This is something that’s taken me the better part of 5 years to fully come to terms with. Design is not art.
We are not artists. We aren’t “creatives”, whatever that means. We weren’t hired to give those corporate brochures some flair, or impart our creative opinion on your colour choices. We are problem solvers.
Art is, in its very nature, subjective. It achieves no goal, other than to serve as a decorative object. Art raises questions.
Art is a question. Design is an answer.
Design is entirely objective. Design is a solution; a recipe. A product. Design doesn’t strive for attention or demand a solution — it is the solution. It stands aside and performs a function. Everything you interact with every single day has been designed by someone. Each curve and contour and line a colour has been chosen, and considered. But very few things you interact with can (or should) be described as Art.
Art is influenced by time. In art, we have trends and periods — Romanticism, Realism, Impressionism, Cubism, Minimalism — where design stands still. Design cannot afford to shift with these trends; it has to stand strong and serve its purpose. Of course, design has and will continue to feel the influence of trends; but so long as the design completes the corporations objective, and delivers the message to the consumer, it has succeeded.
Of all the things I’ve grown to learn, this I am most certain of. We can inject our own personal preferences into a design, but we must strive to solve the problem at hand. We have questions to answer; deliverables to produce. Clients to please. Bills to pay. We aren’t distracted by the influence of our own likes and dislikes. Every detail is measured and every decision accounted for.
Design is not Art. Design is objective. Design is an answer.