AI has played a disruptive role in design for over a decade.

And as each day passes, the algorithms grow in capability; now, even the most creative skill sets are within the machine’s reach. 

Fortunately, innovative design companies aren’t looking to replace people with robots just yet. 

But designers must align with these technology trends and use them to their advantage to ensure they remain irreplaceable! 

What Is Machine Learning?

Listen to any graphic design online chat room, and you’ll hear the nervous tones of graphic designers while they debate the impact machine learning might have on their future. 

Graphic designers worldwide are worried; the question is, should they be? 

To find the answer, we must first understand what machine learning is.

Machine learning is a subset of artificial intelligence, defined as the capability of machines to imitate human behavior. 

Artificial intelligence is based on the idea that systems can learn from analytic data to automate analytical model building, identify patterns, and create solutions without human intervention.   

Why Do Designers Need to Embrace Machine Learning?  

Machine learning won’t replace the designers of tomorrow, but it could replace the designers of today if they don’t embrace it. 

As the hype around machine learning intensifies, it increases the pressure on companies to use the technology or risk being left behind, and we can say the same for designers.

Designers are facing increasing demands to work with digital systems powered by machine learning. And it will be the designers who embrace AI that turn these demands into opportunities. 

But what direct impact does machine learning have on graphic design? Let’s find out.

What Can Machine Learning Do for Designers?

Machine learning can reduce the workload for graphic designers by performing repetitive tasks, saving time and resources, and freeing them up to focus on the bigger picture.

In other words, machines aren’t replacing designers but working as their assistants, increasing productivity and efficiency. 

But AI can do more than assist; it can help designers create images that would otherwise be impossible by analyzing available data to identify patterns and develop models beyond human capability in a given timeframe.

The result is graphic designers can use AI to create multiple design variations quickly and cheaply and use vast amounts of data to suggest adjustments and improvements. 

Let’s take a closer look at where machine learning is having the most significant impact.

How Artificial Intelligence is Changing the Design Industry

It’s clear that AI will play an essential role in the design industry’s future. 

In fact, we should allow machine learning technology to inspire innovation while ensuring the fundamentals of graphic design are kept intact. And the key to achieving this is identifying where AI has the most significant influence on the design industry.

One of the areas is website design.

1. AI and Website Design

Website builders have been using AI to create websites with no human graphic designers for almost a decade. 

It starts by asking the user a few design questions and the website’s name.

Next, the AI analyzes the user’s website needs and design preferences, then designs the layouts after confirming the relevance of distinct elements to be created using their cognitive abilities.

Users upload text and images and then choose from library design options and color combinations to create a customized website based on their unique choices.

Web design AI has removed the need to build websites from scratch using code. Now anyone can create an attractive functioning site with no previous web design or building experience. 

2. AI and Brand Design

Logo design is another area where AI has become very big. What once took professional designers and a sizable investment to create is now accessible to anyone with an Internet connection and a credit card.

Machine learning and AI logo makers are now very popular because they’re affordable and can provide a logo in many file formats equal to what most freelancers on Fiverr could provide. 

AI logo-making platforms are also straightforward to use. As with the AI website builders, you answer a range of industry and design-related questions, and the logo tool does the rest. 

Here’s where AI is making a massive difference for first-time business owners and entrepreneurs, as it’s making brand design affordable and accessible, with little to no design experience necessary. 

3. AI and 3D Graphics

AI can do more than design two-dimensional graphics like branding materials and websites; it can also build three-dimensional graphics. 

Architects and engineers also use artificial intelligence to build three-dimensional architectural models, enabling them to create highly detailed blueprints of the most complex building plans. 

But AI goes beyond our imaginations in its ability to create worlds for virtual reality, mixed reality, and artificial reality. These tools design the graphics for these worlds and can also react intelligently to user behavior and interaction.

4. Design Context Interpretation

We base traditional design work on a step-by-step process; this takes time and dedication to bring all the design elements together to create a harmonious, functional relationship.  

AI-based software, however, isn’t constrained by this process. Machine learning tools adopt a different approach by focusing on the design context, interpreting its needs, and creating numerous solutions.

By doing so, artificial intelligence can produce similar quality results to human designers based on the design context. It’s this advanced AI automation that makes it so appealing to the design industry.

5. Speed and Efficiency 

Designers using AI can now create designs at a speed and cost that would have seemed like science fiction only a few short years ago. 

It’s because AI can analyze vast amounts of data at lightning speed and provide design suggestions accordingly. 

This capability brings many advantages to the graphic design world, one being it enables designers to create multiple design prototypes for companies wishing to run A/B tests with their target audience. 

6. Multiple Design Options

AI can also identify thousands of designs based on one core structure. 

The technology is used in structural recognition systems, thumb, facial identification software, etc. 

It helps the machines become more capable of identifying patterns and memorizing them for each design.

Once AI identifies and memorizes a pattern, it can use it to generate multiple variations instantly. 

One such case was a project titled “Nutella Unica“, where an AI algorithm pulled patterns and colors from the secret Ferrero Group database and created seven million unique versions of Nutella’s original packaging.

7. Making the Design Process Effortless

It doesn’t matter what you’re designing or your level of experience, bringing several elements together that work in harmony while looking effortless is a complicated process. 

Artificial intelligence and machine learning ease that process. 

While you still require a basic understanding of what you’re designing, artificial intelligence reduces manual work. It simplifies the execution by providing options based on the context and needs of your design. 

The previously mentioned website development and logo-making platforms are excellent examples of this at play.  

But does this rapid rise of AI technology and automation mean it will soon make designers redundant? 

Not if you use it to your advantage.

Using Machine Learning to Your Advantage

Advanced machine learning tools are already here; it’s up to us to either let them replace us or enhance our design capabilities. 

It’s the designers who use AI to their advantage by adopting and teaching it to understand their workflow that’ll flourish. 

For example: 

If you regularly use Photoshop, you can educate a machine learning tool to analyze your workflow and suggest shortcuts and improvements that can increase your productivity. 

And companies such as YouTube and Amazon use this example daily to detect what you regularly search for to make suggestions based on recent history.

Conclusion

AI will not put designers out of business, but it will replace the traditional ways of doing things. 

We have already embedded artificial intelligence into the design industry, helping generate graphics for brands, websites, virtual reality, reducing the workload, and speeding up the process. 

But AI isn’t here to show us what we’re already aware of. Artificial intelligence is presenting us with an open market for innovative thought and ideas. 

If designers harness this opportunity and align the power of AI with their ingenuity, the future could be a mutually beneficial lasting relationship between humans and machines.