Art, Architecture, Design & Travel

Art vs Design, The Similarities And Differences

A well-executed design project is always artful. 

Every project is created by design. It is thought out, analyzed and finally, designed and executed.

But is every design project also a work of art? How similar (or different) are the processes and results? You may find that every designer or artist has a different definition.

I am a designer. I solve problems everyday by putting together bits into a final product that showcases information in a visual way.

I am not an artist. But I can draw and I can generally sketch and paint too...

But there are some days where the work I do, is considered more than just an image on the screen or page. Someone calls it a work of art and this did get me thinking. Am I both a designer and an artist?

To me, art and design each have a set of defining characteristics. And then there are all those things in between – projects and pieces that seem to exemplify both. This I call “artistic design.” And it is that grey area where I would say most of the work by  designers is classified.

So, what are the characteristics of Art?

  1. Art has an emotional context.
  2. Art sparks questions (sometimes without answers) in those who look at it.
  3. Art has varied meanings that can be different based on a person’s experiences and emotions.
  4. Artistic ability is a talent that a person is born with. It can be cultivated and refined but part of the ability is innate.
  5. Art is created for the artist. Much of an artist’s work is created and then displayed or sold. The process is free-flowing and organic.
  6. Art is often an individual sport.
  7. Art has meaning but is seldom usable.
And what are the characteristics of Design ?

  1. Design must be comprehended and understood.
  2. Design projects aim to solve problems or provide information.
  3. Design communicates a distinct message. Whether it is information (as in the instance of graphic design) or function, design is a communication device.
  4. Good design will engage a person to do something – such as sit in a comfortably-designed chair – or display a direct message.
  5. Design can be taught and learned. Think of all the graphic design schools out there. Often many of the same people who have that born artistic ability are drawn to design as well but you don’t have to be an artist to succeed as a designer.
  6. Design projects are created for a client or purpose. How many times has someone told you to just do a project and they will take it?
  7. Design projects are planned and “designed” before the first but of actual graphic work is ever done.
  8. Design projects have an audience in mind.
  9. Design is collaborative.
  10. Each design project has a purpose or usefulness.

So here comes Artistic Design

Then there is that world where art and design collide.

Artistic design encapsulates creativity, feeling, question and answer, and newness. Artistic design is both inspiring and motivating. 

What makes design or art good is often a matter of opinion. There are a few key elements that are more defined – attention to details, alignment with color theory and principles or use of text – but generally how well a project is received (and liked) is simply a matter of taste.

Art, and design, are in the eye of the beholder. You can find beauty and art in design all the time. 

101 Sketchbook Ideas For Designers


1. Draw a Footwear

2. draw a glass of water

3. draw a pile of unfolded laundry

4. draw your non-dominant hand

5. draw a scene in a restaurant

6. draw a stack of books

7. draw a view out of a window

8. draw your art supplies

9. draw wine bottles

10. draw children’s toys

11. draw a person laying down

12. draw a person sitting in a chair

13. design a typeface

14. draw different types of trees

15. draw objects in your pocket

16. draw game pieces

17. draw a caricature of yourself

18. draw the same object drawn with different techniques (hatching, cross hatching, stippling, etc.)

19. draw your favorite pet

20. draw a copy of your favorite Master’s painting

21. draw a crumpled piece of paper

22. draw a brown paper bag

23. draw an old chair

24. draw a person from history in which there is no photo reference

25. draw an old person’s face

26. draw a stapler

27. draw an old radio

28. draw an old car

29. draw an old camera

30. draw a pair of glasses

31. draw an open book

32. draw a bicycle

33. draw anything made out of metal

34. draw a hammer

35. draw tree bark up close

36. draw ocean waves

37. draw a pile of rocks

38. draw a cup of pencils

39. draw hard candy

40. draw any fruit (sliced open)

41. draw any vegetable (sliced open)

42. draw a reel mower (tough one)

43. draw a pine cone

44. draw a seashell

45. draw a banana peel

46. draw an old cabin

47. draw an old factory

48. draw flowers in a vase

49. draw simple forms (cube, sphere, cylinder, etc.)

50. draw old farm equipment

51. draw a sailboat

52. draw people standing in a line

53. draw a bowl of peanuts

54. draw a bowl of nails

55. draw bushes or shrubbery

56. draw several eggs on a surface

57. draw your favorite insect

58. draw a flower up close

59. draw a thumb drive

60. draw an exotic fish

61. draw a scene from history

62. draw a feather

63. draw any detailed machine

64. draw the insides of a watch or clock

65. draw a skull

66. draw an apple

67. draw a portrait of someone that is a different race from you

68. draw water coming from the faucet

69. draw a creek in the woods

70. draw a pair of socks

71. draw an object that is moving

72. draw a Cubist portrait

73. draw a view from a window

74. draw a candle in the dark

75. draw three random objects from your refrigerator

76. draw a bowl of popcorn

77. draw a set of keys

78. draw someone peeling off their skin

79. draw your hand holding an apple (or other object)

80. draw your feet

81. draw yourself as a cartoon character

82. draw a patterned cloth on a table

83. draw a wine cork

84. draw a face in profile

85. draw a candlestick

86. draw a fictional woodland creature

87. draw a close up of grass

88. draw an object three times in different lighting

89. draw a pile of  jewellery

90. draw a close up of someone’s hair

91. draw a doorknob

92. draw a bird in flight

93. draw a video game controller

94. draw a pile of yarn

95. draw a stack of dinner plates

96. draw a trompe l’oeil image

97. draw hung drapery

98. draw a water sprinkler

99. draw calm water that is reflective

100. draw a person falling

101. just draw something!



