The definition of Graphic Design is the art or profession of using design elements (as typography and images) to convey information or create an effect, whereas the definition of Fine Art is art (as painting, sculpture, or music) concerned primarily with the creation of beautiful objects.
Both of these subjects, of course, have been around for thousands of years. They both started out with the ways of communicating with people and leaving a historical viewpoint of a culture for their ancestors to pass down. In chapter one of our book, you can see where the Cavemen and Egyptians separated their written language, used to record history, from their pieces of art work by having more details in the Fine Art side and the more simplistic measures in the Graphic Design.
In many ways they are both similar, but the main differences are they way that they are executed, perceived and what they communicated. Most Fine Art is there for the viewer to behold. Graphic Design is there to get across information in a smaller space that might communicate an idea or product to the viewer so that they will understand what it is about. Another way is what types of media the artwork is used on. Graphic Design, mostly, is used on the computer and Fine Art, until recent developments in computers, is based on something done physical.
But they both can go hand in hand as well. Where some Fine Art is more graphic, in design, some Graphic Design is beautiful pieces of artwork. These pictures illustrate where you can see an evolution of fine art, to in between, to graphic design and the changes it has made over the years.