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Web design as an art form

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Maybe if people started seeing web design as an art form they'd realize how many crayon drawings are floating around out there.

Ok, that might be a little mean.  What I'd really l like to do is start a discussion about art and design, and if they are necessarily different things.

When I started 3232 Design it was with the notion that I wanted to be proud of every site I created, that each site would have artistic merit or at least look really cool.  In some cases this has led to me spending way more time on them than I charged because I wanted a show piece or because the site really wanted something special.  Since then, I've been pretty happy with the results, much of which can be attributed to my clients.  

There was Ian's site where I spent extra time on the visuals, paid close attention to the details, and whose flash bits on each page are really cool.  I'm working on a design right now that you could take the words off, print it out, and frame it.  There's another one in the bag that's not really art, but is pretty interesting for a web design.  

However, when you get right down to it most web pages are really vehicles for information, and the design should always clarify and be subservient to the marketing message because at the end of the day people need to buy something.

That doesn't mean that you can just put a few paragraphs of text on a page and call it a day, though.  Even with text-only layouts you have to pay close attention to the layout and usability of the site.  

It's more like writing a haiku.  There are some pretty stringent rules you have to follow, but that challenge can lead to some unexpected and interesting results.

I'd like to hear from you: do you think that web design can be art?  List examples for the class.

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