What is art? What is design? Is there truly a separation between the two? If so, where should the line be drawn? This question has been debated for thousands of years. Even today, the lines are not clearly drawn. The Difference Between Design and Art

1.Where Design and Art Clash : art is to engage in a contradiction in terms. Art does not exist to fulfill a secondary purpose or to perform a “useful” function. Art is intended to convey beauty or to provoke thought. Its existence is its own justification.For many individuals, design is intended to serve a specific purpose. A good design fulfills its stated purpose efficiently and well. While good design is often attractive, looks and appearance are believed to be secondary where design is concerned.

Art is a problematically inclusive term; anything in the world can be called “art.” The main difference between art and design, then, is that design is simply more restrained.Any artist can look at their work and see it as an extension of themselves, but designers don’t have that liberty.


This is what design is: It’s art with expectations, patterns and consistency. It’s art meeting science.

ART vs DESIGNWith web design, there are so many more things to take account of: your site goals, your brand, your users. These expectations shape every bit of web design, while art remains untouched.

2.Design and Aesthetics :

Another important distinction to make is the difference between design and pure aesthetics. While all design incorporates aesthetic — and truly, everything in the world has some form of aesthetic — some designs do it better than others.

ART vs DESIGN****This house, has a splendid design, were pure aesthetics are only surpassed by the extraordinary comfort of living and the astonishing settings of the house.***

Although the term “aesthetics” has broad and varying definitions, I’m using it here to refer to “eye-candy.” Superficial designs that exist for the sake of beauty. If we were to put it on a scale, I would say most art is near 100% aesthetics (which is not a bad thing, eye-candy can be meaningful too) .

Below is the designs with minimal eye-candy that are actually designed really well.**

“Delicious does a great job of balancing their layout. Without getting too deep into eye-candy, they make a giant torrent of information manageable.”


“Zen Habits has a super minimal site design, but it coincides perfectly with the content’s theme and goals.”


3.Expectations of a Design :

The very important users expectation is that design should look like design. Any small business website design company will tell you that website design should be immediately recognizable as at least one thing: not art.


There’s a clear line between the two: Art and design aren’t mutually exclusive, even if Beautiful sites can still be usable, and they can still surprise us without being disorienting.

4.Objectives of Design :

One of the great divides between art and design is the objective. John O’Nolan wrote on Webdesigner Depot:

Typically, the process of creating a work of art starts with nothing, a blank canvas. A work of art stems from a view or opinion or feeling that the artist holds within him or herself. They create the art to share that feeling with others, to allow the viewers to relate to it, learn from it or be inspired by it.By contrast, when a designer sets out to create a new piece, they almost always have a fixed starting point, whether a message, an image, an idea or an action.

I won’t agree with O’Nolan here: Artists, just like designers, sometimes start out with a message, idea or an action they want to motivate. Every work of art and design has a message, but each has its own agenda.Because each design objective described herein is significantly important, yet it is just one aspect of what it takes to achieve a successful project.

5.Evolving from Art to Design

The Web would be interesting if the unrestrained creativity allowed in the art world was also permitted in web design.The designers, are responsible for creating great design that meet user expectations and site objectives.

Here are some tips to separate your design from art:
  • Always Start from scratch and keep it simple.
  • And once you’ve mastered good design, keep pushing through and make it great.
  • Balance usability and content.
  • Never sacrifice with being creative. In fact, to push pass these barriers and expectations, we have to be even more imaginative than before.
  •  Keep reductionism and minimalism in mind for clutter-free designs.
  • Always remember 5 principles of design :
  • Balance 
  • Proportion 
  • Rhythm 
  • Emphasis 
  • Unity