Skip to content

‘Art’s Little Brother’

by Rick Poynor.


“A key issue to keep in mind … is that all art is designed even if it endeavours to appear otherwise,” – Alex Coles

  • I think this is a great quote concerning design and art in general. Things always have some sort of design behind them and were created by a designer whether you may not initially think so or not. As a growing artist and designers who’s continuing to learn, I try to look at everything through a designer’s perspective and I really surprise myself sometimes when I realize that the smallest, most common things that you barely even notice on a daily basis (doors, hallways, stickers, streets, cars, etc.) were designed by somebody and had a lot of thought but into them, even though it is second nature for us to kind of be numb to that fact…

“The established positions of art and design in the cultural hierarchy go unchallenged.”

  • This is interesting to me… seemingly, no matter how much people argue that art and design are so tightly correlated, everyone accepts the fact that they are separated… This makes me wonder if it’s because art critics and people who aren’t strictly in the field of design continue to separate it, or if the designers themselves want to keep it separated…

“… Collings suggests that the essential difference between design and art is that design has function while art has mystery…”

  • To an extent  I’d agree with that, but I’d also have to disagree.. I think design most definitely can be mysterious. Whether it’s a building facade, a chair, or a a company logo, I think the mystery all lies behind the ‘How Did They Do That?’, ‘Why Did They Do It That Way?’ thoughts.. The process of design, I believe, is the mystery… as stated further in the piece – “The mystery comes from the way that our expectations of form’s conventional possibilities and limits are overturned. The sensory, intellectual and emotional satisfactions they offer as pieces to look at, think about and react to – as well as to use – are akin to the experience of sculpture.” (I guess they worded it better than me!)

“We seek retinal pleasure, things to run our eyes over, colours, lines, textures and shapes to explore and inhabit, and design has no hesitation in supplying these experiences. Design is becoming more elaborately layered, more spectacular, more pervasive in our lives. Design, rather than art, is foremost now in embodying the visual spirit of the age.”

  • Self-explanatory 🙂 Great explanation to the importance of design in our modern world and it’s impact…


“If art is so important to our social, mental and spiritual well-being, why should we keep them apart?”


Posted by Amanda Fairchild on January 17, 2013
1 Comment
  1. 01/18/2013
    Darryl Shreve


Comments are closed.