Graphic design work, by its very nature is subjective. You can say there is no right or wrong as it is in the eye of the beholder; that it is subject to the interpretation of the viewer as to what the elements may or may not mean. That it is a form of art that is simply in the public eye! Well, that is not entirely true.
A graphic designer is not an artist. An artist creates the work for the love, or for the effect, or to comment on society, basically any and all other reasons than why a design does! Graphic design work is created for money. Graphic designers work for money. They do not dedicate their lives to something that they may never see gaining any value until after they are dead. It is a job or a career but not art.
Design work is created with a certain set of guidelines in mind, pre-established criteria that determine where, when, what and why. It restricts what the creator can achieve or channels the direction of the creation. This is not art. Art is totally unrestricted. Art is an expression and not tailored piece of design aimed at a specific market or subject matter.
However, that does not mean graphic design work cannot be beautiful, cannot be intriguing or beguiling. It’s not that this is meant to belittle what graphic design is or what it can be. There are designs and campaigns over the years that have become iconic and have possibly transcended the boundary after being considered art. But the initial concept was paid for and created for a reason. So, it is a conception. It originated as a piece of design. Its journey in to the visual world was for a reason and not for the love.
As a whole, many people love design, love the restriction and the challenges created by the brief, finding the solution, finding what is not the solution along the way and etc. Working towards fulfilling the aim of whatever is put in front of me, addressing the target market with a well considered concept that delivers the correct message, on brand, to the right people and in the right medium.
Graphic design work is an accumulation of elements. It’s the visual representation of a sales pitch because at the end it has a purpose – whether that is to gain awareness, sell a product, entice a user to read on, present a concept and etc. It’s for a reason and not to look pretty or comment on society or just because it is!
We are today in a society that greatly values appearance, that places an immense amount of importance on looks and user-experience and how they interface with it and how it addresses them. Design is of paramount importance and it is only going to become more prevalent as people become more confident and expect more, which is not a bad thing. It’s just not an art thing!
Summary: This article reveals whether graphic design work is just a form of art or something different from it.