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Bernard Marr

Bernard Marr is a world-renowned futurist, influencer and thought leader in the fields of business and technology, with a passion for using technology for the good of humanity. He is a best-selling author of over 20 books, writes a regular column for Forbes and advises and coaches many of the world’s best-known organisations. He has a combined following of 4 million people across his social media channels and newsletters and was ranked by LinkedIn as one of the top 5 business influencers in the world.

Bernard’s latest books are ‘Future Skills’, ‘The Future Internet’, ‘Business Trends in Practice’ and ‘Generative AI in Practice’.

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Bernard Marr ist ein weltbekannter Futurist, Influencer und Vordenker in den Bereichen Wirtschaft und Technologie mit einer Leidenschaft für den Einsatz von Technologie zum Wohle der Menschheit. Er ist Bestsellerautor von 20 Büchern, schreibt eine regelmäßige Kolumne für Forbes und berät und coacht viele der weltweit bekanntesten Organisationen. Er hat über 2 Millionen Social-Media-Follower, 1 Million Newsletter-Abonnenten und wurde von LinkedIn als einer der Top-5-Business-Influencer der Welt und von Xing als Top Mind 2021 ausgezeichnet.

Bernards neueste Bücher sind ‘Künstliche Intelligenz im Unternehmen: Innovative Anwendungen in 50 Erfolgreichen Unternehmen’

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The Top Generative AI Tools For Art And Design

20 May 2024

Image creators were among the first generative AI tools to capture the public imagination.

Since then, the market has matured quickly, with AI image generators evolving from impressive technological curiosities into truly useful and powerful applications.

Today, many established, industry-standard art and design platforms have embraced this revolution by integrating generative functionality. Just about anything we can imagine can now be visualized, from fantastical landscapes to complex 3D models. However, their true value isn’t in replacing human creativity but in augmenting it.

My Favorite Generative AI Art And Design Tools

So, here’s my overview of what I believe are the best tools that artists, illustrators and designers can use to kick-start their creative process or overcome the challenges posed by a blank canvas. All have their pros and cons, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution right now, so if you want to understand how they can help you create more impressive images or streamline your design workflows, read on.

The Top Generative AI Tools For Art And Design | Bernard Marr


Dall-E is one of the most powerful and flexible generative image models available to the general public. It was developed by OpenAI, who also created ChatGPT, and the latest version – Dall-E 3, can be accessed by anyone with a ChatGPT Plus subscription.

This model is extremely good at interpreting and creating images from very detailed prompts and offers users a high degree of flexibility over how their finished images turn out. It can also create new variations of existing images and achieve results that are very close to being photo-realistic.

Dall-E uses OpenAI’s language model, GPT-3, to process its users’ natural language prompts and has also been integrated by Microsoft (a major OpenAI investor) into its Bing, Co-Pilot and Designer tools. It can also be accessed through its own API, available through OpenAI Playground, meaning that developers can easily build image generation into their own applications.

Stable Diffusion

Stable Diffusion was one of the first image models to capture the public attention, demonstrating just how powerful the latest generation of AI image generators has become. Developed by researchers at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich working alongside US company Runway ML, it can create numerous iterations of images from a single prompt. It is also capable of modifying and adding to existing images.

What really sets it apart from other models like Midjourney and Dall-E, though, is that it is open source. This means anyone can create custom versions to suit their own requirements and even run it locally on their own hardware. This has led to it being widely used for generating images used in movies, music videos and TV shows. Its flexibility does, however, mean that it can take a little more technical know-how to get the best results. If you don't want to set up your own server, Stable Diffusion can be accessed through web interfaces, including DreamStudio and Stable Diffusion Web.


Midjourney is an image generation model aimed more at artists than designers, and as a result its output can be highly evocative, detailed and imaginative, and often has a fantastical quality.

Midjourney is a little different from other models in that rather than being accessed through a web interface, app or API, users interact with it via Discord, using the messaging platform’s bot commands. It has been used to create illustrations and comics as well as an image used as a cover of an issue of The Economist. It also sparked controversy when it was used to create the infamous Pope In A Puffer Jacket deepfake image.

Partly because of being accessed via Discord, a strong community has built up around Midjourney, and users frequently collaborate to create and share innovative prompts and use cases. However, its outputs can be less photo-realistic and more stylized than some of the tools listed here, and it is noted for seemingly allowing itself a greater degree of artistic license in the way it interprets prompts – sometimes leading to more unpredictable results.

Adobe Firefly

Firefly is part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite of design and productivity tools, although it is usable in a more limited form without a subscription. It brings generative capabilities to market-leading applications like Photoshop, Illustrator and Adobe Express. Images and designs created in Firefly can be seamlessly integrated into professional design workflows.

An interesting element of Firefly is its commitment to transparent and ethical AI. To this end, Adobe has trained its models entirely on images contained within its own database of stock images, as well as public domain material. The idea is to give creators peace of mind that they’re safe from claims that their work infringes on the copyright of others. Adobe even goes as far as to indemnify its users against any such legal claims that may arise in the future.

Canva Magic Design

Canva is a hugely popular cloud-based design platform that is frequently used to create marketing materials, email templates and social media assets. From the start of this year, it has incorporated generative design functionality. Powered by a custom version of Stable Diffusion, it allows users to generate images and design features such as logos, graphics and templates. These can be automatically aligned with elements such as color palettes and fonts to match your brand guidelines. It also uses generative AI to make suggestions for incorporating Canva’s vast library of image and template assets into users’ projects.

Overall, Canva’s generative functionality focuses on offering a streamlined and versatile experience around marketing content creation that can be accessed across both its free and paid-for services.

Other Great Generative AI Art And Design Tools

Art, design and graphics is one area where there is certainly no shortage of amazing generative AI tools – here are the best of the rest.

Autodesk Fusion

This industry-standard design platform now provides generative tools aimed at improving users’ skills and boosting creativity.


Craiyon is a free, user-friendly image-generation tool that's great for creating quick, simple images.


Generate unique artworks from simple text prompts using multiple image generation models.


Free, simple, no-frills AI image generation from text prompts.

Getty Images AI

AI image generation from the prestigious Getty image repository, powered by Nvidia technology.


Imagen is an image generation model created by Google’s Deep Brain AI team. It scores particularly well on benchmarks that measure how closely the image output aligns with a user’s text prompts. It’s accessible via Google’s Gemini Pro chatbot in most territories, although it is not yet accessible in Europe.


Another Google tool that enables access to the Imagen model, this one is designed to be user-friendly when it comes to quick, simple image generation.


Initially launched as an AI writing tool, Jasper now also has an image generation model available to users of its paid-for service.

Let’s Enhance

This tool has always been popular with designers for its ability to upscale and enhance existing images, and it has now added generative AI features.


This is a community-based generative AI portal that allows users access to models, including Dall-E 2 and Stable Diffusion.

Shutterstock AI

The long-established stock image service now has a tool that enables users to create their own images if they can't find anything in the library that fits their needs.

Wombo Dream

This AI image generator is available as an iOS app through Apple’s App Store and is fine-tuned for creating dreamlike, surreal and whimsical imagery.

Business Trends In Practice | Bernard Marr
Business Trends In Practice | Bernard Marr

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Bernard Marr is a world-renowned futurist, influencer and thought leader in the fields of business and technology, with a passion for using technology for the good of humanity.

He is a best-selling author of over 20 books, writes a regular column for Forbes and advises and coaches many of the world’s best-known organisations.

He has a combined following of 4 million people across his social media channels and newsletters and was ranked by LinkedIn as one of the top 5 business influencers in the world.

Bernard’s latest book is ‘Generative AI in Practice’.

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