Argumentative Essay: Whether Graphic Design Should Be Considered A Fine Art

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The designer left commercialism for art, and all the artist seemed angry. Art is a subject we all know well, everyone has their own version of art and what it means to them. Despite the fact that graphic design and fine art are different professions; graphic design should be considered a fine art. Art and design are closely related, regardless of the small differences in the genres.

Moreover, art is about perception. Graphic design is an art form of its own. Art Chantry is the author of “A Post-Modern Manifesto”; he is a graphic designer best known for his work with posters, album covers, and independent companies. Chantry writes in his work about how graphic design is often treated as “a necessary evil” to art teachers; however, designer language is the most revolutionary and relevant language that will ever exist. Chantry states, “Design IS a language, yes. It's language of line and color and shape and texture and iconography and on and on.” (Chantry 2). Those who disagree will state that graphic design is not art because “design” is different than art. Craig Elimeliah VML's Director of Creative Technology and author of “Art vs Design” states, “The word “design” lends itself to a hint that someone or something has carefully created this “thing” and much planning and thought has been executed to produce the imagery or materials used for the project.” The way Elimeliah uses the term “design” is in a condescending manner, this may make one think that the designer is not meant to explore art. Some on this side of the debate believe that designer art is exactly the same as commercial art. Commercial art, art you see on billboards and signs, are sometimes left to what the designer wants to make of it as long as it can relate and communicate the clients ideas; designer art can hit very close to this without meaning to. They also declare, design as working off of ideas that already exists, and art as working on ideas you want or you feel needs to be put out there. To those who argue this, designer art is spoken about contemptuously, and is never looked at respectfully.

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Still, I believe that digital art is still in its infancy. Despite what seems an enormous amount of progress in computer hardware, general computing and even the computing available to most design studios is just not fast enough to easily reproduce art on the scale and level of detail possible with traditional media. Go to any national gallery, and you will see works on an enormous scale. Try reproducing a 10-foot canvas with the resolution of a hand-painted work of art in a 3-D program, and you’ll find it can’t cope. In fact, most programs will struggle to render a detailed picture at, say, 300 DPI at just A4 size.

Designer art is its own embodiment of art, it is different yet it accomplishes the same idea. Artists have advantages over designers in some aspects, however designers can have an advantage too because as Poynor does point out that graphic design and art go to the same place but come from different directions. Elimeliah contradicts his own argument when he states, “any good artist should convey a message or inspire an emotion it doesn't have to adhere to any specific rules, the artist is creating his own rules.” Art is all different, it all depends on how you make others feel or what you make them think; and the possibility of changing the mind to contemplate ideas it has never considered.

Another issue, that has been addressed by artists and designers alike, is that more people have been refusing to pay a graphic designer because they now have the software capable to do it themselves. Now software has been “made easier” for anyone to do it and “save money” by not hiring designers. Others who are inexperienced in graphic design have given a bad name to those who are professionals. According to Steven Heller, a co-contributor to the article “The D.I.Y. Debate”; and co-founder and co-chair of the MFA Designer as Author program at the School of Visual Arts, New York, “By making our work so easy to do, we are devaluing our profession. I like democracy as much as the next person, but because of new technologies, the definition of “amateur” in fields like graphic design, photography, film and music, among others, is being redefined. With everything so democratic, we can lose the elite status that gives us credibility.” In the past graphic designers have “hidden” their methods of design, now with the ability for anyone to have design at the tip of their fingertips, more designers could suffer. My discussion of graphic design is in fact addressing the larger matter that graphic designers have “put themselves out of business”, because they have demanded respect but not showed why they deserve it. Others who disagree claim it is good that the public is exposed to this type of creating it brings a newfound appreciation for designers. When people experience first-hand how complex and precise graphic design can be, they will truly be able to understand the work that goes into it.

Although I concede that exposing design is good for the public to understand how complex it is, I cannot agree upon the fact that it will completely help the field of graphic design. Thus far, many designers have struggled because of the “do-it-yourself trend” and the hiring of non-professionals because it is cheaper. According to Chantry, “The end result is that we, as a culture, have instinctively eliminated the ‘designer class.’ The star system of our own making has made us useless in the onslaught of new technology that makes the tools of our trade accessible and even easy for anybody to use…” More people have been refusing to pay a graphic designer because they now have the software capable to do it themselves. Now software has been “made easier” for anyone to do it and “save money” by not hiring designers.

Furthermore, a person should get a degree to become a graphic designer. Encouraging education and understanding of this job, helps people to realize there really is a difference between professional and ametuer work; still it creates a greater appreciation and more traffic into the field. Without the proper education people who spend money on graphic designers believing they are professionals, when really they are not, causes those people to lose money and trust for “professional” designers. Others may disagree that people need to get a degree in graphic design, and that the way others found they were interested by experimenting with fonts and editing images in a program like photoshop. They would claim that if there are other ways to become a designer through software companies, a person does not need a degree. Ellen Lupton, the writer and co-contributor to “The D.I.Y. Debate” states, the director of the MFA program in graphic design at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, “ Desktop publishing didn’t wipe out graphic design; in fact, the field got bigger...People became more educated about design by playing around (and working) with fonts and computers.”

Though I do agree, many people find their interest in graphic design in this way, , however, cannot agree that people should be a designer because they use a special software. These people are not trained properly and because of this they can do “messy” jobs and put many designers at risk of not being hired. Heller puts it in these words, “....because of new technologies, the definition of “amateur” in fields like graphic design, photography, film and music, among others, is being redefined. With everything so democratic, we can lose the elite status that gives us credibility.” Not all people are just “experimenting” with fonts and pictures, some people are buying software and “working” as graphic designers who have no idea what they are doing. This can put the careers of artists and designers equally at risk. Although this may seem of concern to only a small group of designers and artists, it should certainly concern anyone who cares about design and art.

This debate not only important to graphic designers and artists, but this is for anyone who wants to know more about art and design, and how they both have shaped our culture and society. Art can only be defined by the perspective of the person who looks at the work. An example would be how a painting can stir up different emotions in everyone. Your perspective on art and what it means can be different too. Art is about perception, and anything can be art as if you believe it is; as long an idea creates emotion, stands for something, and sheds light on a new perspective, it can be art. Many people who work in art or design may tend to go back and forth between said genres. Ergo they may really not be as different as they seem.

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Argumentative Essay: Whether Graphic Design Should Be Considered A Fine Art. (2022, December 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 22, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/argumentative-essay-whether-graphic-design-should-be-considered-a-fine-art/
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Argumentative Essay: Whether Graphic Design Should Be Considered A Fine Art [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Dec 27 [cited 2024 Jun 22]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/argumentative-essay-whether-graphic-design-should-be-considered-a-fine-art/
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