17% Fewer Design Job Postings Since Image-Generation AI Tools Released

Robot doing work

What stage are you in your AI journey?

Heather Murray, who is a must follow if you’re on LinkedIn, posted a survey last week asking her network this very question.

It closely mirrored one thing I’ve been trying to stress in this newsletter: It feels like you’re behind, but you’re not.

Now, her results are somewhat skewed because AI is what she talks about and it’s what her audience wants to know about, so these are folks who are already engaged with AI.

But of that group, 37% were either overwhelmed or just dabbling. Heather said that when she’s out talking to people, they’re mostly just starting to play around with AI, if they’re doing anything at all.

Just yesterday I was talking to a designer who is one of the most technically advanced designers I’ve worked with, and I showed him how easy it was to remove a couple of light posts from this photo. 20 seconds of genAI avoided 4-5 minutes of cloning (AKA stamping if you’re old like me).

Two images of Zakim bridge in Boston
Thank you, Photoshop generative fill

Even people who are up on the latest design tools haven’t spent much time playing with these newer tools.


But, it means that even if you’re someone who is always the go-to resource for new design tools, you better be doing your homework and testing things out. Because someone else is getting a head start on you.

News at the Intersection of AI and Design

🦹🏼 Generative AI Has a Visual Plagiarism Problem

The world of AI-generated imagery is facing a bit of a conundrum, as highlighted in this article from IEEE Spectrum. It turns out that tools like Midjourney and DALL-E 3 might be stepping into a legal gray area by producing images that closely resemble copyrighted materials.

  • Experiments with these AI tools have shown that they can generate images nearly identical to existing copyrighted content, raising concerns about potential copyright infringement.
  • The issue is complex, with questions about the legality of these AI-generated images and the ethical implications of using copyrighted materials in AI training datasets.
  • We’re going to see more lawsuits like the New York Times’ lawsuit, but eventually it will level out. Something similar happened to YouTube before it was acquired by Google.
  • h/t to Frank Prendergast

Keep reading


💃🏻 Want to avoid your next PowerPoint design job?

AI can make creating presentations a whole lot easier and more efficient. While it’s not a magic wand that does everything for you, it sure helps in cutting down the workload.

  • Tools like ChatGPT Plus and Beautiful.AI are game changers, helping to create structured outlines and visually appealing slides that align with your presentation’s theme.
  • The article also dives into using text-to-image creators like DALL-E and Midjourney for custom visuals, and even touches on using AI for speaker’s notes and transforming presentations into videos with Synthesia.

Learn more

New Resources for you
Filling out a survey
Midjourney is getting better at hands

New Research: 17% Fewer Design Postings Since Image-Generation AI Tools Released

New research out of Harvard and other institutions are reporting that job labor market sites, like Upwork, have seen fewer postings in automation-prone jobs. They’ve been able to track that these jobs – writing, engineering, software, app and web development – are down 21%, compared to manual-prone jobs (data entry, video services, etc), since generative AI tools were released.

It looks like image-generation jobs are taking the biggest hit right now.

It’s a 15-page research report, but I got a lot out of this paper.

How can I help you?

If you want to learn more about what’s available, here are some links:

Thanks for reading!


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Jim MacLeod

Jim MacLeod

Jim MacLeod was a graphic designer for more than a decade before pivoting to adjacent areas of focus such as marketing, digital experience, and branding. Knowing that AI is going to displace many graphic designers, Jim set up After Design to help designers prepare for this impending change. 

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