Applied arts


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


What are applied arts?

Applied arts are all artistic expressions placed on everyday objects . It is distinguished from the so-called Fine Arts by its utilitarian character. 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.



His concept was born in classical Greece . In those days, the sages determined that not all the arts could be located in the same place. There were those whose purpose was to be visually and intellectually stimulating. 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. This 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 touched. 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 were groped only with their eyes. But, how to locate the gastronomic? Where to put the handicrafts? It is here when the concept of applied arts is built .

Normally correlated with Design, the Minor Arts and the Utilitarian Arts . They are the artistic manifestations that are the object of common use . You can see here the cases of forks and other cutlery, cups and furniture. Each of these was, in one way or another, treated creatively . 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

It must be understood that by applied arts we understand all artistic manifestations in common use. Many of the objects that we use on a daily basis fall into this category. It can go from something as simple as a cup or a silverware, 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 characteristics to highlight of the applied arts , we have the following:

  • It is a concept that was born in contrast to that of fine arts .
  • They are expressions that introduce elements of creativity and aesthetics in 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 back to the Greek. In ancient times , the Greeks saw the need to differentiate the Fine Arts from other works that were in contact with ordinary people. In principle, everything framed within the Fine Arts was what 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 artisan 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 were gaining more and more popularity.

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. This involves works such as furniture and others.


Today, it can be said that it is an impossibility to live without the so-called minor arts . Much of our consumer goods 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. Since always, since prehistory itself , a large part of works of art have had the purpose of being used. It is about the encounter between the aesthetic impact and the pragmatics of the moment.


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

  • Exquisitely designed cutlery, spoons, forks.
  • Handicrafts such as necklaces, bracelets, watches and others.
  • Advertising pieces with interesting aesthetic details, such as movie, series and video game trailers.

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