10 Best AI Image Generators That Give Great Results

10 Best AI Image Generators That Give Great Results
01 September, 2023 • ... • 2578 views
Ana Balashova
by Ana Balashova

Finding the best AI image generator can be overwhelming when you’re spoilt for choice. With so many tools out there, how do you pick the one that’s just right for your marketing needs? 

Whether you’re a small business owner looking to boost web traffic or a beginner in email marketing aiming for eye-catching visuals, we’ve got you covered. Dive into our data-based guide to the 10 best AI image generators of 2023 and discover the tools that can transform your ideas into stunning visuals effortlessly.

What are AI image generators?

AI image generators are cutting-edge tools that leverage artificial intelligence to create original images, pictures, and portraits. These generators are trained using vast datasets, enabling them to understand and replicate various visual styles and elements. 

Whether you’re looking for the best AI image generator for marketing or art, these tools offer a wide range of applications.

What can an AI image generator do?

The best AI image generators are incredibly versatile, offering a plethora of functions. Here’re some of the things that they can do:

  1. Generate images: From abstract art to realistic photo portraits, these generators can create images that cater to specific prompts or themes.
  2. Create variations: Need different variations of a single concept? The best AI image generators can provide multiple takes on a single prompt.
  3. Enhance photos: Some of the best AI photo generators can enhance and edit photos, adding filters, effects, or even altering the composition.
  4. Design original artwork: For artists and designers, art generators powered by AI can be a source of inspiration, providing generated portraits or abstract pieces that can be further refined.

How do AI image generators work?

Understanding how image generators work can help you choose the best image generating AI for your needs. Here’s a simple breakdown:

  1. Training: The generators are trained on extensive datasets, learning from thousands of images to understand different styles, compositions, and elements.
  2. Prompt interpretation: When given a prompt, the best AI image generator would effortlessly determine the type of image to craft based on its interpretation.
  3. Image generation: Using the trained model, the generator then creates images that match the prompt, employing complex algorithms to ensure originality and relevance.
  4. Customization: Many of the best image generators offer customization options, allowing users to tweak and refine the generated images further.

Whether you’re looking for the best AI picture generator for professional use or exploring other image generators for personal projects, understanding these tools’ capabilities can help you make an informed decision. The technology behind image generation is continually evolving, making it an exciting field to watch and utilize for various creative endeavors.

What are the main generative algorithms?

Generative algorithms are the backbone of AI image generators and are worth covering in a separate article. However, there are some standout models that are worth mentioning. Why these three? Because they are backed by the most substantial funding and intellectual resources, making them the most influential in the field. Let’s take a closer look at them:

  1. DALL-E: This model, developed by OpenAI, is capable of generating unique images from textual descriptions, making it a versatile tool for various creative projects. Unfortunately, there’s no specific website for DALL-E, but you can learn more about it on OpenAI’s blog.
  2. Stable diffusion: This AI model is another popular choice for image generation. It’s known for its ability to create high-quality images that are both unique and visually appealing. More details about this model can be found on Stable Diffusion’s website.
  3. Adobe Firefly: This AI image synthesis generator is trained on Adobe Stock and public domain content. It’s a powerful tool that can create stunning visuals based on your prompts. You can check it out on Adobe’s website.

And these are just the tip of the iceberg! A crucial point to note: many tools often employ multiple models simultaneously and continually integrate new ones. Some even develop proprietary models. 

For instance, Stable Diffusion is open-source, allowing anyone to craft their model from it. Some of these spin-offs gain traction, leading to an increasing number of products adopting them.  At the time of writing, there are a whopping 5,791 models for text-to-image generation listed on Hugging Face, an open-source platform for AI models. This means there’s a vast sea of AI image generators out there, each with its unique capabilities and features.

Statistics on number of AI models for text-to-image generations on Hugging Face

What kinds of images can be created using AI image generators?

