3 Groundbreaking Automated Layout Features To Shape The Future of Graphic Design

automated layout features future of graphic design

The University of Toronto Computer Science Department in collaboration with Adobe Research has devised an experimental automated layout system called DesignScape that is likely to lay the foundation for the future of graphic design.

The new system is designed to help graphic artists in the design process through interactive automated layout suggestions. In the system, the user is presented with a set of elements commonly encountered by designers such as a headline, logos, icons, contact information, and other graphics.

Here’s a video to explain more about how DesignScape is going to change the way graphic designers create layouts:

As the designer works on the elements, the system provides new automated layout suggestions depending on what the designer inputs. The user can then select from one of the suggestions to further refine. This is called “layout intelligence” and will lay the foundation for the future of graphic design.

This new system is designed to provide the artists with well-informed decisions regarding the placement of elements in relation to one another.

Benefits of Automated Layout for Graphic Design

Here are some examples of where DesignScape and the automated layout concept can be applied:

1. Adaptive Interface

The new system allows designers to adjust the elements according to the design model. Similarly, the user can select layout suggestions. To accept the suggestion, the user simply clicks on the chosen layout.

2. Re-targeting Layouts

The system also proves helpful when the designer deals with various sizes from posters to banner ads. The system will suggest different layout suggestions depending on the size giving them several options for a starting point.

3. Tablet-based Design

Designing elements in a touch-based interface is more difficult. The new system works perfectly when the designer encounters problems related to tablet-based designs.


The quality of the design decision-making in DesignScape was based on data gathered from people who were asked to generate layouts using Mechanical Turk. It was believed that a wide scale effort involving more designers will allow them to produce and refine more outputs.

Until they are seen on a tablet, all the designs are fairly theoretical. Refining design elements on touch surfaces can prove to be a challenge on the part of the designer so any tool that can help in the design layout can go a long way in achieving a refined and fine-tuned output. With everything moving towards the tablet, this new system may seem sensible at this stage.


While automated systems will never be able to completely replace certain segments of graphic design, these kinds of systems may become commonplace in the sector either as a low-cost design need or as complementary to a big ticket design project in the near future. Before they reach their world-famous stature, up-and-coming graphic designers may entertain the idea of letting a personal computer do some of their work.

With the new system, it’s essentially like having an assistant in figuring out layout suggestions. The designer may no longer tackle layout challenges by themselves. With the proposed system, the user can now produce refined layouts that they can be proud of.