A List Apart: Articles: Art Direction and Design

The importance of design and the distinction between it and direction.

“If I tell my wife that I love her, but say it with a frown on my face, she’ll get mixed signals. If I say it nonchalantly while watching TV, she might not fully believe it. But when I say it with a genuine smile and a bouquet of flowers, my meaning is clear. In this example, my love is the art direction, while my smile and the deep red color of the roses are the design. They work hand-in-hand to deliver the point emotionally and physically. Design is perfection in technique; art direction is about the important, yet sometimes intangible emotion that powers the design.”

“Design is about problem-solving, whether you are a designer or an art director. The two roles differ in that the designer is more concerned with execution, while the art director is concerned with the strategy behind that execution.”

Phil Coffman, Art Director, Springbox

A List Apart: Articles: Art Direction and Design.

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