What’s the Difference Between Art and Design?

The difference between art and style has long been a running debate. The Master of Digital Media program draws on both artistic skills and style skills but how can we define the two?

Here are some MDM students’ thoughts about the difference between art and style.

1. Art is About Internal Constraints and style is about External Constraints.
“One of the clear differences between art and style is where the constraints of a project are derived. Art usually is generated by a collection of self-imposed constraints. As in, ‘I’m really curious about owls, Lithuanian mythology and woodwork, wonder what I can create?’ As against a designer asking ‘So Italians have this manner of creating coffee and folks seem to love sitting in cafes to leisurely sip coffee, how can we create a restaurant culture in North American and make heaps of money?’

The difference is not only that one is about commerce but, more importantly, the planning example is clearly supported external constraints.

To me, the talk is interesting to not draw lines between people who identify as artists and designers but more to grasp that the difference relies on the project and not the person. the excellence is very important because I feel Designers can create art and Artists can create designs.”—Haig Armen

2. Art is Experience-Driven and style is Solution-Driven.
“Art comes from our external and internal experiences. Art may be a projection of what you experience, how you view the planet, and what you would like to vocalize.”—Maria Khan

3. Art is way Left and style is much Right.
“I agree though, that art leans toward, in some ways, no-compromise self-expression, and style is mostly a few universal attitudes towards aesthetics and inventive expression. I’ve got this habit of placing ideas during a spectrum, and during this case, art is way left and style is much right, and somewhere within the middle incorporates both art and style aspects. One creative piece, as an example, can show both aspects of art and style but may lean more towards design, which in this case could also be seen as a design object instead of an objet d’art.”—Jessie Altura