Graphic Art vs. Graphic Design

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On this website and all over the internet there is a lot of talk about graphic art and the term graphic design is mentioned a great deal too.  Many people ask what each of those two terms mean and if they mean the same thing.  The phrase "what is graphic art?" was searched for 550,000 times for the month of Dec, 2012 globally according to google and the term "what is graphic design?" was searched for 2,740,000 times.  So, if you were wondering the same thing you are certainly not alone, not by a long shot. This article is meant to clarify how we define and use both of those terms here on

What Is Graphic Art?

Graphic art, both 2d and 3d, is your creation of any type of artwork that you want to make. When we refer to it on this website it is usually art that you create or enhance with the assistance of a computer. Your graphic art can be people, places, text, animals, abstract images, lights, fire, just about anything you want with no specified limitations.  Just to be complicated we also sometimes refer to this as digital art.  Think of it as your freedom to create whatever type of art you feel like for whatever purpose you want. Some examples of graphic art are the images you see throughout this website. 

What Is Graphic Design?

Graphic design is the term we use when we refer to an art project with specific requirements, parameters and purposes. There are limitations to colors, sizes, fonts, shapes and so on.  For example a wedding photography company may ask you to design a logo for them that must be 250x250 square using only blue and silver colors with a classic style font and their website address included on it as well as an image of a camera on a tripod.  Upon completion of that companies request you have made a graphic design.  A graphic design can incorporate elements of graphic art and they usually do.  For example, you may create special images and objects that are then used on a magazine cover.  Your images and objects are your graphic art and the finished magazine cover is a graphic design. 

This is by no means a complete or technical definition, but it is intended to give a simple understanding of how we differentiate the two terms.  It is important not to get too caught up in definitions, but we do want to help anyone who felt that they needed clarification on these terms and according to google it was over 3 million people last month alone.  Hope this helps.

If you like plain talk about graphic art and are interested in learning, sharing or helping other artists, then be sure to connect with us on google+ and we will be sure to welcome you as an important part of our growing community.