By Amy Lasagna

As the saying goes, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

For creative professionals who turned their passion into a career, design can be deeply personal because there’s no way to separate yourself from the original or innovative work you create. While it’s true that design is not art, designers still work in an inherently creative medium and the decisions they make are informed by their uniqueness as individuals; sometimes, the lines blur.

Creativity in all its forms comes from passion of the mind. It’s influenced by our interests, surroundings, and experiences. Much like artists, designers infuse their work with their own visual style. After all, beautiful design often contains elements of artistic inspiration. When we start to think of design in terms of aesthetics it certainly seems fair to equate the two. The difference is that designers must leverage their abilities in a thoughtful way, so their work can serve its purpose. The deliverable must be built with intent; there needs to be strategy behind the decisions made. For many designers, the fun is in the small win of problem solving.

Assessing the effectiveness of a design then becomes the litmus test for evaluating the designer. If decisions seem to have been based on subjectivity or intuition, they aren’t practicing design; they are practicing art. However, if a designer can regularly support their decisions with sound rationale they are indeed practicing design. But satisfying the business need doesn’t have to mean boring creative, though. The opposite is true. Business demands good, impactful design. A good designer can hold a project close and still deliver work that is on point. If you’re a business leader reading this, I would say that’s your take-away.