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Re: Are Graphic Design Students Art Students?

As a fresh new graphic design student, a debate surrounding graphic design has become unavoidable. Everyone seems to have an opinon of whether someone studying graphic design is an art major or a design major. In a recently published article on the debate, it states: “Art by definition is as follows: the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in the form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.”

The key focus being the most significant difference is that graphic design is primarily based in function compared to other majors that are based in expression.

In contrast, as a graphic design student I feel there is a strong overlap within these two fields. The entirety of what I create involves how I prefer to express myself and the projects that are assigned to me. I think that this is replicated for most of my fellow graphic interior designers. Furthermore, if it’s viewed that we create purely for function then it would eliminate most creativity within our works.

 Functionality in art of course is not always necessary, but there would be no signage, poster, ads or other colorful elements that flash by throughout our day.

Looking into it more, most ‘design’ students take similar prerequisites that any art major take; many which branch off into a chosen aspect that they would like to further. In this, many find that there are aspects of the more expressive field that they would like to continue to pursue throughout their time in college. If they don’t, that is truly a matter of personal choice.

To conclude, I would like to take a final stance of looking at design in a similar artistic principle…composition.  A good composition is a piece that encompasses many of the elements of art and principles of design. Leading the idea that a design and composition can be viewed in a similar light as a well worked canvas, that need combined elements to create a truly eye-catching piece.

At the end of the day, we’re obviously art students. Anyone who tells you differently is completely misguided. 

Skyler Wolff

UW Stout '23

Class of '23 Graphic Design and Interactive Media Major Lover of the Arts, Music, and Cats
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