Chroma Experience


Creativity in design

Is creativity an essential prerequisite for being a designer?
Conversely, do you have no prospects in the industry if you are not creative?

Wort "Craft" in Neonröhren-Schrift, Kontext: Design als Handwerk


For a long time now, I've had a hard time with people calling me or my industry creative. It's not because of the definition of creativity. What bothers me is the "creativity stamp" that designers get put on.

It almost seems as if there is an assumption that the results of a designer's work come not from diligence, skill or experience, but from creativity.

But what exactly does that mean? Does it mean that all you need to be a designer is the ability to be creative and the work will take care of itself?

One is not directly related to the other.

In my opinion, it is almost disrespectful to call a designer's work creative. The result of his work is based on years of experience, training, study, etc., but not creativity.

Design is a craft

I'm sure many designers disagree with me on this. I am referring in particular to user experience and interface design. However, those who are good at what they practice are, for me, first and foremost not creatives, but people with dedication and experience. They solve individual tasks with creativity, but their work is based on the craft they have learned.

Methods lead to good design

A good design process follows established methods and is sometimes very analytical. But unfortunately, in many people's perception, design is something exclusively visual. Few people know that much of the preliminary work consists of research, understanding, sorting, weighing, and evaluating - long before a visual result emerges.

Once this preliminary work has been done, the final step is rarely the creative outpouring of a designer, but a logical consequence. The less logical these consequences are, the worse the design.

Building a house is no different: if there is no well-thought-out plan, you may have a pretty house, but a lot of construction defects.

Just the tip of the iceberg

The visual result of a design process is only a small part of the work a designer has done. Calling the result creative doesn't do justice to the underlying process, and certainly no one would call the user flows or wireframes that came out of that process creative.

If you want to give credit to a designer's work, tell them they did their job well - or very well, or even superbly. But save the creativity stuff.