Navigating the AI Frontier in Graphic Design

In the dim, dark days before computers, graphic designers needed to be craftsmen. Armed with cardboard, paint brushes, sharp knives, smell solvents, assembly instructions, and envelopes, designers literally crafted with their hands, careful not to drip sweat into their paints. Typesetting involved specially ordered decals. Mistakes frequently meant you had to start over. 


And then it all changed.


Computers, Photoshop, digital paint brushes, multiple variations of a similar mockup became commonplace. Speed and precision became the law of the land. No more time spent poring over dusty books in the library, trying to find your next piece of inspiration or direction. Visualization went from taking days to moments. 


But with the increased speed afforded by computers, deadlines that were once a little crazy became batshit insane.


When computers were introduced into graphic design, there was pushback from designers who feared that they would become obsolete. Needless to say that didn’t happen.


But now it’s all changing again.


Just like the graphic designers reacting to the advent of computer technology, pushback on the AI assist is vocal and loud. And, while you might view this transformation with trepidation, fearing the obsolescence of human creatives, it’s important to recognize that injecting AI into graphic design isn’t all bad news. In fact, it brings a host of opportunities and advantages that can enhance the field top to bottom.


So let’s add a dash of perspective to this horrorshow!

  • Time Well Spent

Allowing AI into graphic design has the ability to streamline workflows. Those writing or designing tasks you used to spend time on, all the while knowing they were either awfully mundane or that no one would even see them (we’re looking at you, pamphlets,) are perfect for AI. As you assign tasks to AI programs such as image resizing, background removal, or font selection, you’re also giving yourself more time to focus on the creative and strategic aspects of your work. Human ingenuity and originality is what you do best. 


Let AI handle the boilerplate aspects of design work, the predictable and comfortable, while you focus on injecting surprise and relatable emotion in the ways only a living, breathing creative human can. 

  • Consistency

When it comes to branding, consistency is essential. Similarly to the time saving measures above, AI can handle the replication of your work and ensure each new iteration retains your initial creative fingerprint. 


It’s not taking your job so much as handing the background busywork and making sure your work is consistent across platforms and formats. 

  • New Ideas

We’ve known since its inception that the computer is one of our most powerful tools. Hell, at this point, with its myriad uses, the computer is the most powerful tool! So it goes without saying that AI, even in these early days, is an inspired provider of ideas and inspiration. 


AI is helping you do your job better by analyzing vast amounts of visual data and suggesting trends, styles, and design elements. It can even help you stay ahead of the curve and explore new creative possibilities.


Again, Artificial Intelligence isn’t doing your job for you so much as providing information where and when and immediately after it’s requested.

  • Cost-Effectiveness

Smaller businesses may not have the resources to afford a full-time designer so, at least for their basic design needs, AI tools have the potential to bridge that gap. 


By lowering design costs for small businesses, AI is allowing them to save for the larger, designer-driven projects they wouldn’t have been able to normally. 


However, design firms may feel as though they’re losing work, they’re actually reaping the benefit of better budgets and the potential for more uniquely impressive work to better represent your firm. 

  • Bridging Cultural Differences

Understanding cultural nuance and differences is increasingly important in our globalized society, and AI can easily lend itself to the task. As you’re crafting design work or ad campaigns that may be seen by someone on the other side of the world, ensuring immediate accessibility is one of your most important goals. 


While your designer’s touch is absolutely essential, AI can do the more tedious legwork when it comes to understanding cultural nuance in specific regions or groups of people.


Here’s the thing….

Each new technological innovation encounters a fair amount of (mostly justified) pushback. It should also be noted that we don’t exactly know how far AI will take us, and not knowing is what’s really making us antsy. We do know it’s not going anywhere, and will almost certainly become more and more pervasive in every area of our lives as time goes by. AI is anticipated to take over the more dangerous and mundane aspects of our jobs, leaving us with more time and ability to freely create, so that’s something, right? 


But are the jobs of designers in danger? Not that we can see. They may be changing, possibly drastically, but they’re not going anywhere. 


And however much the nature of graphic design changes as Artificial Intelligence advances, the need for human creativity and ingenuity won’t be something it can replicate. Almost human (but not quite) is always easy to spot if you’re looking for it. 


Designers! Your ability to relay nuance and true originality will forever make you special.

Feedback, Loyalty, and Growth: The Benefits of Focusing on Enthusiastic Customers

Crafting a winning customer experience formula can and should be your goal at all times!


Because it’s no secret that returning, enthusiastic customers keep your business alive. You’ve probably heard rumblings of the 80:20 rule, the generally accepted principle that says 80% of your sales come from 20% of your customers. Well, that 20% is made up of your faithful, enthusiastic fan base. The ones who’ve been with you through thick and thin because they love what you do for them. They love your product and your customer service. Dammit, they just love you!


