Art students asked to develop the skills necessary to be successful in creating branding and company logos may do so begrudgingly, but this grudge has scarcely any ground to stand on. From the historical origins of art to the bottom line surrounding contemporary artistic education, there are more than enough reasons for the modern artist to embrace seemingly corporate slant of modern artistic education. Not convinced?
The History of Art as a Message
Though the sentiments held by modern society may suggest otherwise, art created for art’s own sake is a relatively new development in aesthetics. The history of art is laden with religious images and subject matter not because religion was such an important subject to artists, but because religious institutions were some of the few who could finance artists who would spend months or years developing a painting.
And when religion hasn’t been the responsible party, politicians have. The famous painting of Napoleon Crossing the Alps by Jacques-Louis David may be regarded as one of the best works of the 19th century, we can’t forget that Napoleon ordered this painting made in order to serve as propaganda favoring his own image to the French people. It could be said that most of the greatest art in history has two different stories behind it—the story of the thing or idea being portrayed, and the story of the financial backing that allowed the artist to create the work.
Modern Art and Logos
Though the propagation of religious figure or political order in society might hold a dearer place in the hearts and eyes of the modern beholder than the propagation of Pepsi’s image to consumers, it cannot be denied that both share a common financial lineage within the artistic community.
More importantly, however, is the fact that students can learn the same traditional concepts of art and design by incorporating economically practical corporate elements into their education. While practical and applicable skills may not carry with them the romantic appeal of being an artist, brand creation does make use of the same fundamental artistic elements as any of the greatest art in existence.
Even the most seemingly auxiliary of skills taught to modern artists, like business skills and marketing, may be closer to the core of the artistic experience than students would initially anticipate. For any famous artist of the past half century, ask yourself how much of their fame can be attributed to their work, and how much to the marketing of that work? How much of your favorite art would have never been commissioned if not for the interests of some third party? Remember that even art that is created for the sake of art has to follow simple principles of marketing in order to attract any audiences, because art without an audience is no art at all.