Stop worrying. Love the AI bomb. But make sure you know how it works.

Thanks to our friends at Kittl for sponsoring this blog post! Author: Philip Low

AI. AI. AI AI AI. Bored yet? Well at least Google’s crawlers are paying attention. But maybe they - and maybe you too - should read on, as all is not how it seems…

The elephant in the artificially intelligent room is clear: vendors are telling me that their AI-powered tool will make me more productive, but I’m worried that my client or boss is eyeing up a way to replace me. Many of us in the creative space will have seen OpenAI’s recent video AI update - no denying that we’ve come a immensely long way from Will Smith’s hallucinatory spaghetti gobbling in a very short time. And in truth, some industries - customer service, retail, precision manufacturing - do have a tougher time explaining what their employees will be spending their time in the medium term.

But I’m not worried about the design space, and its crown jewel: the creatives & designers themselves. We’ve also seen a recent explosion in AI-powered tooling here, but I am entirely confident that this is a good thing for everyone - from the creative themselves, to the client, and of course for the audience enjoying the beauty of creative communication & design. Why? The usefulness today is real, and I share three thoughts below - all explaining why this revolution is a tide that raises all boats.

Nail your pitch, not your budget

I recently saw the truly inspiring Ade Chong give a talk at the Design Leaders Conference, and she spoke passionately about their “no free pitches” policy - an ambitious stance for a small agency, but an entirely understandable & reasonable one, especially in this economic climate. And yet you’ve got to get in the door, right? Enter AI: with a few thoughtful prompts, and some neat presentation, Studio Chong have been able to tease their creative power at a fraction of the cost & time.

This goes for in-house teams as much as agencies. Get a v0 brief done in no time, and make sure that pesky VP is actually committed to this project, and the direction you want to take it in. And don’t be scared to tell them what you did; AI is a cockpit they understand as little as they do Adobe - you’re increasing your value, not decreasing it.

Do it all in one place - together

We’re all bored of the 80:20 rule, but it sticks around for a reason - and a designer’s day-to-day is no exception; far too much time is spent on necessary but proportionally less valuable activities, from removing backgrounds, to tidying stray vectors, and getting that shading consistent across every version of the same design. We’ve all been there; installed that SVG exporter, subscribed to the ad-infested background remover, all miles away from the tooling you’re using day to day. Indeed, our research showed an average of 4.5 tools used per designer!

AI has been helping standalone for a while now, but a new breed is coming: professional grade vector editing in collaborative tooling, with AI embedded right into the workflow - allowing you to create, iterate, and collaborate with your colleagues & clients in the same place. That’s precisely why we’re building Kittl the way we are. AI on its own is weird. Useful, integrated, unobtrusive AI is epic.

No more compromise: Quality and Quantity

It’s easy to forget: like anything else, AI has a vast range of output quality, and it rewards you based on the effort you put in - the most thoughtful prompts create the best results, and the same attention to iteration on those prompts does the same. In my book that makes it another skill, another tool in the arsenal - those who put put in the effort to master it, will grow.

And the “democratization of design” - anyone now able to get going with the basics - is good for professionals too; by enabling non-experts to experiment easily using AI, the appreciation for design is only growing, which will only drive a greater investment in professional design resource: and that’s you!

No, I’m not worried at all - in fact I’m excited to see a true unleashing of creative potential. So many creatives we speak to have the same complaint; I have the ideas, but I don’t have the time. No time to learn a vastly complex tool, no time left after I do all the other things I need to do. Simply put: Everybody is at workload capacity - but far fewer are at creative capacity. AI fixes the first, and enables the second - with new tooling, and new time.

So embrace it. Don’t be wary of it. Just don’t see it as an excuse - as a mad cyclist once said; “It never gets any easier - I just get faster”

Kittl is the next-generation graphic design platform - combining an intuitive UI with professional-grade graphic design tooling, from collaborative vector editing through to advanced typography and beyond. Built in from the start, Kittl’s generative AI allows professionals to spend time on what really matters to them - creating beautiful design. Sign up here to get 25% off your first month with code DRIBBB.

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