- Graphic and Visual Design
- Graphic Design
Learn graphic design
What is graphic design.
Graphic design is the practice of composing, melding, and arranging visual elements to create deliverables that depict or enhance a specific message, brand identity, voice, or tone. Graphic designers use a combination of topography, illustration, typography, photography, and other visual communication methods. They design ads, product packaging, motion graphics, editorials, infographics, book covers, web pages, business cards, annual reports, and a host of other products. Graphic design relies heavily on a discerning eye and knowledge of the tools that make building visual projects possible.
Browse online Graphic Design courses
Stand out in your field, learn at your own pace, earn a valuable credential, related topics, graphic design course curriculum.
Although many graphic designers pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), some use online courses and certification programs to gain experience and demonstrate their mastery of basic design concepts. There are a plethora of graphic design classes to choose from that teach learners core principles such as color theory, design theory, design process, logo design, interface design, and more.
Similarly, in a course that focuses on the basics of computer graphics, learners develop the ability to create realistic 3D renderings in real time and use ray tracing. Courses that highlight the steps of creating data visualizations are useful for individuals working in the business or data science fields. These professionals will learn how to help businesses discover insights and relay messages to in-house teams and customers.
Aspiring graphic artists also have the option of enrolling in certification courses in areas such as virtual reality app development. The range of online courses available can help individuals learn how to model and visualize in a variety of fields.
Jobs in graphic design
Graphic design skills translate to a wide range of projects and fields. Graphic designers, UX/UI designers, web designers, and accessibility designers work at companies big and small. They can work for nonprofits and marketing agencies alike. Individuals who learn graphic design may also seek out job opportunities in desktop publishing, industrial design, interior design, architecture, or special effects and animation.
Art directors with a background in graphic design manage design staff, review and approve all design elements, and present completed projects to clients. Art directors can work for magazine publishing companies, advertising and public relations firms, art collectives, and more.
Some graphic designers are self-employed, and offer design services to companies that need to develop visuals to reach customers in saturated markets.
Hone your skills and learn how to build your professional design portfolio with online graphic design courses from edX and its partner institutions. Explore the wide selection of courses designed to accommodate individuals with different learning styles, schedules, and career aspirations.
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Last updated December 2022
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Want to get started in design, but don’t know where to begin? These lessons and exercises will help you start designing immediately.
Kick start your design education with these 12 lessons
What is graphic design?
What is graphic design? Figma takes a look at the world of graphic design and how it affects and enhances our daily lives.
Design thinking & ethics
Is it possible for a design to be unethical? Is there a Hippocratic Oath for design? Let's dive into the ethical implications and obligations designers need to know.
Accessibility and inclusion
Learn what it means to design for accessibility and inclusivity.
Discover the different types of research used in design and how to conduct them.
Content can help shape your designs and give them life. Learn the basics of design with, and for, content.
A collections of exercises and practice files
1. Design brief and mood board
Learn how to create compelling design briefs and how to develop mood boards for your projects.
2. Create a storyboard
Get hands-on practice developing a user story board
3. Reducing complexity
Challenge yourself to by simplifying a sample login screen
4. Using an existing system
Learn the basics of working with components and libraries with this design system.
5. Design your CV or resume
In designing your resume, you will put into practice all of the principals learned in this course.
Looking for help with the Figma product? Check out our Help Center.
📚 LAST CHANCE TO REGISTER FOR THE JOB GUARANTEED 8-WEEK Product Design Career Preparation course! Sign up now!
How To Become A Self‑Taught Graphic Designer
Follow 5 steps to become a self-taught graphic designer without going to school. Teach yourself graphic design and get hired for design jobs.
January 05, 2022
Art by Joanna Nowak
So you want to become a professional graphic designer? Whether you’re looking to make a career change , or wondering whether graphic design is for you, we’re here to offer some guidance.
The good news is this: Your path is no longer only directed towards going to school, or investing in a formal education. To land a graphic design job in 2022, you need to cultivate the fundamentals—develop some experience, understand how to work with clients, and be willing to put yourself out there.
As long as you’re passionate about design, connecting with people, and ready to put in the time and effort, you’ll find that graphic design is certainly a career path worth pursuing. Follow the steps below to find out how you can become a self-taught graphic designer in 2022.
Art by Olga
Step 1: Learn the fundamentals
While you don’t need a formal education to become a graphic designer, you do need to have a solid understanding of the fundamentals. This means getting yourself primed on the principles of design , learning how to effectively use elements like color, contrast, hierarchy, balance, and proportion in your work.
Even more good news, as there’s plenty of free graphic design courses online you can use to start building your knowledge base. Dabble in a few different courses and refer back to them whenever necessary.
