There was a time in the olden days when designers used to be considered artists rather than creatives sitting with their laptops in cafés whose lives are centered around finding solutions. I do not aim to provide design "solutions" but rather continue the Evolution of the creative process.
Whether you're designing a poster, magazine, website, album cover or, God forbid, an annual report, the intention of the designer is to produce some aesthetic, something beautiful and hopefully something that simply makes people feel good. Of course, this is some sort of problem in itself but it is not the main objective.
Design is NOT about problem solving! The role of a graphic designer is to add worth to something. Adding worth to something might well be seen as a problem to be solved. However, so is crossing the road and not getting hit by a bus, but it is not the reason for crossing the road!
Designers are not mathematicians. This is the age-old argument between science and art that we're talking about here. As William Blake said of Newton, "Art is the tree of life. Science is the tree of death."
Every piece of design that inspires me does so because of its beauty and because of the enduring combination of type and image. I have never once looked at a piece of graphic design and thought, "That is a great solution to a problem." Perhaps that is my own problem and the reason why I sometimes feel marginalized as a designer, always on the outside looking in.
I often receive emails from student designers whose instructors seem to be alienating them with the narrow-minded view that design has to be an answer to a specific problem. This is the problem with modern design, which will become more apparent when we reflect back on it in twenty or thirty years’ time.
I taught art and design in England for four years and would never criticize a student for doing something that they truly believed in. It doesn't matter whether the student's work fits into the modern doctrine or checks all the boxes that the school has to tick. What matters is that designers are true to themselves and the work that they produce speaks to their soul in some way. It's time to wise up!