The Best AI Prompts for Designers to Generate Inspiration

Artificial intelligence (AI) technology is here to stay. But, so are human designers and illustrators! In fact, these two entities can work in tandem to create visuals that the world has never seen before. Humans will always design the future. But, AI can assist in actualizing some of humanity’s most innovative ideas. If you’re uncertain of your stance when it comes to AI-generated images, we completely understand. However, we implore you to integrate artificial intelligence into your creative process. 

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AI is Here to Stay But Can’t Compete with Real Designers 

AI technology can generate impressive images but it is not a substitute for human ingenuity. CEO of IMG.LY Eray Basar foreshadowed the future of design in his article When Creativity meets AI, noting that while there is certainly a new generation of AI algorithms on the rise, creative professionals can use AI in their design process. 

“With the help of machine learning, we will fine-tune, simplify, and automate creative processes and ultimately empower new techniques for design and content creation.”

-Eray Basar, CEO & Head of Partnerships at IMG.LY

Designers & Illustrators Can Use AI Tools to Expand Their Own Work

Designers, illustrators, and other artists can use artificial intelligence as a tool to create their own images. While it is a new way of working that stands in contrast with traditional art and design practices, AI-generated images can help us explore (and solve) the creative problems of tomorrow. After all, isn’t solving problems what design is all about?

“Good design is a renaissance attitude that combines technology, cognitive science, human need, and beauty to produce something that the world didn’t know it was missing.”

-Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator of the Department of Architecture & Design at the Musuem of Modern Art (MoMA)

The Rise of AI or Artificial Intelligence concept showing a computerized hand and and human hand touching

5 Suggested Uses for Artificial Intelligence

As an artist or designer, you may be wondering how you can integrate artificial intelligence into your creative process. Below are a few suggestions to get you started.

Creatives Can Use Artificial Intelligence for Ideation

Need a bit of inspiration for a design project? Use an AI platform like Dall E to brainstorm photorealistic, illustrated, or abstract images using written prompts. Explore how a portrait would look in an unconventional style or ask the AI system to generate images in the style of your favorite art icon. The images you see can be downloaded and expanded upon. Or, simply use them for inspiration! Whatever you do, do just remember to let your imagination run wild. The results you come up with won’t always be perfect, but they will certainly be interesting. 

Artists Can Use AI to Create Reference Images

Need a reference image for your next digital or physical painting? Create reference photos for your concept art using an AI generator. Face it, it’ll be much faster than photoshopping your own and things can get very experimental. Remember, while artificial intelligence may never become a part of your artistic practice, it can be a tool that you use from time to time to expand your artwork. 

AI Can Be Used to Re-Design User Interface Icons

Ask yourself, what will UI look like in the future? How can AI help UI expand? If you’re a user interface designer looking to work in tech, artificial intelligence may be a helpful tool for you. So, consider using AI it to think through how you would create different UI design elements to enhance a user’s experience. 

“A great UX continually learns from its users to give them a more human experience, intuitive and as positive as possible. It tends to minimize all errors and frustrations in an experience with a product or interface. Just like AI. It’s the main base for an intelligence, learning from mistakes.” 

– SAP Conversational AI blog UX and AI: The New Best Friends

Artificial Intelligence Can Help Designers Create logos

Working with clients to produce stunning logos that will propel their businesses forward? Well, that’s every designer’s dream! And you can use AI to help achieve that. Don’t get us wrong, designers definitely don’t need AI to make logos. After all, they’ve been creating logos since the dawn of time and AI surely wasn’t around. However, AI can be an additive tool in the logo-making process – one that can save time and inspire the real designer. If you need another way to contextualize it, think of these images as rough sketches that you can build upon to create something that goes beyond what the brand imagined possible. 

AI Can Help Creatives Produce Base Images for Layered, Multimedia Artwork

Artificial intelligence is experimental technology – so use it to experiment. Think of abstract concept art, and weird fusions of subject matter, and put in prompts on your AI platform of choice! Then sit back and see how surreal it gets. The experimental images you create with AI can be used as a base layer for digital multimedia work, collages, or anything you can imagine. 

3 AI Platforms to Use for Design Inspiration & Reference Images

DALL E 2

a screen shot of Dall E website which is an AI system used to create images

Dall E 2 is OpenAI’s new system for generating images. Named after the surrealistic painter, Salvador Dali, this artificial intelligence platform intakes natural language descriptions then comes up with 4 image variations using a process known as diffusion, which, according to their website, “starts with a pattern of random dots and gradually alters that pattern towards an image when it recognizes specific aspects of that image.” 

Starry AI

screenshot of Starry AI app's website

If you want to generate art using a mobile app, Starry AI may be the platform for you. Experiment with compositions or creative concepts on the go. Then use the images as reference for your original artwork, or share them as is – Starry gives users full ownership over their images. Their site tells visitors to “use them for your next art project, print them out, or share them on social media.” All you need is a text prompt to get started. 

Stable Diffusion

screenshot of stable diffusion website which is used to create AI-generated artwork

Stable Diffusion is another platform that offers text-prompted AI-generated images for artists, designers, and other creatives to experiment with. To get started, just visit their site, describe what you’d like to see then hit generate. Or dive deeper into their platform and use the beta version of their Dream Studio

15 AI Prompts to Try Today

Below are 15 text prompts we tested out using OpenAI’s Dall E 2 AI System. See the results we came up with then try them out for yourself. 

1.  3D RENDERING OF WIFI ICON IN A MINIMALISTIC STYLE

2. A STAINED GLASS WINDOW DEPICTING A ROBOT, UI ICON

3. A COMPUTER ICON WITH BOLD COLOR AND THIN LINES

4. A PHOTOREALISTIC IMAGE OF 3D PRINTER PRINTING A STATUE OF A CAT GODDESS

5. A MOCKUP OF A SMARTPHONE BEING USED IN A COLORFUL AND MODERN OFFICE ENVIRONMENT

6. MOCKUP FOR TABLET IN A COLORFUL STUDIO APARTMENT

7. A SKETCH ILLUSTRATION OF A NATURAL LANDSCAPE WITH ROLLING HILLS DURING SUNSET

8. CARTOON PERSON TYPING ON A TYPEWRITER WITH CRUMPED PAPER ON THE FLOOR

9. A LOGO OF A FISH SINGING KARAOKE FOR A LOCAL NIGHTCLUB

10. A PIXEL ART ICON OF A DIGITAL CAMERA

11. 3D PRINTER ICON FOR UI DESIGN

12. BLANK PACKAGE DESIGN WITH FUTURISTIC AESTHETIC, DIGITAL ART

13. A PHOTOREALISTIC MOCKUP OF A SMARTPHONE AND LAPTOP IN AN ARTISTIC OFFICE SETTING

14. 3D RENDERING OF USER INTERFACE ICON

15. 3D RENDERING OF WIFI ICON IN AN ABSTRACT STYLE