Fine Art vs. Graphic Design Part 1: How They’re Defined

Lauren Brumbach Creative, Design, graphic design

Fine art, or visual art, is often thought to be in a realm far outside that of digital and graphic design. There are many differences between the two, but there are also quite a few similarities. In fact, most of graphic designs foundations are rooted in fine art. 

Graphic design is a much newer branch in the art community and working world. Companies used to hire professionals with an understanding of art or a strong painting and drawing skill set. Artists who understood visual aesthetics could get by in marketing and advertising. With the rise of digital technology and software as well as a more demanding desire for advertisements graphic design has become its own area of study. Nonetheless graphic design is almost entirely about visual communication.

Fine art is often defined as design’s “emotional counterpart.” Drawing and painting are more commonly experiences of feeling and personal opinion. Design has found itself in a space made for commercial use and practicality. Where fine art curves, twists and erases lines, graphic design straightens, draws and resides inside those lines. Both of these disciplines are creative, visual and artistic; they are different languages, and not different ends of a spectrum.