How are agencies using genAI?


In this issue:

  • How are agencies using genAI?
  • AI ideation creation engine announced
  • Strategies for an accelerating future
  • 27 stats on an AI future
  • Content marketing newsletter recommendation
  • Best book covers of Feb 2023

CircleBoom recently released a comprehensive look at agencies using AI. The report interviewed dozens of agency leaders to understand how they are using generative AI in their work.

Many are using genAI to articulate ideas. The AI isn’t creating ideas, but it’s helping agency creatives bring ideas to life faster than traditional methods. It reduces the time it takes to iterate on ideas before a concept is fleshed out.

The one thing that many agencies wanted to make clear is that the images created by AI don’t make the final output. This makes sense for multiple reasons. The first reason is that agencies don’t want to make their jobs look easy. Many agencies charge a premium to generate ideas and execute on them (this part isn’t in the article, but it’s how I see it). The other concern is the legal ownership issues surrounding AI-generated content.

One clever use of AI is in the storyboarding phase. It’s really easy to have genAI create images with different camera angles. I’ve been playing with these capabilities for a project and I can verify that it’s wildly helpful.

Agencies also use it for copywriting, personas, and coding

“As we move forward with AI, it’s important that we remember it is a tool for us to bring ideas to life, not an idea generator itself,” says Graeme Offord, executive creative director at global drinks specialist agency Denomination

Not only are agencies using genAI for image creation, but also for other creative exercises like copywriting, creating personas, and developing code.


Reading these stories helps me see how others are using AI to succeed. And since these are successful agencies to begin with, it’s a good indicator that we’re all going in the right direction. AI can be used to power up your work to increase efficiency and discovery of new ideas.

News at the Intersection of AI and Design

🗎 MKHSTRY Announces AI Creative Ideation Engine, Developed by Marketing Industry Innovator Jeff Charney

MKHSTRY is shaking things up with the launch of MKHSTRY AI, a creative ideation engine that’s all about infusing AI with real marketing creativity. For graphic designers, this could mean a whole new way of coming up with ideas and executing campaigns.

  • Developed by marketing guru Jeff Charney, MKHSTRY AI is trained to think like a Fortune 500 CMO, aiming to cut down the time and effort it takes to develop impactful marketing campaigns.
  • This AI tool is designed to spark “lightbulb” moments quickly, offering a blend of human intelligence and AI to streamline the creative process from concept to launch.
  • H/T Paul Roetzer

For graphic designers, MKHSTRY AI represents an opportunity to leverage AI for creative ideation, potentially transforming how designs and campaigns are conceptualized and executed.

Keep reading

✍🏻 Strategies for an Accelerating Future

Advances are setting the stage for a future where AI’s capabilities seem almost limitless. For graphic designers, these developments could dramatically alter how creative work is done, from concept to execution.

  • The new version of Google’s Gemini can now remember and process a vast amount of information at once, allowing for superhuman recall and understanding.
  • This means graphic designers could feed it comprehensive briefs and get back detailed, accurate summaries or creative suggestions in no time
  • Speed improvements in AI response times, like those made by Groq (the chips that are powering high-speed AI), mean that designers can interact with AI tools more fluidly, making it feasible to use AI for real-time creative brainstorming and decision-making

These advancements suggest a future where graphic designers might leverage AI not just for efficiency, but also for pushing the boundaries of innovation and creativity.

As always, speed will be a differentiator for designers.

Keep reading

📊 27 AI Statistics and Trends in 2024

  • The Global AI Market Size is expected to grow by 37% annually from 2023 to 2030, indicating a booming industry with vast opportunities for innovation in design and marketing
  • Over 40% Of Business Leaders report that AI automation has significantly increased productivity, highlighting the potential for AI to streamline design processes and enhance creative output
  • AI is Expected to Create 133 Million New Jobs by 2030, suggesting a growing demand for AI literacy among graphic designers and marketers to capitalize on new opportunities.
  • The Demand for AI Skills Is Outpacing the Supply of AI Talent. Are you making yourself more marketable?
  • Implementing AI leads to increased productivity. Thanks to AI implementation, more time and effort can be dedicated to more creative and strategic tasks. Often, these tasks require more human input, resulting in a better allocation of business resources.

Learn more

New Resources for you
I'm a funny pumpkinhead

Want to beat AI? Be weird

Humans have the capacity to do something that AI can’t do: be weird.

In this recent essay by Alex Dobrenko, he talks about how AI could not have made the cult classic movie The Room. We, as humans, have the ability to react and respond to things in ways that AI can’t.

He says that art is the reaction to society. As society moves to more of an AI-generated world, art – created by humans – will continue to react to that in ways that AI wouldn’t expect.

At the start of the year, I predicted the word of the year will be analog. I’m probably a year or two ahead of this being a new trend, but I love hearing how people are setting up environments and businesses to be ready for the AI Backlash!™

I heard a great idea yesterday that I won’t spoil here, but it showed me how people are preparing today to address an audience that hasn’t even fully formed yet.

Are you doing anything to keep things weird and human?

Newsletter recommendation of the week

If you’re in the content marketing space, I recommend checking out Karine Abbou’s newsletter. For the past 18 months, Karine has been diving deep into AI. Now she’s taking that knowledge and sharing how AI can best be used within the content marketing space.

​Check it out!

Best book covers of the month

It’s not AI, but I would imagine most folks here either like design, books, or both. If you want to see some great book covers, Print magazine has collected the best covers from last month.

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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