Graphic Design and Fine Art are a like in many ways. They both are a form of visual communication. In each the artist is trying to make the audience think or feel something: desire, angst, joy, etc. The fine artist is attempting to convey his or hers own thoughts. While the graphic designer is a slave to the people. Doing his or hers best to be a mind reader and give the viewer what they want. Which brings us to the biggest differences between Graphic Design and Fine Art ; effect on the viewer and stress! Fine art is a stress relieving occupation. It has been proven that art has a way of putting people in a comfort zone. Not only that but it is a perfect way to get things out of the mind into the physical world. Things that normally we can not explain in words but can easily explain in picture and some how after this process it is more understandable no matter how abstract the art piece is. Fine artist turn themselves into their own product. Their is no one saying to Rembrandt 'I need this to look like this and I want it by this day.' No. When people want Rembrandt they want the contrast and darkness and narcissistic aspects that are found in his art. They want the emotion they get when looking at it and Rembrandt or any fine artist really can take as much time as they want in their creative process. The person who commissioned it just feels lucky that Rembrandt is willing to create that emotion on canvas or wood, etc, for them in the first place. The graphic designer, however, doesn't receive this kind of appreciation necessarily. Their work is not very stress relieving. They, like the scribes of ancient Egypt, are a slave of form and order. The scribes had to create according to a certain set of rules and learn a great amount of characters and though they were respected for their ability. It still must have been a pain to keep up with. Freshening up on your scribe-menship, learning the new characters that have been invented, and painting hieroglyphics on the wall foretelling a great epic in the Pharaoh's afterlife. Just like those scribes, designers must learn many tools, learn about new tools, and produce something that the 'man' thinks the people will like. Usually this something has a deadline, and it's a lot sooner then when the Pharaoh dies. This something also has to communicate more then just how the designer feels inside. It has to make the audience feel a certain way inside. So, in a since the Graphic designer is a people pleaser. They must please their boss and the viewer that the boss wishes to reach. The designer is not the product trying to be sold. His or her style must be in a sense style less. So, it is not them personally that comes through but the urge, association, etc, purely that reaches the intended audience. These expectations can be stressful. Though this is true it is still awarding for the designer to have accomplished what was expected of them on time and on the mark .
The main difference, other then the stress levels involved in both, is the reason behind the arts creation in the first place. Rather it be to get the audience to say 'yeah that's inspirational' or 'you know, I think I should try that toothpaste, I think I might like it.'