Can an artist also be a designer? I know there’s a difference but, can’t someone who has studied both art & design be a designer and an artist. Why do people try to classify design as non-art? I think that’s the problem with designers today. I think it’s damn important for a person that designs to have an artistic background. So many people copy and paste, then claim the design as original. It’s a shame. I personally, though it’s practiced quite often in the industry, feel that creating my very own images is very important. I know lots of you out there get by on clipart and stock photos, and most of the time it’s what the clients want for a speedy finish, but aren’t there any designers out there that take pride in creating original work. I think that many designers have forgotten that feeling. And lots of these schools aren’t teaching that anymore. I’ve seen work by lots of students at esteemed art school. Lots of them use other peoples images, then manipulate them so that they can call them their own. I really depise how some of you so called designers (“MANIPULATORS”) have forgotten about the ethics of it all. DESIGN SHOULD BE ART! LOOK UP THE DEFINITION OF ART!

Yes I am a DESIGNER! Yes i am an ARTIST! If someone tells you otherwise, they’re just bitter because they don’t know jack about ART! And they probably do use other peoples images, scan magazines, and so on. I to can relate to your frustration.

Generally speaking, i agree. There’s no way to stop it though. You have to blame professors first, for being to lazy to notice, then you have to blame those employers who can’t tell and probably don’t care because they practice plagurism as well. Anyone who doesn’t reply or agree with you or myself IS most likely guilty of this practice as well. It is done often and that is why the design field IS flooded with bad designers. I read your other post, and it didn’t make much sense but I got the jist of what you were trying to say. This post helped me understand. Make your portfolio amazing, and knock doors down if you have to get it seen. IT WILL BE TOUGH, BUT ITS NOT IMPOSSIBLE. Getting a Bachelor’s would help though you can do without it if you really are “talented”.

artist rip other artists of more than designers do!!!
its just human behavour.

there is a lot of design out there that dous the work of art a lot better than art actualy dus.

hi there,

Looks to me that you are a little lost. I reccomend you read “Form object to interface” by Gui Bonsiepe. he explains very clearly the differences between art and design.

To mention some that I remember:

Design IS NOT self expresion. You work on client and market needs.
Design is proyectual (you bring user situations from the future to the present), art is not.
Art is unique, design is intended for mass production.
Design has a purpose, If you are a graphic designer, your objective is comunication. If you cant communicate the message, give the money back to the client :wink:

guys… this forum should be abour design employment.

If you are unemployed go wine somewhere else.

I think of art as the foundation of design. I think you’re talking more about graphic design, so starting as an artist would be critical here, it’s where you learn 2D design basics. This can’t be taught in a class in college, it can be built upon there, but it has to start much earlier, it has to be a part of a designers socialization. This is not always the case though, so yes, some designers are forced to grab what they can’t create. I’m in the Industrial design field, in school, I could tell who were the artist and who weren’t. There’s less plagerism in my field (well maybe there’s the same, but it’s harder for a person to literally copy/paste), but if there’s a lack of artistic ability it certainly translates into a person’s design. I wonder about these designers, if they’ll ever get on par, or how long they’ll stay in the field.

I asked a similar question in a previous post, but on a lighter note, more to share and find out who else started as an “artist” but no one seemed interested, Any of U fine artists' first? does this say something about the designers here? did my work just suck too bad for comment? who knows, but I think this stuff is important and a ballance between art and design is vital.

Plagerism sucks, I can understand your frustration there, but, IMO, you shouldn’t bother being upset about all the unartistic designers, just feel secure that you aren’t one of them.

My 2 cents, sorry if I was off target

Excellent post.

I am an artist, at least according to my diploma, and I work as an environmental graphic designer. I don’t have a degree in it, I just have experience and an eye for good design. My job isn’t terribly creative, so if I wanted to do something more along those lines I would go back to school for design.

In short I believe, as others do I’m sure, that your foundation as an artist is one of the most important elements of becoming a great designer. Whether you paint, take photos, or draw it can help you with anything 2D. Sculpture, architecture, anything like that can certainly help you in the 3d realm. Too often do I see Graphic Designers who design signage with no real thought as to how it might look, or be manufactured, in 3D space. Maybe if they were better artists they might have better visualiztion skills.

Sorry to drag on… great topic though.

I think the other guest hit it pretty close. The Gui Bonsiepe book sounds interesting.

