It’s an age-old debate: the difference between art and design.
We believe the difference is simple. Art, however noble a pursuit, has no utilitarian purpose. It may elevate our spirits or engage our intellect but, in the end, its status as good, bad or great is in the eye of the beholder. Design, on the other hand, must serve the purpose for which it was created and it must be judged on the basis of how well it serves that purpose.
In our marketing communications universe, clients get to define the business objective to be achieved. The quality of anything designed to advance that objective is then “judged” by the target audience. By definition, the better the client’s objectives are met, the better the design.
It’s a difficult concept for designers to grasp and accept. Unlike the subjectivity of art, there is an objective standard against which design can be judged: did the design achieve the intended result? Too often designers design for other designers. Unfortunately they are very rarely the target audience.
As designers, marketers and communicators, we serve our clients best when our designs actually work. Otherwise it’s art. And ain’t none of us being paid to create art.
For more information on Adler and the Ten Commandments of Marketing e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Living by the 3rd Commandment
Design differentiates a product in a competitive market, enhances the brand and generates consumer loyalty.
Good design, by definition, meets the client’s objectives and helps strengthen the brand.