From abstract art to realistic portraits, these tools can whip up almost anything you can imagine. Here’s a glimpse of what the best AI image generators can create:

  1. Abstract art: Want to add a splash of creativity to your website or social media? AI art generators can craft unique abstract designs that are sure to catch the eye.
  2. Realistic portraits: Need a character for your next novel or game? Some of the best AI-generated images include lifelike portraits that can bring fictional characters to life.
  3. Product images: If you’re running an online store, AI image creator tools can generate product photos that look professional and appealing.
  4. Landscapes and sceneries: Dreaming of a perfect sunset or a mystical forest? AI image generation can turn those dreams into stunning visuals.
  5. Customized logos and branding: Small business owners, rejoice! AI image generators can help you create personalized logos and branding materials without breaking the bank.
  6. Memes and fun graphics: Want to engage your audience with humor? AI image generating tools can whip up memes, fun graphics and GIFs you can use in emails in a snap.

The best part? You don’t have to be a professional designer to create these images. With the right AI image generator, you can generate original and captivating visuals with just a few clicks.

Is there a difference between different AI picture generators?

Not all AI picture generators are created equal, and the differences can be quite significant. Here’s what sets the best image generators apart from the rest:

  1. Quality of generated images: Some generators are trained to produce high-resolution, realistic images, while others might focus on abstract or artistic creations.
  2. Ease of use: The best AI image generators are user-friendly, allowing even beginners to create stunning visuals without a steep learning curve.
  3. Customization options: Different generators offer various levels of customization. Some provide a wide array of tools and settings to fine-tune your images, while others keep it simple with pre-set prompts and templates.
  4. Pricing: From free tools to premium subscriptions, AI picture generators come with different price tags. The best image generator for you will depend on your budget and specific needs.
  5. Training data: Generators are trained on different datasets, which influences the style and type of images they can create. Some might excel in generating landscapes, while others are masters of generated portraits.
  6. Ethical considerations: Some AI image generators may use public or licensed content in their training, which can raise ethical questions. It’s essential to choose a generator that aligns with your values and legal requirements.

In a nutshell, the best AI picture generator for you will depend on your specific needs, preferences, and goals. Whether you’re looking for a tool to create professional product photos or just want to experiment with AI-generated art, there’s a generator out there that’s perfect for you.

10 best AI image generators

When it comes to any list of “the best tools” the digital landscape is flooded with articles touting the “best” AI image generators, but often these lists are filled with popular names without clear reasoning behind their selection.

Our selection process was anything but casual. We delved into various reputable sources, mirroring the approach we took in our comprehensive guide to the best AI tools, where we explained our methodology in detail. Here’s the distilled version of our approach: 

  • We examined the most popular, followed, upvoted, and liked products tagged “artificial intelligence” on Product Hunt, Futurepedia, and Future Tools.  
  • We analyzed top AI image generator websites by traffic, as of June 2023, using Similarweb. The more visits the tool’s website has the more popular it is. 

Below, we’ll unveil 10 best AI image generators that real people are using and loving.

#1 Midjourney

Community feed in Midjourney

Midjourney, attracting a staggering 28.53 million monthly visits, stands out as a beacon in the world of AI image generators. But what sets Midjourney apart from the crowd? It’s not just an AI tool; it’s an independent research lab committed to exploring new realms of thought and expanding human imagination.

Here’s what makes Midjourney a must-try:

  • Unique selling proposition: Midjourney’s strength lies in image manipulation and transformation. It offers various tools and filters to modify and stylize existing visuals, allowing users to change colors, apply artistic filters, add special effects, and create unique visual experiences. It’s particularly good for those looking to manipulate and transform existing images, offering real-time interactivity and creative exploration.
  • Pricing: New users can dip their toes with a free trial of around 25 jobs. If you like what you see, various subscription plans start from just $10 per month.

Commercial licensing: If you’re not a paid member, you’ll be granted a license under the Creative Commons Noncommercial 4.0 Attribution International License. However, paid subscribers can enjoy commercial rights for their creations, depending on the tier they choose. It’s worth noting that while some generations in MidJourney might appear on the public creator’s feed, those who prioritize privacy can opt for the Pro tier subscription or higher. These tiers come with a stealth mode, ensuring completely private generations. Explore more about their offerings and terms of service.

