Can you imagine a website that designs itself? In the not too far future, it will be a reality, thanks to Artificial Intelligence (AI). The amazing new technology of AI is transforming many industries — banking, medicine, and more. On a grander scale, it is transforming the world of graphic design.
Over the past decades, computer hardware and software has drastically changed the world of graphic design. Layout software led to desktop publishing, and design became digital, thus transforming the industry.
Now, within the industry of graphic design, AI is causing another revolution. An intelligent agent system perceives its environment and takes actions to maximize success. Essentially, graphic design is being taken over by computers. Gone are the days of crouching over a table, and working long hours to design brochures and magazines.
This then begs the question, so how does a website design itself?
Humans will provide the text content (although that could also be written by a machine these days). AI software will analyze that content, and the type of business you’re in. You will also feed it images. The AI engine takes all of that information and gives you a finished product based on its analysis.
The graphic design industry watchers say that AI technology will be done on the web first, but that it also won’t be long before AI starts doing print design as well. “Smart” layout tools will actually get better by through learning machine language. They’ll learn from each print design project until they become masters of graphic design.
And, of course, machines are not going to just take over. Humans drive the AI effort, deciding what design work is optimum for machines to do (for us), and what roles need to be exclusively human.
There are AI products on the market today, but they are underwhelming, to say the least. These tools haven’t yet reached the sophistication envisioned for the future, but they are getting there.
The Grid has been on the forefront of AI in graphic design. The company has an AI engine named Molly, and you can hand your website design over to her. The tool uses a five-color palette but can learn to apply it in different ways. So far, she has 200,000 ways to incorporate those colors; Molly auto-crops photos, doesn’t miss deadlines, and she never overcharges the customer. So far, The Grid’s AI engine has mixed reviews, but it will nonetheless improve.
The popular website builder also offers an AI engine called Wix Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI). The customer provides context like business and content, and the ADI engine suggests design options. Once the customer chooses a design, ADI finishes it from there. The product is touted as an enhanced version of Wix, not as an AI tool, but the company is making steady progress.
Firedrop has taken a slightly different approach to AI web design, using its chatbot Sacha to walk the customer through the website build. The chatbot asks questions, then offers design recommendations based on those answers.
Adobe has used its vast data and experience to build Adobe Sensei. An AI engine that operates in the background of all of its Adobe Photoshop graphic tools. Sensei uses facial recognition to let designers edit human faces in photos.
Logojoy has taken logo design to the next level by using AI. The company claims to be the most popular logo design firm in the world, with over one million customers. Here’s how it works:
- The customer enters the brand name.
- The AI engine has learned brands, so it offers several logo design styles to choose from.
- Once you have the basic idea, you go from there, choosing color options, fonts, and symbols.
- When you achieve the final design, you pay a one-time fee and can download your logo in various formats and sizes.
- The whole process takes mere minutes.
The AI graphic tools of today are still crude and require lots of human guidance. The whole point of graphic design work is that an original, distinctive product is provided to every customer. Designers of these AI tools are trying to ensure that every logo and website are unique and that they don’t look like cookie-cutter graphic output. These tools and the humans designing them — still have a lot to learn, and a lot of fine tuning that needs to be done.
The tools can’t yet do a lot of customization — that is for the future. Universities are doing amazing research in the area, like University of Toronto’s DesignScape project. This tool is a mentor of sorts to human graphic designers, presenting them alternate design solutions to help them learn. Adobe has taken a great interest in DesignScape, and one day, its features could be in products like Adobe Illustrator.
Experts would describe today’s AI graphic tools as a rudimentary beginning, but there is no doubt these tools will mature, and we will see the next incredible desktop publishing revolution.