If there’s a specific graphic design niche you’re interested in (i.e. brand identity design, social media marketing, website design, etc.), it doesn’t hurt to find resources specific to the kind of design work you want to specialize in, too.
On top of getting primed on the basics, it’s also good practice to start developing your visual eye for design. Taking time to browse through Dribbble each day is a great way to stay up-to-date on the latest design trends—as well as explore the various design styles that keep you fired up. Plus, you’ll also gather plenty of visual inspiration and ideas for your own open projects while you’re at it.
Art by Alex Davis
Step 2: Invest in the right tools
If you want to become a graphic designer, you’ll also need to become proficient in the graphic design software you’ll use to create your work. If you’re just starting out, consider downloading a few free graphic design softwares before investing in more robust tools. Free graphic design tools like Vecteezy , CorelDraw , or Inkscape are great options to explore among many others.
Once you’re ready to take your technical skills to the next level, we recommend investing time in mastering industry stalwarts like Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop . These are the most widely used tools across the industry—and are incredibly powerful.
Another viable tool to invest in at this stage is Bonsai . As a graphic designer, you’re probably going to work as a freelancer and Bonsai can help you—from managing projects, creating proposals and contracts for clients, to sending invoices and organizing your taxes. Using this early on will benefit you immensely down the road.
Learning how to use a new software can be intimidating, but don’t let that discourage you! There are plenty of free online resources to help you master all sorts of design tools , and it’s as easy as searching Google to find quality materials.
Art by Seonhwa Kim
Step 3: Build a body of work
You can’t become a professional graphic designer without building a persuasive body of work first—clients and employers will ask for work samples before deciding to hire you.
You might be wondering: how can I build a body of work without any real-world experience? As a budding graphic designer, you’ll be glad to know there are plenty of options open to you. From creating your own self-initiated projects, to offering up your design services to family and friends, start putting your graphic design skills into practice and refining your design process.
"Start accumulating a body of work that directly reflects the graphic design jobs you ideally want to be hired for."
If you’re having difficulty coming up with ideas, get inspired by something that already exists and put your own spin on it. Redesign your favorite logo, a website, or create marketing materials for a brand you think needs some help—the possibilities are endless. But also be strategic: work on accumulating a body of work that directly reflects the graphic design jobs you ideally want to take on.
It’s also worth mentioning that you might not create anything you like right off the bat. Don’t let that discourage you. Some of the best designers today started out the very same way. Keep at it, hold fast, and eventually you’ll develop your own design style while uncovering your unique creative process.
“To be honest, at first I was making loads and loads of bad work. I kept putting together collections of work until the feedback finally became positive. This taught me more than I think any art program could have. Sure there was a lot of self-doubt, frustration, and uncertainty—but these lows were just part of following a passion.” — Spencer Gabor, Self-Taught Designer & Illustrator
Step 4: Get your work seen
Once you’ve built up a body of work you’re proud of, it’s time to create an online graphic design portfolio to showcase the fruits of all that hard work, and to let the world know you’re available. And, hey! Our very own Dribbble Pro is the simplest and most effective instant portfolio building tool that ensures your work gets discovered.
Unlike a traditional design portfolio, when you share your work on Dribbble, your work gets seen and is discoverable by millions of people each and every month. Hiring managers and design recruiters often scout Dribbble when looking to bring on new design talent, and they can contact you directly from your Dribbble Pro account. Be sure to update your work availability by toggling the briefcase icon in Dribbble’s main navigation when you’re logged in!
“A lot of companies and agencies scout for talent on Dribbble and a ton of the work requests I get will begin with saying they’ve found me on Dribbble.” — Jonas Mosesson, Motion Designer
There’s no single formula for cooking up a perfect design portfolio, and there’s no way to guarantee you’ll be offered every freelance or full-time job opportunity you apply to. That said, like any other design project, improving your design portfolio is an iterative process—it gets better the more you practice and hone your skills, so keep updating your portfolio as you create new work!
Art by Ryan Johnson
Step 5: Network with other graphic designers
The work doesn’t stop at your design portfolio. Professional graphic designers should never underestimate the power of networking and community building. Building connections amongst your graphic design peers is invaluable for improving your skills, engaging in valuable conversations with industry experts, and getting new opportunities through referrals and partnerships.
Again, Dribbble is a great place to make these connections and to gather valuable feedback on your design work. Remember that feedback is an invaluable aspect of growing as a designer—embrace any and all negative design feedback and use it to propel your skills forward. In fact, learn to seek out feedback and you’ll be surprised at how fast your skills start to improve.
Art by Maya Ealey
Step 6: Get real-world work experience
At this point in your journey to becoming a graphic designer, it’s time to get some real-world experience under your belt. Depending on your skill level, you might want to start by searching for entry-level graphic design jobs and internships.
