AI generates images for Ruperto Carola

The 23rd edition of Heidelberg University’s research magazine

5/7/2024 Heidelberg University is home to an active academic com­muni­ty focussed on machine learning and AI. Their work ranges from basic scientific re­search to appli­ca­tions. The 23rd issue of Heidelberg University’s research magazine explores the topic of AI. It is fittingly titled RIGHT & WRONG, re­flec­ting the key question that addres­ses one of the most thrilling and con­se­quen­tial develop­ments of our time.

To the magazine
The chal­lenge was to re­fine the prompt in various itera­tions to avoid creating any ex­ag­ger­ated images. We also used AI to do this.

Lilith Suppmann
Designer KMS TEAM

We have been res­pon­sible for the editorial design of the re­search magazine for 23 issues now. It seemed like an ex­cellent oppor­tuni­ty to use AI to generate images for the latest issue, entering un­charted terri­tory for Ruperto Carola. Designer Lilith Suppmann explains: »AI is be­coming part of every as­pect of our lives. It pro­vides new creative free­dom, es­pecially when it comes to design: We can try out very specific ideas and con­cepts that we can­not achieve with con­ventio­nal images. It’s possible to change and adapt images as much as we want, and we’re not as limited as with con­ventio­nal images. In our opinion, it’s not yet clear whether or not AI-generated images truly save time and money.«

For the research maga­zine RIGHT & WRONG, we used AI as an addi­tional source for the image genera­tion to comple­ment image material that we have licensed from photo­graphers and artists – not all images in the magazine are AI-generated. We structured our prompts as follows: medium, subject, setting, detail, style, parameters.

»The challenge was to refine the prompt in various itera­tions to avoid creating any ex­ag­gerated images. We also used AI to do this. In this way, we were able to approach the striking, some­times provo­cative style of imagery typical of the research magazine. Our main goal was to achieve the high quality and aesthetic standards of the previous issues,« Lilith Suppmann adds.

What we learned
  • Without the designer's initial idea, there is no image. It’s worth in­vesting time in finding inspira­tion and ex­ploring ideas.
  • A precise defini­tion of the project, in­cluding goals and require­ments, sets the boun­daries.
  • Test, test, test: It’s rare that the first image AI generates is the right one.
  • The review, edit and adjust­ment of the final result by a human are a must.

We asked AI about the ad­van­tages and dis­advan­tages of AI-generated images. Here are Chat GPT’s answers: 

  • Efficiency: It’s possible to generate images with AI quickly, which saves time and resources – especially when creating several images.
  • Saves money: AI-generated images can be less ex­pensive than hiring a human de­signer be­cause they don’t require any human effort.
  • Scalability: It’s easy to scale AI-generated images to different formats, which makes them more adapt­able for different appli­cations.
  • Creative inspiration: AI algo­rithms can generate new, un­con­ventio­nal images that human designers may not consider. This can lead to inspiring design concepts.

  • Lack of originality: AI-generated images are based on existing data sets. This poses the risk that they may be similar or even identical to existing images, resulting in a lack of originality.
  • Quality control: The quality of AI-generated images can be in­con­sis­tent. Careful moni­toring and quality control may be ne­cessary to ensure that the generated images meet the corres­ponding require­ments.
  • Lack of creativity: AI-generated images may not have the same creative depth or resonate in the same emotional way as images created by human designers because they lack human intuition and experience.
  • Legal concerns: Using AI-generated images can raise legal questions, especially in the context of copyrights and intellectual property protection. The sources of the data used may not be clear in every case.

AI-generated images offer many oppor­tuni­ties when it comes to design. At the same time, they also introduce challenges that people need to carefully weigh in order to get the best results.