Graphic designers and artists both create visuals for the masses. While the two disciplines have some similarities, they are quite different. Learn the differences between graphic design and art. Then you will understand why graphic design is important for your business.


Artists and graphic designers begin with inspiration. For the artist, the inspiration is personal. It can come from a mood, the way the light hits the water, or anything else that the artist feels or sees. Once the artist is inspired, he or she creates a work of art. This is subjective.

Graphic designers are inspired in a different way. The inspiration comes from the brand’s message. Graphic designers must use objectivity when creating designs. Graphic designers analyze the brand’s message, data, and hard facts when creating designs. While there are artistic elements in the design, the process is objective.



When comparing graphic design and art, one must also consider the intent. Picture an artist standing at a canvas, working feverishly to create a piece of art. The artist intends to inspire an emotional response. That emotional response might cause people to buy the art, but that is secondary.

A graphic designer, on the other hand, uses art to communicate the brand’s message. The art is used to cause people to take action, such as buying a product or signing up for an email list.



World-renowned works of art rarely communicate a straightforward message. Art historians and enthusiasts spend generations detecting the meanings behind the works. Take Michelangelo’s masterpiece on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. At first glance, it looks like a religious work, but many speculate that it means much more than that. Some doctors have even claimed to find the human nervous system depicted in the masterpiece.

That’s what great art does. It makes people think. The message it communicates depends on the person viewing the art. People see different things when looking at art.

Graphic design communicates a clear message, though. The designer determines what the design should communicate and then creates it, so it does just that. If people interpret a graphic design differently, the designer has failed. Good graphic design doesn’t stimulate debate about meaning. Instead, it communicates the message clearly, albeit beautifully.


Talent Vs. Skill

You also need to consider the talent or skill used to create art and graphic designs. The best artists have a natural ability to craft works of art. They might require additional training, but their abilities can be traced back to that natural talent. They were born with a talent that they can use to inspire the messages.

Graphic design is not just a talent. It’s a skill that must be learned. The best graphic designers spend years honing their skills so they can make use of texture, colors, and messaging when creating graphic designs.

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Graphic Design – The Key to Your Business

People are fortunate that there is so much gorgeous and thought-provoking art in the world. Art is great to explore during your downtime, but when it comes to helping your company succeed, graphic design is a must. Unless you have the skill set necessary for graphic design, you’ll find yourself hitting one roadblock after the next.

Related Post: How to Choose a Designer Whose Style Matches Yours

Make the process a breeze by contacting Ironmark. Schedule a chat with our creative experts to get the ball rolling.


Written by Lynne Kingsley

Lynne Kingsley oversees the digital marketing client services team as well as the marketing strategy division for the company. Since joining the company in 2016, she has increased Ironmark’s digital presence by over 700%, establishing a new lead generation mechanism for the sales team. A certified inbound marketing professional and HubSpot agency partner, Kingsley has been helping companies transform their marketing function into fully diverse and streamlined growth engines since 2003. With agency and client-side work under her belt, Kingsley’s strategic experience spans both the B2B and B2C sectors. Prior to joining the Ironmark team, she served as in-house marketing director for several non-profit organizations. Kingsley is an honors graduate of the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University.
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