How I use generative AI in branding

It's hard to ignore the new tool in the designer's toolkit. Here are some of my observations and experience with using AI-generated assets in branding work so far.


I believe designers have the superpower to visualize the future.

(Whoa, bold! But stay with me.)

We can transform what is into what should be. We can imagine, plan and build the tomorrows for our world—and invite others to experience it.

I see this often when working with founders. Their eyes widen when they see their company's brand taking shape. "Wow, this is us. Our vision suddenly feels so real—and inevitable".

With generative AI, more people, even without design or creative background, can visualize their ideas. 

I see that as an overall net positive thing—no need to pearl-clutch.
We need more big ideas and enthusiastic people who are ready to pursue them.

Yes, AI is taking away parts of my design job

But it also gives me more new things to do. It frees me up to do more of what I enjoy.

AI expedites the execution phase. That means I can explore more ideas, faster.

I can dedicate more time to the initial strategic phase with my clients—clarifying what their brand is about, why it exists, and what message we aim to convey.

It also unlocks more time for refinement.

Handling the vast volume of AI-generated images still requires precise curation, adjustments, and post-production. The prompt is just a starting point. These images rarely manage to stand alone without context; layout, copywriting, and motion need to click in place, and the formula needs to be replicable to create a robust brand system. That’s the right moment to pull in multiple collaborators, bringing expertise and taste into play.

It's good to have more time for that.

Without AI

With AI

"Ok, Charlota, but if we were to work togetherwill you use AI?"

Likely; but not always in the same way.

a) I use generative AI primarily for concepting and moodboarding. It helps clients imagine what their brand identity could look like. I save time browsing stock image libraries or trying to describe art direction concepts (“It would look like this illustration depicting a car, but it would actually show a jar of cream!”). AI-generated concepts then serve as a brief for skilled illustrators, photographers, and other creatives to build upon.

b) For early-stage companies, I often use AI-generated images because it's a cost-effective way of creating a library of differentiated visual assets that they otherwise wouldn't be able to afford to produce.

My guiding principles

  • I subscribe to the idea that everything visual is a remix.

  • I avoid using prompts with names of specific, living artists.

  • I often train with or use my past work (sketches, illustrations, renders) as a visual reference

  • I would definitely prefer using models with “clean data” = ensuring that artists are compensated for being part of the training set. (If you know of such tools, please let me know. I'm always open to learning about better ways.)

  • I don't use AI-generated assets in every project. Sometimes it's actually faster to do it the "old" way.

  • I'm always upfront with clients about if I used AI in my work.

(this list will likely grow with time) 

I mostly use Midjourney, TopazAI,, Visual Electric, Krea, ChatGPT, Magnific, Adobe Firefly. I'm an AI tourist; I enjoy playing with new products. However, AI software is just a tool in my design toolkit. Powerful tool indeed, but it just helps me do my work more creatively and efficiently. In the same way, I wouldn't call myself a Figma designer; I wouldn't call myself a Midjourney designer either.

Below you can find examples of using AI-generated images in my commercial and personal work.

Examples of using AI in my work

Client: Espresso Systems
Art Direction & Synthetic Photography. To make a complex, intangible technology tangible, I created a library of AI-generated images depicting a surreal, retrofuturistic world. To help the client to grow their asset library, I included prompts in the brand guidelines. See more

Client: onno
Art Direction for an early-stage healthcare startup. In just a few hours, I generated illustration styles to explore possible directions for brand identity.

Client: IDEO CoLab Ventures
Art Direction & Illustration for a blog post series about the Post Attention Economy. I made these collages with AI-generated images, with post processing in Photoshop, Topaz AI and Figma.

Art Direction & Illustration concept that explores AI-generated, "digitally embroidered" illustrations for a company in travel space.

Art Direction using AI-generated miniature paper landscapes and scenes.

Client: Glif
I used the product that my former client,, is building, to create a mini-app that generates clay-like icons. It's public - you can try it here.

Art Direction & Illustration for the website, depicting a set of new technologies and our investment focus. Each object was generated individually with Midjourney, assembled in photoshop with plenty of retouching and postprocessing.

My visual research & experiments with AI

Collection of images generated as part of my creative practice.