What Is the Difference Between Visual Arts and Graphic Design?

Visual Arts and Graphic Design have become two of the most sought-after fields in the creative industry. Both these disciplines involve a great deal of creativity, but they are quite different in terms of their approach and application.

Visual Arts is focused on creating art through traditional mediums such as painting, drawing, and sculpting. Graphic Design, on the other hand, is focused on creating visual communication pieces through digital mediums such as web design, logo design, typography and illustration.

Visual Arts is a form of creative expression where the main goal is to create something that conveys emotion or feelings rather than conveying a specific message. This type of art does not necessarily have to be functional; it can simply be for aesthetic pleasure.

Visual Artists use a variety of mediums to create their works including painting, drawing, sculpture and photography. These works often feature abstract imagery or bold colors in order to evoke emotion from viewers.

Graphic Design is a form of visual communication that utilizes various elements such as images, words, symbols and shapes to communicate an idea or message. Graphic Designers use digital tools such as Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator to create their designs which can range from logos and branding materials to websites and advertisements.

The main difference between Visual Arts and Graphic Design lies in how each discipline approaches visual communication. Visual Arts focuses more on producing aesthetically pleasing pieces while Graphic Design focuses on delivering effective communication pieces with a clear purpose.

Visual Arts provides an opportunity for self-expression while Graphic Design offers an opportunity to communicate ideas effectively with people. Both disciplines involve creativity but they each require different skillsets and approaches in order to produce successful results.


The differences between Visual Arts and Graphic Design are quite evident when compared side by side. Visual Arts focuses on creating aesthetically pleasing pieces that evoke emotion while Graphic Design focuses on creating effective communication pieces with a specific purpose in mind. Both disciplines involve a great deal of creativity but they require different skill sets in order to be successful.