Future of the Graphic Designers

The era of AI has arrived in some style and white-collar jobs are receiving AI’s first impact. The whole IT industry is going through a drastic change. This is the change that literally everyone can feel I’m here to get some takes on graphic designers. Should they be dependent on AI as well for their assignments? " Are companies going to cut down there or even fire them? as AI can generate stunning outputs now…

There are stock websites - did this stop photographers or artists or designers?

Before websites there were catalogs of images sent out in a book, and you’d find the image you like and the relevant CD and load the image and use it for the design.

Before CDs there were floppy disks of images that came with maybe magazines that you buy in a series from a shop - or subscribe to them by post.

Before these catalogs of images/illustrations/logos etc. there were artists and photographers, illustrators and much more.

Did any of this stop the illustration community - the photography community - the design community?

AI is here - it’s just another tool to be utilised.

I fail to see how it will stop bespoke illustrations, photographs and other things.

I did see that someone developed a camera that can generate an image of an area - but this camera has no lense.

It’s connected to AI - and extrapolates from photos posted online, google maps, and other sources to build the image of the location.

It’s very surreal, you could take a photograph of anywhere in the world at any time in real time, using online sources to build a version.

Reminds of maybe the HoloDeck from Star Trek, imagine creating a photo of London in 1812, extrapolating images from sources all over the internet etc.

The imagine applying this to holograms and for now into the MetaVerse - or Virtual Reality - and building games/education tools etc. around this.

Like anything - industries are affected by new technology.

Design is no different.

We no longer use film to transfer to plates - it’s mostly all direct to plate.

And in some places the Plates are gone already - it’s going from Computer to Drum (not CTP (computer to plate).

So industries are affected by new technologies and innovations.

But I don’t think we’ll see any one being replaced - rather illustrators, photographers, designers etc. will utilise new tools.

When I started in Prepress there was 15 of us running the department. 4 years later before I left there was 2 of us running the entire prepress department.

Yes, skills maybe lost - or become less common.

But I still think brands, especially major brands, will still want to embrace and work with artists, photographers, illustrators, and designers.

There will be a flood of AI generated things, but I think it’s a wave based on how new it is. I think overtime this will subdue and it will embraced etc.

Who knows what the future holds.

We are on the cusp of a revolution, with AI and Quantum Computers we are fast approaching an evolutionary jump in knowledge and working ways.


Currently, AI can generate stunning outputs of particular and limited types of illustrations. It can also tweak photos to a degree, but I wouldn’t call its photo work stunning or up to professional quality standards.

The fields of professional illustration and photography were decimated several years ago by digital photography and stock sites. There are still professional photographers and illustrators, but my best guess is that there are ten times fewer of them than 20 or 30 years ago. As AI currently stands, I can’t imagine it having much effect in these fields beyond being a tool to use in specific situations. For that matter, AI’s ease in generating certain types of illustrations might even reinvigorate the field of illustration to some degree.

So far, I haven’t seen anything AI can do in graphic design that’s even remotely close to being usable. What it does with typography is laughable. Looking down the road into the near future, I don’t see this changing. I can envision it being integrated into design software in the near term as a tool, however. As it currently stands, commercial schools pumping out thousands of design graduates, cheap competition from overseas, low-quality work from crowdsourcing contest sites, and online do-it-yourself sites are a much larger and immediate threat.

Looking down the road several years as AI improves, I can see it gradually working its way into the profession. However, many years will go by before AI can sit down with clients, listen to them describe their problems, ask probing questions, and diplomatically counter their bad ideas while gently steering them in the right direction. Likewise, AI will need to advance far beyond what it can do today to analyze a client’s unique situation while proposing, selling, and implementing bespoke strategies, tactics, and solutions that go beyond what the client might have had in mind.

Will AI evolve to the point where it does become more of a threat than a tool in the profession? Yes, I think so, but that will happen in small steps that zig and zag into new areas that are difficult to predict with any certainty right now.


Prepress is something AI could very easily do. Assuming it can figure out just what the designer did to the file to get it to look like that.
I’m hoping it takes another 3 years. Cuz I can’t afford to retire until I’m eligible for Medicare at 65…(and maybe not even then.)

Graphic design is different from illustration. AI is an illustration tool.

My thinking exactly. On the list of things that are going to negatively affect a graphic designer’s career, AI doesn’t even make the top 20.

We shouldn’t underestimate AI. I think it’s just like when the first steam-engined vehicles came out. They were huge, loud, slow, and moved only on rails. They were no match for the horse back then. But we all know how it turned out to be. Steam engines didn’t just change how we move, It changed the whole global economy and culture. It’s just a matter of time…

We tend to think about AI replicating the human-desginer’s process. But there will be much more fundamental level paradigm shifts. As human designers, we bring “novelty” through our creativity. But most probably, AI will rise in a different path, generating “effectively working” creative materials based on billions (if not trillions) of human interactive data. Think about it… Al will identify and effectively utilize human behavioral patterns we can’t even fathom. And that will be a massively cost-effective way for the majority of businesses. All this is speculation, but I think this is very much possible…

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Graphic Design has been circling the drain for 2 years now. The longer I watch the faster it spins. Already the number of graduates out there far exceeds the available jobs. What makes any prospective design student think they will rise to the level of demand competency when already they can’t compete with the currently available crowdsourcing sites. Give this profession some serious serious, very serious thought about how you will manage to put food on the table 10-15 years from now if you haven’t made your splash.

A lot of freelancers out there that can actually earn a living doing design-only work were in the field and made a name just as computers started taking over. Hint: they aren’t being replaced one-for-one by the up-and-coming and quite a number of Design Studios have folded. The “I do logos, business cards and brochures” designer is toast. Aim higher and more technical.

