Graphic design questions


Bigfootuk

New Member
Hello all,

I have a couple of questions which I have mulled over and wonder what other people thought.

Im my time in the design community I have come across designers and artworkers.

Is there a difference between an artworker and a graphic designer and if so what is it?

Second question is if you are passionate about something does it mean you do it day and night,
does it mean you do it as often as possible or does it mean when you are able to do it then you enjoy it
even of it is for a short duration of time?

For example you may meet an accountant whose day job is accounting but is passionate about logo design and does it at the weekend.

Anyone have any thoughts on these queries of mine?
 

sprout

Active Member
The difference between a designer and an art worker, is not a million miles away from a chef and a cook, an architect and a builder.

As to your passion question. No, I don‘t believe you can be an accountant in the day and a graphic designer at nights and weekends. If it’s your passion, you‘d have no choice but to follow it. You can be passionate, but it can’t be your life passion. For example, I am a designer. I knew I wanted to be one from a very early age. I am all obsessed and passionate about bass guitar. I played in a semi pro band for a while, but at that point of throwing all in and going for it, I went with design. I still play in a band. I have too many basses than is healthy. Love it. I am passionate about it, but my life’s passion is design. Music comes a very close second though.

I think it is healthy to have other things you are passionate about, but if design were your life’s great passion, you’d be doing it all day. You’d have no choice.

That’s my take. I sure others may differ, but I can only talk for myself.
 

Bigfootuk

New Member
I think the difference between an artworker and designer is an artworker takes scamps or pre-existing layouts and artworks them up on the computer.
All the images and fonts are decided for them already.

A designer is able to choose the fonts, images and also makes artwork up on the computer too.

The "passionate' question is something I have thought about for years now due to a remark said to me years ago by an arrogant manager at a former company.
 

Wardy

Well-Known Member
An artworker can be a designer too, and vice versa. If you're freelance, you have to be able to do everything of course. I presume it's still the same that if you're a junior
graphic designer, you're going to get a lot of artwork to do, but that's not to denigrate it as a job, it can be very skilled. When I started out at a design company there were two
very experienced women who did all the artwork, but we never looked down on them and they were most likely paid more than me too.

As to being passionate about something, I've always thought that too strong a word. I've always been able to draw from a young age and I've been lucky that I've made
a career from it. But am I 'passionate' about it, no I don't think so. If someone is telling you that you need to be passionate about your job, they're wrong I think. You have to be
interested enough to want to improve yourself and to read books about the subject for instance, but passion is more for something you do in your spare time that you
do just for fun, like Sprout says.
 
Good questions!

In answer to your first question, I was always told Graphic Design is more about problem solving than the art aspect of things. But maybe it's subjective? I think Graphic Design is art!

And the second question; I think as long as your heart is in something, then it's a passion. For example; my day job, I couldn't careless about it, I don't care if I do well, I'm not interested in the runnings of the business, it's literally something I tolerate doing in order to get some form of income. I know this sounds horrible, but it's just not what I want to do and I get next to no job satisfaction.

Whereas, designing is something I absolutely love. I want to be the best I can, I want to put in the hours and improve and it's something I take pride in.
 

Bigfootuk

New Member
Thanks Wardy. I have been a designer and an artworker. When I was an artworker for a large company I got treated really, really badly and was looked down upon. So too were the other artworkers. So badly treated was I that it affected my confidence for years afterwards.

I do not think you need to be passionate about something to enjoy doing it.

I was told years ago when I was an artworker at the same large company by an arrogant manager that I was not passionate about graphic design.

Even though I had degree in graphic design and had worked for four different companies by that point and had worked for several blue chip clients and household brands, I was told by this arrogant manager that I had no passion for graphic design.

Often since then I have mulled over about what it is to be passionate about something and the implications of it,
such as whether to say that you are passionate about something is an affirmation that you enjoy doing it.
 

Bigfootuk

New Member
AJ Peacock,

I agree. I think Graphic Design is a type of art also. You both artwork things up and you produce artwork. But it is also about problem solving too.
I remember Andy Warhol's canned soup artwork. Surely that is graphic design and hangs up on the walls of museums and private houses.
Surely that classifies as a piece of art.
 