The only other thing I would add is that there is a big difference between what an artist does to accomodate food and shelter requirments (that could be anything just about) and what an artist does as a means of expression.(think cave painting versus hunting)

Design is born to the world and is in essence the answer to a problem that has been targeted for solution by the designer.

Art is more an expression that becomes subject to external validation or valuation once it leaves the studio or becomes subject to outside exposure.

It would be very dangerous or at least misguided to think of two as the same, or to try to justify success or failure as a designer due to “not beign appreciated as an artist” Your art can be internally driven, but the world doesn’t revolve around you, and when you place yourself in the context of the outside world (getting a job) your art ceases to be your hall pass. This is not to say your creative insticts and skill can’t be applied to other fields (design is a good example, so is cooking) ,but to say they are presented in a new context with new contraints.

An example would be using a sketchbook while a teacher is lecturing in class. The sketches speak to your inner voice, but what class are you not paying attention too? Is it a perspective class you feel you don’t need or is it a calculus class? Don’t expect the sketching to help you figure out the volume or optimal dimensions of your new improved packaging design 5 years down the road. Don’t confuse the inner voice with marketable skills because they only partially overlap.


I remember hearing that designers are artists who work better with constraints.

True, design is about the user experience, and making the product cheaper, more user friendly, manufacturable, attractive - IDEO is a good example of this - really innovative design - but, in my opinion, they may not ever design a real classic, because I tend to think the classics are not all about the user experience, price, or manufacturability - ironically.

Think of the Eames plywood chair - the backs always break off, the wood scuffs up, it is comfortable, which is big, but what is bigger is the aesthetic.

Also think of a modern day porsche - it’s too expensive and unreliable, but a classic,
or think of the first Mac (one of my favorites) but the screen is too small, you can’t upgrade it - but it’s an attractive, innovative way to package the computer.

In a sense - the classics could be said to be flawed designs - more art than a user friendly/affordable product.

I think it is very simple…and also very complicated. Design moves towards function and art moves toward emotion.but they both exist with one another. Design, by its very nature is mostly done in conjunction with commerce. i.e. a business transaction(remember I said mostly) as where art(true art) is (mostly)produced by an individual for the individuals own inspirations and desires. The commerece part of art is a secondary event, Thus on that plain, there is a separation. But no one can argue the cross influence of both design and art. …chew on that

Of course there’s a difference but I believe design should also be UNIQUE. I will read that book, but even if design is intended for mass production, I think plagerism should never apply. That’s the problem with designers today! BE ORIGINAL! Haven’t you ever seen a unique design that evokes an emotional response as well as communicates a message. It seems to me that designers are getting lazier, especially graphic designers. CUTTING AND PASTING AND COPYING AND CLIPART AND STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY! Seriously, people who want to define a hard line between the two must be artistically challenged, because no matter how you put it, the line should be very gray. And those that want to define a difference are just trying to justify their methods. How absurd. :unamused:


Yes and No.

Not all design should be Art. Think about your next car, medical device, your furnitures and even your everyday clothings that are overly expressive and unlimited in its shape, function and colors. Can you live with or expect everyone to live in Charlie’s Chocolate factory?
Design is good when it meets right quality and amounts of different things.

But in Art- as in Fine Arts, undertanding who you are, what you are doing with your art in order to connect the dots of Art History, movements, politic or even greater personal expression in world media are all considered important thesedays <unlike Van Gogh’s period if your knowledge in Fine Arts are stopped at that point>.
However what I felt corrupted in Fine Arts thesedays are it has been turned itself to rich kids’ party zone where only rich and famouse play with judgements on which could be the very best contemporary art pieces. Curators and art writers wipe eachothers’ a$$ and hang out in expensive restaurants as “good taste”. Perhaps this is how our world functions, I don’t know. The reason lots of Design and Fine Arts mimic eachother is all because of our time-and our selves. Who hates to make money? Who hates to let your name known to others? = Hating money means real art? Making lots of money with products means good Design?
I was taught from my Fine Art study that Fine Arts are superior to Design, and in my Design study, I learned interesting designs ‘do’ have Fine Arts quality. Look at ICFF… It’s like playing with sort of your expression with something called furniture and it sells for more than what it should be.
Of course it becomes a different story in what kind of things that you are designing. When someone sees personally expressed design in I.D, lots of easy criticism and hatred are shooting toward to certain designers. And if the design is too impersonal, people says it looks like everything else.
So, what’s the point at the end?
What is your goal doing ART? Is it to express yourself - and if you do, for what reason? If you want to make money doing Art/Design, what kind of things can you do? Asking questions are very easy, but it’s really hard to juggle and survive in two different playgrounds.

