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Forward > Blog > Design vs. Art
posted by Forward Solutions

Design vs. Art

10 January 2013

Web Design and Art

Is web design art?

Yesterday, I was just browsing through the internet, as one normally does these days, when I saw a website whose design spoke not just of the subject it wanted to encapsulate but of how art has surely changed through time. Art nowadays isn’t merely contained in those white canvasses we find in museums. Its wings have spread to various mediums from street art to 3D graphics and of course, to the Internet. I can actually say that the creators or conceptualizers of these modern testaments of art, or what others would simply refer to as websites, are somehow our modern day artists. But hey, that’s just me. There’s actually more to this claim that I have. It is in fact one of the greatly debated subjects there is. To me and perhaps to a number of other people, these creators are not just artists, they are also designers. From this particular perspective, we assume that they, artists and designers, are one and the same – that in fact, design is synonymous to art. But, is it really the case?

Forward Solutions in the Philippines houses three very talented and skilled web designers who have helped me draw the line between art and design: Erick Lucas, Jay Ann Yu and Clemhyn Escosora.  They all believe that both art and design are everywhere and that each design and each art work creates an identity. Undoubtedly, I’d have to agree with them. But my question is: what really is the grand difference between these two? According to them design is actually art in a sense that it is visually engaging. However, design possesses certain qualities, which sets it aside from art.

1.  Art is aesthetics while design is aesthetics AND functionality

Art is aesthetically pleasing to the eyes, yes, we know that. However, design has an additional element which should always be taken into consideration: the importance of functionality and purpose. Without a particular purpose, whatever it may be, designs would be completely transformed into pure art with no fundamental intention.

2.  Art is used for self-expression while design is used for communication.

Art is a self-expression where one creates something from nothing. An artist creates an art work based on whatever emotion or sentiment he or she would like others to interpret or feel. On the other hand, a design is a tool for communication where someone creates something to further communicate an existing idea, desire or wish. Designers have that one purpose to affect change within people. They must know how to motivate others – particularly, their client’s clients or customers – to do something whether it is to buy their product, use their product, seek for their advice, visit a certain place, or learn.

3. Artists have talent while designers have skill

Artists have a talent to convey their own feelings to people who can interpret their works in multiple ways but designers should learn the skill of creating designs with one purpose or intention in mind: effectively communicating an existing idea so that they would be understood, which, in contrast to artists, must produce only one understanding.

LR: Clemhyn, Jay Ann & Erick


Erick Lucas is a Senior Web Designer at Forward Solutions “who wishes to create designs which transcend mediocrity.”

Jay Ann Yu is a Senior Web Designer at Forward Solutions “who wishes to face our constantly changing technology with her endless learning.”

Clemhyn Escosora is a Web Designer at Forward Solutions “who aims for the holistic attainment of all his potential.”


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