As of 2024, the rapid proliferation of artificial intelligence technology across various industries has also led to a significant revolution in the world of graphic design. Industry leaders like Adobe are delightfully accelerating our design processes with AI-powered tools. However, the current lack of definitive data or forecasts leaves us uncertain about how this swift transformation will impact the traditional skills and creativity of designers. While AI simplifies our tasks, does it also risk assimilating our talents?

By 2024, we are seeing AI technology increasingly present in various industries, marking what we describe as a revolution. Beyond productivity tools, AI’s integration into the graphic design world is particularly noteworthy, as it becomes more embedded in this realm. Adobe, the creator of industry-standard products like Photoshop and Illustrator, accelerates design processes with AI tools offering automatic corrections, object recognition, and simple manipulations. However, it is also true that we haven’t yet reached the ultimate point of utilizing this technology in graphic design and photo manipulation. While AI makes designers’ lives easier and positively accelerates delivery times, we must also discuss the potential negative effects on the skills and abilities we acquire in this field.

Will AI assimilate the skills that make us designers with great expertise and sincerity?

I argue that using automated tools resulting from AI-supported design processes will reduce opportunities for designers to develop and apply traditional technical skills. It might seem impressive to quickly add some water, leaves, a yellow line, and a few clouds to a selected area on a canvas in just a few seconds. Still, what about the abilities, nuances, and control over settings we develop to do these things ourselves

Another specific example is the ability to perform detailed retouching manually, which can now be done in seconds with AI. In a process where the ultimate goal is to finish the job, this can be very useful. However, I believe that managing the entire process and performing the necessary manipulations by a human are still very important criteria. Entrusting these tasks to AI may prevent designers from developing their core skills and, in the long run, lead to the complete loss of these abilities.

It is also true that the seemingly easy solutions AI offers will limit creativity. Since AI algorithms typically work based on previously seen patterns and data, it is certain that producing the innovative and original work expected from designers will become more difficult. It is inevitable that AI-supported or entirely AI-generated works will increasingly resemble each other.

When designers start to rely on ready-made templates and automatic adjustments offered by AI to produce faster work for clients, nothing prevents us from thinking that they will experience a mental blindness and lose their creativity.

Design involves a bit of criticism and problem-solving. Will AI provide you with the ability to critique and solve problems?

When we talk about AI, we also talk about automation and uniformity. This weakens the critical thinking and problem-solving skills necessary for design. Ultimately, we are not working on a production line in a factory producing thousands of cars of similar quality but on finalizing tools necessary for communicating with others.

Perhaps the most important thing to accept is that the challenges encountered in design processes are great opportunities for developing skills. However, since AI’s automated solutions offer a shortcut through these challenges without understanding how they are done, designers miss out on an important opportunity for self-improvement and become dependent on AI, lacking the skills to survive in conditions where AI might not be available.

Moreover, if we talk about the present, AI still makes mistakes in certain areas, and someone still needs to check and correct or fix what AI produces.

Are we voluntarily compromising our capacity for independent work and creativity by using AI in every aspect of design?

Using AI may seem easy, enjoyable, practical, and fun for now. But if we cannot achieve the solutions AI produces with our own knowledge and skills, how will we become independent workers? Or let me ask this: What will happen when we don’t have access to AI tools?

Today, you will see that many AI-based systems that produce content/visuals/videos, etc., allow you to use their systems by providing a daily amount of credit. While these may seem free, who can guarantee that we won’t have to pay exorbitant fees tomorrow to continue using these systems and doing AI-supported design?

Or is there any guarantee that there won’t be a sudden global blackout, that countries won’t impose digital embargoes on each other, or that access to these design programs won’t be restricted?

Using AI technology as the primary tool in programs that produce photographic or vector-based work will significantly impact designer skills and abilities. This is not just a problem for designers who produce visual work; there is no guarantee that those who produce written content will be unaffected.

The weakening of technical skills related to all branches of design, the decline in creativity, the weakening of design’s criticality and problem-solving abilities, and the reduction of independent working skills will lead to significant losses in quality, innovation, and creativity in the design sector in the long run. Perhaps, in the future, there may even emerge a profession group of designers who work with traditional methods. Who knows? Personally, I prefer to stay on the traditional side of things right now. I use AI in certain parts of my work but still do not hesitate to keep control in my own hands.

I encourage everyone reading this and working with AI to continue developing their core skills and develop new strategies to preserve these skills.

Thank you for reading this far.