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Think you missed a 0 off the end of the 2 there…


I agree. I am retired from 50 years as a designer/Creative Director, looking back over all that time. Many elements of design have changed since then, yet there is one thing that has not changed and I see the future being no different, in that all the changes only enhanced a designer’s ability to create better designs, but none have ever replaced the designer’s mind. Creative thinkers, the creativity of the human mind will always be needed to use new technologies, because a creative mind will always Trump mechanical thinking. Corporations will always see the difference and will want and need a creative human mind to do the work with these new tools.


yep 20

AI might actually be a good thing for the design industry. If you think AI is more so a threat to graphic design than say the trash content people are consuming to call themselves designers - then there’s more research to be done.

I can definitely see a time in the near future where the whole internet is going to be flooded with AI content, I’ve been doing writing full-time nowadays so I can definitely confirm, you can already see a lot of AI-written articles on the web.


But how is this good? Because it’ll filter out the self-proclaimed “designers” from the professionals - the people who’ve grinded out days and nights to polish and perfect their skills and give their 100% for every design project no matter how big or small.

Sure, people won’t be able to tell the difference at first, but people aren’t that dumb. Soon, they’ll come to realize a pattern, they’ll start seeing everything as generic.

When you’re being presented the same exact thing with a few tweaks here and there you’ll eventually be asking yourself “is this guy even a designer or are they just a basement dweller looking to make a quick buck because they’re too lazy to put in the work?” It wouldn’t take a genius to think the latter.

Should they be dependent on AI as well for their assignments?

If you’re dependent on these tools you’re an easy target. It’ll take just one power trip to make your brain go blank. You can’t think for yourself, what’re you going to do when you’re sitting in a client meeting and they ask you direct questions about how you’re going to solve THEIR SPECIFIC problem? Record them and ask ChatGPT to give a response for you?

giphy 3

The only thing you should be dependent on is your own ability to think and work. Don’t think you have the skills or knowledge? Then attain it, enroll in a course, uni, or read some articles on the web and get the relevant knowledge. Heck, you can even scroll through Pinterest until you get some creativity going.

Are companies going to cut down there or even fire them?

Are big brands like Coca-cola and Nestle going to fire them? Probably not, because they understand the value of coming up with innovative solutions and staying ahead of the competition by taking advantage of the one thing you can’t replicate: creativity.

Are SMEs going to cut down and fire them? Yup, I don’t doubt it for a second. It’s the classic case of “if I can do it myself, why should I pay someone to do it for me?” But here’s the thing, they can’t do it themselves. Even if they can, they won’t get the exact thing they want and would end up compromising.

I’ve had a client once tell me that they don’t want to continue working with me as I was charging them a high rate. Their designs were quite simple tbh, they could’ve done something like it on Canva. However, they ended up not only paying another designer to do the job for them but also comprimising on the design because what it got them was a pre-made stock template you can get online for free with just their images pasted in.


as AI can generate stunning outputs now

Although I agree Stable Diffusion’s been getting some sick upgrades, I don’t think it can generate stunning outputs in its current state. Tell it to draw some hands and you’ll see it flip its circuits.

Also, graphic design and digital art are different things. Right now, if you said it can create some stunning outputs for digital art - I might somewhat agree. But when it comes to graphic design, it doesn’t really respect the fundamentals nor does it have any thought process behind it. It’s more like, “make me a cool design kind” of thing and it’ll make it. I think @Just-B explained it better than anyone here.

Right now, in its current state, AI is unpredictable, and so its impact is also uncertain. But then again, I guess designers could utilize it for external things that may influence the design but not the design itself - such as arranging sets of data to present it in a senseable format.

I’ve made quite a few menu designs in my early days and if I were doing that today I would’ve definitely put all those menu items in an AI tool, tell it to arrange them categorically, and then list them out alphabetically or in order of price just so all I have to do is copy-paste the data in InDesign so I can focus on nothing but the design aspect.

You mean like Excel? :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Has anyone considered that AI graphic design looks schlocky because of the awful online references it is finding? :grin:
Once it is taught to make the intuitive leap from schlock to adapting a look to match a human perception, it will leave you in the dust. Sure it will require some thoughtful input and probably some market testing in the real world, but tell me again, how many dezinas graduated from college this year?

You mean like Excel?

Ah jeez you’re embarassing me out here

Has anyone considered that AI graphic design looks schlocky because of the awful online references it is finding? Once it is taught to make the intuitive leap from schlock to adapting a look to match a human perception, it will leave you in the dust.

Firstly, it’s already being taught to match a human perception, it’s not like they’re purposefully making it bad. But when you say references, what kind of references are you talking about?

As far as I know, AI tools like Stable diffusion use a model like the following:

So, I guess you’re suggesting that the images the AI is trained on should be better? Well, it currently has a billion images to choose from which it can scrape from the largest known databases. The real thing to improve would be its decision making. But the problems remains, it’ll pick and choose from existing images, which won’t work if the problem being defined doesn’t have an image to match it in these databases.

Sure then you could argue, “well that’s how designers make new things as well by incrementally improving the existing things”, etc. Which leads us ALL back to the SAME conclusion: it’s pretty early to say what kind of impact AI will exactly have on the design industry :stuck_out_tongue:

Making a photo isn’t really the same as making a design. Some of the so-called logo generators out there though return a lot of crap simply based on the input of a lot of crap.
GIGO applies. :slight_smile:
I wonder how much they’d have to pay a bunch of top-notch designers who are about to retire, to sell-out the lot of you by providing top-notch training to AI graphic design?
Hmm… Adobe did do that with their “logo generator.” Can’t find the info online anymore who it was. Probably got hate-mailed into cancellation.