Your most enthusiastic clients are a community of devotees, a reliable source of income, morale boosters, and your biggest brand advocates all in one. They’re more likely to make repeat purchases and are often willing to invest in your higher-tier products or services. Their presence reduces your marketing cost over time as well. Your enthusiastic customers have lifetime value!


And it’s important to remember that keeping your most enthusiastic customers top of mind requires a very different approach to the one you would take when hunting down new clients. An approach filled with nuance and attention to individual need and detail, rather than the blanket sellability that comes with the typical marketing tact required to hook new business. 


So let’s explore ways to make sure your enthusiastic customers stay that way….


  • Get Personal

Your returning customers, your cheerleaders, deserve and likely expect a little more personalized attention than a new client would. Sending customized emails, offers, and recommendations based on your past interactions and jobs will remind them why they got into business with you in the first place. 


There’s a very good reason that businesses are putting customer service, in all its facets, at the top of their “must do” list. Because it works, and it’s five times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to keep a current one happy. 


  • Exclusive Perks

Let your most enthusiastic customers know just how special they are to you through unique offers, discounts and other rewards that fit their needs. The fact is, their existence and returning business is saving you money in the long run, as you don’t have to blow your marketing budget to keep them, nor do they require the exploratory, getting to know you phase. 


Additionally, their positive word-of-mouth can significantly impact your business’s reputation and lead to new customer acquisition.


  • Engage Online

Directly reaching out to your most enthusiastic customers on social media platforms lets them know you’re available and helps them feel seen. Sharing their content and responding to their posts also helps create a sense of community surrounding your brand, and theirs!


Reminding your returning clients that you’ve got their backs for all to see is encouraging for everyone. And who doesn’t love feeling encouraged, supported and included?


  • Act on Feedback

Customer feedback, especially when it comes from your best returning clients, is not something to be taken lightly. It’ll help you identify areas of improvement and keep you aligned with the needs that matter most to them. 


And constantly soliciting feedback will show your enthusiastic clients that you not only care about their opinions, but are actively listening. Great customer service is an ever-changing process, especially for a growing brand, and your openness to feedback will mean a great deal to your best clients. 


  • Real Problem Solving

Identifying real-world issues facing your clients, and discovering ways to solve them, reminds your returning customers that you’re thinking about them. 


As an online branding agency in Dubai, we’ve encountered many companies just starting out who are unsure how to create a strong brand identity. This is a problem we were born to solve, and our ability to excel in this area has brought us many of our best returning clients. 


Once you’ve identified who your truly enthusiastic clients are, focusing your company on the goal of solving their problems becomes an amazing way to keep them coming back for years to come. 


However you wish to do it, keeping your most valuable clients coming back is one of the core building blocks in strengthening your successful brand. Celebrate their successes. Build relationships. Be consistently your best self for your best customers because their advocacy, loyalty and feedback can significantly expand the success of your business. 

The Path to Sustainability: Cutting Your Business’s Digital Carbon Emissions

Can your brand be successful and save the world at the same time?


Our blue marble is in a precarious place, and people are more aware of it now than ever before. Your brand can (and should) be a reflection of that concern and desire for action. 


But how?


Well, if you’re an online only company, you’ve already got a leg up over the brick and mortar competition. However, there are always ways to help your planet and push for something better. 


Let’s start with some definitions: Your digital carbon footprint.


The internet requires vast amounts of energy, despite its everywhere/nowhere qualities, specifically from creating infrastructure (both hardware and digital), powering and cooling massive local servers, and storing your data. Despite its name, “The Cloud” is not invisible, nor is it lighter than air. In fact, it could account for 15-20% of electricity demand in some countries by 2030.


And, while you may think that working, and doing business, on your computer has nothing to do with greenhouse gas emissions, the fact remains: you get your energy from somewhere. And that demand for energy to drive faster computing, cloud sharing and endlessly streamed videos is ever-increasing globally. And, as your company grows, so does your digital carbon footprint.  


But there are ways to mitigate it, and even benefit financially from cutting back in smart, environmentally conscious places. 


Here’s a few….

  • Reduce Data Storage

If you haven’t needed it in more than a year, chances are you will never need it again. So delete those old files! There is little room for sentimentality on today’s internet, and your company should always be looking toward the future. 

  • Green Storage

If your company is responsible for a large amount of data storage, it would benefit you, and your world, to look into green data storage centers. Green data storage is designed to minimize carbon footprints, while not diminishing computing power. They accomplish this by reducing space requirements and decreasing water use, among many other ways. 

  • Closing Tabs

On a personal level, minimizing the amount of background work your computer does is a great way to use less while doing your job. Any open tabs that require constant animation or streaming amount to an unnecessary use of energy. Similarly, if you’re not using your computer for a long period of time, consider switching it off.

  • If It Ain’t Broke….

