If you’ve been on the internet at all in the last couple of months, you have probably seen the buzz around AI art generators like DALL·E 2, Stable Diffusion, and MidJourney. Graphic designers and marketers everywhere have been wondering how viable these tools are for marketing design. And with good reason.
On the one hand, marketers are always looking for ways to make their jobs that much easier, so it makes sense to look at these art generators as an easier way to get the designs that they need for their marketing projects.
On the other hand, designers everywhere are probably wondering if AI art generators are going to replace them.
We’re going to dive into how marketing departments and designers can use AI art generators to their advantage.
They can make your job easier if you understand exactly how to use them.
What are AI art generators?
The term artificial intelligence (AI) refers to computer programs that are able to complete tasks on their own instead of requiring human rules or intervention. AI continually learns the longer it’s active, gathering information and evolving in order to simulate human behavior, like creating art, for example.
How do AI technologies and AI systems factor into the art world and assist in the creation of design elements?
According to American Scientist, artists write algorithms for the AI to learn specific aesthetics or styles by analyzing hundreds of thousands of images. When a user enters a text prompt, the algorithm generates a new image in line with the styles it has learned.
Sounds simple, right?
Not so fast.
Art generator limitations.
In a perfect world, we could create AI generated art by plugging in a few words and hitting ‘enter’. Design is never that easy. Although generator apps are fun to play with, using them in a professional capacity is a different story.
Understanding what text to use in order to generate intentional works of art that don’t require a ton of edits, is an art in itself. A quick Google search would show you that text to image generators require a particular amount of expertise. Entire how-to’s and guides have been written to help users navigate the complexities of getting AI text just right.
In addition to the text to image limitations, there is also a cost to consider. Most platforms allow users a specific number of free generations, but after you have used up those images (likely two to three), you will have to pay for your future creations.
Even the latest, state of the art AI image generators are still too new to be the sole creator in the marketing design process, but there are ways for marketers to get in on the AI generator bandwagon, and the solution may surprise you.
Will art generators replace creative teams?
Images and design are just one part of the brand identity journey. For a lot of marketers, developing a memorable visual identity involves months of planning, mood-boarding, mining ideas, and working with a team of creatives to inspire and create the very foundation of your brand’s visual identity.
AI art generators can’t replace a team of creatives but it can help inspire them. We asked our creative community how they use AI art generators and some of the answers they gave were very insightful.
Catherine, Creative Director: I've only used MidJourney for initial visual exploration of abstract concepts so I could clarify my own thinking. I've not used any for final deliverables. I believe there are murky legalities to usage.
Pros: Fun! New! Interesting!
Cons: Learning Curve, Beta/Accessibility.
Farhan, Web Developer and Designer: I have also used it when I can't find the right visual I am thinking of. Sometimes it's actually more work because you need to know exactly how to put what you want in words. So rendering what you want with AI is a skill in itself.
Pros: The possibility of rendering something completely unique.
Cons: Time consuming, sometimes expensive (you have to pay after a certain point because you only get a certain amount of free credits), and as Catherine said, the learning curve can be steep.
Angela, Creative Director: It can be time consuming. With the amount of prompts you have to do to get close to what you want could consume a lot of your time. There are articles and guides out there specifically on writing good prompts.
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How to use AI art generators in your next marketing campaign.
Like most new technologies, it’s going to take time before AI art generators will be able to give users creations that can be used in your next print design or digital marketing campaign.
While art generators are useful for helping creatives ideate and explore their wildest ideas without spending too much time on it, your marketing strategy is going to take a little bit more elbow grease.
Marketing design is a strategic process. It takes more than a text prompt to create effective web design and eye-catching marketing materials. AI doesn’t understand your target audience or why this social media design works better than a human can.
So, can marketers use artificial intelligence art generators for their creative projects?
Yes, just don’t expect to cut creative corners with it any time soon.