#2  Dall-E by Open AI

Examples of generated images by Dall-E

DALL-E, introduced by OpenAI in 2021, with 18.86 million monthly visits, is a groundbreaking AI model that takes image generation to a new level. It’s not about modifying existing images; it’s about creating entirely new ones from textual descriptions. Fast forward to a year later, and OpenAI has unveiled DALL·E 2. Building on its predecessor’s foundation, DALL·E 2 crafts images that are not only more realistic but also boast a 4x greater resolution, setting a new benchmark in AI-driven image generation.

  • Unique selling proposition: DALL-E specializes in generating high-quality images from textual prompts. If you prioritize highly creative image generation based on textual descriptions, DALL-E stands out with its exceptional ability to transform words into unique visuals. It’s perfect for those who want to visualize unique concepts or ideas, producing imaginative and intricate images beyond what’s commonly seen in the real world.
  • Pricing: DALL-E offers different access options, with pricing starting from $15 for 115 credits. Users get the same set of rights, including commercial use, regardless of whether an image was generated through free or paid credits.
  • Commercial licensing: With Dall-E, you don’t have to worry about licensing complexities. Whether you generate an image through free or paid credits, you get the same set of rights, including commercial use. No fuss, no confusion, just creativity unleashed. Here’s more about it.

#3 NightCafe

Examples of the best generations by NighCafe users

NightCafe Studio, pulling in a noteworthy 9.103 million monthly visits, is a vibrant player in the AI image generator landscape. But what makes NightCafe Studio stand out from the crowd? It’s not just about creating images; it’s about offering a diverse set of algorithms to craft unique and enhanced visuals.

Here’s what makes NightCafe Studio a must-try:

  • Unique selling proposition: NightCafe Studio’s versatility is its superpower. With access to multiple state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms like Stable Diffusion, DALL-E 2, Neural Style Transfer, VQGAN+CLIP, and Real-ESRGAN, it’s a playground for creativity. Whether you want to generate new images or enhance existing ones, NightCafe Studio offers a wide array of tools to meet your artistic needs. It’s not just a single tool; it’s a creative suite that empowers you to explore, experiment, and excel.
  • Pricing: With plans starting from just $5.99 per month (including 100 credits for about 310 images), NightCafe Studio offers a budget-friendly gateway to unleash your creativity. Plus, you can claim a 5-credit top-up every day!
  • Commercial licensing: NightCafe Studio simplifies the licensing process. Once your artwork is created and delivered, all Intellectual Property Rights are transferred to you. You can use your artwork for personal or commercial purposes without any hassle. However, they provide a warranty that you’ll be able to copyright your work. Learn more about their offerings and terms of service.

#4 Lexica

Examples of the best generations by Lexica

Lexica, garnering a remarkable 8.116 million monthly visits, is a unique gem in the AI image generator field. What sets Lexica apart? It’s not just about generating images; it’s about offering a search engine and art gallery for artwork created with Stable Diffusion models, along with the ability to generate your own.

Here’s what makes Lexica a must-try:

  • Unique selling proposition: Lexica’s dual functionality as both a search engine for AI art and an image generator makes it a versatile tool for artists and enthusiasts alike. Whether you want to explore existing AI art in categories like animals, landscapes, and portraits, or create your own visuals with advanced algorithms, Lexica offers a seamless experience. It’s not just a generator, it’s a platform that connects you with the world of AI art and empowers you to contribute to it.
  • Pricing: Lexica offers a Starter plan at $10 per month, providing 1,000 fast generations, commercial licensing for solo users, and more.
  • Commercial licensing: Lexica simplifies commercial use with clear guidelines. Depending on your team size and needs, different plans offer various levels of commercial usage rights. You can explore more details about allowed usage and find the right plan for you on their license page.