Start by sifting through job openings online or look for one-off freelance design jobs . If you’ve got your eye on a company you really want to work for, it never hurts to reach out and express interest, even if they’re not currently hiring. You never know what future opportunities it could bring you down the line!
The job hunt is also the perfect opportunity for you to practice all of the necessary soft skills graphic designers need to succeed, like client communication, interview best practices, and effectively selling your designs.
Check out our guide to writing a job-ready graphic design resume and cover letter for more helpful resources on getting hired!
Art by Ricardo Santos
Keep learning and growing
Now that you know the steps needed to become a self-taught graphic designer, get out there and put in the work! Just remember, design is an ever-evolving industry. Keep learning, stay up to speed on new tools and processes, and continue building connections with your graphic design peers. You’ve got this!
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Free Graphic Design Online Course
This Free Graphic Design Course includes a comprehensive online Photoshop Course with 2+ hours of video tutorials and Lifetime access. You get to learn everything you need to know to start using Adobe Photoshop. This training is not an overview of the software, but it is an actual intensive training in understanding all the key features of this software, its tools, designing a card, designing a graphic, understanding the photo editor both black and white and color.
- Graphic Design Course 2+ hours
NANA NANA NA% Off
Skills you will master
- Logo Designing
- Designing Applications
- Brochure Designing
- Designing Flat UI Elements
- Professional Jewellery Designing
- Web Designer
- Website Layout Design
- UI Designing
- Automobile Designing
- Computer Based Illustrations
- Pattern Making
- 3D in Photoshop
- Book Cover Designing
- Magazine Designing
- Healing Tool
This Free Graphic Design Course includes a comprehensive online Photoshop Course with 2+ hours of video tutorials and Lifetime Access . You get to learn everything you need to know to start using Adobe Photoshop. This training is not an overview of the software, but it is an actual intensive training in understanding all the key features of this software, its tools, designing a card, designing a graphic, understanding the photo editor both black and white, and color.
Graphic designing is the process of creating visual concepts using computer software for conveying ideas to consumers. Graphic design is used for the preparation of various products like advertisements, brochures, magazines, web designing, etc. Graphic design is the summation of three different processes typography, photography, and illustration.
A lot of software is used for graphics designing. Among all, the most common and highly-featured tool is Adobe Photoshop. In this course, you will learn all the details of graphic design using Photoshop software.
This is a field that provides thousands of career opportunities and also this industry is growing each day with the introduction of new skills and ideas. Any students or beginners who wish to enter this industry can enroll in this course to learn graphic designing using Photoshop. Also, this course is helpful for design professionals who want to learn more about graphic designing and Adobe Photoshop. This Free Graphic Design Online Course is not just an overview of Photoshop, but it provides you all the details to understand the features and skills of Photoshop with different examples like designing a card, designing graphics, and understanding photo editing.
- Certificate of Completion
About free graphic design online course, free graphic design course curriculum.
In this section, each module of the Free Graphic Design Online Course the course is explained.
- The graphic design course consists of a single tutorial that describes the basic tools and features of Adobe Photoshop. It is a 2 hour 25 minutes tutorial with a total of 24 videos describing various features and skills. The main objectives of this course are to practically teach everything about Photoshop and to show how to optimize images. The main target customers of this Free Graphic Design Online Course are students who are pursuing a career in graphic design, anyone who wants to learn animation, and those who interested in image creation and editing.
- This course mainly divided into two sections under the heading of Introduction and tools. The first section introduces you to the Photoshop software and taught you the basic user interface of it. Also in this section, you will learn basic knowledge to use Photoshop and help you to learn how to create a new page. After completing the first section you will learn all the basic functions of the software and you will be ready for the final section.
- The second and the final section provide you all the tools and factions of Photoshop with a different example. The different tools you will learn from this Free Graphic Design Online Course are an introduction to the toolbar, Use of move tool, different selection tools, Lasso polygon magnetic tool, Magic wand tool, Clone stamp, etc. Also, this section helps you to learn some tools with practical examples which include creating magazine cover, Digital apple for the magazine, spot healing for magazine, Content, and border for the magazine, etc. It also consists of some advanced tools like Old man skin, Old man coat, and cloth hat and finally, you will learn how to create Old man cigarette burn.
Free Graphic Design – Certificate of Completion
What is Graphic Designing?
As we already said, Graphic designing is the process of creating visual concepts using computer software for conveying ideas to the consumers. Simply we can say that graphic design is an art of projecting or showing different ideas or concepts with visual and typographic contents. Since the best way to communicate is through visuals everyone uses graphic design to convey their ideas to the consumers.
Graphic designing can be seen anywhere in our day to day life like in advertisement posters, infographics , magazines, book covers, product labels, company logos, business cards, website layouts, mobile apps, etc. It is mainly used by companies to sell their products. Graphic designs help to attract people to the posters and thereby promoting the products.
