga
responding to a comment apparently on his/her behalf. Nevermind, maybe
I'm just too square. Fortunately, we can always count on
probonopublico-ga who is imaginative enough to suggest that
researchers have been *designed* as aristocrats ;-)

As to the question's point, you're right about the pendulum -Charlie
Almond?, or could we say a continuum -left aside industrial design
which seems to me is more in the side of techtor-ga's comment- where
the artistic extreme would be a creation from the most authentic
expresion from the artist, done with absolute disregard of what the
public would feel or think about it, and the "design extreme" would be
a product conceived after a thorough market research for commercial
purposes. However, in either case the contents come from artistic
sources, and in the middel we have Michelangelo's Chappel,
Toulouse-Lautrec's posters for the Moulin Rouge and some Salvador
Dali's "surrealistic" paintings with an eye put on Ben Franklin's face
smiling from many bills (nevertheless, great enough). The proof of it
is that, when time's passed by and the original comercial purpose has
long been left behind, many works of "design" are shown in galleries
and written about as artistic work.


Subject: Re: What is the difference between art and design?
From: kaylion-ga on 03 Apr 2005 12:22 PDT
Art usually refers to fine art such as sculpture, paintings, and
drawings. Design is usually 2 dimensional.
Subject: Re: What is the difference between art and design?
From: myoarin-ga on 04 Apr 2005 12:44 PDT
First, just a word to the above sentence: design can  - should - be
what is behind the making of any item that is not pure art.  An ice
cream scoop with a straight cylindrical handle is bad design, even it
matches a set of other kitchen utensils, since is very poorly
"designed" for the task of turning the scoop into frozen ice
cream(We've got one!).

I very much appreciate what you added in your comment and agree with
your feeling that "higher art" can and should be something designers
appreciate and understand.  Not how to paint or sculpt, but I think to
understand proportions and balance  - visually, as well as
practically, if that is what they are designing. And with reference to
web designing, how the eye takes in an image, recognizing the primary
figure and then the rest and how the  "design" of the picture leads
the eye to appreciate and/or recognize the relationship between the
figures (I am thinking of a Madonna by Rafael), and how a
well-balanced triangle (that painting) or the gold mean in some form
just makes the whole image hang together and delight the eye.
(Wow, I like that, and its been over forty years since I audited
course 101 on art appreciation!)
Being a devotee of Applied Arts, I have a special appreciation for
good design of useful things, where again proportion and balance are
significant, to discover that the form of a ladle used in Tibet is
extremely similar to that of one in Cambodia, both lying ideally in
the hand for the purpose intended and both a pleasure to the eye, and
maybe I could do some measurements to prove that the one I have agrees
to recognized good proportions, that one can learn and find
demonstrated in Renaissance art, Bauhaus, or Lautrec's posters.

Is that any help?  I hope so, maybe for additional comments.
Subject: Re: What is the difference between art and design?
From: techtor-ga on 17 Apr 2005 09:50 PDT
Thanks as well for the rating and the tip, Almondsjoy! I'm happy to
know the answer was very helpful.

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