Automated Graphic Design

A good chunk of graphic production skills have already been automated. Optimists might argue that this frees up the designer to get more creative in design. But how much of the creative portion can be automated? How soon should we be concerned about this? What are your predictions for the graphic design profession in regards to automation?


It is already too late for your profession. From the very first days of Adobe/Quark.
Design became “automated” and it became cookie cutter boring. It had gotten better recently but now the proliferation of online drag and drop crap and store-bought logos, yeah, well… now it’s canned design.
Good luck with that.

Cookie-cutters are designed. Yes, this reduces the amount of customization jobs while increasing the competition for designers of generic templates, clip-art, and stock photography. However, I wouldn’t call that “automation.” It’s as old as paste-up. Desktop publishing did accelerate the trend; but I would call that automated production, not automated design.

An example of automated design would be a computer algorithm that creates the template, renders the logo, or rearranges the content without a pre-designed solution. I haven’t seen any of that yet, but I’ve been out of the game for a while.

I think intuitive-thinking computer power will be applied to far more important things first, not so much graphic design solutions. It would be absolutely perfect though if, after the “client” inputs all their silly wants and desires, the computer shows a screen that just says, “that is so stupid” and locks the keyboard.


omg WANT! :smiley:



But seriously, that’s what professional designers wish would happen. In reality, the software would probably educate the client on why their ideas are bad, making professional designers less necessary.

Do clients want to be educated now? Can’t imagine them wanting to be schooled by a machine that is supposed to do what they want.
It does depend on the client though, I suppose.

We already have the template sites which are OK for some jobs and some people. True graphic design will become more expensive maybe and less used but we will always have it. I can’t see Graphic Design going the way of Letterpress where it’s an ‘artisnal’ thing.

I can see online template sites going that way - pick a colour palette, a style, level of detail etc. and you get 5 choices, you pick one and repeat the process until you’re happy. I just want to see how it copes if the client says “Make it pop”.

It will be kind of like the software that people use to do their taxes. Most people don’t question whether their tax software is accurate because they know that they are in over their heads when it comes to knowing tax laws. Likewise, many clients will trust a graphic design program when it tells the client that a page layout is too busy or that a set of colors clash. They will assume that this is the kind of information that is taught in art college that they won’t have to know if they just trust the software. But for those who question the software, a dialog box might pop-up that explains the graphic design principle applied.

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As long as the client can specify what layout item specifically needs to pop, there will probably be a simple algorithm that does something to the effect of adding drop shadows, brightening colors, contrasting edges, or automatically darkening the background.

Where it get’s complicated is when the client expects to make every item in a single layout stand out amongst all other items. Some clients just don’t understand the concept of mutual exclusivity in items competing for attention. It’s like trying to tip both ends of a scale in the same direction.

This could easily go to “what makes a designer happy” topic

People use their cameras on Auto, and are happy with whatever comes out. If you want better photographs, you learn to use the manual settings.

I suspect they would have the same mindset. Many will use the templates - hell, they already do - because they don’t know the difference. But those who want better quality, effective design will find the tools (that would be us) to accomplish the thing.

At some point in the future, the manual settings on a camera might become obsolete. It would be just a matter of telling the camera what kind of effect you are looking for without needing to know the technical steps to achieve that effect.

It similar to the concept of WYSIWYM, only less production-oriented. This frees up the user to think more creatively on the fly without having to know why their ideas are not possible. Whenever the user demands something that’s not possible, artificial intelligence reels in the idea just enough to make it possible. The user will still have the option to learn why their ideas are not possible as demanded, but will not be required to know.

If any artists are hired, it will be for their creative skills, not their technical skills because they won’t need technical skills.

NO. Thousands of photographers would rise up in rage. We need our manual settings.

When things go obsolete to automation, they are always followed by a long period where manual override is an option. This is a gradual weaning period that last until a critical mass of users eventually realize they don’t need the manual overrides and find it less expensive to forfeit the option. The manufacturers will stop providing the option when nobody seems to miss it. Rage will be minimal and fall on deaf ears.

I doubt there will ever be an automatic setting on the camera for every situation. For example, what if I want the depth of field to be so shallow that the subject’s eyes are in sharp focus but the tip of his nose and his ears have just the right degree of blurriness?

The camera will read your brain waves and know that’s what you wan’t before you know it. :stuck_out_tongue:

But seriously, there was a time in history when autofocus on cameras tried to guess what the subject was. Fast forward to now, it’s gotten better at recognizing the subject from facial recognition algorithms or whatever is closest to the center of the frame. And if it’s wrong, you can tap on the touch screen for the part you want in focus. It won’t be too much trouble to tap on the part you want out of focus, and even drag left or right to adjust the focus of that section.

The point is that it won’t be a technical decision to get what you want. It will be a creative decision in which the camera will know better than you how to technically achieve what you think you want, or what the camera thinks (or knows) you want.



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The blurry thing can be done in PhotoShop - in fact many of the Photographers I know don’t sweat over getting the photo ‘just right’ because they know it can be fixed / enhanced later.

I’m not saying it’s right, just how it is.

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