Adobe Photoshop is raster graphics editor software developed by Adobe Inc. Since its introduction this software has become industry-standard image editing and visual graphics software. Many designing professionals prefer Photoshop for their web design and graphic design works due to the features available in the software and continuous upgrade provided by Adobe.
Which tangible skills you will learn in this course?
This Free Graphic Design Course brings you several skills and features a graphic designer needs. You will learn all the basic tools of Photoshop software through this tutorial. Let us see some of the tangible graphic design skills and tools of Photoshop software you will learn from this course,
- Use of Photoshop
- Creating a new page
- Pattern making
- Web designing
- Computer-based illustrations
- Square and circle selection tool
- Lasso polygon magnetic tool
- Magic wand tool
- Clone stamp
- Digital apple for magazine
- Spot healing for magazine
- Old man skin
- Old man coat and cloth hat
- Old man cigarette burn
- Urge to learn graphic design: An interest to learn photo editing, animation, designing, etc are necessary to learn this course. If you have the willingness to learn, you can easily complete the course and start a new career in graphic design. Hard work and passion for your interest play a vital role in completing a course successfully.
- Basic computer operating knowledge: Basic understanding of functions and working of the computer is a must before enrolling in this Free Graphic Design Online Course. You should know the basic computer operations to run the Photoshop software.
- Basic knowledge in image editing and optimizing image: If you have basic knowledge about image editing and image optimization, it will be an added advantage. So that you can easily follow the various tools and features available in Photoshop for riding and optimization.
- The latest version of Photoshop software: Before starting the course, you should be equipped with a system having the latest version of Photoshop software installed in it. Always better to use the latest version since it provides the updated and latest tools.
- Students who want to make a career in graphic designing: This Free Graphic Design Online Course is mainly targeted for students who are trying to enter the field of graphic designing, animation, and photo editing. Since it is a basic and simple course beginners can also easily understand and follow the course.
- Animation professionals: Professionals who are working in the animation field can use this course as a part of skill development. Photoshop is preferred by most of the animators and through this course, you can learn new skills of this software.
- Web designers: Web designers are other professionals who use Photoshop for image editing and visual graphics creations. They are also benefited from this graphic design course.
- Digital marketers: Digital marketing is the field of marketing in which the products are marketed through online Media and social networks. For attracting the customer digital marketers make attractive posters and advertisements using Photoshop software.
- As we already discussed, Graphic designing is the process of creating visual concepts using computer software for conveying ideas to consumers. Graphic design is used for the preparation of various products like advertisements, brochures, magazines, web designing, etc. Graphic design is the summation of three different processes typography, photography, and illustration.
- A graphic designer is a professional who deals with the concept and designing of visual contents for products and various services like posters, magazines, newspaper advertisements, animations, games, etc. His responsibility includes understanding the needs of a client and taking up the decision to complete the client’s requirements. The biggest benefit of a graphic designer is the freedom f imagination. To make a concept or to convey an idea he can imagine in his way to make the solutions.
- Being in the industry there are a lot of new techniques and skills that are created each day. And if you want to sustain in this field you have to learn all those new skills and techniques. You will be appreciated only if you are technically updated. So for learning and updating your skills, you have to go for courses which provide you new skills and techniques. This Free Graphic Design Online Course helps you to learn all the basic skills of graphic designing using Photoshop. The graphic designing industry is a growing industry and it always provided with a lot of career opportunities. Also, it is a high paying industry based on your skills and knowledge. If you are ready to learn and work hard you can reach the top level.
This course covered all the basics. It was wonderful! I’ve been doing Photoshop for a while and I managed to get up to speed to know all the tools needed to start something. The accent sometimes is not understandable, the examples itself spoke for themselves. I will check out the advanced ones! Linked
Mark David D. Generator
Good Refresher Course on Adobe Photoshop
While the course does not go into advanced features of Photoshop, it’s a good beginner’s, or refresh course. If you want to get started with photoshop, or like I haven’t used the program in a while, then this is absolutely for you. The instructor does a very good job explaining the pen/vector tool system and thought me some shortcuts I didn’t even know about! Though the speaker’s voice goes a bit monotone near the end, all in all I’m still satisfied with the course.
Graphic designing using Photoshop
I found the course very informative and helpful although I work mainly on architectural plans I will be able to use a lot of the techniques on these also. There is always ‘more’ to learn so I will be looking for another course to complete. Linked
A nice course on photoshop
This course provides a nice introduction to the basics of Photoshop. Although it doesn’t go beyond the basic tools it does provide a good start for beginners looking to explore this powerful and versatile software. The course approaches Photoshop primarily from a designer or illustrator’s perspective. Overall this course is a good way to get started. Linked
How To Learn Graphic Design Without Going To School
Last Updated on October 25, 2022
Learn graphic design online for free, without going to school or without a degree. If you would like to become a graphic designer, you can do so for free or by taking affordable and free courses. I taught myself graphic design and have helped many others learn to become designers through this article. Keep reading — you got this!
