10 Best AI Tools For Designers: Beyond Design Functions

As a creative, you need to capitalize on AI tools, as you understand inaction is not an option.

While every article discusses only AI graphic design tools for AI-generated images, this article aims to introduce you to more than AI tools for imagery.

You’ll get to see tools to accelerate your entire creative process, from ideation and planning to execution.

Preview of tools list

  1. Automatic timesheet and billable hours app: Timeular
  2. Notetaking and task management: Notion AI
  3. Premier AI image generator: MidJourney
  4. Widely used text-to-image generator: Dall-E 2
  5. A go-to vector graphic tool: Adobe Firefly
  6. Comprehensive marketing tool: Adobe Sensei
  7. Stable Diffusion model app: DreamStudio
  8. Image and video enhancement: Topaz Labs
  9. Instant logo generation: Looka Logo Maker
  10. Simple drag-and-drop design tool: Canva

Psst, do filling timesheets and reporting bother you?

Try a time-efficient alternative and stop losing your time – Timeular will automate your timesheets and let you focus on your creative work.

What are AI tools for designers?

Besides massively improving your creative output and productivity, you must understand that AI models are here to stay and revolutionize how we work.

In essence, AI design tools use artificial intelligence and machine learning in all facets of design. So, all mundane tasks that graphic designers or web designers deal with can be a thing of the past, as AI can streamline and automate them.

We’re discussing background removal, generating placeholders, or creating website banners.

Why do you need AI-powered tools?

The first obvious reason is necessity. The sooner you adopt AI into your workflow, the higher your competitive edge will be.

Agencies, corporations, and independent designers have already infused them into their processes.

  • For example, in a Reddit thread on How will AI change graphic design, designers explain how some creative agencies in the UK already implemented it. They mention that agencies started creating quick concepts for mood boards with AI tools, which then are validated with clients and further developed by graphic designers. Previously, conceptual work was done entirely by a freelancer or full-time graphic designer.

While this may sound frightening, the reality is that AI graphic design tools are freeing up time so you can be more disruptive and creative beyond the regular limits.

  • In a 2023 study done by BCG with 200 CMOs, the number one word they expressed towards implementing AI was “Optimism.” The same study reveals that 70% of the respondents mentioned that their organizations already use Generative AI, which has affected their core marketing functions, while 19% were still testing it.

TIP: You might be interested in exploring the process of Workplace automation.

Besides necessity, AI tools allow better and more disruptive design, ignite your creativity with innovative ideas, and allow you to generate custom color palettes, enhance images, or improve existing designs. There’s no objective reason why one might not implement AI apps into their workflow, as they’re evolving, and the speed is unprecedented.

Top 10 AI tools for designers

Timeular - best AI tools


Timeular is an AI time-tracker that understands creative professionals are not into admin, so it’s built for them. If reporting is last on your to-do list, Timeular makes generating reports visually appealing, intuitive, and automated for you. And that’s not all it does.

This tracker works, too, as a:

The best part about Timeular is its AI does all the work for you – from capturing all time spent on tasks, apps, websites, and calendar events to adding it to your timesheet. All you have to do is dedicate one minute a day to accepting the AI-suggested time entries.

What’s more, it doesn’t intrude on your privacy, so managers cannot see in real-time an employee’s timesheet, but with a 12-hour delay, and your data is stored only locally on your computer.

Here’s to fair compensation for time spent on creative projects, managing project costs better, setting appropriate rates, and gaining insights into your work patterns.

TIP: Explore the features section to see other features of Timeular, like its cool physical gadget.

“Timeular has entirely replaced the timesheets that most of us used. Every other time tracking solution we tried proved to be unwieldy compared to pen and paper. After a week of Timeular, everybody became an instant convert!”, Senior Designer at O’Brien Media

Key features users love:

  • Generates clean and easy-to-digest time reports to be shared with customers and for you to understand where your time goes;
  • Alerts you once you’re close to reaching a time budget with budget notifications so that you don’t go over the budgeted amount of time you awarded to a project or task;

  • Allows time tracking with a physical time-tracking gadget that, once flipped on another side, starts tracking another activity. We have to say that the physical tracker is one of the most appreciated features of designers.

