“Art”-ficial Intelligence and the Design Industry

The creative industry is one of the most important areas in production and services as it can drive economic growth due to its prodigious innovation potential. According to IBISWorld, the market size of the industry has been growing by 2.5% each year from 2015 to 2020. The industry thrives off the client’s needs but that could also be the complication as they would have unclear expectations and would want everything put on the table.

Art is all about creating things which are visually appealing to the eye. Artists and designers have an essential mix of practical skills and also a talent in using colors, shapes and space. These kinds of skills are not traditionally needed in fields such as business and engineering which are more commonplace than the design speciality. This leads to the problem where the artists and clients find it difficult to find a common ground in designing tailor-made products.

Designing Pain Points

Client’s Unacquaintance

When it comes to customizing a product, the client needs to have a clear picture on what they want and how they would like it to come out. They could give a general picture, but it is typically the responsibility of the artist to fill in the gap and give nuances to the artwork. One thing that the artist could do is to give a selection of choices and ask them to pick out a few that they might like but it is very common that their indecisiveness would want everything to be presented on the table. “Perhaps why don’t we go with a bit of everything?” is a quintessential question that they may pose, but only the designers would know how much of a headache that would bring about.

Describing what you desire could be straightforward and simple but mostly only for off-the-shelf items and not so much for tailoring creative pieces. The client would not have the design vocabulary as such to narrate in detail what sort of elements and ingredients would be incorporated in their product. Besides, visual art is not only subjective but also abstract, it would be obscure to precisely account for every word requested by the client. For instance, the same term could hold for multiple meanings and subtle variances could alter the big picture of the image. It is also noteworthy that clients would not be able to visualize the final word from rough drafts as they are not visual thinkers and are not familiar with the design process.

Artists’ Headache

With respect to the art talents, the contemporary design process could also be a hassle. Because of the clients’ uncertainty on their current design, they would come up with some new ideas that they would like in their product which could be technically contrasting to the initial plan. The designers therefore with this quick turnaround would have to revamp the whole process and also work in the same time frame to get the job done. Art talents should also have their own uniqueness and also stay relevant to the present day market.

Marriage of AI & Art

The advent of artificial intelligence has taken over several aspects of businesses and continues to transform the way we go about it. It has certainly taken over the creative industry and it is making art that seems to turn everyone’s heads. Most of the AI artworks are made by neural network algorithms. Neural networks to put it simply simulate lots of densely interconnected brain cells in a computer to get it to learn things such as recognizing patterns and making decisions in a humanlike way. They can create original pieces that are increasingly difficult to tell apart from those made by humans. But how can this help when it comes to the design process?

The AI platform for the design phase works just like any other recommendation system, to filter information and in this case images and predict the preference on what the user may like. It can help as a visual aid for the art talent to create and could even act as a base if the client is fond of the AI design. It can offer a different artistic perspective and vital pieces of what the outcome could look like.

The system could extract the exact predominant and principal colors constituted in the reference images and highlight it. The exact shade of color is then known by the art talent and this saves trouble of explaining what kind of colors the client may want. Also, there are multiple illustration styles varying from Abstract to Minimalism and some might not be able to differentiate between the styles and that is where the AI system comes in as it could easily annotate the reference image with the style name. This helps the clients on what the illustration type could be for their artwork even without having prior knowledge on it.

As the AI system trains from learning from different thousands of stock images, the art talents can reference it confidently in terms of relevancy as art can keep changing. Working with quick turnarounds would also be more uncomplicated as the newly requested reference images could be fed to the system and yield almost instant results with respect to colors and styles. This can save not only time but also effort as they may have to start from scratch if not for it.


Although there is always some sort of skepticism on the use of modern technology for something as sacred and abstract such as art, the prospects of it have been promising and capturing the public and collector’s imagination. A prime example could be in October 2018 when an AI generated image sold for $423,500 when it was thought to sell for only $10,000, this shows that the public is intrigued by art no matter the kind of artist and the school of thought that art is the exclusive domain of human creativity could no longer hold true.




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