So you want to learn graphic design for beginners? You’re in the right spot! I’m going to teach you how I became a freelance graphic designer with zero experience and without holding a degree in graphic design.
For three years I worked as a freelance graphic/web designer, and while my career has taken a different path now, my graphic design experience was the catalyst to an online career and has helped me tremendously.
First, let me say that this article isn’t meant to undervalue those who do go to design school. Designers who spend years working on their craft are obviously very knowledgeable and do amazing work.
But sometimes school isn’t in the budget for everyone and you might want to learn graphic design on your own.
Figuring out how to learn graphic design is the hardest part , which is why I’ve written up all the steps I took for you to follow.
Second, this post by Karen Cheng helped me a lot when I was starting to learn graphic design. I recommend checking it out as well!
Now, let’s dive right into how to become a graphic designer!
This post contains affiliate links. When you click on a link within this post and make a purchase, I will earn a commission. This is at no additional cost to you.
Table of Contents
Steps to Learn Graphic Design
Before you go any further, I want you to commit to yourself that you’re going to follow through with these steps (if it’s something you truly want to do)!
To give yourself a little reminder, Tweet the following and come back to it in several months time to see just how far you’ve come:
Step 1: Learn the Basics of Drawing
You don’t need to be a skilled drawer, but you will need to know some basics .
Before I began learning graphic design, I started with a good old pen and paper and went back to the basics.
I had to learn things like shadows and drawing 3D objects (something I wasn’t good at, but knew I would need to improve if I wanted to do logo design and mockups).
Could I draw freehand prior to teaching myself graphic design? Nope! So if Mark Kistler’s book You Can Draw in 30 Days: The Fun, Easy Way to Learn to Draw in One Month or Less can get my drawings to look good (and help me understand the principals of drawing), then it can do the same for you.
This resource is worth the investment (which is only a few cups of coffee) .
I could have never hand-drawn the flower in the logo prior to reading this book:
This book doesn’t actually teach you how to become a graphic designer, but it teaches you the most important first steps when learning graphic design: the basics of art.
You learn all sorts of incredibly handy information, such as object shading and highlighting, how to give your designs more depth and structure, and different techniques that you won’t come across if you dive straight into learning Adobe Illustrator.
You might be asking “but what’s the big deal? Graphic design software has rulers and the ability to draw straight lines! So why would a drawing book help me if Illustrator already does all that for me?”
I had the same questions! Why should I learn how to draw if all I want to do is learn graphic design? What gives?!
Well, if you want to know how to become a graphic designer, learning to draw is important.
Illustrator (which is a program you’ll use to design your work) doesn’t tell you when your shadows are all in the wrong direction or when you have got the proportions all messed up.
And Illustrator also doesn’t tell you when you are trying to draw a face and the eyes are half the size they should be. But this book does. It helps you through it all.
I can’t tell you enough how important it is to learn basic drawing techniques first before you teach yourself graphic design.
You can also find many tutorials on YouTube to help you get started with drawing.
Step 2: Learn Graphic Design Theory
Your next step in learning graphic design is to learn some theory.
“But the theory is so boring.” I know, I know. Graphic design theory is rarely fun but I’m here to tell you how to become a graphic designer and the theory is super important.
If you want to become a graphic designer you’re going to need to learn some of the tedious material before jumping into the fun stuff.
Just because you are teaching yourself doesn’t mean you get to skip out on the boring material!
Knowing what types of fonts and colors go together and what doesn’t go together is going to help your designs immensely.
So teach yourself graphic design theory!
In regards to theory, I suggest starting off with learning the basics of color, typography, shape, space, lines, texture and size.
A great read to get you thinking of basic graphic design theory is the book Visual Gramm a r .
These books are some of my top picks for learning graphic design and design theory:
- Design Elements: Color Fundamentals
- The Language of Graphic Design
Step 3: Get Some Graphic Design Tools
As a bit of a digital nomad, my office moves around a lot so I like to keep it minimal when it comes to the tools I use. Luckily, graphic design doesn’t require lots of gadgets and gizmos (or oozits and whatzits #thelittlemermaid).
But the one thing you will need to become a graphic designer is graphic design software — this is non-negotiable 🙂
You can purchase Adobe Creative Cloud here which contains:
- Illustrator : will be used for logos and other vector-based graphics
- Photoshop : will be used to create special effects and edit media
- InDesign : will be used to create materials for print or online such as brochures, PDF’s, books etc.
Plus many other programs that you can use as you grow!
