Today, I'm delving into a recent project that has been a blast - creating a fresh, engaging label for a local company. In today's arena of visual representation - with all the noise out there competing for your attention, the power of a well-executed logo cannot be overstated.
To iterate and complete the work I'd end up using three main tools: Midjourney, a generative, text-to-image AI engine, Adobe Photoshop, and Canva, an online graphic design tool (the basic version is free, I used the paid "pro version"). The original work was completed in just a little over a day, which I still can't wrap my mind around. AI in the graphic design world has fundamentally reshaped the creative landscape, democratizing the entire process. Before, it was the domain of skilled artists with access to expensive software and years of training. Now, graphic design is now accessible to anyone with vision. AI-based design tools like Midjourney are revolutionizing the field, providing intuitive, user-friendly platforms that generate high-quality and customizable elements. There are even tools such as Designs.ai that do all the work for you. At the time of writing this though the AI tools are new enough...and strange enough, that that it bears briefly discussing what this all means at this point in time.
AI is not just a tool; it's an enabler, lowering the barriers to entry to the world of graphic design, photography and art in general. Now, entrepreneurs, small business owners, and novices with a flair for creativity can translate their visions into professional-grade design work. This democratization doesn't dilute, or threaten the role of experienced designers; rather, it complements it. Professional designers now have a wider array of tools to experiment with, allowing them to push creative boundaries and deliver more innovative solutions, and in record time. In short, the integration of AI into the creative world has broadened the canvas, inviting more players to contribute to the rich world of visual art.
Instead of treating AI as a replacement for human labor, many leaders view it as augmented intelligence that improves human work. This perspective seems appropriate considering the many ways AI can work hand-in-hand with designers. This human-machine partnership will increase agility, reduce cost, expand personalization, and accelerate time to market for new designs. - Bill Doerrfeld
To get the feel for the logo's main character, which was to be a monkey, or some member of the ape family, I initially experimented with various AI design tools, and a number of different prompts. I ran through the various generative AI platforms of Adobe's Firefly, OpenAi's Dalle 2, and Stable Diffusion, each with its own unique features. I quickly ran into the current limitations of each: Dalle 2
Ultimately though, I ended up on Midjourney, which I've had a lot of success using in the past. I went though hundreds...maybe thousands of iterations on the theme:
Multiple methods inside of Midjourney were used - tweaking and refining prompts and their weights over and over, blending multiple source images together, and creating numerous variations on anything deemed successful.
Ultimately, I arrived on this character: hopeful, eyes wide, looking up to the night sky in wonder...
With some minor tweaks in Photoshop the art was ready to go.
Next, typography, the essential companion to any logo, required a tool that could provide rapid iteration capabilities without sacrificing quality or usability. Here, the pro version of Canva paid for itself - it's an amazing resource for anyone creating a design. Its intuitive interface and extensive font library made it a perfect choice for getting the visual representation I was aiming for, and the ability to quickly shuffle through multiple color variations is invaluable.
For me, the process for this project served as a case study of modern logo creation. It underscores the potency of blending emerging AI platforms with new and conventional design tools, a hybrid approach that both augments creativity and elevates design quality - and, most importantly it's accessible to anyone. And we're just getting started...