Andy Rutledge has posted an excellent follow-up to his original design test, How Well Do You Understand Design?, with Creativity is Not Design. While the former was more a way for one to assess their understanding of design, the latter is an attempt to drive-home the message that creativity and design are not synonymous:
Too often I notice designers and non-designers alike equating creativity with design. I find this assumption disturbing because it is one of the many fallacies that allow unskilled but creative pretenders to consider themselves capable design professionals when they’re nothing of the sort… Creativity is bound by no laws, rules, or strictures… Design, on the other hand, is based entirely on math, psychology, human perception, and a host of rigid rules and laws that can be broken by only a highly skilled few…
I have always considered myself to be a creative individual, yet I have always been hesitant to call myself a designer in areas where I do not have a complete understanding of the rules and defining theories. Web designer? Yes. Graphic designer? No. That second answer may surprise some people I know and work with.
On some of the questions Andy has provided I can give an answer that I feel is correct; however, answering the “why” proves more a challenge. The “why” here is easy — I don’t have a complete grasp of the rules.