An excellent graphic design requires a balance of personalization, ingenuity, and self-expression. Of course, no other species on earth can spell creativity and strategy better than us humans.
We’re living in modern times. With new technology sprouting left and right, some people might realize that art is slowly losing the human touch. But not just yet.
Don’t worry, designers, robots won’t be taking over the industry too soon! Rather than dwelling on man vs. machine, we need to figure out how to keep up with the changing times and use technology to our best advantage!
Machines can be a designer’s best friend and sidekick if used correctly. More importantly, it can enhance a designer’s creativity and help them get around their daily tasks – especially the most tedious ones.
There is nothing more valuable than a designer’s time. More time would mean more room for creativity, which translates to more clients and a good living. But a graphic designer’s tasks aren’t always easy. There may be times when designing can be tiresome, repetitive, and even dry.
This is where automation comes in.
Importance of automating your graphic design workflow
Automation refers to the employment of technology to produce outputs with little to no human input. It’s simply the use of robots to do manual work and to take control of specific processes in your workflow.
Automation is essential for various reasons, but for graphic designers, the grounds are a lot simpler- it cuts the production time in half and makes the job easier.
Sure, it requires human skill to produce actual creative and imaginative work. Nevertheless, everything else – from sharpening the design to little rinky-dink tasks such as attending to day-to-day administrative matters – you can rely on automation to get it done.
With the advancement of artificial intelligence (AI)-powered tools and design software, a designer’s job now requires less effort. Automation has indeed revolutionized the work of designers and content marketers alike. Venngage says around 37% of companies intend to automate graphic design creation.
Automation offers design convenience with software features that allow automatic resizing, automated banner generation, automated image labeling, and even image generation. It also eliminates monotonous tasks from the design process, giving more time for productive and creative undertakings.
Now that you know a thing or two about the benefits of automation, it’s time to jump to the critical question – how do you integrate automation into your workflow? Let us throw some ideas your way!
Here are eight everyday graphic design tasks that are better left in the trusty hands of your machine companion.
8 Common Graphic Design Tasks You Need to Automate Right Now
1. Administrative tasks
Contrary to popular belief, a graphic designer’s job does not only involve designing as we know it. Designers constantly deal with tasks outside the creative realm such as billing, email marketing, lead generation, client management, and coordinating with the creative team.
It’s a pity a day only has 24 hours, because with all this on your plate and more, it’s undoubtedly a struggle to keep up with the demands of the industry.
Luckily, automation has entered the equation! Designers can finally bid goodbye to hours and hours of mind-numbing administrative tasks.
Administrative tasks are among the easiest aspects of a designer’s job to automate because most administrative tasks are almost routinary.
Administrative functions you can fully or partially automate administrative functions such as invoicing, scheduling or calendar management, and research.
With tedious administrative tasks out of the way, you can rest easy as you enjoy a more productive time in the design process.
2. Email management and marketing
Email marketing is one of the most effective methods for marketers to reach their customers. If you’re a designer, it’s almost certain that emails form part of your marketing strategy.
As effective as email marketing can be, the entire process can be pretty dreadful. Thankfully, there are several ways you can use automation to take care of your emails.
For one, you can use an autoresponder. The best thing about an autoresponder is that it’s completely free and available on almost all email platforms. You’ll never have to worry about missing a client or maintaining engagement with existing customers with this function.
Another way to automate your emails is by using AI-powered software that times and pre-schedules promotional email campaigns to your subscribers or mailing list. Softwares also enable marketers to send out messages to prospective and existing customers when specific conditions are triggered.
Discover email marketing automation, set up rules, tinker with filters, and retrofit responses according to key correspondents – that’s pretty much it, and the machine can do the rest!
3. Social media updating
As a designer engaged in marketing, social media constantly forms part of the workflow mix.
Social media marketing is fun and exciting, not to mention highly effective! However, managing and populating several social media feeds with marketing and promotion efforts can be a handful.
The good thing is that nowadays, there are tools readily available online that can help you breeze through the laborious social media updating process.
Tools such as SocialPilot, Hootsuite, and Buffer offer features such as social media scheduling, client management, and more. Use these tools to easily manage your social media networks, engage with your followers, showcase your designs across platforms, increase your social media presence, and grow your brand.
How can these tools make your life easier?
Well, it will definitely save you a lot of time switching between applications. Rather than logging on and off social media applications such as Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, etc., you can manage all your social media accounts in a single platform. You can also link your social media accounts for smooth and simultaneous social media publication.
