August 18, 2023 Published by Bhavya Shah

Design Evolution: Adobe Illustrator's AI Makeover Kit - Unleash Retype and Generative Recolor!

Adobe Illustrator has taken a giant leap forward by introducing two cutting-edge AI tools, Retype and Generative Recolor, tailored to perfect essential design elements.

In the world of design, color, and typography stand as the bedrock of captivating visual experiences. Recognizing their paramount importance, Adobe Illustrator has taken a giant leap forward by introducing two cutting-edge AI tools tailored to perfect these essential elements. With these revolutionary tools at your disposal, achieving the ideal color schemes and typography has never been easier. Embark on a journey of design excellence with Adobe Illustrator's groundbreaking AI tools, and witness the magic of color and typography come alive like never before.


No more guessing games when it comes to identifying fonts used in raster images and outlined text. With Retype(Beta) available on Adobe Illustrator, you can seamlessly discover the exact fonts used, eliminating any technical and tricky hurdles in your design process. Typography plays a pivotal role in the visual language of design, and many can find it tricky to go about. Retype (Beta) simplifies the complex nature of typography helping you embrace the process.

Steps I followed

Step 1: Select and right-click any image containing text from which the typography you want to match or search for and select the Retype (Beta) option. 


2: The AI automatically recognizes the text and a window showing three different font options pops up. The AI tries to generate fonts that are the closest match to the selected area on the image.


Step 3: If you are satisfied with the options given you can access the font by simply activating it from the Adobe Creative Cloud. However, if the initial result is unsatisfactory there is a “Find more font matches” option at the bottom. Which when clicked generates more options for you.



In its current form, the AI can be said to be in a basic version. There are a few limitations however, this only shows its potential to be modified and the possibility of adding new features.


On an image when multiple words are written in the same font the AI recognizes it differently and generates different options. This does show inconsistency even though it is providing more options.


The AI does not recognize all kinds of hand lettering which limit the possibility of customization and could make it difficult to digitize analog work.


There is no way for you to manually select an area on the image for detection. The AI auto selects and shows options for only those areas.

*Font options for only the areas within the blue dotted line are shown other words cannot be detected.


The AI does not recognize languages in scripts other than Latin, limiting the use of the tool for designing in regional languages.


A major drawback I find while using this tool is that the fonts generated as options are restricted to the Adobe font library only which could hamper the possibility of finding an exact match to a reference in some cases.


In conclusion, using Retype (Beta) in Illustrator extends far beyond font identification; it becomes an indispensable ally for designers seeking to push the boundaries of creativity and craft impactful marketing materials. By effortlessly discovering new fonts and seamlessly mixing and matching them, this innovative tool offers a launching pad for artistic endeavors. No longer burdened with a blank canvas, designers can confidently experiment with fonts that align with their intended mood board, ensuring their design exudes the desired vibe and aesthetic. Retype in Illustrator proves to be the bridge between inspiration and realization, empowering designers to achieve their vision and breathe life into their projects with ease. Embrace the power of Retype, and witness how it transforms the technical aspects of typography into a catalyst for artistic expression and marketing success.

Generative Recolor

Step into a world of boundless color possibilities with Illustrator Recolor Beta, an innovative AI tool that promises to transform the way designers approach color design. Seamlessly blending cutting-edge artificial intelligence with intuitive design features, this powerful tool opens up a realm of creative exploration like never before. Every color palette and theme you can imagine is available in Adobe Illustrator with simple text prompts powered by Adobe Firefly generative AI. I decided to test the tool out to explore the spectrum. 

My process

I chose a basic illustration on which I could experiment with different color palettes to fit various themes to test out the AI tool.

*The illustration I used as a base to test out the AI tool


The Generative Recolor AI comes with nine preset color palettes that you can choose from. Most of the palettes follow a pattern while describing the prompts: adjective, shade of color, and a noun. For example, sample prompt 8 is called ‘Faded emerald city’. By following this pattern while creating your own prompts there might be a higher possibility of getting a more desirable outcome.


These are the variety of text prompts I tried out to test the AI’s comprehension and ability to understand language. I described themes such as ‘80s graffiti’ and ‘grunge rock and roll’, environments such as ‘sunshine beach summer’ and by creating restrictions such as ‘red monochrome’. Each prompt generates four outcomes for you to choose from and you can always create more by clicking on the generate button once again.

Challenges faced while using the Generative Recolor AI 

A major limitation that I found is that the Generative Recolor AI does not seem to work on black-and-white graphics, which can make adding color to new illustrations difficult and adds an unnecessary step of having to make it colored before you can put it through the AI.  


The same prompt does not always produce the same results showing inconsistency and unreliability in the AI.


While the AI gives you the option to retain colors from the original color palette and design your new one around that, it does not automatically add any newly generated colors to this database. The colors are not saved to create a repository but are overwritten with every new prompt given to a graphic, making it a lengthy process to keep track of all the colors and hues created.

*Colors only from the original image are saved 


Using references and inspiration from sources helps streamline the design process. The AI has the potential to recognize references given to it and use it to generate color palettes however, at this stage it is inconsistent and does not always provide accurate outcomes.

*Here I gave three popular brands as references to see what will be generated

How the AI is beneficial:

1. Enhanced Visual Communication: Traditionally, designers rely on static color swatches or mood boards to convey their color ideas to clients. Recolor takes this process to a whole new level by generating dynamic, interactive, and customizable visualizations. Recolor's ability to generate real-time changes allows for on-the-fly adjustments based on client feedback, streamlining the communication process and leading to better outcomes.

2. Improved Color Harmony: Achieving the right color harmony is crucial in design, by analyzing vast datasets of color combinations, Recolor can suggest harmonious color palettes that evoke specific emotions and resonate with the intended audience. This not only saves designers time but also ensures that the final design elicits the desired emotional response.

3. Access to a Vast Color Database: Recolor is trained on an extensive dataset of colors and their associated meanings, cultural connotations, and psychological effects. This can be seen when the AI interprets text prompts to create its generations. This rich database empowers designers with a wealth of information, helping them make more informed decisions when selecting colors for various projects. Designers can also explore new color combinations and experiment with unconventional choices, leading to more creative and unique designs.

4. Accessibility and Inclusivity: Recolor has the potential to promote accessibility and inclusivity in design. By offering multiple color options that work well together, designers can create designs that are accessible to individuals with color vision deficiencies. Moreover, Recolor can assist designers in developing themes that are culturally sensitive and resonate with diverse audiences, ensuring their designs are more inclusive and impactful.

5. Time and Cost Efficiency: The traditional process of manually selecting and experimenting with colors can be time-consuming and costly. Recolor significantly reduces this burden, allowing designers to iterate rapidly and efficiently. By streamlining the design process, designers can take on more projects and explore creative ideas without compromising on quality. 


In conclusion, the Generative Recolor AI offers a promising tool for designers seeking to create custom color palettes. By building our own bank of colors, we can ensure a personalized touch in our designs. While the AI demonstrates satisfactory comprehension of the English language and can generate appropriate color palettes, it may require some experimentation and trial-and-error to optimize the understanding of various prompts. Despite its limitations, Recolor proves valuable in helping designers visualize and communicate diverse themes and moods effectively to their clients. As AI technology continues to advance and Recolor undergoes further improvements and refinements, it holds the potential to become an indispensable tool that revolutionizes color selection and design processes in the future. Recolor empowers designers to push the boundaries of creativity and deliver exceptional design solutions that resonate with their audiences.

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Bhavya ShahBhavya Shah is a graphic designer focused on brand strategy and fascinated by UX research. She thrives on combining research, data, and design to create impactful visual solutions.