Capture, analyze and bill more time with the Timeular Tracker
  • It’s designed to notice personal productivity patterns with AI, reflected in a dashboard visible only to you. You’ll get to see apps that sidetrack your work efficiency or times you’re at peak productivity;

    Timeular - best AI tools

  • Allows you to track time the way you want: with a simple CMD+E command, directly in the calendar interface, automatically, or with the physical tracker;

  • Thanks to automatic time tracking, you can track time automatically across apps, documents, and websites you’re working on in the background and add it to your timesheet. Note that automatic tracking works if you want it to, and all tracked data is visible only to you.
  • It captures and adds AI time entry suggestions to your timesheet for an honest overview of time spent on tasks. This way, your calendar becomes an accurate reflection of your workday, client billing, and reporting.

automatic time entries
  • Billable hours tracking can be recorded in one click once you choose billable or non-billable tracking;
  • Allows overtime tracking and leave hours tracking, including PTO, sick, and parental leave, for accurate resource allocation without using another leave management tool.

The most effortless AI time tracker

Say goodbye to disjointed time and leave management AI tools. Timeular’s AI time entry suggestions, automated tracking, and smart productivity insights are linked within the same app.


30 days free plan (trial)
Personal: €6.30/user/month
Personal Pro: €9.60/ user/month
€14.60/user/month (unlimited users)

Notion AI

Notion can be your go-to place for task management, notetaking, and user research data storage. It allows you to write things from scratch, tweak them, share, and iterate with collaborators. 

It’s very well integrated into your regular workflow and into the tools you’re using. An example is the ability to preview Google Drive files and Figma designs within project databases in Notion. 

Key features users love:

  • It gives access to countless free or paid templates and even a Design System database for product design and development;

  • You can view and organize the database in multiple ways, such as boards, galleries, or lists;

  • Helps you manage tasks with features that prioritize work based on urgency and importance, while new tasks are generated once previous ones are done.
  • You can share pages with external clients and embed content from various graphic design tools like Whimsical, Figma, Miro, and others.

  • the AskNotion command points you to specific data points to identify any information in your project’s database;

  • Auto-fills meeting summaries, follow-ups, or project updates, and even generates summaries of articles from the web with its Web Clipper.

What users don’t like:

  • Though Notion is customizable, this is also its pain point, as this extensive customizability makes it hard to adopt. At times, you might get overwhelmed by all the options, especially if you’re not a fan of organizing docs and systematizing data.


  • Free plan

  • Plus: $8/month per user

  • Business: $15/month per user

  • Enterprise: Contact for pricing

  • For startups, Notion offers 6 months for free, with all features included, based on an application.


Screenshot of Midjourney Showcase

No wonder MidJourney tops this list for design-specific tools, as it has gained popularity as a premier AI image generator, and I’m convinced you’ve already tested it.

This AI tool took 4th place in the Writerbuddy study with 500.4M visitors from September 2022 to August 2023.

It allows you to create stunning visuals through a series of prompts but makes content creation tricky, too. That happens, as you’d expect, due to its Discord interface, which is not the most user-friendly interface out there.

MidJourney is, without a doubt, one of the machine-learning tools that enables creative professionals to turn creative vision into artwork that is hardly distinguishable from reality.

Key features users love:

  • Excels at generating realistic images;

  • Allows subscribers to have a private conversation with the AI tool, removing the chaotic collective environment (Discord);

  • In the v6 Alpha release, you can create descriptive prompts, as its machine-learning algorithm has improved massively ( including color combinations from hex codes you’re inputting);

  • With simple commands such as /imagine and /blend, you can start writing the prompt and blend images;

  • It generates 4 outputs, which you can drill down and utilize to generate concepts. These can then become the foundation of your final result.

What users don’t like:

  • Discord can be overwhelming for new users, so navigating MidJourney can take some time and requires patience;

  • As there are thousands of people generating artwork at the same time, the feed feels super hectic, so you have to keep a close eye to find your output;

  • Requires a paid subscription to create images;


  • Basic plan: $8/month

  • Standard plan: $24/month

  • Pro plan: $46/month

  • Mega plan: $96/month

Dall-E 2 Image Generator Examples


Almost anyone used Dall-E 2 out of curiosity; I doubt graphic designers have not experimented with it yet or even implemented it in their design process.

DALL·E 2 is a text-to-image generator, as well as an AI art generator, that creates realistic images similar to ChatGPT based on text prompts.

Essentially, you’re going to input text prompts into Dall-E for it to generate unique and remarkable imagery. The more complex, nuanced, and niche your prompts are, the more qualitative the custom images get.

Dall-E 2 can help you prove to your clients you’re taking that extra step for them and generate mood boards or deliver color combinations or layouts.

