Nikolay Ironov is a professional graphic designer of Art. Lebedev Studio – Russia’s largest design company. With over 1 year of experience, Nikolay has been in charge of more than 20 different advertising projects and created many products such as beer bottle labels or logos of start-up companies.
However, not until the end of last month, Art. Lebedev Studio has just revealed a “shocking” secret that perhaps any of their customers will be startled: Nikolay is not a person or any individual at all, but actually a complex AI system. This means that the graphic products they ordered on this studio were made entirely by computers and not by any designer.
Actually, Art company. Does Lebedev Studio have any designer Nikolay Ironov?
Sergey Kulinkovich, Art Director of Art. Lebedev Studio said: “Many of our customers are very satisfied with the product received. However, the interesting thing is that they did not know anything about Nikolay. And our goal is to prove to everyone that even machines can be created to be as good as humans and satisfy even the most demanding customers and consumers.”.
How does Nikolay Ironov work?
Art. Lebedev Studio has built Nikolay so that it can complete the design process, from reading customer understanding to creating the final product, exporting files and applications for communication purposes. This AI system is “taught” based on a huge database including many SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) symbols, belonging to many different fields.
The system then receives and analyzes customer company information, such as brand name, main product, and their performance criteria. From here, it will pick out the most important keywords and turn them into images. The results will continue to be edited by a series of different algorithms, which have the effect of enlarging / reducing, smoothing the strokes and simplifying the design image as well as coloring, inserting appropriate fonts. In the end, it creates a lot of different products for customers to choose from.
Nikolay can create many different designs in just a short period of time.
Sergey said: “Basically, Nikolay Ironov’s brain is a combination of many different automated design systems. Each of these systems is trained to serve a certain stage in the overall design process. When combined, it will be possible to instantly visualize customer requests, create their logos and brand identity quickly, taking only a few seconds.”.
To further illustrate his unique “employee”, Sergey took the example with the famous technology website The Next Web. First, he entered the name as well as some basic information, how this site works into the AI system, so that Nikolay is ready to work. Just a few seconds later, it created a lot of different logo ideas, from simple to complex, enough. After customers choose the most satisfactory product, Nikolay continues to carry out the stage of attaching the logo to various mock-up products, including signs and business cards.
Some logo designs that Nikolay made for The Next Web.
After that, this AI system also conducted mock-up of extremely professional products.
However, Sergey must admit that not all designs created by Nikolay are perfect: “We teach Nikolay to “draw” new ideas as quickly as possible, almost immediately, and develop new visual styles. However, we also let it have its own creative freedom and try not to limit its ability. That’s why you may find some of Nikolay’s ideas so crazy that they are so ugly. It’s not difficult to teach him how to draw beautiful images, but we don’t want to do that. The challenge we need to face is to find new things in graphic design, and creating products that are not good to compare with beautiful products really brings a lot of benefits.”.
Great productivity of Nikolay
Unlike other flesh-and-blood colleagues, Nikolay can operate 24/7, never gets sick and doesn’t have an art block problem. However, what Sergey is aiming for is breaking the boundaries, barriers in the creative brain of man.
He said: “One of the biggest problems facing design education is: the more you learn, the greater your ability to be aesthetically advanced, but with the walls of your brain shining. your creation. Good designers create beautiful, safe, and functional designs, but it is the walls that prevent them from trying new and bold things.”.
Sergey did not want to replace all his human resources with machines. On the contrary, he wants to train and raise employees to the level of creative directors. Then, they will have enough experience and aesthetics to evaluate the works created by Nikolay, and then choose the best options to deliver to customers.
In the future, AI will play a key design role, and humans have the duty to browse and revise selected products?
Saïna Seedorf, designer of The Next Web website, also said that AI will never be able to completely replace people in the design and creative field. However, it can bring many benefits if used properly: “I think AI can alone “weigh” the entire design process, especially when working in the field of branding (brand design). But I believe it can be a useful creative tool, providing many interesting ideas. You can easily create a series of products in a short time, and then select and develop more to produce the final design. AI will save us a lot of time. efforts in concept design, while also helping to increase creativity for designers”.
Art. Lebedev Studio strongly believes in the potential of Nikolay. They will continue to use this AI system in their daily work, and develop a service software version for it. Sergey said:There are still many challenges in the field of auto design that we want to overcome. The prospect of automation solutions being used in all areas of the world is just a matter of time. Nikolay has helped us gain a lot of new experiences, and it is also a demonstration that the development direction we are pursuing is completely correct.”.
According to TheNextweb