Is AI taking over Graphic Design?

November 8, 2018
November 8, 2018 Roy Selbach

AI Graphic Design

Graphic Design in the past took so much time and effort to create a simple image. In order to create letterheads, magazines and the like, people had to have big desks and light tables because it was all manually assembled on printing presses. Photos were developed by hand with the use of darkrooms with chemicals.

This all changed in 1984 when Macintosh from Apple arrived. There was suddenly layout softwares like the Aldus Pagemaker and this allowed designers to actually make revisions with a click. Graphic design changed from being a study table to a computer screen which is known as the desktop publishing revolution. Designing transitioned from being a time consuming hands-on project to becoming a freer but more abstract in the digital world. This was a big change of seeing the results of choices quickly. Each decision had less gravity because there was always the option of undoing.

Right now we are on another turn of a revolutions with artificial intelligence and machines letting graphic design transition once more. The future of all this basically coming down to websites making themselves. Software that evaluates your text, type of business and creates pages with no need for you to put effort. These tools will be put to the web initially and may later on affect print design. Software makers will transfer these techniques onto layout tools and applications.

There is a lot of talk on how AI will drive graphic design but right now, the reality is far behind its grand goal. Several of the products available in the market are disappointing for users expecting amazing results. This is a disappointment but also brings us back to think about how design may really be for human beings with machines merely being an aid for us.

AI Graphic Design Examples

The Grid

The Grid

The Grid lets you know that your website design will be handled by the AI named Molly. She promises to never miss deadlines, charge more and cover all your demands which are issues of people with graphic designers. They have promoted the AI websites designing themselves since 2014 in their crowdfunding campaign.

When they did this campaign, they asked for $96 from their founding members and took years before producing the final item. When you watch their video right now, the next suggestion for it is a video on “the Grid Sucks, and is a long complaint about an early beta user. While Molly may be a breakthrough for AI, her role as of the moment is limited to creating color palettes and cropping photos. Many Reddit users complain about how the produced website is difficult to use and impossible to customize.

Currently, the only way to reach the brand is via a contact form with automated e-mail replies. This leads you to a demo video “The Five Minute Website on the Grid.”and just walks through the demo like normal content management systems like WordPress and Squarespace.


Wix logo

Wix is also a popular website maker that presents an AI solution: Wix ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence). Their claim is that it can create the website itself with the content you provide offering a multitude design options. You can simply click the option you like and the program will reformat it to your content. It is quick and easy but it’s more of an enhanced version of Wix rather than an actual tool that auto-generates websites.



Firedrop is another tool that incorporates AI and ML. Their AI is Sacha which is a chatbot who assists you with the site building process. They ask you a series of questions then follows up with suggestions and recommendations. It was launched in March 2015 as a drag and drop website builder and transitioned into a AI design tool by the end of the year. CEO Marc Crouch claims that the AI is meant to duplicate the experience of collaborating with a professional web designer.


The following are web design tools and although they do offer assistance via artificial intelligence, they still generally require hands-on use. You’re the one inputting the data, seeing the options and choosing the template. This is still very helpful especially if you’re starting out as a designer or just a small business owner. This can be proven as Firedrop really targets small business as their market.

With all the templates and the interfaces, the burden for these businesses to go online has massively lessened. The upcoming AI-based tools are just here to make it even easier and also to make sure that the websites being made don’t just end up looking the exact same. At the same time tho, the algorithms and routines used just still end up make it feel that everything was based on a template.

Graphic Designer’s Perspective

It can be noted that some graphic designers have stressed about getting replaced ever since the existence of digital means. Meanwhile John Maeda, the head of of computational design and inclusion at Automattic, is the opposite. He believes he’s always prepared to be one step above the machines. It’s more of an exciting challenge to him that he faces like a warrior.

Branding is something that is truly vital in every business and really takes human emotions to heart. Logos also take into account the history of a brand and all of the small things that are hard to put into a software.

Once professional graphic designers give some of the responsibility to technology or maybe even get eliminated from the creative process completely, some of which might actually prefer the change. This presents them an opportunity to step away from the gadgets and work with their hands once more. In the same way, if these AI algorithms end up working out, it would save a lot of time for designers. It would also provide them more chances to reflect on their creativity. At the end of the day, it would be hard to create something that would function the exact way a professional human designer would and we may just end up with something harder to deal with.

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