Although instinct might encourage business professionals to dive right into projects, successful leaders understand that effective project cycles contain seven distinct phases. Few projects actually move through all seven phases in order. Some projects may require retooling that causes more time for preparation and presentation. Longer projects may necessitate alternating phases for implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. In all cases, however, project managers should prepare for the distinct needs of each project phase.

1. Identification

Most projects enter the first phase of the project cycle with little or no structure. Ideas that start in the back of the mind start to bubble up into potential projects. As creative professionals include colleagues, supervisors, or investors, projects become more formalized and start to follow the traditional phases of a project cycle.

On the other hand, regular project cycles, such as grant competitions and workplace initiatives, often operate from a top-down level. Project leaders usually issue a request for proposals or a call for submissions, in order to discover the most effective solution to a particular problem. In this kind of project, judges must sift through different ideas before settling on the team that will take a project through the project cycle’s six remaining stages.

2. Preparation

This phase of the project cycle requires leaders and managers to research both the needs and the impact of a project. The preparation phase often includes brainstorming sessions that result in “pie in the sky" estimates instead of true cost/benefit analysis. Effective preparation also includes laying the groundwork for the evaluation phase of the project cycle. Without agreeing on specific goals or outcomes, participants have no reliable way to measure the success of their project.

3. Appraisal

During the appraisal phase of a project cycle, project managers negotiate with stakeholders for resources while setting timelines. Depending on the scope of a project, leaders must determine whether hiring or outsourcing human resources will play a role during the implementation phase. Other resources, like technology and real estate, require budget estimates and impact statements during this phase. The appraisal phase of the project cycle ends once a clear plan with a timeline, budget, and expected outcome is ready for submission to decision makers.

4. Presentation

Visual Definition of the Project Cycle
Arguably the most crucial phase in any project cycle, the presentation often determines whether or not a project will reach its eventual conclusion. Depending on the nature of the project, decision makers could include board members, supervisors, investors, creditors, community members, customers, or other stakeholders. By the presentation phase, project managers and planners should be able to communicate:

project need
goals and expected outcomes
Although many project managers prepare for the presentation phase of the project cycle by building Gantt charts and PowerPoint decks, most veteran planners recommend that presenters prepare to debate and to defend the merits of their proposals. It’s not uncommon for projects to move between the first three phases numerous times before receiving approval.

5. Implementation

While implementation represents just one phase of a seven-step project cycle, it frequently takes the longest amount of time. During this phase a project manager actually takes the steps to lead a team through the process developed during the previous four stages.

6. Monitoring

While some project management professionals prefer to view monitoring as a task that happens throughout the project cycle, many business schools now teach students to treat this important task as its own dedicated stage. Building a monitoring stage into a project cycle can involve measuring independent benchmarks or scheduling formal progress meetings. Unlike the evaluation stage of the project cycle, monitoring focuses more on individual tasks or personnel in order to make adjustments. Projects often shift between implementation and monitoring phases multiple times during a project cycle.

7. Evaluation

Highly functional organizations use the evaluation phase of the project cycle to answer three important questions:

What went well during the project?
What didn’t go so well?
What would project leaders and team members do differently during future projects?
A successful evaluation phase requires effective planning during the preparation phase. If project members succumb to office politics or fail to document the shifting scope of a project, the evaluation phase of a project cycle can easily shift to “blaming and shaming." However, when measurable goals are set and stakeholders agree on desired outcomes, all parties can make honest, insightful evaluations.


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Founded in 2008, India Art Fair is one of South Asia's leading platform for modern and contemporary art.

The ninth edition of the India Art Fair that began in New Delhi today exhibits a rare mix of colours, grandeur and, with its continued focus in nurturing global interest in South Asian arts, showcases works of emerging as well as established artists from the region.

The three-day fair is joined by participating South Asian galleries like Britto Arts Trust from Dhaka, Nepal Art Council from Kathmandu, Theertha International Artists’ Collective from Colombo and Blueprint 12 from New Delhi.

An extensive array of art programmes, ranging from the exhibitions on the works of renowned artists like M.F. Hussain to the subtle narratives that emerge from the sketches of the 20th century political artist Chittaprosad Bhattacharya, find display spanning the outdoor and indoor fair space.
The Speakers’ Forum at the fair will also have an exciting programme that presents artists, curators, critics, administrators, academics, gallerists and collectors.

In an attempt to explore the future of museums, Richard Armstrong (Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, New York) and Sheena Wagstaff (Leonard A. Lauder Chairman of Modern and Contemporary Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) will come together in a panel discussion on Friday.

The two experts will together explore the subject in a lively discussion before the audience here.

“BMW Art Talk: The Art of Collecting” is another much anticipated session in which Thomas Girst (Head of Cultural Engagement BMW Group, Munich) and Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi (President and Director of the Sharjah Art Foundation) will look at the diverse field of collecting on Saturday.
Sharing their perspectives on South Asian art will be Pooja Sood (Director of Khoj International Artists Association, New Delhi), Alessio Antonelli (Director of Gasworks, London) and Boon-Hui Tan (Director, Asia Society Museum, Singapore) in a session “Perspectives from Networks of South Asian Art” on Sunday.

The Speakers’ Forum will also facilitate intimate conversations between collectors from India and across the globe with speakers who will provide a glimpse into their private collections.
Some of the well-known names featuring in the segment are French art collectors Jean-Conrad and Isabelle LemaĆ®tre; Brussels-based collector Frederic de Goldschmidt and one of India’s leading art collectors, Anurag Khanna.

The 2017 edition of the fair is also featuring both longstanding representatives of Indian art and new exhibitors from around the globe who are keen to develop relationships with the Indian art market, including Kalfayan Galleries (Athens), Grey Noise (Dubai), 1×1 Gallery (Dubai), Sabrina Amrani (Madrid) and Lukas Feichtner Galerie (Vienna).

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