AI design tools are streamlining work for designers and content creators. Here are 8 of the best to check out.
Artificial intelligence is changing how we do business and helping us do new things we never could before, faster.
In the design world, AI helps expand creativity, reduce time spent on manual work, and it helps non-designers make images they wouldn't have been able to before.
And Artificial intelligence “learns” with more data, so over time, it’s only getting better and better. There are new developments and new tools launching in this space literally every day.
Here are the ones you should check out first.
Let’s Enhance is an AI tool built to help you improve the image quality of a design or image that you already have. The idea is to both improve the image and enlarge it, without compromising on the quality.
The tool uses super resolution technology and attempts to reconstruct an image at a higher resolution based on a given set of images at a lower resolution. The AI has been trained on a huge dataset, meaning that it has learned what the typical features are of a vast range of images.
Let’s Enhance can: preserve the details of an image, remove image compression artifacts, build key details in a higher resolution, and upscale images accurately. If you were to look at pros and cons, a potential con is that it’s a tool for when you already have an image to use as source material, so it has a limited scope. On the other hand, if you have an image that needs enhancing, this can be a great tool for saving you time. Designers might avoid lengthy work in Photoshop or similar design tools.
In terms of content licensing, which is an issue with some tools, Let’s Enhance says:
“We do not claim ownership of your content that you submit through the Service. Instead, when you upload or process content that is covered by intellectual property rights (like photos) on or in connection with our Service, you hereby grant Let’s Enhance a non-exclusive, revocable license to use, store, display, reproduce, re-post, modify, create derivative works of (including through aggregation), perform the Content, solely in the course of providing the Services and for its internal business purposes. Let’s Enhance has the right to grant to its contractors sublicenses under the licenses granted under this section and for the same purpose. If you request for the deletion of your Content, Let’s Enhance will use reasonable efforts to remove it from the Services, but you acknowledge that caching or references to the Content may not be made immediately unavailable.”
DALL•E 2 (a name combining WALL-E like the movie and Dali, like the artist) is OpenAI’s follow-up to its original DALL•E research from 2021 and a significant state of the art leap forward in image compisition and quality.
DALL•E 2 uses a diffusion model that refines the image, filtering out noise over different iterations. It’s capable of creating almost anything, given its broad pool of data to draw from.
It can also use a “context aware fill”, similar to what Photoshop has, only with more awareness around it. Where Photoshop might add a clone of an image, DALL•E 2 can add other images that fit within the wider context.
However, like other AI-based tools (such as recruitment software), DALL•E 2 has been criticized for engaging biases, including along gender and racial lines. For example, occupations like “builder” are likely to show a man, while “nurse” or “receptionist” is likely to show a woman.
It’s also gotten some criticism for its lack of creativity. DALL•E 2 “colors inside the lines” more than some of the other text-to-image AIs on this list.
On the positive side, they recently allowed full usage rights to images, which wasn’t the case previously.
Accomplice allows users to create virtually any sort of design you can think of by using a range of design models to produce them.
Models have “learned” styles, techniques, and objects through being presented with a large amount of data.
One of the really powerful things about Accomplice is that users can create their own models, opening up the possibilities for unique brand styles at scale.
You can work with any design, from something illustrative to surreal to photorealistic. There are even Accomplice models for sharpening your current images and for doing tasks such as taking out the background.
The tool is simple to use for both designers and non-designers alike. The images you create are royalty-free, so you’re able to use them however you like, including commercially.
Remove.bg has just one, simple job to do; to remove the background from images that you upload. This is often otherwise a tedious, time-consuming task that can take even the most seasoned designer a while to finish.
This tool allows you to make the background transparent (a PNG file), plain white, or any other type of background you choose. (Need an album of pretend holiday snaps? Yep, you can put the Eiffel Tower in your background).
As an added bonus, Remove.bg integrates with software workflows you may already use. Free accounts come with one credit per month, which gives you a full-resolution image, otherwise, you can opt for a paid plan, or pay as you go for more full-resolution images.
Nightcafe helps you to create artistic images from either your own photographs or designs (style transfer), or from prompts that allow you to type in (text to image). The software is easy to use. Once you’ve logged in, you choose a prompt and a style, followed by either an artistic or coherent algorithm. Hit “create” and Nightcafe will produce an interpretation of your prompts.
Nightcafe is well-reviewed and people have reported being impressed by the quality of prints they have made from their designs. It works on a system of credits. More credits give you more images or better resolution.
Nightcafe assigns you the copyright to the images you create, as long as you own or have permission to use any input images used.
Starry AI is another option for creating AI-based art. You choose either the Altair AI for dream-like, more abstract images, or the Orion AI for “unreal reality.” It works with text prompts, image prompts, and artistic style choices.
You own the rights to your images as long as you have the right to use any prompts you used. Starry AI gives you five credits per day on a free plan, or you can choose a paid plan that gives you a monthly number of additional credits, alongside your five per day.
Midjourney is another AI art tool, creating designs from text prompts. You type /imagine into the chat box to generate a prompt field. In that field, you type a description of the art you’d like. You need to be as descriptive as possible, including any art style you would like. Midjourney will then create four low-resolution images, and you pick your favorite to upscale to a higher resolution.
You can, for the most part, use your images how you like, but there are a couple of exceptions:
1) If you’re using the images as an employee of a company that makes more than USD$1 million in revenue, you need to purchase a Corporate plan.
2) If you’re using images for anything related to blockchain technologies, you need to pay a 20% royalty on any revenue over $20k per month. This means Midjourney wouldn’t be a top choice for NFT creators.
Stable Diffusion – from Stability AI – is the new kid on the AI block and is still in beta. But it is a leap forward as far as openess, quality, and speed go:
Stable Diffusion is a text-to-image model that will empower billions of people to create stunning art within seconds. It is a breakthrough in speed and quality meaning that it can run on consumer GPUs. You can see some of the amazing output that has been created by this model without pre or post-processing on this page.
Since Stable Diffusion is open source it will soon be added to Accomplice alongside all the other great open source models it supports.
We’ve highlighted eight of the best AI design tools that are out there right now, but there are more tools that we haven’t covered, or that are currently under development.
AI design is set to disrupt how we get our design work done and what we can turn out at scale in a short amount of time. It’s here as an assistant to designers rather than a replacement but can help other content creators to streamline their processes too.
If you’re curious about AI-powerd design signup today for Accomplice and get 10 free credits a month.