Art and design intermingle when there is excellence in the work of it.
A fine piece of art has important elements of superior composition, balance, color, etc. – design.
A fine design has important elements of superior composition, balance, color, etc. – art.
Perhaps design leans towards utilitarian aspects, and art towards expression of the soul.
Or both, both. It’s very cool. They are very close. Perhaps intent is the only difference.

Hello, where does it say stay out if you don’t have a job? What if you’re trying to make contacts for a job? Why are you a jerk? learn to spell whine. :exclamation:

Not only those aesthetic qualities but also it is depense on who makes it, how much it cost, who shows it, who buys it and how long it has been shown.

Can it be a pop-star, Art that mimics Rock and Roll or this pop qualities last for the next century as “real art” that connects the dots?
Fine Art today is as competitive survival game as in business and Design field. It is self-marketing, endless workshops and networkings as well.
Only difference is Fine Arts in U.S don’t have series of meeting like IDSA. Artists come and go in silence, but designers are stuck together with eachother like a group of fish-easier to survive.
Artists sell themselves , but lots of us designers can hide in the shelter=large corporation.

Some of well known art galleries in NYC. They have series of artists and eachone has their own level in Fine Art world.

Designer with Artistic touch

Fine Artists with Business <…perhaps> touch

In the interview of Murakami:

Murakami: Only those artists who have an ability in marketing can survive in the art world. Damien Hirst is a good example. Through his art, you can see the process of how an artist can survive in the art world. First of all, distinctively situate his/her position in art history. Second, articulate what the beauty of his/her art is. Next, sexuality. Then, death. Present what he/she finds in death. If an artist aptly rotates this cycle, he/she can survive. Damien Hirst has been repeating the cycle of birth, death, love, sex and beauty.

Wakasa: Doesn’t every artist try to repeat that cycle?

Murakami: Yes. That’s why Picasso has been continuously consumed as well as Warhol. This attests that artists that have a sense of the market make the best of the rotation. The reason why Matthew Barney is not doing well is that the style of his works remains similar. In addition, he couldn’t make an effective presentation in the theme of death. On the other hand, Damien Hirst expressed death so successfully by slicing cows that viewers understood him. He also succeeded in expressing beauty with his dot paintings.

This line of reasoning is circular, (in other words, you’re pissing into the wind.) The points that have been brought up are to illustrate the differences between art and design. Being aware of the difference is just as important as respecting the similarities. Is dragging design into the art definition (definitions are by nature constraints) supposed to impart some kind of purity? Is looking up a definition of art going to enlighten us about design? I see a discrete point of departure between art and design, and that point of departure is the PURPOSE. The only common ground I could find had to do with “craft” or “skill” and maybe at a reach with using elements found in nature.

Originality is often rewarded or suppressed in art and design when projected into the environment, (think about the early impressionists being rejected by the academy.) It’s a bit of a reach to imply that clipart or stock photography are sacreligious to design (and by your implication art). Is it any worse to use a stock image in a “brochure” than it is to buy a pre-mixed oil color for a “painting”? Why re-invent the wheel with every project, every project builds on the last or the achievement of others. While it’s true there are plenty of those who don’t add anything to the process, but if the norm according to you is all the same, then it should be easier to be different, and maybe be rewarded for that unique solution.

Time is often a constraint in design projects. If you need to complete a poster for a grand opening in one week, don’t bother flying to an exotic location to get an original shot. You will loose time and fail at your project. Your client will fail at their promotional efforts and no one will give a crap about your level of purity or commitment to your art.

Technique and vision will serve us well in both worlds, but don’t get the two domains confused with each other. The artistic merits that make their way into design are but one component (important, but not ultimate) in the DESIGN realm. Your convictions about how you bring art to design will serve you well if you are effective at design, but don’t assume you are a designer if you are a slave to your vision of art (then you would be an artist.)

:bulb: [/quote]

oh yeah…huge difference.

design is doing art for someone else…design is purely functional… (whether it is to save lives, solve a problem, or make $$)

there is an overlap, but “real art” should not be confused with design, and vice versa.

So, dou you mean that an artist that paints someones portrait is a designer? …A photografer is a designer?


A designer is more functional …than an artist …designers are actually closer to engineer than they are to artist …as a designer you are not really creating art … you are creating artful products. Art doesn’t need to be functional…sorry Design has to be functional for it to have real value.

“Form follows function“ It is a rule for designers

There are no rules for artist.

the end