I often joke that I get my crayons out and make pretty pictures but humour aside, aesthetics is one piece of a puzzle that is integral to designing communications for engagement.
A titan of the design world, Milton Glaser is quoted as the most succinct definition of the discipline: “design is the progress of going from an existing condition to a preferred one” What you’ll notice is absent from that statement is the word ‘art’. That’s not a semantic difference, it’s a distinction understood by practicing designers, but often eludes those looking in.
The confusion may come from the fact that many designers are skilled artists, but not all skilled artists are designers. That said, to be a good designer, you also need aesthetic and technical skills.
Design marries utility and function with appeal and ease of use. There is absolutely a science behind the choices made and thought given to causality.
Art, on the other hand, is a subjective expression of humanity which can be manifest as a functional piece, but more often poses a question rather than answers one.
If you’re still confused, it might help to reframe your definition of the role of a designer. A designer is someone who solves problems. As a Creative Consultant, I become the interface between the client and the audience they’re trying to engage with.
It starts by understanding the problem, knowing what the desired outcome is (that could be anything from increased engagement on a social media post to conveying dense information in a report in a palatable way) and building a solution that fits within the parameters.
And while the outcome is seen in the form of visually appealing documents, media and content there are countless deliberate choices that go into placement, colour, size, proximity etc that are all made for the express purpose of conveying information with as little friction as possible and optimising engagement.
So all of these questions are answered by asking ‘why’ and the answer is almost never ‘because it was my favourite coloured crayon’