Fine art vs. Graphic Design

With the age of computers, it has been increasingly easier to go to your desktop, laptop or device and just start creating, essential eliminating fine art when it comes to graphic design.

But what happened to the days of picking up a pencil, sketching something out, working out your idea on old-fashioned paper. And what is Fine art vs. graphic design? It’s fair to say that the fundamental difference between art and design is their purpose. Designing on a computer typically has a practical application, towards a goal of either servicing a need or necessity. Is it considered art when a client requires something be produced for advertising or marketing – conveying an idea or message?

Graphic Designers communicate ideas that already exist and are tailored to a particular purpose. The designer’s purpose is to entice the audience to buy a product, use a service, or visit a location – based on the spec of a specific client. It’s this interaction between visual communication and how it relates to the consumer that differentiates the graphic designer from the conventional fine artist.

Mixing the 2 mediums can be challenging and rewarding. Fine art is at the core of all good design, through theory, balance, color, the use of typography, layout and message. Just because you can create something on the computer, doesn’t mean you have to. Trying to incorporate fine art by sketching, painting, or mixed media can help to break up the digital aspects of a design. Using scanners and photography, flat surfaces can be dimensional and give a tactile finish to a piece. Graphic design doesn’t have to be fine art, but incorporating it into layouts can not only be visually interesting, they can communicate a message as well.

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