We all have a strong desire for the newest and best computing hardware and software, but an upgrade may not always be absolutely necessary. Maintaining your IT equipment for as long as possible, and having it repaired when needed, rather than replacing it, does more good than you’d immediately think. Well treated IT equipment can last 3 years or more. 


While the above short list sounds good in theory, you’re likely to have one logical, important followup question: 


How does this benefit my business?

  • Cost Saving

While you may not see evidence of this immediately, curbing your digital carbon footprint will result in lower energy and operational costs. Trimming the fat in areas where you can will reflect positively on your monthly operating costs and allow you to spend the extra funds in areas that help your business grow. 

  • Regulation

Whether you approve or not (we hope you do,) many countries and regions are adopting stricter regulations regarding climate action and adherence to emissions standards. If your business gets out ahead of this, you won’t have to worry about fines and penalties.

  • Morale

Your employees are more likely to support you, and feel proud to work with you, if they know you are willing to put the interests of your planet ahead of your company. By taking steps to reduce your digital carbon footprint, you will also be impressing the importance of your actions upon your employees, and inspiring their continued respect and allegiance. 

  • Going Global

Companies that demonstrate continued commitment to sustainability and reducing their digital carbon footprint will potentially be seen as more prepared for success on a global scale, especially in regions with more stringent regulations. 


Reducing your company’s digital carbon footprint is incredibly important, not just for your planet but for your future. As you reduce your footprint, you are not only taking responsibility for the effects you’re having on your planet, but for the future generations that will be here after we’ve had our fun in the sun. 


They deserve a better world, and your business can and should do its part to give it to them. 


Design Unleashed: Collaborating with an Online Design Firm in the Digital Age

Our brave new world is filled with pixels and connectivity. 


It didn’t used to be this way, in fact it wasn’t for almost all of human history. We can’t safely assume ancient humans just threw rocks at each other to attract mates. 


Furthermore, ask any Gen X’er what their childhood was like, and you’ll get a walking Buzzfeed article about dial-up internet, cigarette lighters in cars and phones stuck to walls that charged by the minute.


And now we’re taking meetings with every attendee sitting in a different country! What a strange and wonderful time to be alive. And all the better for us.


Because, in the realm of online design firms, where creativity knows no borders and innovation travels through the virtual corridors, the landscape of collaboration in the digital age is astounding.


Here are some ways in which you can benefit from an online multicultural/natural/lingual company.

  • The Global Playground

You no longer have to limit your staff to a 30km radius of a big brick building. You can literally hire anyone from anywhere based solely on their merits. The same goes for clients, with many design firms (including us) working with brands from all over the world. The only connecting factor is a shared language, and the rest is pure creative solutions without the constraint of geographical boundaries. It’s thrilling!

  • New Tools

It wouldn’t have been possible even five years ago, but digital technology has become advanced enough to facilitate successful, in-the-moment communication between coworkers, clients and companies no matter where they happen to be located. With tools like Zoom and Google, distance is simply no longer an issue. These days, the only thing missing from the successful completion of a touch project is a bottle of champagne and slaps on the back.

  • Advanced Sharing

Instantaneously sharing important documents and files at the touch of a button might as well have been the waving of a magic wand in years past. Easily sending large files and jobs from one location to another has become so commonplace that we don’t even think of the wonder of it anymore. But the mere fact that you can get deliverables to your clients in an instant is an incredible time saver, not to mention a way to trim the fat from your business. 

  • Virtual Brainstorming

Need to make some time for a brainstorming sesh? All you have to do is make sure your staff is awake, available and ready to throw out some ideas. The days of sitting around a boardroom table are on the way out. The days of a quick login to an online meeting are where it’s at. The digital brainstorming room is where minds meet from afar. You don’t have to be in the same room to nurture concepts into revolutionary design concepts anymore. 

  • Time Zones

Embracing time zone diversity among your staff and clients means the potential for 24/7 progress. Once one side of the world finishes their work, another can take over with next steps. While you sleep, your designers might be awake and working on their tasks at hand. While they sleep, content creation could be in full swing. Productivity that never stops. 

  • Globally Speaking

When you have a staff from all over, you can also produce work that has the potential to speak to anyone. As each person weighs in on the ability of each product to best communicate a universal message. Creating design work that best resonates with its intended audience becomes much easier when your staff hails from everywhere. 

  • Home Office Home

With the rapid rise and ease and success of remote work, the need for a brick and mortar office building is waning equally as fast. Firms no longer feel the need to define themselves by the offices they occupy. The home office, and ways to attract and communicate with clients has become the website and social media. This is the new place of congregation. The new home. 


In the digital age, collaboration knows no bounds, and online design firms are rewriting the rules of creativity. As technology unites clients and designers across continents, the power of shared visions, real-time interactions, and virtual realities is revolutionizing the design industry. What matters now is the skill of your staff at delivering great products and services.


We hope you’re enjoying the future as your favorite Dubai-based design firm is.