Key features users love:

  • Works not only as a text-to-image generator, but you can upload images into Dall-E 2, and it will utilize your imagery to pull it into your output;

  • Generates high-quality images that look like proper digital art;

  • With its Outpainting feature, it allows you to generate new pixels to extend an image’s existing elements ( such as extending the background, creating a panoramic view, etc.);

  • Allows inpainting to add or remove elements based on reiterating or refining prompts;

  • Expands its utility with its integration capabilities;

What users don’t like:

  • No free trial is available;

  • Dependence on detailed prompts, which implies a new qualification for professional designers;

  • It seems to have a surreal artwork bias, as some of its output is rather surreal than photorealistic.


  • Has multiple pricing tiers, depending on image resolution ( e.g., For 1024×1024 resolution, the cost is $0.020 per image)

  • The AI tool mainly operates on a “pay-as-you-go” pricing, requiring users to pay only for resources utilized.

Screenshot of Adobe Firefly homepage

Adobe Firefly

Countless conversations on forums such as Reddit have placed Adobe Firefly among the best graphic design tools yet. It is a niche app dedicated mainly to graphic designers and has become the go-to vector graphic tool, as it yields efficiency without sacrificing quality.

Adobe Firefly is the latest innovative tool in the Adobe suite, with unmatched AI-powered features that make visual content creation more than feasible.

It is available for paying subscribers of Adobe Creative Cloud platforms, meaning Illustrator or Photoshop. It does come with a free subscription, too, but with limited capabilities.

Key features users love:

  • Highlight what you don’t want in an image and easily replace that selected part with AI-generated content with the generative fill feature;

  • Allows vector recoloring, which results in unique variations of artwork from textual descriptions;

  • It makes text effects creation remarkably easy by typing a text prompt into the generator.

  • Integrates with Adobe’s suite of tools, making it easy to work across multiple platforms.

What users don’t like:

  • Customization is still limited, even if you can edit gaps with the generative fill feature.


  • Free: $0.00/month for 25 generative credits;

  • Premium:  $4.99/month for 100 credits;

  • Single apps: $9.99/month for 500 credits;

  • Creative Cloud all apps: $59.99/month for 1,000 credits.

Adobe Sensei

Adobe Sensei

Contrary to Firefly, Adobe Sensei appeared in 2016, so it’s already established among AI graphic design tools as versatile.

With its machine learning algorithms, it mines data across Adobe’s stock photos library and its products to deliver insights needed across multiple teams, not only designers.

The simple command /Generate gives you access to images that match your needs in your design process. At the same time, it even grasps concepts such as emotions in an image based on elements like colors and other details.

Note: Even if it’s part of our AI graphic design tools list, Adobe Sensei is a comprehensive app that can be used by marketers who do not specialize in design.

Key features users love:

  • Automatically tags images, making it easy to navigate and locate certain pictures within the library;

  • Auto identifies objects in an image when you draw a shape around it;

  • Includes auto settings, a feature that proposes optimal adjustments for controls such as contrast, highlights, shadows, or exposure;

  • Content-aware filling allows you to fill selected parts of an image with content taken from the other parts of the same image.

What users don’t like:

  • It can only be used in conjunction with Adobe’s tools, such as Lightroom or Illustrator.


  • Depending on the features you’re looking for, you’ll find pricing packages on the Adobe Experience Cloud website.



DreamStudio is an AI graphic design tool built on the Stable diffusion machine learning model. Stable diffusion is also a text-to-image generator. However, based on how it operates, it minimizes the effort required in the design process.

The main differentiator of DreamStudio against AI art generators lies in the image editing capacity. Designers can edit visual components, enhance images, and transform images by reducing distortion.

Key features users love:

  • Access to style pre-sets, from neutral or none, to fantasy, cinematic, photographic, or comic;

  • It’s one of the text-to-image generators that allows for virtually any output style, from Art Deco to realism;

  • It’s under an open-source license, which allows anyone to use, modify, distribute, and sublicense the software without restrictions;

  • It’s quite fast, generating images in less than 2 seconds.

What users don’t like:

  • Users on Product Hunt report that prompts created before signup were lost;

  • Still has limited capability to depict complex concepts.


  • Free, with $10 for 1,000 credits (approximately 5,000 images)

    Topaz Labs best AI design tools

Topaz Labs

Topaz Labs is considered one of the best AI image-enhancing tools on the market.

In essence, what you should know is that Topaz Labs is a software company that created a suite of AI tools for designers. Topaz Photo AI and Topaz Video AI are part of the apps, each specializing in image or video enhancement.

With the Gigapixel AI image upscaler, you can boost image resolution, while the face recovery functionality adds stunning detail to facial features.