#5 Playground AI

Examples of best generations by Playground AI

Playground AI, boasting a substantial 6.9 million monthly visits, is a vibrant player in the AI image generator field. What sets Playground AI apart? It’s not just about generating images; it’s about offering a comprehensive platform that caters to various creative needs, from art and logos to social media posts and presentations.

Here’s what makes Playground AI a must-try:

  • Unique selling proposition: Playground AI’s strength lies in its robust editing tools and diverse use cases. Whether you’re a marketer crafting engaging social media content or a business owner designing captivating presentations, Playground AI is your creative ally. It’s not just a generator; it’s a versatile platform that empowers you to experiment with different machine learning models, fine-tune with custom data sets, and even access GPT and other models. 
  • Pricing: Playground AI offers a free version that allows you to create 1,000 images per day and use them commercially. If you need more, paid subscriptions start from just $15 per month, providing flexibility for various needs.
  • Commercial licensing: At the moment of writing even the free version grants you the rights to use images commercially, making it an accessible and valuable tool for businesses of all sizes.

#6 RunwayML

Video and audio related features of RunwayML

RunwayML, with an impressive 6.976 million monthly visits, is a dynamic force in the AI image generator landscape. But what makes RunwayML truly unique? It’s not just about generating images; it’s a comprehensive platform that offers a wide array of creative possibilities, from generating videos and images to training custom models.

Here’s what makes RunwayML a must-try:

  • Unique selling proposition: RunwayML’s innovation lies in its ability to generate and transform videos using text, images, or video clips. It’s not just a tool; it’s a comprehensive platform that allows you to create moving images, apply styles, and even edit videos with AI-assisted features like masking, color correction, and VFX. It also allows you to train your own custom machine-learning models and import the new ones directly from GitHub.
  • Pricing: RunwayML offers a free tier with 125 credits for about 25 images, and paid subscriptions start from just $15 per month, including 625 credits. It’s a flexible and affordable solution for creators of all levels.
  • Commercial licensing: Licensing with RunwayML is clear and straightforward. Each model in RunwayML is licensed for specific use, and some may be restricted to non-commercial purposes. Always check the model’s license to ensure compliance, and explore more about their offerings and licensing details.

#7 Hotpot

Hotpot features related to image generation and manipulation

Hotpot.ai, with a remarkable 6.19 million monthly visits, is a rising star in the AI image generator space. But what sets Hotpot.ai apart? It’s not just about generating images; it’s a comprehensive platform that offers a suite of tools to help you create stunning graphics, from logos to social media posts and more.

Here’s what makes Hotpot.ai a must-try:

  • Unique selling proposition: Hotpot.ai’s strength lies in its versatility and user-friendly design. From device mockups to marketing images, Hotpot.ai’s image-generating capabilities make it a go-to platform for marketers and entrepreneurs bootstrapping their first business. Whether you are looking to design a new logo or craft an engaging social media post, Hotpot.ai streamlines the process, making it faster and more efficient. It also works with text. 
  • Pricing: Hotpot.ai offers a flexible pricing model where users purchase credits to use the tool. 1,000 credits cost $12 for a one-time payment or $10 with a monthly subscription. It’s an affordable solution that caters to various needs.
  • Commercial licensing: With Hotpot.ai, users bear full responsibility for compliance with intellectual property laws, especially when using the services for commercial purposes. It’s essential to understand the terms and use the services responsibly. Explore more about their offerings and terms of service.

#8 Microsoft Designer

Microsoft Designer interface

Microsoft Designer, with a monthly traffic of 4.46 million visits, is a fresh face in the AI image generator landscape. Unlike many of its counterparts, it’s not solely about image generation. Microsoft Designer leans heavily into the practical side, offering a plethora of templates tailored for marketers, including assets like reels, banners, and more.

