Will AI Replace Human-Generated Designs?

A valid question, especially in today’s AI-pro world! And the short answer is no…t yet. 

AI has undoubtedly been a game-changer in many industries, including graphic design. AI-powered tools like Adobe Express, Piktochart, and Canva have made it easier for non-designers to create professional-enough-looking designs without any prior experience or knowledge of design principles. The tools can analyze things like color schemes, typography, and other elements and generate new art based on that analysis. (We know your art degree is screaming right now, but stay with us.)

Naturally, as AI tech continues to evolve and become more sophisticated, questions arise about whether it can design collateral like logos, flyers and brochures better than a human, or if it will eventually replace graphic designers entirely. 

In this blog, we’ll talk about what exactly AI is, what AI graphic design entails, and the future of graphic design in a world that’s leaning into this intelligent technology. 

What Is AI?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a branch of computer science focused on the creation of brilliant machines that can learn and work just like humans (without asking you how your weekend was.) AI refers to a machine’s ability to stimulate human intelligence, including learning, reasoning, and solving problems. It uses algorithms to analyze data, learn from that data, and then make decisions based on said data. The more data AI collects, the better it becomes at learning and making accurate decisions. TBH, when you look past how cool AI is, you see it’s actually pretty creepy. 
AI has already made a considerable impact, with popular platforms like Notion AI or ChatGPT taking over the copywriting industry. Need a 1,000-word byline? Plug some general direction into one of those, and you’ve got an award-winning article! But, if you look too closely, you’ll notice some imperfections. The same goes for AI art.

AI Graphic Design Tools

Many AI graphic design tools are available that can perform tasks like color correction, image editing, and font selection. Some tools even claim to be able to generate entire designs based on a few words given. 

Here are some popular AI graphic design tools you may have seen so far in 2023:

  • Colormind – the AI-powered color palette generator
  • Khroma – the AI color tool for designers

Khroma allows you to choose a set of your 50 favorite colors that will be used to train a color generator algorithm personalized to you. 

Stable Diffusion allows you to enter a brief prompt that will generate its best interpretation of that text. (see prompt at top)

  • Designs AI – create memorable logos, videos, and mockups with AI in 2 minutes
  • Vance AI – the AI photo enhancement and editing tool

Vance AI allows you to upload any image for enhancing, upscaling, sharpening, and background removal. (see detailed, enhanced version on right)

  • Uizard – create mockups, wireframes, websites, prototypes, and more in minutes
  • Adobe Sensei – deepen insights, enhance creative expression, accelerate tasks and workflows, and drive real-time decisions with this AI

But AI is exactly that—artificial. And while each tool boldly claims to be capable of something big, like deepening insights, enhancing creative expression, and creating memorable collateral, it’s still no match for the real thing. 

Will AI Replace Designers?

The word art, mentioned before, is significant to this topic. That’s because with art comes connection and creativity, something AI is extremely limited on. AI graphics generators may be able to create a wide variety of images, but they (currently) lack the creativity and originality of a human designer, ultimately leading to AI graphics that are not truly unique or innovative. Designers bring a certain authenticity that you just can’t mimic with an algorithm. But as if we need to list them, here’s a closer look at the advantages of human designers:

  1. Creativity & Originality

When it comes to being creative and original, human designers win. Every time. And that key aspect alone provides graphic designers job security, at least for now. Designers need to think up fresh ideas that not only resonate with their clients and target audience but that are unique enough to stand out among the rest. AI graphics just don’t cut it. 

  1. Understanding Needs & Preferences

Humans are capable of understanding a client’s vision and translating it into a design that matches it. They can take into account the client’s brand, audience, and goals. Instead of creating a graphic based on a few words or pre-programmed data, the designer can apply unique personality and the client’s specific preferences. They can read between the lines of certain requests. 

  1. Context & Emotion

Unlike humans, AI lacks the ability to understand emotions, which means it also can’t convey emotions effectively. Good graphic designers know how to use color, typography, and imagery to create a visual language and convey a message that evokes a desired emotional response. 

And while AI can analyze data and identify patterns, it also lacks contextual understanding. Platforms like ChatGPT can pick up the context in a preexisting conversation thread, but if that system fails, the context is lost, and it won’t be able to recall it the next day. 

For example, a designer can use color or imagery to purposely trigger a desired response, like excitement or nostalgia. AI can certainly identify which colors are associated with those feelings, but it would not know how to use them effectively in a design context. Thus, missing the mark. (Pun intended.)

  1. Flexibility & Adaptability

Graphic design is a dynamic field requiring adaptable and flexible designers. This is an ever-changing industry, and as things constantly move and evolve, the designer must be ready on their feet to shift with it and adjust accordingly. 

Sure, AI can generate designs quickly and efficiently, but it can’t quite adapt to changes in the way humans can. For instance, a human designer can easily revise a design based on feedback from the client. AI may be able to generate a new design based on the new data, but it would not understand the nuances of the client’s feedback or be able to incorporate it into the design effectively. This is HUGE in an industry where 3+ revisions is common. 

  1. Human Connection

Finally, graphic design is a collaborative process that requires human interaction. This aspect simply cannot be replicated by AI. Humans are able to communicate with clients face-to-face to hear their goals firsthand and ask questions to clarify their understanding. Humans can also present design concepts and get real-time feedback, which helps build a stronger working relationship between the designer and the client. AI may be able to analyze data and generate designs, but it cannot replace the human element of collaboration and communication. 

But even with all that said, who are we to say where technology will be 100 years from now?

Future of Graphic Design

The future of graphic design is an exciting one! With AI-powered tools becoming more and more prevalent, designers can focus more of their attention on creative tasks rather than technical ones. AI could potentially help designers streamline workflow, automating repetitive tasks like color correction or image resizing and freeing up more time for innovation. After all, humans are the ones that feel enjoyment, so shouldn’t we get the fun part?

Don’t get us wrong, AI graphic design is incredible. We’re certainly not in the business of denying technology. In fact, we’re on the same team as AI and only hope to continue growing together! You hear that, robots? Please leave us alone when you achieve sentience. 

 It’s no question that these AI graphic design tools are impressive, making a significant impact in the field of design and helping designers and non-designers alike. But they are not yet sophisticated enough to replace human graphic designers altogether. Although our team loves exploring new AI tools, genuine creativity, connection, and problem-solving requires a human touch. As humans, we recognize the value of humans, and that value beats an algorithm any day of the week. 

Interested in what our humans can do for you?! Reach out today, and let’s see what kind of creative our design team can whip up for you and your brand (that AI could never).

Oh, and be sure to check out our Instagram for all the latest industry insights! You’ll love it, we promise!