Collaboration with AI

In periodic publishing, meeting deadlines is the most important. Another critical aspect of a kid’s magazine is making a page visually appealing and inviting. Juggling between these two and trying to reconcile them makes every magazine issue challenging. Such a challenge is what I love the most about periodic.

I have worked in a magazine for bilingual kids, “Кот в мешке,” as a designer for about a year. Time is often a luxury we cannot afford. It’s good fortune if an article comes with illustrations or vibrant photos. However, it usually comes with nothing or only suggestions on what images an author would like to see. I used to use photo banks or draw pictures myself. But I feel the photobanks have run out of options, and I need to find other tools. AI is a big buzz right now, and as a curious person, I’ve got to try it. I’m not disappointed, I have to tell you.

The beginning

While working on a recent issue, I discovered that one article needs more images. As usual, there was no time to order more drawings from a painter, and the editor suggested I “be creative.”

The image generation service appeared as a promising solution to quickly generate additional images that would match the style of watercolor images already provided. Here is what I’ve got. Can you determine which drawings were made by a human and which were generated by AI? Write in the comments.

Pros and Cons

I think AI did a great job! However, as with any technology (or I’m using it for the first time), this newfound tool had upsides and downsides.

The unquestionable benefit of using AI was the speed. With just a few clicks, I’ve got several images to choose from. This tool also added a layer of unpredictability, sometimes resulting in unexpected but visually exciting outcomes.

As a downside, I would highlight the following: the images were limited to a square format, which didn’t always fit my needs in designing the page; the resolution of the images needed to be higher; and the inaccuracy of representation of some items required to generate more options. I used a lot of boosts because of the last one. Animals with five legs or three eyes were quite amusing, though.

Today’s resolution: the journey of collaboration between AI and me continues to extend, promising exciting possibilities for the future of design.


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