AJ Peacock,

I agree. I think Graphic Design is a type of art also. You both artwork things up and you produce artwork. But it is also about problem solving too.
I remember Andy Warhol's canned soup artwork. Surely that is graphic design and hangs up on the walls of museums and private houses.
Surely that classifies as a piece of art.
Exactly!
And I think if a banana duct taped to the wall can be classed as art, then who is anyone to say Graphic Design isn't art? Haha.
 

sprout

Active Member
Exactly!
And I think if a banana duct taped to the wall can be classed as art, then who is anyone to say Graphic Design isn't art? Haha.
Sorry, but I strongly disagree. Graphic Design is never art. It’s all about motivation. Art is all about emotional expression. Design is about visually communicating someonee’s ideas or thoughts To solve problem.

Of course you can have graphic arts. Warhol’s cans are not graphic design. They are art that happen to use a graphic style as this is relevant to the point Warhol is making. They are not graphic design. They are one man’s emotional expression. The original cans are not art. They are packaging. Design’s purpose is to solve a problem. It’s a subtle difference, but a hugely important one.

if you want to be a designer,suspend your artistic ego. Your job is to be a conduit. By all means create art in your free time, but don’t mix the two things up. They are very different beasts.
 
Sorry, but I strongly disagree. Graphic Design is never art. It’s all about motivation. Art is all about emotional expression. Design is about visually communicating someonee’s ideas or thoughts To solve problem.

Of course you can have graphic arts. Warhol’s cans are not graphic design. They are art that happen to use a graphic style as this is relevant to the point Warhol is making. They are not graphic design. They are one man’s emotional expression. The original cans are not art. They are packaging. Design’s purpose is to solve a problem. It’s a subtle difference, but a hugely important one.

if you want to be a designer,suspend your artistic ego. Your job is to be a conduit. By all means create art in your free time, but don’t mix the two things up. They are very different beasts.
Totally respect your opinion but I do genuinely think it's subjective. I will always consider Graphic Design art; I've seen some absolutely beautiful pieces that have served as something functional but also as a stand alone piece that's just aesthetically pleasing. A Graphic Designer, to me is an artist, or at very least, a creative.

What some might consider art, others may not; for example, fashion. Personally for me, I don't consider fashion to be art, but I'm sure others would disagree, particularly the designers, and that's ok.
Same with the work by Jackson Pollock. Some think he's a fantastic, expressive artist, others think his work is a disorganised mess that anyone can do.

I think it's more about how you feel when you're creating something, rather than what others believe. If someone tells me that they consider themselves to be an artist, then who would I be to tell them otherwise?

Of course this is just my opinion, I don't expect anyone else to feel the same, but I see where you're coming from too!
Sorry, but I strongly disagree. Graphic Design is never art. It’s all about motivation. Art is all about emotional expression. Design is about visually communicating someonee’s ideas or thoughts To solve problem.

Of course you can have graphic arts. Warhol’s cans are not graphic design. They are art that happen to use a graphic style as this is relevant to the point Warhol is making. They are not graphic design. They are one man’s emotional expression. The original cans are not art. They are packaging. Design’s purpose is to solve a problem. It’s a subtle difference, but a hugely important one.

if you want to be a designer,suspend your artistic ego. Your job is to be a conduit. By all means create art in your free time, but don’t mix the two things up. They are very different beasts.
Totally respect your opinion but I do genuinely think it's subjective. I will always consider Graphic Design art; I've seen some absolutely beautiful pieces that have served as something functional but also as a stand alone piece that's just aesthetically pleasing. A Graphic Designer, to me is an artist, or at very least, a creative.

What some might consider art, others may not; for example, fashion. Personally for me, I don't consider fashion to be art, but I'm sure others would disagree, particularly the designers, and that's ok.
Same with the work by Jackson Pollock. Some think he's a fantastic, expressive artist, others think his work is a disorganised mess that anyone can do.

I think it's more about how you feel when you're creating something, rather than what others believe. If someone tells me that they consider themselves to be an artist, then who would I be to tell them otherwise?

Of course this is just my opinion, I don't expect anyone else to feel the same, but I see where you're coming from too! :)
 

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
I've worked as both Designer and Artworker.

Back when I was an Artworker I worked at a printers and we had quite a few large design agencies as clients.
They would sent in the "artwork" for printing and I had to fix it.

