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Best AI Design Tools For New Designers

Best AI Design Tools For New Designers

It used to be that if you needed compelling visual art and graphics for your business, your only choice was to hire a skilled artist. Now, thanks to rapid advances in machine learning and computer processing, anyone with access to artificial intelligence design tools like Canva, Midjourney, and DALL-E can create logos, icons, and illustrations—even if they can’t draw to save their life.

What are AI design tools?

Powered by artificial intelligence algorithms, AI design tools are software applications that assist users in the design process. These tools use machine learning, deep learning, and other types of AI to ideate, create, and modify visual content. Their ability to create AI-generated images can help professional graphic designers and amateur hobbyists alike.

How can you use AI design tools?

AI design tools have many applications, ranging from creative projects to civil engineering. Here are some ways to use an AI design tool:

Automated design generation

AI graphic design tools can automatically generate design elements such as layouts, color schemes, typography, and compositions based on user input or predefined criteria. This automation speeds up the creative process and can provide inspiration for designers.

Content creation

You can create social media posts, blog graphics, presentations, and marketing materials using AI-powered tools. These artificial intelligence tools can automatically generate visual assets tailored to specific platforms and target audiences.

Image editing and enhancement

AI-powered image editing tools can retouch images, alter backgrounds, recognize objects, and correct color. These tools let users enhance image quality and manipulate them in various ways without extensive manual effort.

Style creation and transfer

AI design tools can take a reference image and produce stunning visuals in different styles. For example, if you upload a selfie, these tools can generate an illustrated version of your photo. These style transfer techniques let users experiment with different artistic aesthetics and create unique visual compositions.

User experience design

AI design tools aid user experience (UX) designers in prototyping, user testing, and interface optimization. An AI tool can generate designs including wireframes (a set of images that highlights a site’s key features), mockups, and interactive prototypes. They do this by applying programmed design principles to a user’s text prompt.

Data visualization

An AI-powered design tool can analyze datasets and create informative, digestible data visualizations like charts, graphs, and infographics.

Best AI design tools

There are many AI tools to help you design graphics, logos, icons, websites, wireframes, user interfaces, videos, and more. Here are some of the most popular options:

Adobe Sensei and Firefly

Built into various Adobe Products, these AI applications integrate seamlessly with existing software like Photoshop and Illustrator, offering features like one-click object selection, content-aware fill, and smart resizing.

Sensei focuses on automating existing design tasks, enhancing existing tools, and personalizing the user experience within Adobe applications. Examples include background removal in Photoshop or content-aware fill (which takes elements from the image to fill other parts of the photo). Firefly, a generative AI model within Sensei, generates new design elements based on user input.

  • Pros: These tools integrate seamlessly with existing Adobe workflows.
  • Cons: Sensei and Firefly only work within the Adobe suite.
  • Pricing: The tools come bundled with Adobe Creative Cloud plans. You can get a subscription, covering all Adobe apps, for $59.99 per month.

Uizard Autodesigner

Uizard’s AI features include creating wireframes, mockups, prototypes, and user interface (UI) designs from sketches or written descriptions using machine learning algorithms. You can customize layouts and elements.

  • Pros: Uizard features various tools—including templates for wireframes, mobile apps, websites, and more—that help you generate content in minutes.
  • Cons: As its name suggests, Uizard focuses on UI designs. It offers fewer options for visuals and graphics than dedicated design software. An illustrator or graphic designer may wish to look elsewhere.
  • Pricing: You can start with a freemium model with limited features. Paid plans start at $12 per month.


Sporting a user-friendly interface, Designs.ai has versatile AI-powered templates and editing tools to create icons, logos, social media graphics, presentations, and more.

  • Pros: Easy to use for beginners and boasting an array of design elements, Designs.ai is convenient for content creation. Its extensive library of templates helps you get started quickly. For instance, if you need a signature image for your business, its logo maker offers multiple logo options.
  • Cons: Users have limited control over complex designs. Since it doesn’t specialize in outside-the-box imagery, it may not produce unique visuals. Sample Design.ai’s existing designs to ensure you like the general aesthetic.
  • Pricing: There is a freemium model with limited features; paid plans start at $19 per month.


Midjourney is a text-to-image generator that works via Discord, a messaging platform. It produces dreamlike, artistic images based on a user’s text descriptions.

  • Pros: It’s one of the most powerful tools on the market for artistic design concepts and exploration. The platform has a large and active online community where users share creations and prompts.
  • Cons: Midjourney requires a Discord account, whereas many competitors work as standalone software. It’s best for more surreal art; turn elsewhere for photorealistic images.
    • Pricing: Midjourney starts at $10 per month for a limited number of generations. This is discounted to $8 per month when you purchase a full year upfront.

