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AI solution gets mixed response from customers

Prinfab says its AI image generation platform has received both positive and negative responses

Article picture

Pattern generated by Prinfab AI using the prompt, "jungle print mixed with tiger texture"

Textile print-on-demand company, Prinfab, launched an online service to create repeating patterns from a simple text description. With Artificial Intelligence (AI) currently a hot topic in the creative community, the service has received a mixed response from customers on social media.

The AI solution is free to use and has generated over 10,000 images since its launch. Graphic designers and content creators have been some of the professionals that have criticised the use of AI over the past year.

Disney and Marvel Studios angered fans when it was revealed that the opening to its latest Disney + series, Secret Invasion, was created using AI technology instead of work from real artists.

AI has had several effects on the print industry, with a lot of automated technology already implemented into machines and software. 

Prinfab says customers on social media reacted to its new service with comments ranging from “fabulous” to “sad and surprised to see this from you”.

The company based in the UK was started in 2016 by brothers Oliver and Harry Mustoe-Playfair, and the latter says: “As the world embraces AI, we’re keen to explore the creative opportunities with our customers.”

Describing the technology online, Prinfab states: “From a technical perspective, our AI starts with an image of pure noise and transitions step-by-step to a final image using an algorithm trained on a public image set (LAION-5B). This generates an entirely new image. It does not copy or have access to images uploaded.”

Prinfab is a textile print company which supplies 30,000 customers worldwide

Prinfab says the person who generated the image owns the copyright, adding: “It has, and always will be, our policy to reject orders that contain copyrighted material, regardless of how it was created.”

An account titled Designconfections reacted to the solution on Instagram by commenting: “My biggest concern with AI-generated design is that it will swamp in vast quantities the work of human designers. I know all the print-on-demand platforms I use are already struggling and are changing their business models to try to stem the incoming tsunami.”

Another account called RachelParkerDesigns added: “This doesn’t sit well with me. It feels strange for you to be promoting AI (and all of the copyright/theft issues that come with it) on a business platform that’s been built on artistic talent. I’m looking forward to seeing how AI might help speed up my daily workflow in the future, but I think it should stay well away from the actual designing.”

Defending the company on LinkedIn, designer and illustrator Alison Bick, says: “I really admire that as a company you are constantly looking forward to the future and investing in new equipment and technology. 

“People are always scared about the unknown, but I think you have offered people a better understanding about how AI works. I don't feel threatened by AI as a designer, and I always try to have an open mind about new technology and do my research.”

Marc Parris, director at Terry Parris Associates, also supported Prinfab by commenting that the new solution opens the doors to people who haven’t got access to designs. 

If you’d like to share news or opinions with us feel free to email at news@printmonthly.co.uk or join in with the conversation on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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