Usual stuff was converting images for the rip, locating missing fonts/images, adding bleed, crop/registration marks, pagination and all the other stuff that they should have known about and how to do it themselves.
Mostly what they did on screen looked okay but was no good for print.
Even though I would fix their dodgy artwork, I felt they really looked down on me.

I'd do a lot of design myself for other (non agency) clients and also do my own design projects and illustration in my own time as this was my passion so to answer your second question, it's a yes from me.

I went on to become a Designer, Illustrator and Animator so I combine my passion and career I guess?
 

Bigfootuk

New Member
Sorry, but I strongly disagree. Graphic Design is never art.
Respect your opinion too.
However the American graphic designer Milton Glaser who designed the iconic 'I love NY logo' which was done in the late 1970s,
and which was adopted by New York after the 9/11 attacks.
His original drawing for that logo is now in the Manhattan museum of art.!!
 

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
In my opinion, the Pop Art movement blurred the lines between design and art in a very similar to the way Banksy did the same with graffiti and art.

For many years it was almost accepted across the board that Pop Art wasn't really art and this was very much the case at the time.
Pop Artists were often branded as charlatans by the art community.
Andy Warhol was a very accomplished Graphic Designer before he ever got into the art scene and he also used mass production for his pieces.
Designer or Artist?

I know a lot of artists that are awesome designers and the other way around too.

It's all a matter of subjectivity.
 

Bigfootuk

New Member
I've worked as both Designer and Artworker.

Back when I was an Artworker I worked at a printers and we had quite a few large design agencies as clients.
They would sent in the "artwork" for printing and I had to fix it.

Usual stuff was converting images for the rip, locating missing fonts/images, adding bleed, crop/registration marks, pagination and all the other stuff that they should have known about and how to do it themselves.
Mostly what they did on screen looked okay but was no good for print.
Even though I would fix their dodgy artwork, I felt they really looked down on me.

I'd do a lot of design myself for other (non agency) clients and also do my own design projects and illustration in my own time as this was my passion so to answer your second question, it's a yes from me.

I went on to become a Designer, Illustrator and Animator so I combine my passion and career I guess?
Thanks for your reply Scotty.
I was an artworker at a large company and worked with designers who were told by management that they did not know anything about typography and who were told their layouts were not good by customer focus groups, and yet the designers treated me and other artworkers very badly even though we had years more experience than them.

I too have worked at a printers. Quite astonishing the things designers do not do properly when sending stuff into a printers.
We had artwork in from designers who were unaware of even making proper blacks and instead would make a black using CMYK values.
 

Bigfootuk

New Member
In my opinion, the Pop Art movement blurred the lines between design and art in a very similar to the way Banksy did the same with graffiti and art.

For many years it was almost accepted across the board that Pop Art wasn't really art and this was very much the case at the time.
Pop Artists were often branded as charlatans by the art community.
Andy Warhol was a very accomplished Graphic Designer before he ever got into the art scene and he also used mass production for his pieces.
Designer or Artist?

I know a lot of artists that are awesome designers and the other way around too.

It's all a matter of subjectivity.
I agree. The pop art era blurred the line between art and graphic design. David Hockney using his fax machine to create pieces of artwork.
I could not tell you if that is art or graphic design!
 

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
Thanks for your reply Scotty.
I was an artworker at a large company and worked with designers who were told by management that they did not know anything about typography and who were told their layouts were not good by customer focus groups, and yet the designers treated me and other artworkers very badly even though we had years more experience than them.

I too have worked at a printers. Quite astonishing the things designers do not do properly when sending stuff into a printers.
We had artwork in from designers who were unaware of even making proper blacks and instead would make a black using CMYK values.
Totally!

I remember having to explain what bleed was and why it was needed to a "Designer" FFS! :O
I mean...we all make mistakes but Designers from award winning agencies not even knowing how to set a document up for print...REALLY?

I recall some of them being pretty condescending and rude to me as an Artworker even though I knew more than them.
I used to quite enjoy ringing them up to point out their errors and ask if they wanted me to fix them. :)
"Oh...and you've forgot the crop marks again" whilst sticking the rods up at the mouth piece.
 

Bigfootuk

New Member
Totally!

I remember having to explain what bleed was and why it was needed to a "Designer" FFS! :O
I mean...we all make mistakes but Designers from award winning agencies not even knowing how to set a document up for print...REALLY?

