Artificial Intelligence vs. Human Designers: Who Wins?


Artificial intelligence is slowly replacing jobs in non-creative industries like manufacturing. But can it replace a creative job like a logo designer?

To answer that question, let’s compare two logo design workflows, one with a traditional (a.k.a. human) designer and one with an AI-powered logo maker.

The logo design process consists of five steps:

  1. The creative brief
  2. Research
  3. Mockups and presentation
  4. Revisions
  5. Final touches and delivery

Step 1: The Creative Brief

The creative brief is a set of guidelines from the client that a designer uses when creating a logo. Typically a creative brief will include:

  • Inspiration (general aesthetics and other logos and brands the client likes)
  • Values the logo should convey (e.g. trust) and the target audience
  • Display requirements (e.g. sizing, black and white variations, name/tagline)

For example, the basic requirements might be a) Design a clean and modern logo with red as the primary color, b) invoke a feeling of happiness and innovation, and c) use the name “Design Labs.”

Designers form a creative brief by asking the client a series of questions and taking notes. A human designer is better at interpreting specific instructions, such as “I want the T in the logo to look like a paddle.” AI-powered logo makers can’t accept that kind of input (yet).

AI-Powered Logo Maker
Using a DIY interface, the user chooses from a set of logos and colors as their inspiration. The AI system learns which logos have which values (e.g. a dark blue logo conveys trust), providing a more streamlined approach that’s well-suited for simple, high-impact logos.

Step 2: Research

An important step in logo design process is conducting industry and competitor research. Looking at other logos can help guide a designer toward a unique brand the target audience feels comfortable interacting with.

Designers will often look at 10-15 logos from competitors to get familiar with the client’s industry and niche. They can sometimes spot trends and make actionable insights; however, the human brain is not always the best tool to make these insights.

AI-Powered Logo Maker
AI can crawl a database of thousands of competitor logos. By analyzing hundreds of design traits (colors, shapes, fonts, icons, etc.), AI is well-equipped to decipher and identify trends from the client’s inspiration and competitors. It can use that knowledge to inform the logo design.

3. Mockups and Presentation

Also known as conceptualizing, this step is a big one. It’s the stage when a set of logo options is presented to the client based on the creative brief and research.

Designers will take about a week to sketch and illustrate 4-5 logo designs. This is incredibly time-consuming, but a good designer can create great mockups that capture the essence of what the client is trying to communicate.

AI-Powered Logo Maker
When someone asks AI to design a logo, its algorithm is picking design “ingredients” it thinks will work well together — and it’s exceptionally good at this. Over time, AI can spot trends in users’ favorited logos and use those insights to instantly create better mockups, and at a much higher volume than a designer can.

Bonus: An AI-powered logo maker lets you see your logo options mocked up on T-shirts, business cards, letterheads, and more — something designers rarely provide.

4. Revisions

The client will usually pick one or two favorite options and request revisions to further customize their logo.

Designers are limited by time here. It takes minutes, if not hours, to generate and send over even the most basic changes, such as trying a different font. However, designers are capable of understanding more complex requests, such as “Can we replace the T with a tree?”

AI-Powered Logo Maker
AI-powered logo makers provide the luxury of instantly generated logos, so multiple revisions is where it shines. The client can request — and instantly receive — a batch of revisions. Different fonts, colors, layouts, and icons are easy to browse and preview.

AI is also able to recommend certain combinations in real-time based on changes the client makes. For example, if they change their font, AI can suggest a new layout based on that font.

5. Final Touches and Delivery

With revisions complete, a client will pick their number one logo option. Then it’s time for the designer to put any finishing touches on the design and create all the versions the client needs (e.g. transparent background, black and white versions).

While good designers are more than capable of adding that extra layer of polish and delivering a final product, it can feel tedious for both parties who are ready for the process to be over. Designers will also deliver final files and brand guidelines, so the client knows exactly what fonts and colors were used.

AI-Powered Logo Maker
A DIY interface allows the client to perfect the logo themselves by changing everything from font size to colors to spacing in a built-in editing tool.

Once they’re happy and ready to purchase, they’ll get all the files they need to build their brand — PNG files for online use, infinitely scalable vector files for printing and editing purposes, and versions with transparent backgrounds and colors. They’ll also receive brand guidelines, just like a regular design would deliver.

The verdict

It’s going to be a tough battle, but AI is stiff competition for beginner to intermediate logo designers. Why? Designers become better by learning theories and nuances of logo design over time. AI can learn more, and at a much faster pace due to the sheer number of logos it can work with.

Talented designers will still be in demand for businesses seeking a more novel and custom logo (and those with more money to spend). But for bootstrapped entrepreneurs and small businesses, AI-powered logo makers like Logojoy are the ideal solution.

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