Here’s what makes Microsoft Designer a must-try:

  • Unique selling proposition: Microsoft Designer’s standout feature is its accessibility. Powered by the latest version of OpenAI’s Dall-E, it’s designed to assist both seasoned designers and complete novices. Whether you’re crafting graphics, illustrations, or any other visuals, Microsoft Designer’s AI-driven approach makes the creative process smooth and intuitive. While the output is professionally-looking designs that can be utilized for various marketing purposes.
  • Pricing: Currently in free beta, Microsoft Designer offers an opportunity to explore its capabilities for free. It’s a chance to dive into the world of AI-powered design and discover how it can enhance your creative projects.
  • Commercial licensing: Microsoft Designer’s terms of use allow you to retain ownership of your creations, granting Microsoft limited rights to use your content in connection with their services. This flexibility ensures that you can use your designs as you see fit, whether for personal or commercial purposes. Explore more about their offerings and terms of use.

#9 ClipDrop

Demo of Stable Doodle by ClipDrop
Generating prompt-based images from a doodle

ClipDrop, attracting 4.399 million monthly visits, is a remarkable addition to the AI image generator space. 

Here’s what makes ClipDrop a must-try:

  • Unique selling proposition: ClipDrop’s standout feature is its ability to bring drawings to life through Stable Doodle. Whether you’re a professional designer or a novice doodler, ClipDrop takes your basic sketches and turns them into stunning images in seconds. It’s not just a tool; it’s a creative playground that unlocks endless possibilities for education, design, fashion, arts, and more. Imagine turning a simple sketch into a client’s logo or a vibrant design for your website. 
  • Pricing: ClipDrop offers a free version with watermarked images (400 per day) and a paid version starting from $9 per month for 1,500 non-watermarked images. 
  • Commercial licensing: While the website and its content are the property of the Company, ClipDrop grants users the ability to utilize the generated images, ensuring compliance with intellectual property rights. Explore more about their offerings and terms of use.

#10 BlueWillow

Examples of the best generations by BlueWillow

BlueWillow, with 2.09 million monthly visits, is a unique presence in the AI image generator landscape. What sets BlueWillow apart? It’s not just about generating images; it’s about aggregating multiple AI models to find the perfect match for your creative needs.

Here’s what makes BlueWillow a must-try:

  • Unique selling proposition: BlueWillow’s distinctiveness lies in its ability to act as an aggregator of multiple AI models, including the likes of Stable Diffusion. Think of it as the “Google Flights” for AI models, where it picks the best model based on your prompt. It’s not just a tool; it’s a generative models hub that ensures you get the most suitable AI-enabled technology for your specific goal. 
  • Pricing: At the moment of writing this article BlueWillow offers 25 free images for new users during the trial period, and subscription plans start from just $5 per month. With options like early access to higher resolution upscales and VIP image generation channels, it’s a cost-effective solution for various users.
  • Commercial licensing: With BlueWillow, you own the rights to your creations, and you’re free to use them for commercial gain. Explore more about their offerings and terms of service.

Can you use AI-generated art commercially and who owns it?

Navigating the world of AI-generated art can be a maze, especially when it comes to commercial use and ownership. Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know:

  • Copyright considerations: According to the US Copyright Office, AI-generated work can be copyrighted if a human can prove they put a meaningful amount of creative effort into the content. However, if traditional elements of authorship are produced by a machine, the work lacks human authorship and cannot be registered.
  • Commercial use of AI art: Some AI image generators, like MidJourney, allow commercial use of AI-generated content. They ensure proper sourcing of data and compensation to artists whose works are used for training AI models. However, not all AI art generators are created equal, and understanding the source and legality is crucial.
  • Legal battles and lawsuits: The commercial use of AI-generated art has led to high-profile lawsuits. For example, Getty Images sued AI art generator Stable Diffusion for copyright infringement. And artists like Kelly McKernan found their artwork used to train AI models like Stable Diffusion without consent or compensation. This led to a class-action lawsuit against the companies involved, highlighting the ethical and legal complexities.
  • Approaches by different platforms: Some platforms like Shutterstock have taken the approach of paying creators for AI-generated images that use their work. Others have faced legal challenges for using artists’ works without permission.
  • The debate around “real” art: The emergence of AI-generated art has sparked debates about what constitutes “real” art. Some argue that generative AI steals from artists, while others see it as a new genre.