I recall some of them being pretty condescending and rude to me as an Artworker even though I knew more than them.
I used to quite enjoy ringing them up to point out their errors and ask if they wanted me to fix them. :)
"Oh...and you've forgot the crop marks again" whilst sticking the rods up at the mouth piece.
It's good to know it is not just me who as an artworker has come across arrogant designers.
I've had files received where all the fonts and images are missing, or the document is not at the wrong size,
where colours are in LAB or RGB, etc

I'd like to stick the rods up at a couple of designers from years ago who I worked with who were told their layouts were not liked
by the customer, that they could not do the typography by the department head and yet were two of the most arrogant, conceited,
egotistical people I have come across in the workplace and both went onto become design management.!

Used to put me and other artworkers down all the time. It's only until recently my liking for graphic design has been rekindled.
 

sprout

Active Member
Totally respect your opinion but I do genuinely think it's subjective. I will always consider Graphic Design art; I've seen some absolutely beautiful pieces that have served as something functional but also as a stand alone piece that's just aesthetically pleasing. A Graphic Designer, to me is an artist, or at very least, a creative.

What some might consider art, others may not; for example, fashion. Personally for me, I don't consider fashion to be art, but I'm sure others would disagree, particularly the designers, and that's ok.
Same with the work by Jackson Pollock. Some think he's a fantastic, expressive artist, others think his work is a disorganised mess that anyone can do.

I think it's more about how you feel when you're creating something, rather than what others believe. If someone tells me that they consider themselves to be an artist, then who would I be to tell them otherwise?

Of course this is just my opinion, I don't expect anyone else to feel the same, but I see where you're coming from too!
Sorry, but there is a very simple division between the two. That is not to say that a Graphic Designer cannot produce works of art. Of course they can (Warhol, as Scotty says, is the perfect example). Equally, a piece of commissioned graphic design can be creative, exciting, beautiful, provocative, etc, but… if a piece of work is commissioned by a client to solve a problem by a graphic designer. The end result cannot be art. It can be artistic, but it cannot be art. If a graphic designer wishes to respond to any sort of impetus in a self-motivated way, then what they produce can be considered art, no matter how hard-edge and graphic it is. For me it is not a matter of subjectivity. It is a matter of motivation.

For example, at the moment I am designing some trade books. They are huge amounts of fun to do. I am using all my aesthetic sensibilities, experience and knowledge to make the design of them reflect and be relevant to the books’ subjects. However, I am working for a publisher who is publishing these books written by authors. This is not about my own artistic expression. It is about me doing the best I can to communicate the author’s words in the most interesting way I can so that it imparts that information as interestingly and clearly as possible to anyone who wants to read the book. It is not art. If I choose to design and produce a book about something that inspires me, annoys me, disgusts me, because I feel moved enough to do so. That book could be considered art.
 
Sorry, but there is a very simple division between the two. That is not to say that a Graphic Designer cannot produce works of art. Of course they can (Warhol, as Scotty says, is the perfect example). Equally, a piece of commissioned graphic design can be creative, exciting, beautiful, provocative, etc, but… if a piece of work is commissioned by a client to solve a problem by a graphic designer. The end result cannot be art. It can be artistic, but it cannot be art. If a graphic designer wishes to respond to any sort of impetus in a self-motivated way, then what they produce can be considered art, no matter how hard-edge and graphic it is. For me it is not a matter of subjectivity. It is a matter of motivation.

For example, at the moment I am designing some trade books. They are huge amounts of fun to do. I am using all my aesthetic sensibilities, experience and knowledge to make the design of them reflect and be relevant to the books’ subjects. However, I am working for a publisher who is publishing these books written by authors. This is not about my own artistic expression. It is about me doing the best I can to communicate the author’s words in the most interesting way I can so that it imparts that information as interestingly and clearly as possible to anyone who wants to read the book. It is not art. If I choose to design and produce a book about something that inspires me, annoys me, disgusts me, because I feel moved enough to do so. That book could be considered art.
I'm not saying all Graphic Design can and should be seen as art. For example: infographics; they're quite obviously a functional piece and designed to serve a practical purpose. But I've certainly seen some pieces that, when taken out of context can be quite a successful and beautiful piece of art.

We'll just have to agree to disagree on this, I think.
 
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