What Makes Graphic Design Different From Art?

What is the difference between graphic design and art anyway? An essential skill for graphic designers or digital media artists is the ability to describe ones design decisions using formal language, referencing what are known as “design principles and elements.”

Elements include line, shape, color, texture and composition, and principles include  balance, repetition, scale, emphasis, repetition and unity.

While art is appreciated solely based on its form (or the organization and manipulation of design elements), design happens when art meets function. Digital media and graphic designers are skilled at organizing the aforementioned design elements in order to engage and audience, and communicate an idea, or sell a product or service.


Here on the FIDMDigitalArts.com Blog, we get inspired every day by amazing examples of art, graphic design and digital media. Today’s inspiration comes from a firm called Young & Laramore which created these dynamic print ads for Brizo, a premium faucet brand which are activated by touch. In these ads, the designers combined colorful, collage illustrations that appear to interact directly with photographs of the Brizo products to create a feeling of luxury and quality. The eye-catching print ads incorporate playful messages such as “It began with a Touch,” which help to enhance the feeling of whimsy created by the overall composition. These ads were part of a larger campaign that included online, video and billboard displays, and we think they make for an interesting and memorable piece of graphic design.

Credits include:

Mira Nameth, Erin Petson, Raphael, Mikael Kangas and Gabriel Moreno- Artists

Uriaha Foust- Art Director

Scott King- Writer

Trevor Williams- Associate Creative Director

Carolyn Hadlock- Creative Director.

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Author: Mani O'Brien

Mani O’Brien is the Online Editor for the FIDMDigitalArts Blog and the Social Media Marketing Manager for FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in print journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communications at Arizona State University in 2006, and Associate of Arts degree in Graphic Design (Professional Designation) at FIDM in 2010. When she’s not brainstorming social media marketing ideas or writing about the graphic design and digital media, she enjoys practicing yoga, reading magazines, and hanging out with friends and family in Los Angeles.

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