I am not a Web or a graphics designer, neither is this debate about that. This is about looking at design as art. I am a software designer, so I am inline with Joshua when he says:
That’s a big difference between design and art. We can measure the results of design because it’s meant to solve a problem. We can see if the problem has been resolved or lessened in some way. With Art we can’t do that…other than some subjective “Do you like it?”.
The difference is the underlying purpose – its use. Design has to keep the problem, the user, the usage and the solution in context. However art is more personal to the designer, called the artist. Can we say that the urge to design is more out of solving problems, maybe for others or self, while art is more out of the artist’s personal feelings and perception.
I consider design to be more institutionalized than art, in the sense that there are standards and norms and best practices. There are more constraints in design when compared to art, usually imposed by the user and the user’s environment. However, this does not mean that design and art cannot overlap. They can and they do in many cases. However, whether it is design or art depends on why it is being done.