Here’s where you may want to bookmark this article. Because when you are first learning how to become a graphic designer you aren’t going to need the below item, but after you’ve figured out the theory, how to draw and are comfortable in the above programs, you might find that you need some type of tablet.
The tablet I recommend is the Wacom Intuos Draw Tablet . It’s a very affordable piece of equipment that I couldn’t do without.
I’ve had mine for over two years and am kicking myself for not getting it sooner!
This tablet makes illustration and logo creation a breeze and lets me have way more control over my designs than when I was just using a mouse.
I actually developed tendinitis in my finger from using my mouse so much, and my designs took much longer to create as I tried to draw with a mouse.
Now, I use my tablet for just about everything including hand-lettering, logo creation, masking in Photoshop…and let’s just say I don’t know what I would do with it.
And that’s it! You don’t need to have a closet full of supplies to get started as a graphic designer.
Step 4: Learn the Tools of Graphic Design
Now that you have the tools and the know the foundation of graphic design, it’s time to actually learn the tools (yes! You finally made it to the step where you are going to actually learn how to become a graphic designer that can make designs)!
I’m thankful for all the affordable online courses out there because they will save you months of time trying to piece everything together on your own.
This Udemy graphic design course is much more affordable than an entire degree, yet it will still help you figure out how to use the tools and software.
Opening up Illustrator for the first time is overwhelming, but knowing the basics will propel your learning forward much faster.
If you want to learn graphic design, you obviously need to learn the tools, and having video instruction will make that process so much easier.
I highly recommend signing up for the above course if you want to fast-track things a bit.
After you’ve learned the basics, you’ll be able to use the tools to create your own designs.
Graphic Design Tutorials
You can also use YouTube tutorials to teach you everything if a course isn’t in the budget. YouTube is great because you can learn by doing, seeing and hearing.
Here are some of my favorite YouTube channels for free graphic design tutorials :
- Spoon Graphics : My favorite tutorial was the Tattoo Inspired Vector Illustration in Adobe Illustrator . Prior to buying a tablet, I searched high and low for some quick way to create stipple shading. So bookmark this tutorial for when you are ready to stipple shade.
- Design Tuts : There are some more advanced sports logo tutorials on this channel but it’s really helpful to see the process and how more advanced designs get formed.
- Will Patteson : His channel is full of great information. Everything from tutorials to Q&A’s about freelancing. This is my go-to channel and helped me so much as a beginner.
- Helen Bradley : This channel is my favorite for beginners. I came across Helen Bradley while searching how to make wreaths . Her tutorials are excellent for beginners.
- PHLEARN : This channel is strictly Photoshop. Verbal instructions make the tutorials easy to follow. Some other channels (not PHLEARN) have tutorials that don’t have verbal instruction and only have music playing, which can be frustrating for a beginner.
- Tasty Tuts : If you don’t want to read about graphic design theory, this channel offers video versions for you. I also learned InDesign by going through 15 InDesign lessons offered on this channel. Here is lesson one ; the video description contains the other lessons.
- Skill Share : Videos on a range of creative topics.
- Matt Borchert : This video on Matt’s channel discusses designer ethics and is a must-watch.
- Graphic Tweakz : Logo tutorials galore!
- Satori Graphics : Tons of tutorials.
These channels offer many different tutorials, but feel free to do your own searches to find what you are looking for and go through at least one every day.
Step 5: Build Up Your Graphic Design Portfolio
My biggest worry, when I was becoming a graphic designer, was that nobody was going to want to work with me because I did not go to school for design.
This never ended up being an issue because of one thing that I unintentionally did.
I created a portfolio for myself as I was learning.
By taking this Udemy course listed in step 4, you’ll have created designs as you are going through the courses – feel free to use these in your portfolio until you have more work.
A lot of people are scared to venture out into doing real work.
“What if they ask for my credentials or my degree?!” Maybe you’re scared of this to? Let me tell you something — I’ve never been asked once in my career for my credentials.
I have, however, been asked to see past work or a portfolio, and when my prospects see my portfolio, they almost always book immediately.
So, where else can you find small projects to help develop your portfolio if you want to become a graphic designer?
There are lots of sites that allow graphic designers to pick up work. When I first started building my portfolio I found clients through friends and family, my local sub-Reddit , and 99designs .
I got a lot of graphic design practice through 99designs but I personally wouldn’t recommend it to make money, because you have to design for free and your designs only get chosen if the client likes it best out of the rest of the designs.
I don’t like advising anyone to work for free, but I did like that 99designs gives you a brief and lets you see how a real client process should look. In that respect, I found it useful.
You can also take on non-profits and let them know you are a design student who would like to get some real-life experience. Many non-profits don’t have a budget to hire designers so it’s a win-win for both of you.
