Generating logos from whole cloth isn’t exactly novel — startups like Logojoy employ AI to create thousands of banners and branding elements on demand. But in a new paper published on the preprint server, scientists at Maastricht University in the Netherlands propose an AI system that’s able to synthesize logos at much greater resolution and detail than before.

It builds on LoGAN, the team’s previous logo-crafting machine learning system, which they detailed in a study published last October. Unlike the new and improved algorithm, LoGAN could only create new designs if provided one of a dozen color keywords.

“With most Americans exposed to 4,000 to 20,000 advertisements a day, companies are paying ever-increasing attention to their branding. This puts pressure on designers to come up with aesthetic yet innovative and unique designs in an attempt to set their designs apart from the masses,” wrote the coauthors. “[AI] could assist designers by either providing them with inspiration or by reducing the number of design iterations undergone with clients.”

AI logo generation

This latest attempt is a generative adversarial network (GAN), a two-part neural network consisting of generators that produce samples and discriminators that attempt to distinguish between the generated samples and real-world samples, stabilized with low-resolution images and fed higher-resolution layers as training progressed. Because the low-resolution images contained less detail, the researchers say, the system was able to learn large-scale patterns quickly and pivot from coarse to progressively more fine detail as image resolution increased.

To compile the training data set, the coauthors first prepped samples from the aptly named Large Logo Data set, a corpus containing over 120,000 unique 400-pixel logos scraped from Twitter. They eliminated every text-based logo, leaving 40,000 logos in total, which they supplemented with 15,000 additional “logo-like” images from Google pertaining to nature, technology, illustrated characters, and other such topics. Then, they used Google’s Cloud Vision service to generate four to eight word labels describing the logos’ contents, which they vectorized using a pretrained AI model to create spatial representations for each example. The spatial representations were next clustered to identify those with similar visual characteristics.

In the course of three experiments, the researchers report that their model generated stable logos of “consistently high quality.” Some were more simplistic than others in shape, design, or color scheme, but the team asserts that the diversity of the outputs indicates the model can learn high-level training data distribution features.

AI logo generation

Leveraging the power of AI to produce artwork isn’t a new idea, it’s worth noting. Botnik Studios, a graduate of Amazon’s Alexa Accelerator program, recently taught a neural network to write a satirical Coachella poster with a list of fictional band names. Prisma, a popular smartphone app, uses a machine learning technique known as style transfer to make photographs appear as though they’ve been executed in paint. And game design AI startup Promethean AI automates the process of building out virtual landscapes and interiors.


Loki logo

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

It’s been a big weekend for Marvel. Not only did Avengers: Endgame overtake Avatar to become the highest-grossing film of all time, but at last weekend’s San Diego Comic Con the studio announced a glut of new films, series and animations for fans to look forward to over the coming years.

And to give audiences a taste of what to expect from these upcoming titles, Marvel also revealed their accompanying logos. These include a thunderously retro logo for Thor: Love and Thunder, and a Stranger Things-esque design for Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness.

But perhaps the most notable identity is the unashamedly chaotic look for the Disney series, Loki, which throws out of the window everything you need to know about logo design.

Check it out below, but you might want to brace yourself first.

Just announced in Hall H at #SDCC, Marvel Studios’ LOKI, an original series with Tom Hiddleston. Streaming exclusively on Disney , Spring 2021. 21, 2019

Okay. Deep breaths. Just remember that Marvel Studios is a massive entertainment company so they know what they’re doing with this logo. To a designer with no interest in Loki or the Marvel Cinematic Universe though, this identity sure looks like a ransom note written in WordArt.

But perhaps the logo makes some sort of sense when you consider that Loki is based on the Norse god of mischief. So what better way to represent a troublesome god than with a logo that flies in the face of typographic convention and the principles of good design? You could even argue that, given the circumstances, the Loki logo is so bad it’s good.

However social media, with it’s knee-jerk reactions and hyperbolic opinions, has been less patient with the Loki logo. 21, 2019

bruh i’m not a marvel fan but this shit look like 8yo me cutting letters from magazines and put them together,,,July 21, 2019

Person who designed that logo: 21, 2019

Plenty of people even suggested that Marvel Studios use a popular fan logo designed by BossLogic.

Please just use @Bosslogic’s logo. It’s more elegant. ? 21, 2019

Whatever your feelings on the logo, there’s no denying that it’s an unforgettable design. If we were to try and defend it, we’d say good on Marvel Studios for daring to try and do something different. The MCU is a franchise that’s pretty much printing its own money at this point, so at least they didn’t let themselves go stale.

And perhaps the studio felt it could be more creative with this logo because it’s for a Disney series, not a fully fledged film.

The other logos for Phase 4 (that’s what Marvel calls the next batch of releases) were all uploaded individually on the Marvel Studios Twitter page. But you can take a look at them all in one handy image courtesy of this post by Logo Geek. Which is your favourite?

Marvel Studios have announced logos of all upcoming movies. What’s your thoughts?? #ComicCon #ComicCon2019 21, 2019

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