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designers vs. neural networks: innovative approach to design

Neural networks are already working in the offices of large and not very large agencies. These valuable personnel fit perfectly into the team and help solve a wide range of daily tasks. But there is not much information about how to "hire" a neural network to your team. We will tell you about our experience, and maybe tomorrow your creative everyday life will not be the same.


Like any specialist, the neuron had to go through a tough selection and show her best qualities. At the beginning of 2023, we began the selection of candidates, and the young but promising Midjourney showed himself most of all. We took him on an internship.

Tender for creativity among clients

Before the start of the competition, we told our clients about the possibility of solving their problems using a neural network. The experiment involved a limited number of cases, so we organized a competition. According to its terms, the client's team had to formulate a brief in a couple of sentences, similar to how prompta is introduced in Midjourney, and do it creatively. It was the originality of the task formulation that became the key factor in evaluating the winners. After the creation of the briefings, an anonymous vote was held, where the participants themselves chose from the formulations they liked. The tasks that received the most votes were included in the neural network experiment.

Later we received feedback that all the participants liked the unusual format and helped to practice creativity. Meanwhile, three winners were selected. All of them became part of the Midjourney internship.

On equal terms

Returning to the neuron and designer competition, we decided to create the same introductory ones: 3 winning cases - advertising creativity, packaging and social networks. The neurocollega and the designer draw one concept each. 3 days for the first submission. The client chooses one of them, and we refine it to the level of working layouts.

The competition process

Designer's everyday life

The designer got into unusual conditions for himself, where he had to issue a working concept in 3 days. It turns out a day for immersion in the topic, a day for sketches and a day for finalizing. There is no time to study the experience of colleagues, world cases and give yourself a break to digest. Here, watching comes to the rescue. We raise the entire design database in our head and look for the most successful solutions there. You can also use the storming option to get an advantage in the form of a view from the side. What the designer willingly used.

Everyday life of a neurodesigner

We called the designer who worked exclusively with Midjourney a neurodesigner. He stormed with a neuron, drew sketches with her, went to lunch, put together a presentation. The process turned out to be both inspiring and routine. In fact, the neurodesigner turned into an art director and responded to the very juice of creativity - the idea, but at the same time, concepts flew to this art director every minute and it was necessary to constantly make edits and hope again that you were understood.

As a result, the designer worked at an unusual time for himself, but had a wide arsenal for creativity, and the neurodesigner received a lot of concepts ready for implementation in a short time, but used only a neural network for ideas. What came out of it?

Internship results

Advertising creative for Nemoloko

MJ's first project, and it's always always exciting. And then immediately a large brand — double responsibility. The task was to create an advertising message for outdoor and digital advertising. We advertise vegetable yogurt with wild berries.

The designer focused on vegetation and implemented the product directly into the visual. The neurodesigner also broadcast the theme of lightness to us. Both used metaphors, but the first created an image of the formula more familiar to the category, and the second did it more fantastically, because a dress made of plants is not often found.
The summer image of a girl responded to the client and MJ began his internship with a small victory.

Elena Shmakova, Nemoloko Marketing Department:

“Thank you for an interesting project and the desire to bring it to a logical end. We felt that the team was very interested in a result that would satisfy the client. It always appeals.”

Packaging for Vertex

Vertex Company redesigned the existing packaging for omega capsules-3. We gave this project not only to the main designers, but also to our young intern. From the introductory: natural raw materials in the form of salmon, Norwegian origin, highlight on the shelf.

Here we see fundamentally different solutions. The designer has gone into minimalism and Scandinavian aesthetics. And Midjourney showed what he is good at: illustration in any desired style. On the one hand, cleanliness and a corporate symbol for memorization, on the other — emphasizing naturalness and a bright palette of colors. In this case, the client's team was divided into two groups. Midjourney has already bitten its neuro-locks... However, in the end it was an illustrative concept that was chosen.

Sergey Sharovatov, Vertex Marketing Department:

“In the office, we were literally divided into 2 camps, who likes the concept with wildlife, and who likes the concept with Norwegian runes. We like the ideas, and at the moment we are considering the possibility of adapting and layout 4 more SKUs.”

Social networks for Alfa-Leasing

We took the third direction of the social network, because we needed to check how our intern would cope not with one image, but with the whole system. Will it be able to produce a result that can be applied not once, but regularly?

The current design of social networks already looked modern. Therefore, it was an additional challenge for us to make it even more technologically advanced and modern. The designer kept the general mood of the previous design, but added more order and structure to the layout. The neurodesigner has gone into the metaphor of the architecture of the future and high-tech aesthetics. Continuity versus innovation.

It would seem that a neural network that produces an uncontrolled result can create a whole style and turn it into templates. But here, too, our intern prevailed. The client unanimously chose the neuroconcept.

Evgeniya Bespalaya, CG Alfa-Leasing Marketing Department:

“We had no such experience with agencies. Regarding the result: we realized how accurately the neural network copes with creative tasks. We liked the result. After the result obtained, we can say that such a concept can exist in our communication.”

How did the neurocollega help out?

Of course, there is a person behind any modern neural network. And in this case, a neurodesigner is a designer plus a neural network. And the success of the neural network is not accidental, because we, the creators, have many interesting ideas, but the implementation is often limited by deadlines.

As a result, how did MJ help us:

  1. — We came to the stormings not with references, but with sketches of ideas
  2. — In packaging, creatives and social networks, we saved time on the production of sketches of illustrations and photos
  3. — We received a three-dimensional design sketch in the package at once
  4. — Social networks received a unique creative for each post
  5. — Were not limited in performance styles
  6. — Freed up time for ideas instead of technical processing of the layout

Going to work

You can talk as much as you like about the incredible capabilities of neural networks, but the main critic for our business is the client. The victory of the neurodesigner's concepts in three cases out of three speaks for itself. So we hired a neural network and immediately included it in the staff. We hope our experience will inspire you to join the team with this valuable staff.

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