FAQs About Learning Graphic Design
How long does it take to learn graphic design.
Realistically, it can take you a few months to learn to tools, but learning graphic design is truly a lifelong experience and is so much more than just knowing how to use the tools.
I spent a year learning graphic design (in my evenings) before I was confident enough to take on a client.
And even then, I’ve grown so much since then (as have my designs).
Is it Easy to Learn Graphic Design?
Becoming a graphic designer is a long learning process, and each step can take you anywhere from several weeks to several months.
But it is possible!
It’s all going to depend on how much time you want to put towards learning each element.
This guide should help you learn graphic design so that you can create digital designs and hopefully understand the science behind functional graphic design and branding.
As you get going, you’re going to find so many different areas to expand on and be familiar with before taking on clients such as:
- CMYK vs RGB
- vector vs raster
- bleeds and margins and how to properly set up documents for print
- other printing specs
There are also many different areas to specialize in and you may choose to veer towards a certain learning path that has its own set of rules and techniques to further learn.
For example, I think logo designers who specialize in hand-lettering and custom typography are incredible. It’s not something I’ve been able to master myself, but I love coming across some beautiful hand-lettered logos.
Am I a Real Designer if I Don’t go to School?
Yes. Plain and simple. You are still a professional regardless if you are self-taught or not.
View this post on Instagram Swipe to see how I feel about people who are self-taught…✨ . Self-education is awesome! Most creatives I know are self-taught in some form whether it be copywriting, pitching, design, coding, social media…I get messages like this every once in a while because of a blog post I have that talks about self-teaching. Listen, I’m all for a good education BUT formal educations are expensive and not only that, they are a privilege that not everyone has access to. . Teaching yourself to be damn good at something doesn’t mean you aren’t as valuable as people who went to school. Period. . I admire people who built up successful careers and businesses when the odds were stacked against them. So if you’ve taught yourself a skill and you’re wondering whether you are good enough, or are worried about being an imposter in your field, don’t 🛑Because it takes a special type of dedication and discipline to teach yourself something and that, my friend, is why you’re going to succeed and be amazing in whatever you try your hand at. . What was the last thing you taught yourself? Drop a comment and let me know! . . . . . #visualsoflife #folkgood #expofilm#livefolk#agameoftones #vzcomood#petitejoys#pursuepretty #createcommune #creativityfound#artofvisuals #femtrepreneur #communityovercompetition#makersgonnamake #visualambassadors#fatalframes #carveouttimeforart#theimaged #flashesofdelight#thehappynow #creativebiz #creativeentrepreneur #yycblogger#darlingdaily#howyouglow#darlingdetails#prettylittlething#nothingisordinary#theeverygirl#risingtidesociety A post shared by Writer + Content Mktg Tips (@dananicoledesigns) on Mar 1, 2020 at 1:47am PST
More Resources to Help You Learn Graphic Design
- Color Design Workbook : This book taught me everything I know about the psychology of color within design. I prefer to have this as a book so I can flip through it and reference it, and use it as a source of inspiration.
- Logo Type : Sometimes I sit down and just gawk at all the gorgeous designs within this book. It fills me up with so much inspiration.
- You Can Draw in 30 Days: The Fun, Easy Way to Learn to Draw in One Month or Less : I already mentioned this book above, but it was very instrumental in teaching me how to draw that I wanted to include it on this list again.
- Logo Design Love
Next Steps After Learning Graphic Design
After you’ve learned graphic design, theory and all the tools, you are probably going to want to take on clients.
It’s important to do lots of research when designing logos and other branding collateral for your clients (if you choose to go down that route).
I’ve listed my entire graphic design process , including the questionnaires I use for client briefing, so you are able to understand the research you must do before you begin creating designs for clients.
In Conclusion: How to Teach Yourself Graphic Design
Now that you know how to become a graphic designer without school or getting a degree, let’s quickly go over the steps:
- Learn the basics of drawing
- Learn graphic design theory
- Sign up with Adobe Creative Cloud and get your tools
- Learn Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign (this Udemy graphic design course can help you fast track your learning)
- Build your portfolio
- Read through my graphic design process and download my questionnaires before you begin taking on clients
This article may include affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Dana Nicole is an award-winning freelance writer for MarTech/SaaS who was rated one of the best SaaS writers by Software World. She specializes in writing engaging content that ranks high in search engines and has been featured in publications like Social Media Examiner, ConvertKit, and Hotjar. Dana holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and has over 15 years of experience working in marketing for national brands.
38 thoughts on “How To Learn Graphic Design Without Going To School”
Great Writing! This blog is really very informative. Thanks for sharing it with us.it also helpful for how digital marketing will be a change in this year.
I love these guidelines so much : And practice them for sure.
Great Article & I love the book recommendations. Thank you.
