Effective: 1 April 2023

Next review: 1 October 2023

This policy is an attempt to come to terms with the rapidly developing technology that is artificial intelligence (AI) and its role within the creative practice of Pilgrimage Design.

AI is developing at a dizzying pace and whilst it brings many opportunities, there are significant ethical, societal and economic questions posed by its use. Within the field of graphic design, there are specific issues to do with the usage of AI image generators, intellectual property and the very nature of creativity.

Whilst this policy will be imperfect and will require regular review (the next being 1 October 2023), it is at least a starting point. Moreover, it lays the groundwork for the principles that Pilgrimage Design will apply to this emerging technology going forwards.

These principles are as follows:


The mission of Pilgrimage Design is to empower and equip pioneers. AI has incredible potential to aid this mission. As such, it should be actively explored as a possible tool, insofar as it serves the purpose of empowering and equipping humans. A particular area of interest for Pilgrimage Design is how AI can equip entrepreneurs from refugee backgrounds.


Human creativity has always been enabled by tools, from the paintbrush to Photoshop. Whilst AI can clearly replicate this creativity (to an increasingly impressive level), it is the position of Pilgrimage Design that it should not be used as more than a tool. Humans are fundamentally creative beings. AI can and should be integrated into working practice as a tool if it can enable, expand and open new possibilities for human creativity. It should be the means to an end; not the end in itself.


AI is integrated into more and more areas of design, often in hidden ways (e.g. automatically removing a photo's background). There has to be an acknowledgement that AI is increasingly part of everyday life, but also clarity that not all AI use is the same. Transparency is a foundation for Pilgrimage Design. As a result, whenever AI is used as the primary, generative tool for a specific design iteration, process or element, it will be clearly labelled as such.


Finally, as AI increasingly transforms the fields of branding, graphic design and communications, Pilgrimage Design commits to human empathy. This irreplaceable capacity to connect with others on an emotional level has always been at the heart of these fields. This will require much more intentionality as AI becomes commonplace. Pilgrimage Design will continue to create work that is led by human empathy, both internally (e.g. leading clients through an empathetic process for the creation of their brand identity), and externally (e.g. producing a podcast that celebrates human connections to brands).

AI is as unknown as it is exciting. This policy is an attempt to provide some certainty about the guiding principles that underpin Pilgrimage Design's relationship to it. This policy will undoubtedly change as the technology develops, but the principles expressed will not.

— Sam Thorogood, Pilgrimage Design

24 April 2023

Sam Thorogood | Pilgrimage Design