NightCafe Creator

NightCafe Creator uses the open-source Stable Diffusion model to produce custom images. Its graphic and photo editor lets you upload images from your computer. You can then modify these images using custom color palettes and AI-powered additions until you settle on your final design.

      • Pros: NightCafe’s fine-tuning options expand the boundaries of standard image editing. Whether you want realistic images or surreal portraits, you’re likely to find editing tools to suit your purpose. It also boasts one of the largest online communities for sharing with other creators.
      • Cons: NightCafe’s credit-based pricing can be expensive for frequent use, and its AI image generation isn’t quite as expansive as some others.
      • Pricing: NightCafe Creator is free for basic generation, but you need to buy credits for most features. Prices start at $4.79 a month (100 credits) for a monthly subscription.


The StarryAI platform also uses Stable Diffusion to create a generated image from a text prompt. Yet it goes beyond your standard AI art generator by letting you upload existing images to establish style guidelines for the AI assistant.

      • Pros: StarryAI is more affordable than many other AI design tools. It boasts key features that have legitimate real-world applications, like the ability to upscale images to improve resolution.
      • Cons: StarryAI’s free version may be too limited to build up a library of useful creative assets, while the paid version doesn’t include real-time collaboration with other creators. Other Stable Diffusion platforms may offer a more robust community base.
      • Pricing: StarryAI’s free tier lets you create a small library of images and marketing assets, but there’s a cap on the number of images generated. Pro, which starts at $95.99 for the annual subscription, allows you to create 200 images in a seven-day period. Subscribing to StarryAI’s top tier lets you produce up to 3,000 images per week.

Canva Pro

Canva Pro is a popular graphic design platform with built-in AI tools like background removal, smart mockups, and photo resizer, along with a vast library of templates to inspire design ideas.

      • Pros: The Canva ecosystem is one of the most user-friendly interfaces in the design game. It offers extensive design resources, including a Magic Edit Tool, that lets AI rapidly enhance your existing images. This makes Canva Pro a strong choice if you need to produce basic but appealing images and build marketing collateral.
      • Cons: Canva’s free tier doesn’t include any of its signature AI features. Even the paid tiers may not have enough advanced functionality for highly complex designs.
      • Pricing: The Canva Pro plan, the lowest tier that includes AI functionality, starts at $119.99 per year. This includes one terabyte of cloud storage plus access to Canva’s video editing software.


From Open AI, the maker of ChatGPT, this renowned tool boasts exceptional image quality, the ability to generate images in various styles, and faithfulness to text prompts. If you want a self-portrait with outrageous color combinations, it can do it. Need an art deco logo for your ecommerce antique store? It can do that, too.

      • Pros: DALL-E 3 is arguably the most versatile AI design platform on the market, offering a wide range of capabilities and aesthetic styles. While it lacks some advanced features, like a video editor, it’s an industry leader for still images and graphics.
      • Cons: DALL-E’s content policy is somewhat restrictive and may impede some of your design ideas. Note that nearly all AI generative platforms have content policies, but some may be more permissive than DALL-E’s.
      • Pricing: DALL-E 3 requires an Open AI subscription, which includes the latest version of ChatGPT. Subscriptions start at $20 per month.


This completely free AI image generator is publicly available while under development by Google Labs. ImageFX offers an intuitive UI that lets you seamlessly generate images from text prompts. It lacks the advanced features of other AI text-to-image generation software, but it gives you access to free images for both personal and commercial purposes.

      • Pros: ImageFX offers a simple interface that prompts you to provide a few words about the image you want to create. You can tweak those images by changing individual words in your text prompt.
      • Cons: ImageFX is a newer, less-developed AI tool compared to others on this list. With limited functions, its artistic range doesn’t approach that of industry leaders like DALL-E and Midjourney.
      • Pricing: As of mid-2024, ImageFX is free to use in Google Labs. As the feature set improves, Google may add a paid tier.

AI design tools FAQ

Can AI create designs?

Yes, AI can create designs by applying algorithms and machine learning techniques to generate visual content based on input data. This input data includes textual descriptions, sketches, or existing designs.

Is there a free AI tool for graphic design?

Yes, as of mid-2024, ImageFX by Google is a free AI tool you can use for graphic design.

What are the benefits of using AI for design?

The benefits of using AI for design include increased efficiency, automation of repetitive tasks, access to creative inspiration and suggestions, and the ability to streamline workflows.

This article originally appeared on Shopify and is available here for further discovery.
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