The most fundamental difference between design and art is the purpose behind the work. Artists create works of art in order to share a certain feeling with viewers, and to allow them to learn from it, relate to it and be inspired by it. Designers aim to motivate their audience to do something such as learn certain information, visit a location or use a service.
The most successful and renowned art pieces establish a strong emotional bond between an artist and the audience. By contrast, the most successful designs effectively communicate a message and motivate consumers to perform a certain task.
Another notable difference between design and art is how each are interpreted by the target audiences. Art pieces connect with viewers in varying ways, because each viewer may interpret it differently. However, for a design to be considered good, the designer's exact message should be understood by the viewer. Basically, good design sends a single message to everyone, while good art sends a varying message to everyone.
Art and design also differ when the creators' abilities are considered. An artist typically has a natural ability that was nurtured from a young age. On the other hand, design is a skill that can be learned and taught. Despite the fact that most great artists make good designers, one does not necessarily have to be an artist to be an excellent designer.