The Real Difference Between Art and Design

The Real Difference Between Art and Design

Like many notorious debates, the discussion about the difference between art and design is still alive and kicking. When it comes to the comparison of these two notions, each party has an army of thinkers either accepting or rejecting the similarity. The dispute might continue endlessly, but to clear up the whole situation, it is important to understand where design and art go in different directions and where they coincide. Let’s take a closer look.

Differences and Similarities Between Art and Design

Where are they similar?

The similarity of the two concepts lies in their relation to creativity and imagination. No one would argue that both words imply a creative process. Designers and artists create aesthetics, don’t they? An article of furniture is high art to the same degree as a painting created by a contemporary artist. The beauty is conserved in lines, shapes, and colors. Furthermore, art and design often follow the same trends. Sometimes, designers stick to certain art movements, such as art deco or the Bauhaus.

Where are they different?

As for the differences, the main one is the purpose and function of two creative phenomena. While some design is considered a mere decoration, most of the time, it is a matter of comfort and practicality. In other words, design serves certain real purposes. By contrast, art has more abstract aims. A painting and a sculpture don’t need to be functional. They are meant to captivate your mind and catch your breath with the beauty. This is where contemporary designers and artists usually start fighting. The former claim that design is overly practical and too formal in essence for being art. On other hand, the latter consider art impractical and hence useless. Both ideas are blatant exaggerations.


Now, you see the difference between art and design. Allow no one to lie about the nature of these two concepts. No matter the topic, debates should always be constructive and logical.