2024: The Return of Print!

Writing a plan

My word for 2024: Analog.

After a year figuring out generative AI, we’re going to see those practices put into use in 2024. Some of it will be impressive. Most of it will not.

Even though the image generators will get better, much of what we’ll see will be generic and boring by the end of the year. For those of you with design skills, you’ll be in luck!

Analog (non digital, non computerized) experiences will take center stage by the end of 2024. The Tilt founder, Joe Pulizzi, is saying that print will be a huge differentiator for marketers in 2024. The least cluttered inbox is the one at the end of your driveway. I’ll have more on this topic in a few weeks!

With the presidential election in the US this year, expect to see a lot of AI-generated fake imagery and video in attempts to disinform the general public. Propaganda isn’t new. But propaganda at scale is where the real concern lies, according to Paul Roetzer of the Marketing AI Institute. Seeing things with your own eyes will be critical for believing what is said and done. More people will attend events than we’ve seen in years.

Finally, with the impending rise of quantum computing, which will lead to the inability to password-protect anything, I wonder if critical information – like CIA secrets – will be removed from the digital domain and they’ll go back to analog records. I know this one is pretty far fetched, but they’ll have to figure out some way to prevent state secrets from being stolen.

I debated whether the word should be analog or artisanal. Of these three things, it’s moving away from a binary digital space to an analog space. Print materials can be artisanal, but I don’t think live events could be categorized that way.

What does this mean for you? Well, if you have print design skills, then you can be at the forefront to the counter programming that we will see in 2024.

Do you have a word for the year? All the cool kids are doing it.

News at the Intersection of AI and Design

🤔 An Artist in Residence on A.I.’s Territory

OpenAI named its first Artist in Residence. The art community is split, with some seeing A.I. as a revolutionary tool and others as a threat to the value and uniqueness of human-created art.

  • Alexander Reben’s residency at OpenAI puts him at the heart of a debate, with his work sparking discussions about the integration of A.I. in art and its legal and creative implications.

Keep reading


👩🏾‍🎨 28 AI Tools You’ll Be Shocked Are Free

Many AI tools start free and then start to monetize. If you’re like most of us, you find about these apps 15 minutes before everyone else and then you have to pay.

  • In this video Matt Wolfe breaks down 28 tools that are free
  • There is also a full list where you can click through to find tools for image generation, video editing, create music, or many other creative tasks
  • h/t to Matt Sinderbrand

Learn more (video and list)


👨‍💻 Google Reportedly Replacing Some Human Staff With AI (up to 30,000 people!)

Google’s making headlines again, but this time it’s about how they’re reportedly planning to replace some of their human sales staff with AI. It’s a bit of a reality check, showing how even the big tech companies are looking to AI to take over roles traditionally filled by people.

  • The move is part of Google’s push into AI-powered advertising, where new tools can create and optimize ads in ways that used to require human hands and minds.
  • This trend isn’t just a Google thing; it’s happening across various industries, with predictions suggesting that AI could replace millions of jobs in the coming years.

Keep reading

New Resources for you
Microsoft icons
Yes, they look like every spam ad on X, but these are real icons from Microsoft

Microsoft Designer and Copilot for mobile are both now available.

Wondering where to start with Microsoft Designer? Check out this Thread. The early reviews aren’t great. But if you’re looking to try it out, this will get you started. For those who have design experience and software, this probably isn’t for you.

Copilot on iOS and Android is interesting because it basically gives you access to the pro version of ChatGPT and Dall-E. It’s free for now, so I suggest checking it out.

OpenAI just reported $1.6B annual revenue, so I doubt it’s going to let its biggest investor, Microsoft, just give it away for free for long.

Wordle for design nerds!

Do you like being incredibly frustrated with hex colors? If you do, there’s now a game where you can guess the hex color of the day! https://hexcodle.com/

Thanks to Frank Prendergast for turning me on to this.

It’s 2024. Do you know where your design career is going?

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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