About Art, Design & Fashion


An outtake of my Bachelor thesis BCD.

The term communication design is a relatively young one. It is getting harder to isolate it compared with the earlier used term graphic design. Within the fast-paced information society, this professional field expands on more and more new media and demands innovative thinking and new skills from designers.

Today’s designers are planners, conceptualisers, strategists and artists at the same time.  – University of Mainz, study objectives

Usually, the designer concentrates on a certain field but is still well versed in all the other areas of his profession. He develops his own style, applies it skilfully, thereby stands out and comes true as an artist. He is also equipped with the intuition of a design’s convenience wherefore he cuts back on his own taste at times.

Nowadays, designers and artists have trouble with both the separation and evaluation of the two terms. The designer wants to create timeless designs and therefore be an artist, while the artist doesn’t want the designer to be one. An art student from Karlsruhe on the topic: Design is the whore of art. But at the same time artists themselves create things using modern media, the tools that designers use too. When communication designers work with old techniques like e.g. letterpress, their design may rather be rated as art.

For people outside the creative scene, the distinction of both directions seems to get evermore harder. Communication designers get nothing but puzzled faces when they tell people what their profession is. Some automatically put it on the level with web design only, because the sound of it reminds of the internet’s fast and novel form of communication which has heralded the start of a new age.

Design is art squared. It multiplies aesthetics with the fulfilment of objectives. Therefore it is superior to the dimension of art. Art practices aesthetics for the sake of aesthetics. It’s unidimensional. Otl Aicher


Style is superior to fashion. It gets inspired by fashion and takes up its ideas without adopting them completely. No one with style awareness would radically change his way of dressing only for the sake of fashion. What distinguishes style from fashion is quality. Giorgio Armani

The world of fashion is similarly contentious as the question of art and design. The boundaries between styles and trends are blurred and debatable as the public discussions on hipsters point out. In fact, Coco Chanel adhered to her black and white fashion as well as Karl Lagerfeld does to his choker just as many a typographer adheres to his only true font. The very own style seems to represent something like a work of art, however especially the fashion icons who are always wearing the same kind of look are trying to showcase their latest collections and make trends out of them.

Why? Because fashion, as well as communication design, needs to move with the times and get reinterpreted and redefined frequently. It provides a statement on the person and determines the zeitgeist of an era or even of a season.

In the case of fashion, the transition is getting evidenced and featured by fashion photography and entire photo campaigns, even though this is an actual side benefit. Society, therefore, understands fashion better than communication design, although it comes into touch with both day-to-day. Admittedly, any fashion photography is a sheer interpretation but there are usually further illustrations of a piece available by other photographers.

A photo doesn’t tell the truth anymore. It recommends an option. – Fotokina 2000, Cologne

Like designers today, photographers aren’t only providers of service anymore, who carry out their craft but they also try to communicate their own way of looking at things. To be more specific the photographer has his own style that he wants to establish for growing his oeuvre as free as possible. Consciously or not he envisions himself as an artist too.

In sum – art is the most independent form of creativity. That independence is the objective to photographers, communication designers, and fashion designers. Either of them pursue appreciation of their own style. They serve each other with attainments from their professional fields and claim response from society (of which pure artists aren’t necessarily in need).

Read more on the topic


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