Creativity is the first word that is likely to pop in someone’s head when they hear the terms art and design. Both art and design require creative minds and they make for exciting careers too!

So, if you have a knack for creativity, take a look at today’s blog to find out why you should pursue a course in art and design.

What is art?

Art is something that is usually an expression of a person’s emotions. It can be interpreted in different ways and even then have diverse perspectives. Depending on your viewpoint, art could be anything, and it does not always require words to be expressed.

After debating for centuries over the correct definition of art, philosophers devised three categories of art:

  • Art as an expression: Expression in art forms came into prominence during the Romanticism era (1770 – 1850). Paintings started evoking feelings that were lapped up by the public. This is apt even in today’s time as some artists create paintings to induce emotions among the audience.
  • Art as representation (Mimesis): The concept of mimesis, commonly known as imitation, was developed by Plato, a Greek philosopher. The primary meaning of art was the replication of anything beautiful. Velasquez, Michelangelo and Rubens are some famous artists who were inspired by this philosophy.
  • Art as form: Immanuel Kant was one of the most vocal supporters of this philosophy of art. According to Kant, art should not have a concept and should be judged as per its formal qualities. This is because he believed that content in a work of art did not have any visual interest. Formal qualities garnered importance in the early 20th century, when art started becoming more abstract. In this period, the principles of art and design – namely unity, balance, harmony and rhythm – were used to define and evaluate art.

Art can be carried out using different methods, including:

  • Drawing: This involves using pencils, pen and ink, charcoal, crayons or chalk to draw. Examples of this include book illustrations and illustrated manuscripts.
  • Painting: Painting involves creating images using acrylics, ink and wash, watercolour, oils or gouache. In the past, methods like encaustic and tempera were used in paintings. Encaustic painting consisted of adding coloured pigments to heated beeswax, which was then used to create paintings. The tempera method involved adding coloured pigments to a water-soluble binder medium to paint.
  • Printmaking: Printmaking consists of using methods like woodcuts, stencils, etching, engraving, foil imaging, lithography or giclee paints.

What is design?

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” – Steve Jobs.

Laying out a magazine ad, creating a logo or even preparing the plans for a building — all of these are examples of design.

Design refers to the conceptualisation and subsequent creation of something new. It could range from interactions to ideas or posters. Design involves imagining, thinking and researching prospective concepts. Here are some of its key elements:

  • It is a planned activity, carried out with a pre-set intention in mind.
  • It involves creating something that can actually be implemented.
  • The objectives of design are creating products and services for people, whether directly or indirectly.
  • The design efforts are focused on a specific aspect of human experience.
  • It is not an art or a science, but it includes aspects from both. It takes the creative and emotional aspect of art along with the problem-solving element of science.
  • Designing is a process that helps manage and organise your ideas to ultimately transform them into solutions. Research is a key aspect of this process.
  • Great design is invisible – a great design is one that users do not even notice and that has a natural feel to it.

What is graphic design?

Graphic design refers to the practice of planning and displaying ideas and experiences using textual and visual content. It is also known as communication design as it includes graphics and text. The design could be meant for a single person, a small group or even the entire world. Graphic designing that is carried out digitally is known as computer graphic design.

Graphic design can be divided into several categories, including:

  • Marketing graphic design: This form of design involves interacting with business owners, directors or professionals to create documentation for marketing strategies, such as infographics, brochures and flyers.
  • User interface graphic design: User interface (UI) refers to how a user interacts with an application or a device. UI design involves creating a user-friendly interface to provide a user-friendly experience. This includes designing mobile applications and web pages.
  • Publication graphic design: In this category, designers work with editors and publishers of newspapers, books, magazines or journals to create layouts, illustrations and artwork.
  • Packaging graphic design: All types of products require some sort of packaging. This packaging can also be used to communicate with consumers via the medium of graphic design.
  • Motion graphic design: Motion graphics design includes, for example, animation, video effects, animated logos, banners, GIFs and even typography.
  • Illustration and art for graphic design: Graphic art and illustration are often viewed as equivalents to graphic design, however, this is not necessarily the case. Graphic designers create solutions to communicate and solve issues, while graphic artists and illustrators create originals works. Hence, they come under the umbrella of graphic design.

Reasons to study art and design

  • A wide range of subjects to study: Art and design, being such broad fields, allow you to study diverse subjects like fashion, sculpture and theatre while studying in an art college.
  • Travel the world: Studying in this field might present you with the opportunity to travel the world and experience different cultures in the form of an exchange student in a foreign university.
  • Transferable skills: You will acquire versatile skills while studying art and design, which means you will be able to apply them to a variety of professional roles. These skills include communication, problem-solving, creative thinking, self-discipline and hand-eye coordination.
  • In demand: In the technological age, demand for computer graphic designers and digital artists are picking up pace. Hence, after graduating from art school, it would be easy to get a job in the digital art field.

Scope after studying art and design

Take a look at the job opportunities that you can take up after studying art and design:

  • Artist
  • Community Arts Worker
  • Fashion Designer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Animator
  • Digital Artist
  • Printmaker
  • Web Designer
  • Illustrator
  • Art Director

What is the difference between art and design?

Art and design are two sides of the same coin. While they may look similar on the surface, venturing into the details tells a different story. The interpretation of art varies from one person’s perspective to another. On the other hand, design is used to interpret a predetermined message. You can find more about the differences between the two in the table below:

 If you are interested in learning more about art and design, London College of Contemporary Arts (LCCA) offers several courses:

To learn more about these courses, click here.

This article was written by Varun Mehta and edited by Luna Campos.