Art is a hard thing to define. Some people might suggest that you just know it when you see it. However, there is always differing opinions about what is art and if commercially produced marketing tools are also art. In the commercial world it even seems to have its own term instead of art, graphic+design. Design is the word that comes to mind when you are thinking about building visual tools for a company. It is web design, not web art. It is graphic design, not graphic art. There is an intention of setting the commercial world apart for the strictly visual art world. This is also strange because art ends up being a commercial item itself. Art is often bought and sold as a product for its own aesthetics. Yet art that is produced for the purpose of selling and promoting other products is graphic design.
If you were to walk into a San+Diego+design firm and ask them if they considered themselves artists, I think they would be likely to tell you yes. That the work they create is creative, inspired, and beautiful. They put time and thought into their work just as an artist does. So what makes the two different?
I think a likely reason that we think of art and graphic design as two different things is the exposure we have to them. It is not just the purpose of the two different things but also the way in which they are presented to us. When graphic design creates something we are often exposed to it so repetitively that it loses its aesthetics appeal. It is just another piece of visual noise. However, with art it is something that is unique and resents a new image for our brain to take in. The difference between art and graphic design is most likely a combination of all of these things but it is definitely just a construct of our minds as a way to differentiate them.