How to use AI for small business design

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

AI for small business owners is a thing — and a rather compelling one, at that.

Using artificial intelligence, or AI, for business isn’t simply for the world’s powerhouse conglomerates. In fact, recent chatter around AI-based platforms like ChatGPT has brought AI into the mainstream and heightened interest around the technology, including how businesses might use it to their benefit.

Using AI for small business needs.

Small business owners can leverage AI to support operations in various ways. Businesses can use AI to:

  • Boost the customer experience by responding to customer inquiries in quick time and improving the accuracy of recommendations
  • Enhance marketing, including using customer buying data, preferences and demographics to create more personalized campaigns and produce more targeted messaging to individual customers
  • Improve content creation, such as product descriptions or graphics, and then do A/B testing to determine which content resonates most with specific audiences

But here’s another interesting AI use case: design.

Design might not be the first thing that pops into your mind when you think of AI tools for small business, but it’s an interesting one that could provide inspiration or help your small business in a pinch.

While AI design tools cannot replace a professional designer — top pros, after all, bring a high level of creativity, perspective and context to their work — AI designs can stimulate ideas or be used as an additional design source, particularly if you need design work in a hurry.

Get inspired with AI art generators.

AI art generators operate on a rather simple premise: a user types in a prompt (for example, children jumping on a trampoline in front of a wall with an outer space theme) and — voila! — the AI produces a digital image of just that.

DALL-E 2 is perhaps the most well-known AI art generator today. It is rather intuitive, user friendly and economical. You can combine concepts, attributes and styles via text and the AI generates four visuals in seconds. While DALL-E 2 might be the most popular of the AI art-generating programs, it is far from the only one. Alternatives include:

  • Fotor
  • NightCafe
  • Craiyon
  • Starryai
  • Dream by WOMBO
  • Simplified
  • Hotpot

AI art generators largely operate on the same idea — turning text prompts, and sometimes even emojis, into imagery — though there are differences in pricing structures, image quality, functionalities and editing capabilities from one platform to the next.

Put AI to (design) work for your small business.

A designer works on a tablet

With AI art generators, you can create innovative visuals to inform your marketing campaigns, social media outreach and branding efforts. For example:

  • An Italian restaurant might create an image of George Washington dining on spaghetti and meatballs for a social media post around Presidents’ Day.
  • A hair salon might replace Einstein’s frazzled hair with a slick side-part hairstyle for a window decal that reads: “Look as smart as you are.”
  • A fitness studio might show a grizzly bear working out on a stationary bike to tout a winter special for new members on outdoor signage.
  • An art studio might use a Picasso-styled image of a sleeping dog on a marketing poster promoting its new animal-themed painting class for kids.
  • A running specialty store might use AI-generated imagery of a cartoonish leprechaun sprinting toward a finish line to inspire a St. Patrick’s Day-themed lineup of store-branded T-shirts.

AI-powered design can be a robust launching pad for you to experiment with different visual ideas yourself before enlisting a professional designer to create a more polished and appropriate treatment for the finished product you ultimately desire, namely something “on brand” for your business and aligned with a specific medium. A designer can add key elements, such as your brand colors, logo, the name and location of your business or a funny slogan, to complete the design. Remember that technology can only take us so far. The human element here is important to ensure the AI-generated visual is used in a cohesive, relevant and impactful way.

VistaPrint Tip

Look no further. VistaPrint has a community of trusted designers ready to take your brand designs to the next level.

One important note: the U.S. Copyright Office does not provide copyright protections to AI-generated works, which means the content does not receive a legal shield for rights, licensing or payment. This heightens the importance of human involvement and making sure the AI-generated image is part of a bigger package clearly aligned with your brand and your business.

Embark on your design journey.

As it has for more than a century, design plays a critical role in the branding and marketing efforts of any business. It’s important to capturing attention for your small business, standing out in a competitive landscape and showing your business as one with energy and character.

With AI art generators, your small business can embark on creative adventures and take design in exciting new directions. You can leverage AI design to bolster your creative potential and team with a professional designer to create thoughtful and appropriate branding and marketing materials that give your business a memorable and distinctive aesthetic.