4. Creation of Project Templates
Project templates are preformatted and reusable outlines that you may frequently apply to recurring projects to save time and effort.
Spend less time reworking and starting from scratch every time you handle a project by using automation to set up flexible and customizable project templates.
You can use sophisticated tools online to generate templates of frequently-used forms, generic documents, project trackers, and even to-do lists best suited for you or your team.
5. Workflow management
If you’re a designer working in a team or managing one, you can automate your processes to ensure a smooth-running workflow.
With project management software, you can allow your team to collaborate better and share creative ideas right off the bat.
All you have to do is get the team together and ensure that everyone’s using the same project management tool. In the platform, you can automate the task delegation process and create a visual system where every team member knows what they are doing and what time they need to get it done. Tools such as these can help boost productivity and ensure that everyone is on track.
The graphic design process involves multiple steps, and sometimes, the completion of a single design may take days and several revisions. With a workflow management tool in hand, you can easily keep track of a project’s progress. It would also be easier for the project manager to easily facilitate an ideal system of assigning and reassigning tasks to optimize their design creation and content marketing strategy.
6. Creation of Mockups
For designers engaged in marketing, one of the best ways to exhibit your content to your client is by creating and presenting product mockups.
A product mockup is a full rendering of a design onto the client’s product. These can be in the form of labels, business cards, product packaging, signages, or stationeries. More complex mockups would have a realistic view of how the product will be used or seen once it’s out in the world.
Mockups can bring your graphic design projects to life, even before they hit the shelves or the web. It creates a solid depiction of your design’s final look.
Creating quality product mockups may be time-consuming. It would require a lot of handiwork. The process of shooting, adjusting lighting, and sizing to make the product design as realistic as possible can be a challenge.
Fortunately, you can entirely automate the mockup process with current technology. Mockup generators are everywhere, and many are free and easily accessible online.
Browse through thousands of customizable product mockups online, choose your template of choice, and optimize options such as colors, background images, and other graphic elements – you’re ready to present to your client!
Also read: 6 Best Logo Design Software and Tools
7. Image content generation
Don’t you sometimes wish to create visuals at the flick of a wand? While that’s not entirely possible, automated image generators do come close to magic.
Coming up with creative and original graphics is one of the primary jobs of a designer, but from time to time, it can feel like a chore.
If you’re feeling uninspired or unable to get your creative juices flowing, design automation has got your back. Whether you’re looking to design animated or static visuals for your next product campaign, design automation can help you simplify your workflow.
Automated banner generation tools and automated image labeling tools are only a few of the many handy image generation tools you can conjure whenever you need to wrap up a quick visual content.
Better yet, throw in text to image API into the mix! Text-to-image APIs use AI power to convert text into high-quality images, which you can easily integrate into your design. They also come along with some customization options for the machine-generated image.
Get acquainted with these tools and access an overflowing compendium of professional templates and design presets. Instantly create banners, social media visuals, images for email marketing, or even custom images without breaking a sweat.
8. Everyday design works
Wouldn’t it be a massive convenience if the small design works like image resizing, background removal, refining, cropping, and color palette generation could be weeded from the design workflow? These delicate yet straightforward tasks may look insignificant, but they take up a chunk of a designer’s usual workload.
The good news is: tedious nitty-gritty work such as these can now entirely be handled by your mechanical companion.
With the advancement of AI and the proliferation of APIs on the web, you never have to organize layers to tweak your images ever again manually; perhaps you can even delegate the task to non-designers.
Try introducing tools such as Removal.ai and Pixelixe into your workflow and seamlessly enhance your visual designs with minimal effort.
The graphic design remains mainly a job for the steady hands of humans; after all, you can’t delegate creative thinking to machines – at least not yet.
As we move farther into the future, we must admit that we simply cannot wish away technological advancement. Sure, there may be risks involved, but in the long run, it can only further enhance the way we work – let’s learn to befriend it and use it to our advantage.
Next time you’re starting a design project, think about the tasks that look and feel like manual labor, such as those that require little human input and imagination. Once you know your enemy, analyze if you can automate the process.
If the job is repetitive, routinary, or basic, chances are, there’s already an automation tool for it!
Keep in mind that your end goal as a designer is to create products that appeal to your clients and customers, come up with engaging content, and grow your brand. For that, you will need to maximize your room for creativity. Fortunately, automation can help you achieve this.
If there’s ever a time to innovate, this is it. Start automating! What are you waiting for?