Many people talk about designers or anyone else in the web industry as creatives. This enforces a destructive fallacy. Design and creativity are not synonymous, even though that’s how they are perceived.
Allow me to explain.
When people think of creatives, they think of the Mad Men era team sitting around brainstorming—waiting for inspiration to strike them from out of the blue. “Creative” also carries the connotation of “artist”, someone who ruminates on a muse, creating a work that inspires powerful feelings in the observer.
Art is meant to elicit an emotional response, but design is created to solve a particular problem. Design works within constraints. In fact, the constraints on a project are what define design. Art has no particular constraints, and is subjective in nature, open to interpretation by the observer. Design is subjective in nature, and must solve a problem.
While design can be art, art cannot be design.
Calling Designers “Creatives” Is Dangerous
Referring to your design team as Creatives supports the idea that good design equals pulling ideas out of the ether. Design is much closer to science than it is to art, and is
as much more about functionality than it is about decoration.
While aesthetics are involved in the design process, creativity is merely a characteristic that many designers have. Problem-solving is the most consistent characteristic of a professional designer.