You are NOT a Designer: Divorcing Art from Design

Svilen's Realm
Published in
5 min readOct 24, 2017


Once upon a time, our society revered and celebrated artists. They were held in the highest regards and entrusted with the most honorable of tasks- from depicting Gods and decorating cathedrals, to capturing the portraits of rulers and holy men.

But somewhere between the Renaissance and today, things changed. While Da Vinci and Michelangelo are household names associated with immense creativity, the Art department is first to be defunded when a school’s budget tightens.

Art is no longer sexy.

Idioms like “the starving artist” and degrading memes have demoralized artists so much, that they’ve stopped calling themselves artists and instead have adopted the identity of designers.

  • Graphic Designers
  • Fashion Designers
  • Stage Designers
  • Sound Designers
  • Visual Designer
  • Motion Designer

What do they all have in common?

None are actually designers.

The Designer Litmus Test:

If the outcome of your work cannot be right or wrong, but only liked or disliked- you’re not a designer, you’re an artist.

That is not an insult; artists should proudly proclaim their title as they play a vital role in products by adding an emotional dimension.

Art is that memorable sound when you first turned on your first Playstation…

It’s the packaging you touch before getting your hands on the new iPhone…