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Jessica Murray

Jessica Murray

Senior Experience Designer

Can Artificial Intelligence Replace Human Designers?

With more and more small businesses and independent e-commerce vendors popping up there is a greater need for design, but not everyone can afford to hire a designer or design team. Logojoy and companies like it are filling a gap for cheap and fast design by offering an online design service where users can create logos without the intervention of a designer. They are using artificial intelligence software to generate endless logo options based on visual criteria outlined by the user.

However, software cannot do what designers do, it cannot solve problems at a conceptual level, a human level. Software can give you combinations of fonts, colours and symbols you can mess around with until you are satisfied or not. Ironically, if you are not satisfied with the logo options, you can consult with a designer to tweak the generated designs.

Design isn’t just a nice to have, it’s an essential part of how customers perceive the value of your brand. So why cheap out on something so important?

I suppose you shouldn’t naysay something ‘til you try it, right? So I gave Logojoy a spin and rebranded some well-known brands. Let’s have a look at the results below.

Apple

Figure 1 – Apple Original Logo
Figure 4 – Apple Logo Redesigned with Logojoy

The new Apple logo – It’s looking similar to the original but not quite the same. The typography is unrefined, ordinary and the shape of the apple doesn’t say high-end modern technology anymore, it feels more like a cute apple orchard logo. One major difference between the generated logos and the original logo is the word “Apple”. In the original logo you don’t need the word to understand that the company name is Apple. The symbol is so straightforward and simple that you just get it.


Coca-Cola

Figure 3 – Coca-Cola Original Logo
Figure 4 – Coca-Cola Logo Redesigned with Logojoy

The new Coca-Cola logo – It feels like a cheap knock-off brand you might find in a dollar store. The typography in the second option is more like a set of icons rather than letterforms. The loss of the iconic Coca-Cola typeface, the movement of the swish and the clever use of negative space are all replaced with literal iconography, boxy graphics, and illegible typefaces.

World Wildlife Foundation

Figure 5 – WWF Original Logo
Figure 4 – WWF Logo Redesigned with Logojoy

The new WWF logo –  They have a lot of the same elements from the original logo but something is amiss. These options are all so literal. The second suggestion is probably the most outrageous, with the cooking pot icon. I’m not sure that it says saving animals from mass extinction to me! The panda graphic in the original logo is so iconic to this brand that anything less just feels wrong, thus the emotional impact is lost.

After all this, I do believe that tools like this have a purpose. For those who are getting a new brand off the ground within a very limited budget and need something super fast, this could be a good stop gap. Sometimes you just need a starting place, a place to play and imagine what your brand could be. Logos and brands evolve over time and require revisions as a business matures.

Hiring a human designer will get you closer to creating a brand that truly connects. When you hire a designer or design team, you are hiring them to create a brand system, not just a logo. What would Apple be without that simple little apple, and Coca-Cola without that beautiful, classic script?

A logo should contain the spirit and history of the brand as well as represent what it stand for. For this reason, designers start with ideas, concepts, and a higher level vision. Digital tools are just the medium used to execute the final output. Intelligent software can’t pull out the meaning of a brand if it’s simply combining graphics and fonts. Branding requires a deeper level of conceptual thinking. 

Great design has an intangible value that is hard to quantify. This is the story of design. You know it’s right when you see it but it’s difficult to articulate why. Removing the element of human creativity from the branding process results in a logo that feels unrefined and emotionless. Smart businesses recognize the value of a strong brand and the emotional connection it creates. 

Jessica Murray

Jessica Murray

Senior Experience Designer

Jessica says that users are never the problem – the fault always lies with the system. An activist with strong beliefs, she is never shy to fight for ideas that will enhance a project. Jessica loves to share inspirations taken from nature, science, and art, and examine the impact that design can have on society.


Comments

This is a fantastic use case for hiring a designer vs using a logo maker – and thanks for the Logojoy mention! I don’t think the goal of AI-driven design is to ever replace the need for a designer, but as you mentioned, a great stop gap for those with a fixed budget, or those needing a proof of concept before diving in all the way.

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Akendi is a human experience design firm, leveraging equal parts experience research and creative design excellence. We provide strategic insights and analysis about customer and user behaviour and combine this knowledge with inspired design. The results enable organizations to improve effectiveness, engage users and provide remarkable customer experiences to their audiences.