Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Fine Art vs. Graphic Design

When I tell one of my friends that I want to be an artist, the first question he asks me is what kind of artist I want to be – someone who wants to draw freely or someone who can follow commercial guidelines to do the job. I guess he has two kinds of artists in mind  - a fine art artist or a graphic designer. In my mind, the lines are blurred between fine art and graphic design. Many artists are also graphic designers. They use similar terms like line, color, shape, texture, form and media to describe their works. Their art works serve similar purposes – communicating messages to the audience. However, they are indeed different. Fine art often refers to the visual and performing arts. It includes painting, sculpture, architecture, printmaking, theatre, and dance. Although there are certain rules in this field, fine art is more like a personal expression about something in this world. It can be purely the artist’s imagination, or it can be real. Even the rules are not fixed; the artists can create their own rules. Artists use fine art to express their unique feelings in any way by using any medium. Society does not require artists to explain why they do certain things in certain ways. They have a free hand to as creative as possible. On the other hand, graphic design is a relatively defined process. The main objective of graphic design is to meet the commercial needs of the clients. Therefore, graphic design is more than color and style. It involves details and careful planning. Unlike fine art artists, graphic designers do not have the luxury of unlimited creative freedom. They sometimes have to limit their own expressive freedom in order to meet the demands of the marketplace.


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