3 Mind-Blowing AI Facts that Will Change Your Life as a Designer

Apr 25, 2023
Suzanne Reeves & Kirk Clyne
An illustration of a graphic designer on the left looking at his watch while he works, on the right a determined looking robot works on a design on a computer at a desk.An illustration of a sleek, futuristic robot sitting at a computer like a designer

3 Mind-Blowing AI Facts that Will Change Your Life as a Designer

Exhilarating. Empowering. Terrifying.

As designers, those are just some of the feelings we have on a daily basis as we add artificial intelligence into our creative workflow.

Ready or not, here are 3 reasons AI tools are about to revolutionize your life as a designer.

1. The robots can design

Most creatives know by now that AI can generate illustrations, photographs, logos and copy.

A range of AI generated images from photo realism to 3D models to typography to fantasy illustration to website design
The quality of generated imagery has been improving at breakneck speed.

But that's just the beginning. The robots can also:

  • Create working websites from scribbled wireframes (finally, napkin sketches pay off!)
  • Build dynamic presentations and decks
  • Render 3D objects and realistic product mockups
  • Create responsive layouts for ads, brochures, and social posts
  • Create apps, video, voice overs, music and more

And they do most of it from a single text prompt.

A screenshot of a app screen and the prompt that created it
Galileo AI builds app pages in seconds and was trained on thousands of web designs

Why this will change your life as a designer:

At minimum, the tools we use are already changing.

We're seeing exponential growth of these technologies, along with massive investment from Adobe and Figma, Microsoft, Google, Canva, Shopify, Notion, and other major players.

You won't lose your job to a robot anytime soon, but you may lose it to a designer who uses robots.

A quote from the former CTO of Dropbox that reads "I am blown away by the ingenuity and complexity of [Galileo's] machine-learning implementation, the level of fidelity of this engineering challenge is remarkable."
The quality and functionality of these products is improving and being noticed by industry leaders

It might also change who creates (and is most suited to) design, because pretty soon, knowing how to push pixels won't be enough.

As we enter the AI era, designers with great aesthetic taste and attention to craft may lose out to those who take a deep interest in the human psychology of our users, or the realities of business.

2. The robots are fast. Like, super-duper fast

AI's rapid advancements enable it to generate intricate designs at superhuman speeds, revolutionizing the creative process.

Harnessing the power of AI, architectural software can now generate elaborate building plans tailored to specific needs, expediting the design process from weeks to just a few hours.

When it comes to graphic design, developers are now constantly releasing new platforms that can spit out designs in mere seconds.

A screenshot of a app screen and the prompt that created it
Flutterflow’s new no code AI Gen can build working app pages

Why this will change your life as a designer:

AI may enable you to say, "See ya!" to parts of the job that are boring, repetitive or purely executional, freeing up your precious time for other things.

Ideally, that will lead to a better work/life balance, or allow us to spend more of our work time focusing on the "big D" aspects of design, like user research, problem-finding, and ideation.

However, clients may also start expecting design to cost less — as we’re seeing in the legal industry, after ChatGPT passed the bar exam in March:

A screenshot of an ad promoting prices 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of biglaw due to their use of AI.
AI enables new players to enter and disrupt well-established industries

Time is money, so business owners are attracted to the promise of increased productivity, hoping to double or triple — or maybe even 10x their profits.

To do that, they may expect designers to churn out more work in less time. Or, salaries may reduce, given the work is no longer as specialized. Or, they may hire a team of prompt writers with only a designer or two to handle QA.

A quote: "Goldman Sachs predicts 300 million jobs will be lost or degraded by AI. Office admin support, legal, architecture and engineering, business and financial operations, management, sales, healthcare and art and design are some sectors that will be impacted by automation."

3. The robots can ideate

A common misconception we hear when talking with designers is that the robots still need a human to “come up with the ideas.”

Here's some food for thought. This meme was created by the robots, from concept to execution. The AI dictated the creative direction, wrote the copy, and did 95% of the execution.

A meme with an illustration of a graphic designer on the left looking at his watch while he works, on the right a determined looking robot works on a design on a computer at a desk. At the bottom, the text reads "When you realize your new colleague can design faster than you."
Meme created in collaboration with ChatGPT4 & Midjourney

Why this will change your life as a designer

The robots are proving to be great co-pilots, for both execution and ideation. They are likely to become a valued guest in your brainstorming sessions. We definitely invite them to ours.

Speaking of letting the robots ride shotgun, we asked a robot to write an alternate headline for this newsletter that was "humorous and light." It came up with this gem: "AI: The Designer's New BFF (Best Frenemy Forever)"

We LOL'd, and then cringed — because it's a bit too close for comfort.

The sobering truth many of us don’t want to consider is that soon a designer may no longer be needed to ideate and execute great creative.

Most people could write the simple suggestion used to trigger the ideation for the above meme. And, while we used a specific tech stack and workflow to execute, soon enough a developer will automate our process and slap a $10/mo subscription on it for any marketer, potential client, or rando to use.

While most designers aren’t making a living creating memes, what the example shows is how easy it’s becoming to automate the creative process.

“Exhilarating. Empowering. Terrifying.”

We weren’t exaggerating. These are the feelings we are experiencing as we research and use AI for our creative endeavours.

We don’t share our perspective with you lightly. We know how triggering it can be.

We share it with you because we care. About you. About your job. About the work we all love.

We believe that these tools will wield the best results in the hands of professional designers.

We're creative, adaptable, resilient and human-centered. There's not another group of professionals better suited to navigate — and shape — the future of our relationship to this technology.

But, we’re all likely going to have to prove that. And fast.

An animated gif of a Star Wars stormtrooper vaccuuming a sandy beach
It's hard to predict which careers AI and automation will impact (Source)


A creative leader, designer, teacher and artist with a 20-year career, Kirk Clyne is well-positioned to help designers master new technologies and build exceptional careers in the creative industry. He co-founded Art & Science, a digital design agency that landed on the Globe & Mail’s Growth 400 list, and spent the better part of a decade teaching digital design courses at San Francisco State University and the Academy of Art College.

Suzanne is an experienced entrepreneur and design leader fascinated by AI's transformative potential. She's run her own successful design firm for the past 10 years, built and mentored design teams, and has degrees in Psychology and Fine Art. Passionate about nurturing the next generation of 'design unicorns', she helps teams and individuals leverage strategy, design, and building skills, believing AI tools can exponentially expand our creative potential.