Key features users love:

  • Allows image resolution up to 600%;

  • Automatically detects and generates quality optimizations to images and videos;

  • Includes a Remove Noise feature that detects and fixes high ISO noise or poor lightning, but it’s up to you to control the AI’s system strengths and level;

  • Contrary to other AI graphic design tools, Topaz’s user interface is easy to understand, as it lays out everything you need to adjust in the main menu;

  • It includes a Preserve Text feature, too, which enables users to select specific parts of text on which they don’t want to include edits or filters.

What users don’t like:

  • Even if it’s a comprehensive tool, it is quite expensive, as Topaz Labs allows only a one-time purchase.

  • It limits features to image editing only in the Topaz Labs Image app, while image generation and manipulation are not available.


  • The photo AI bundle: $199 (lifetime)

  • The Video AI bundle: $299 (lifetime)

  • The Gigapixel AI: $99.99 (lifetime)

Looka logo maker

Looka Logo Maker

Looka is a logo maker that instantly generates multiple logo options for a new brand you’re working for or, why not, a rebranding.

If the AI tool still didn’t generate a logo you’re happy with, you have full control over these creative assets by tweaking them. Change the generated images with different color combinations, change the layout, or create icons that match your preferences.

Key features users love:

  • Once your logo is generated, it gives you a brand bible that includes brand fonts, colors, and a marketing kit with email signature, business cards, and more;

  • Includes a configuration wizard with pre-made logos, preferred colors, and slogans to capture your design preferences before developing your logo;

  • Allows high-resolution downloads in any format;

What users don’t like:

  • Some user reviews mention limitations in size and positioning adjustments;

  • Its free option lets you create a logo but not download it for free, too.


  • Basic logo package: $20 per purchase (one 1000×1000 pixels file)

  • The premium package plan is $96 per year;

Canva AI design tools


While not considered a tool for designers per se, as it’s widely used by anyone, Canva is a good and cheaper alternative to Adobe’s suite.

With its intuitive interface and simple drag-and-drop, you can easily generate print or digital media assets that have that “je ne sais quoi.” As Canva recently implemented artificial intelligence, you can now create social media posts that are unique and less templated.

Key features users love:

  • Get unique design templates for your design suggested by Canva’s AI-powered Magic Design feature;

  • Easily remove distractions or add new elements to your photos with a few clicks by using its artificial intelligence feature, the magic edit tool;

  • Access countless templates library, suitable for any client need, from logo creation, LinkedIn carousels, Facebook ads, and others;

What users don’t like:

  • It’s mostly available online for the majority of its features and downloads. Note: The Canva desktop software can’t be used for design adjustments, change of colors, or text editing offline;

  • It might not offer advanced customization for professional designers.


Text to Image:

  • Free plan: up to 50 queries

  • Pro plan: starts at $119.99 per year per person


How do AI tools impact the traditional design workflow?

AI design tools can massively improve a designer’s work, regardless of the designer’s specialization. While AI can automate repetitive design tasks, it can’t replace designers; rather, it can change what was traditionally called design workflow.

Just as in the above example with the agencies, there are certain parts of a design process that AI can take over. However, designers will be free to add critical thinking, innovation, and human touch to the workflow of the design tools.

Are there any risks associated with relying on AI for design?

As everyone’s already fascinated by the development of artificial intelligence over the last few years, you can, as many others might, over-rely on AI tools for designers.

This might be risky for two reasons:

  • AI is still in its infancy, and there’s more development for this technology to evolve. So, you’d obtain predictable design outcomes, which everyone else on the market does. You must use your critical thinking and eagle-trained eye to balance AI and personalized touch to make sure you stay competitive.
  • There are also risks regarding privacy and the ethics around AI in design that you should consider.

How can designers adapt to using AI design tools?

You can adapt and become proficient in continuously learning how to better leverage AI tools for designers frequently and with diligence.

Stay open-minded and continuously learn the capabilities of a new AI graphic design tool, the quality of AI-generated images, and how you can tweak a prompt to get a better output. Stable Diffusion might be one of the new technologies that you can augment, too.


Amongst hundreds of tools, the best AI graphic design tool will eventually be the one that suits your needs best. We hope your decision process is easier now as we’ve introduced you to the nitty-gritty of apps that can be added to your creative process.

Coming from a creative background, the only advice I’d give is to use a tool that helps you with more than just graphic design. Whether you are a standalone designer or managing a design team in an agency, your organizational needs are more complex to be successful.

So, consider both sides, the creative with tools like Topaz Labs or MidJourney, but immerse yourself in better time management with tools like Timeular, and consider Notion for improved task management.

The most effortless AI time tracker

Say goodbye to disjointed time and leave management AI tools. Timeular’s AI time entry suggestions, automated tracking, and smart productivity insights are linked within the same app.

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