Applied Arts

Everything is art, if it is seen with the correct optics. This is because each object is built with an effort, often aesthetic, which leads it to belong to the applied arts .

Related topics

Performing arts ,  visual arts ,  visual arts

What are applied arts?

The applied arts are all artistic expressions placed on everyday objects . It is distinguished from the so-called Fine Arts by its utilitarian nature. They are commonly associated with the conception of design . They are creative productions that can be used by the consumer. Some examples of them can be furniture, cups or glasses.

  • Definition
  • What are the applied arts
  • characteristics
  • History of applied arts
  • Types of applied arts
  • Importance
  • Examples


His concept was born in classical Greece . In those days, the sages determined that not all the arts could be located in one place. There were those whose purpose was to be stimulating visual and intellectual. The latter were known as the Fine Arts. For a long time, it was said that art was only that which could stimulate the mind, the senses and the intellect. That is how, at some point in its history , all paintings, sculptures and architectural works were placed in this category .

On the other hand, we have all the works that can be played. It is important to highlight this, since the objective of the Fine Arts was not to be the object of touch. On the contrary, the correct thing was that they should be tested only by sight. But, how to locate the gastronomic? In what place to put the crafts? It is here when the concept of applied arts is built .

Normally correlated with Design, Minor Arts and Utilitarian Arts . They are the artistic manifestations that are the object of common use . Cases of forks and other cutlery, cups and furniture can be seen here. Each of these was, in some way or another, creatively treated. Creativity is a necessary criterion to talk about something artistic. They are distinguished from the previous ones by their practical aspect , their connection with utility . With the everyday.

What are the applied arts

We must understand that by applied arts we understand all artistic manifestations in common use. Many of the objects we use on a daily basis fall into this category. It can go from something as simple as a cup or cutlery, to something more complex like a building. It has even been seen that some technological works such as video games fall into this category.


Among the outstanding characteristics of applied arts , we have the following:

  • It is a concept that is born in contrast to that of fine arts .
  • They are expressions that introduce elements of creativity and aesthetics into everyday objects.
  • They suggest the daily use of the arts. Priority, then, is given to pragmatic ends.
  • They have the power to adapt to any technological advance of the moment.

History of applied arts

One could trace its origins in the Greek. In ancient times , the Greeks saw the need to differentiate Fine Art from other works that were in contact with ordinary people. In principle, everything framed within the Fine Arts was that which could not be touched. Later, it was seen that gastronomy was something that had to be touched. It was at this point that the concept of applied or minor arts emerged . They are arts that could be touched.

It was, however, with the appearance of the craftsmen’s guilds in the Middle Ages that these arts received revitalization. During this period, a great variety of works such as reliquaries, chalices and other religious ornaments were built. From these periods, the so-called minor arts gained more and more boom.

Types of applied arts

It can be said that some of the types of applied arts are:

  • Architecture : especially that linked to interior design and decorations.
  • Fashion Design : especially the creation of visually attractive textiles and clothing.
  • Industrial Design : specifically, everything related to the construction of elements that complement spaces for activities.
  • Jewelry Design : such are the cases of jewelers, pearls, diamonds …
  • Wood design : that is, all handicrafts made from wood. Works such as furniture and others are involved in this.


Today, it can be said that it is an impossibility to live without the so-called minor arts . Much of our consumer objects are the work of utilitarian crafts. Many, in fact, claim that the phone you use to read these words falls into this category. And it’s not just now. Always, from prehistory itself , a large part of works of art have been intended to be used. It is about the encounter between the aesthetic and pragmatic impact of the moment.


Some of the examples that we can find of applied arts are the following:

  • Cutlery, spoons, forks of exquisite design.
  • Craft works such as necklaces, bracelets, watches and others.
  • Advertising pieces with interesting aesthetic details, such as movie, series and video game trailers.


by Abdullah Sam
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