So, in a nutshell, can you use AI-generated art commercially? The answer is yes, but with caution. Understanding the source, legality, and ethical considerations is vital. Whether you’re a marketer looking to create images for branding or a small business owner exploring how to use images generated by AI in email marketing, being aware of the legal landscape helps you make informed decisions. Most of the image generators will provide clear guidelines on commercial use, ensuring that you can create original content while respecting the rights of artists and creators. Just be sure to read the terms and conditions of each particular tool.

Future of AI image generators

With dozens, if not hundreds, of tools on the market, the interest in using artificial intelligence to create images, portraits, and variations of visual content is soaring. These generators work like magic, transforming simple prompts into stunning visuals, and they’re becoming an essential part of the digital toolkit.

While predicting the future is always a challenge, especially in a field as dynamic as AI, some possible scenarios for this segment of AI tools are beginning to emerge. From affordability to integration with other marketing channels, the future of image generation is filled with exciting possibilities. Let’s explore some of the trends that could shape the next generation of image creator software:

  • More AI image generators on the horizon

The demand for easy-to-use image creation tools is skyrocketing. Expect to see more AI image generators entering the market, each offering different features and capabilities. From simple tools for beginners to advanced software for professionals, the options will continue to grow.

  • Enhanced functionality and features

AI image generators are not just about creating static pictures anymore. Expect to see new functions like video generation, 3D modeling, and interactive designs. These generators will become more versatile, catering to various needs, from marketing materials to artistic creations.

  • Cost-effective solutions

As competition increases, the pricing models of AI image generators will become more varied and affordable. Whether you’re a small business owner looking to generate original images or a marketer experimenting with different prompts, there will be a solution that fits your budget.

  • Integration with other marketing tools

The future of AI image generators is all about seamless integration with different marketing channels. For marketers and small business owners, this means more tools to create images and generate original content that resonates with their audience. One exciting area is the integration with email marketing. Some time ago we wrote a post talking about how to use background images in email. Imagine being able to create such images with a simple prompt and then effortlessly using them as background in email campaigns? It’s highly likely that this or a similar feature is currently on the way.

  • Rise of user-friendly platforms

Ease of use will be a key focus. Expect to see more user-friendly platforms that make image generating accessible to everyone, regardless of technical expertise. From simple prompts to intuitive interfaces, creating images will become as easy as typing a sentence.

  • Ethical regulations

As AI image generation becomes more prevalent, there will be increased scrutiny around ethical use and intellectual property rights. Understanding how generators work and adhering to terms of service will be crucial for commercial use.

  • Personalization and customization

Expect to see more personalized and customized options. Whether it’s generated portraits for a specific audience or tailored visuals for a marketing campaign, AI image generators will offer more targeted solutions.

  • Increased adoption across industries

From fashion to education, various industries will embrace AI image generators. The technology will become a staple in creative processes, offering endless possibilities for visual storytelling.

Final thoughts

Choosing the best AI image generator for your marketing needs is a decision that can elevate your brand’s visual appeal. Here’s what to consider:

  1. Price: Find a tool that fits your budget, whether you’re looking for a free version or a subscription model.
  2. Commercial licensing: If you need images for commercial purposes, ensure the tool offers the right licensing options.
  3. Features: Look for specific features that align with your creative goals, such as generating portraits, pictures, or other variations.
  4. Output quality: Check the tool’s feed to see the quality of generated images. It’s essential to pick a generator that delivers great results.

With these considerations in mind, you can select an AI image generator that not only meets your needs but also inspires creativity and innovation in your marketing campaigns.

01 September, 2023
Article by
Ana Balashova
I'm a seasoned PR and marketing pro turned tech writer, with a decade of experience working with big names like DuPont, Avon, Evernote, TradingView, and SAP. I've also dived into the world of crypto startups, contributing to several blockchain publications. Now, I'm bringing my passion for technology, entrepreneurship, and marketing to Selzy. Here, I combine my love for writing and excitement about contributing to the growth of a great product.
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