The role of AI in assisting designers

There’s been a lot of chat (not of the GPT variety) from folks concerned about AI replacing creatives. But most of what we’re seeing evidences the benefits of AI in assisting designers with the mundane aspects of our work to free up our time for more creativity!


Currently, whilst it’s possible to train computers to synthesise creativity, they can’t initiate in the way that a human can. University of Sussex cognitive scientist Margaret Boden estimates that 95% of creativity is ‘exploratory’ with only 5% being ‘truly transformational’. Very little is actually understood about what enables the human brain to be creative and many studies are being undertaken to understand it better.

John Smith, Manager of multimedia and vision at IBM Research states “It’s easy for AI to come up with something novel just randomly. But it’s very hard to come up with something that is novel and unexpected and useful.” That’s where human designers will always have the upper hand! We generate excitement and joy through presenting things that are unexpected and they earn their place through their usefulness.

On the quest for assistive AI, we’ve taken a look at some of the AI-powered tools available to creatives like us which include:

  • (for ad and social creatives)
  • Alpaca (logo generation via algorithm)
  • (for easy presentation creation)
  • Colormind (intelligent colour combination suggestions)
  • Eb synth (transforms still images into animated sequences)
  • NVIDIA Canvas (transforms simple sketches into detailed realistic images)
  • Runway (content generation, image synthesis and style transfer)
  • Scalenut (graphic design, video creation and written content generation) and
  • StarryAI (creates paintings and photos from prompts)

A really practical use of AI in our world is being made available through the Generative AI fill in Adobe Photoshop which enables creatives to extend images, change backgrounds, add and remove objects with a simple text prompt. We can see this being a total game changer in the industry, helping to cut time and budgets considerably, but also likely negatively impacting budgets for photoshoots and stock photography.

Whilst tools like Generative AI can create unique and personalised outputs, because of the nature of its use of existing data, it can also infringe on copyright, so it’s a tool to be used with caution. Nobody wants to unwittingly step into a visual version of an Ed Sheeran copyright case…

Where AI really comes into its own is when used to automate repetitive tasks enabling creatives to focus on the more complex areas that add unique value. AI can also be used as an editorial tool, analysing images and videos for areas of improvement and automating adjustments.

A great example of this was in use as early as 2016. The IBM Watson cognitive platform assisted the editors for the Morgan movie trailer by analysing what made a great horror film trailer, then using that data to select scenes from the completed movie. This saved editors weeks of tedious trawling through footage, enabling them to focus their time on the creative composition.

IBM famously said of its innovation that while AI will ‘never replace the human soul of creativity, it can certainly offer many benefits serving as a smart, efficient and inspirational assistant.’

For us, we’re looking to explore using AI to:

  1. Identify a client’s challenge and translate it into a brief
  2. Streamline research, gather and analyse information to enable data-driven decision-making
  3. Spark new ideas and help to iterate concepts
  4. Refine ideas through its ability to make recommendations on colours, typography and layout

If you’re looking for some human creatives to connect with, please ping us an email to and someone with flair and personality will get back to you!

RCA Logo