Is there a single name (word or short phrase) to cover the art of creation of images — drawing, painting, sketching etc. — and specifically excluding sculpture, crafting and other arts that create other products than still images?

"Graphic design" is close, but focuses on the utilitarian side, leaving "high art" out. "Traditional art" includes sculpture and excludes digital imagery.

  • Visual arts might fit. – CowperKettle Nov 25 '13 at 11:32
  • @CopperKettle: That would probably include animation and possibly photography and moviemaking. – SF. Nov 25 '13 at 12:07
  • 1
    What about illustration? – Autoresponder Nov 25 '13 at 13:10
  • @Autoresponder: Same problem as with Graphic Design. Illustration for a book, not for art gallery, or illustration of a horse, not of abstraction. – SF. Nov 25 '13 at 13:22
  • @SF: Static 2D visual arts then. ;-) – CowperKettle Nov 25 '13 at 13:24

Graphic arts.

graphic arts pl.n.

  1. The fine or applied visual arts and associated techniques involving the application of lines and strokes to a two-dimensional surface.
  2. The fine or applied visual arts and associated techniques in which images are produced from blocks, plates, or type, as in engraving and lithography. Also called graphics.

American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition

Pictorial arts is also found.

|improve this answer|||||

2D art

2D art encompasses all kinds of art made in 2 dimensions, which obviously excludes sculpture.

‘Graphic arts’ is not really a good answer because it refers to ‘graphics’ ie things that are written or engraved or scratched (graphic is from the greek for ‘writing, drawing’, ‘graphics’ does not encompass painting, although in modern times ‘graphics’ use has been expanded to ‘graphic design’ which means illustrations and commercial designs like packaging etc). Graphic arts does however include printmaking.

Fine art such as painting, collage, multi-media is expressly not included in ‘graphic arts’.

Graphic design or graphics does not come under the general term of ‘fine art’ - it is normally seen (by art schools) as a separate discipline of ‘graphic design’.

If you want to specifically exclude graphics then say ‘2D fine art’.

Photography is a separate discipline as well and is not usually in the ‘fine art’ or ‘graphics’ category.

Animation does not come under ‘art’ or ‘fine art’.

Lastly, different creation media that are not strictly ‘fine art’ - can become so, if the artist does something with it, that makes it ‘art’. For example, Cynthia Sherman is ‘a photographer’ but because she takes photographs of herself in various guises, eg, dressed as a queen, etc. to make a social or artistic comment, this makes her work ‘art’.

Andy Warhol made prints of Campbell’s soup and other brands, which you could say were ‘graphic design’ but because of the way he did it and coloured it, and more, because of the meaning behind it, his work is deemed to be ‘art’ or ‘fine art’.


|improve this answer|||||

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.