Tuesday, 4 December 2012


What are the differences between Fine Art and Graphic Design?

- Fine Art is conceptual, open to interpretation, whilst Graphic Design is more direct and focused, therefore not as open for personal interpretation.
- Fine Art is more specific, whilst Graphic Design is broken down more widely.
- Fine Art usually requires a context or explanation to make sense of the piece, whilst more often than not, that isn't the case within Graphic Design. Whilst designing a piece of 'Graphic' Art opposed to 'Fine' Art, you are thinking of being direct to the audience, delivering a message instantly through visuals.
- Little research is needed for Fine Art pieces.
- Graphic Design has a purpose to communicate, whilst some pieces of Fine Art do whilst others don't.
- Cultural Issues - Fine Art is associated to the 'elite' upper classes. The sort that comes to mind when champagne and expensive clothes come to mind. It has been noted that Fine Art is linked with the class stereotypes due to status and wealth. This is also known as 'high culture'.
- Audiences vary greatly for both Fine Art and Graphic Design. Fine Art is more exhibition based, whilst Graphic Design is now built into modern day culture and lifestyles - from train maps to magazines. Graphic Design is seen as the 'low culture' in comparison to 'art'. It is also seen as not being elitist.
- Fine Art doesn't have to be understandable to meet it's purpose, whilst with Graphics it wouldn't succeed without doing so. Graphics is designing for a purpose.
- Fine Art can be put together without any specific method, whilst Graphics is much more structured and methodised.
- Mass production VS Individual production: Graphic Design produced digitally and re produced at large, whilst Fine Art is usually a one off piece with more traditional methods.
- Fine Art is timeless, for example, history can be recognised through paintings through style, medium, year, country, topic, etc, whist Graphic Design is still passable today, even though it may of been designed as propaganda in the Russian Revolution, or at the Bauhaus.

Source (right image): forkparty
Source: seeklogo

Staatliches Bauhaus or more commonly know simply as the Bauhaus was a school in Germany which specialised in Fine Arts and Crafts. It was open and in operation from 1919 through to 1933. It can be seen below. It was known for being modernist and very particular with specific modern design and teaching.

Source: bc.edu

Source: bauhausgraphics

This shows the typical style of design which came out of the Bauhaus. Everything had a purpose, and form followed function, which isn't the case with Fine Art.
Bauhaus 1919-1933
This is a very good example of The New Typography, the 1920s movement in graphic design that was promoted at the Bauhaus. Even though this poster was designed eighty years later in 2002, it shows the New Typography principles of asymmetry and grid layout. Note the alignments of text, the reversals of letters and numbers, and the contrast of type size and colour. These features create movement and energy – the eye moves freely around the design.
Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau 1998

Fine Art has been developed over the years, moving from solely painting developing to sculpture, glass, jewellery, etc.

Ansman, M. (2003) 'Is there a fine art to illustration?'
1. Fine Art is pure
2. Illustration is the beginning of selling out
3. Graphic Design is Commercial Art
4. Advertising is selling - period.

The above is flawed and based on the stereotypes which are associated with, art, illustration, graphic design and advertising.

Art VS Graphic Design:

- Ambiguity of complexity of meaning - context, concept
- Designer as a wage labourer
- Cultural Significance
- Expression and Individuality
- Creativity/Problem solving within the design
- Function of the work
- When working as a Graphic Designer you are working for someone else, following a brief, so some think it is not as creative as Fine Artists.

This painting is an example of a painting from the 19th century, during the Romantic Era, within art, deco and lifestyle. This painting shows his life as a tired poet, struggling to get heard, until he drinks poison and dies.
Van Gogh was another artist, who's work wasn't noticed until he had died. He lived off his brother for many years, living the lifestyle of a stereotypical artist. His later works went on to value and sell at around $82m. Photo Source: pictify Henry Wallis, Chatterton, 1856.

Damien Hurst however has managed to become even more successful than Van Gogh at present day, whilst he is still producing work. He is most noted for his "dot paintings" which he started producing in 1986 up until 2011. He produced the worlds most expensive piece of art, a diamond encrusted skull, which is valued at around £55m.

Source: arrestedmotion

There are 247 dot paintings which have been authentically produced.

Source: iainclaridge

Hurst is well known for his iconic pieces and bold statements which are conveyed through his work, such as the shark tank, being a 'depiction of life and death'.

The skull however, is entitled For the Love of God, and was encrusted by a jewellers in London. The skull structure is made out of solid platinum. It is now on display at the Turbine Hall, for the public to view, but hasn't been back in the UK since it's opening exhibition in 2007.

Cultural Significance:

Certain cultural events such as the Jazz phase in the 19070s were more dominant at the time than they are now, and may not be relevant at present day. Significance to a particular time period is important and can determine the cultural significance and shift in societies social paths at the time it was produced, and relevance can then be seen and interpreted, for example propaganda posters.

Monetary Value:

Fine Art sold at auction houses such as Sotheby's in NYC, for up to $82.5m such as Van Gogh's portrait of Gachet. However, street art is coming up close with how much monetary value paintings are being sold at. Banksy is known for selling his pieces there for several million dollars.

Expression and Individuality:

This is an Abstract Expressionism oil painting by Jackson Pollock. His work is seen to portray anger and emotion through brush strokes and the dynamics of the painting. It has flow and movement throughout, and is clearly expressive.