The Tech Company Cranking Out AI-Generated Logos (and Putting Them on Promotional Products)
"Bespoke" is a word that gets thrown around a lot. It's been sort of co-opted into meaning "fancy," "artisan" or "expensive." But really, it means something that's tailor made for someone or something. While you might typically picture an article of clothing, the "bespoke" label can apply to other things, like logos. You might also think that "bespoke" means it has to come from a physical person taking every detail into consideration. But, as is the case with Logojoy, a service that uses AI to generate logos for businesses and put them on promotional products and other marketing materials, that's not exactly the case.
In fact, Logojoy set out to create custom-made logos at a fraction of the price of a human graphic designer or ad agency.
Logojoy founder Dawson Whitfield thinks that the current level of artificial intelligence technology could allow companies to cut out the middleman when designing a new logo. So, he founded Logojoy in 2016. Logojoy uses AI algorithms that were developed on Google's framework to generate original logos, advertising banners and more, according to Venture Beat.
“Logojoy allows small business owners to get designs without having to fork over thousands of dollars,” Whitfield told VentureBeat. “It’s a graphic design platform with an AI-powered designer on the other side … Whether you’re designing a flyer or an internet ad or a restaurant menu, you want to … feel like you’re [working] with a graphic designer. We’re using AI to try to create the algorithm behind the scenes that’s there to help our customers with their design.”
The program works by having customers select an "inspiration." This can be a particular style aesthetic, color or icon that they like. They enter their brand name, too. From there, they browse pages of results the AI algorithm creates for them. If they aren't satisfied with that first batch, the AI can make more.
Once they select one they like, they can see a mockup of the logo on various promotional products and materials. One low-res logo file is $20, and a $65 premium plan includes multiple high-res file types and the ability for unlimited changes and lifetime tech support. This plan also includes a social media kit, business card and more.
Here's more, via VentureBeat:
After they favorite a few logos, they’re able to view auto-generated previews on business cards, T-shirts, and more, all of which update in real time as the logo’s edited. Finally, once they’ve selected a font (from 475 different choices), color (from 5,500 presets), and layout and tweaked the spacing, font size, and padding, they’re presented with a purchase screen, where they’re given the option to order the logo in high-resolution PNG and vector file formats sized for social media and physical products.
Logojoy raises $4.5 million for AI-generated logos |
Logojoy, a Toronto startup that leverages AI to generate logos and brand assets, has raised $4.5 million ($6 million CAD) in a Series A... | https://t.co/BNCDVtfSFD pic.twitter.com/tmu16MYEjv
— Rocketnews (@Rocketnews1) November 15, 2018
After two years, LogoJoy has created logos for 3.3 million users from 188 countries. The company has raised $4.5 million in Series A funding, with a total investment of $5 million to date.
An AI-generated program sounds impersonal. Having a living, breathing person to explain nuances to and run ideas by is still appealing, but Whitfield said he's trying to make the AI-interface as intuitive and human-like as possible.
"The challenge is creating a system where the AI designer can learn from experience," he said. "If you’re designing 50,000 banner ads every day, you’re going to learn a lot about banner ads … so we’re working to put that system in place. There are a lot of people trying to apply AI to design, and they’re going at it from a technical-first perspective, and overpromising and underdelivering. We’re able to break apart problems and make really educated decisions about which problems and which pieces to attack first."
He also said he's not particularly worried about the humans who specialize in graphic design losing jobs because of this, thanks to Logojoy's target clientele.
“Our customers are usually very small businesses, and if they weren’t using us, most of them would be doing the design work themselves or getting it for free,” he said. “There will be a minor amount of designers’ jobs that go away if it’s designing a simple logo, but the way I see it, designers are smart—they’ll evolve along with the industry.”
There are already a few AI-adjacent developments in the promotional products industry that you might not think of as particularly disruptive or groundbreaking, but aren't too far off from what Logojoy is doing. Just about every distributor's site allows you to digitally mockup what a logo would look like on a particular item. It's not revolutionary anymore, but that's mostly because we're just used to the capabilities of the internet.
It also fits Seth Godin's mantra for logo design, which is, essentially, don't overthink it.