You’re welcome, Raygan!
These steps have had a good impact in my life, am now 20 and making the best of graphic design through this site. Thanks so much for this site.
I love hearing that, James!
so much helpful
Inadvertently clicked the link while on pinterest and i gotta say, it’s the best “mistake” I’ve made today. Thank you, Dana! It’s very insightful.
It was meant to be, Emmanuel! I’m glad you enjoyed the read 🙂
Super helpful article and so much info here. This is the best resource I have found and it clearly tells me how to “see what I don’t know” and then how to get it! Thank you so much.
You’re welcome! Best of luck on the path to teaching yourself graphic design!
Why am I seeing this now! This is wonderful
What are your thoughts on beginning in Procreate, since it’s somewhat new?
I only worked with Adobe’s suite of products so I can’t comment, but I’ve heard Procreate is fantastic for handlettering and illustrations. Procreate doesn’t offer vector graphics though, unfortunately, and a lot of graphic design work requires vector files you can scale up or down.
However, if handlettering or illustration is the route you’d like to take (that doesn’t require vector files) you may want to consider Procreate. It looks like a very fun app to use 🙂
I ventured forth into the unknown today… and I would like to say YOUR IMPRESSIVE… this is all great. I am a teacher and hope to be able to teach myself something and help my teaching aids come along. THANKS so much!
I’m so happy to hear that Marichen! The internet opens the door to learning so many new skills. Best of luck!!
thanks so much for the confidence kick!
You’re welcome, Sarah!! You got this.
I never comment on blog posts but I wanted to say this is super helpful!! THANK you for taking the time to write this.
Thank you, Pleasant! I appreciate hearing that!
Same here. I never comment of posts, but this information is most impressive and incredibly appreciated. I’ve already ordered some of your suggestions and am looking forward to this new beginning! Thank you for the information and your time!
This makes me incredibly happy to hear! Thank you for taking the time to share your gratitude with me 🙂
You can add Satori Graphics to the list, one of my favourite channels on YouTube. I learned so much about design principles and so on
Great suggestion! They weren’t around when I was learning—I added them to the list for future designers.
I’m in the older age bracket and want to venture in a different direction. I’ve always had the hankering to paint, draw, and create design but never followed up as I really couldn’t draw exactly to proportion etc. Ideas are always there but putting it to paper was hopeless. Your article is enlightening, stimulating and definitely enticing. I reckon I’ll commit for at least a year and in the process learn/consolidate by showing/practicing, and telling my 2 little grandchildren. Maybe in time help my adult children in their own businesses while enjoying the fun and pleasure from producing something appealing and creative? Thank you for your insight.
You sound like a wonderful role model for your children and grandchildren, Chrisella—showing them that it’s never too late to learn a new skill. In terms of drawing, I found there are plenty of useful tutorials on YouTube. I didn’t list them here, but if you search things like “drawing tutorials for beginners” on YouTube you’ll find a lot to follow along with 🙂 Best of luck!
Looking for another type of career, have always been drawing throughout my life, and it would be great to find bliss in my work life and make a good life for myself and my family.
Nice article! Thank you for reminding me what’s important in life… For those who don’t know what the basics are let me mention this to help… Find a school or place that teaches graphic design pick the one you like then print and/or copy the syllabus with the courses they teach. Most have the basics…follow it and you will have the training you need. Find the less expensive training somewhere else, but this list of courses will give you the road map you need. The only thing you won’t have is a piece of paper. Design your diploma! And people don’t care where you’ve been just what you can do for them hence the importance of a portfolio. Get her done! Again, Thanks for your wisdom…
Your idea to follow a pre-defined syllabus is fantastic, Teri—love it! That feels like a lifehack that everyone should know.
Hi, sorry, but I don’t think you can “learn” grafic design in a few months, when a real schooling takes years. And afterwards you’re still not a “finished” grafic designer. There is so much you learn by empirical knowledge over the years. What about the discussions and exchange with teachers/collegues/students, that will push you forwards and forces you to rethink your design until it is perfect? You can not “learn” that with any video tutorial, scrolling though pinterest and using adobe software…
Hi Melissa. Seems you didn’t read the entire article. Please see the section “How Long Does it Take to Learn Graphic Design?” I then go to say, “It can take you a few months to learn to tools, but learning graphic design is truly a lifelong experience and is so much more than just knowing how to use the tools.” In regards to your comment about speaking with teachers/collegues: you can do that online these days. There are plenty of FB groups, Reddit communities, and Discords for designers. I highly recommend people join communities to discuss design with their peers.
As I’ve said before, going to school is not an accessible OR affordable option for everyone. Not everybody lives in a country with free higher education. It’s a privileged and uninformed take to say that you can’t learn graphic design unless you enroll in school.
Great article it really inspired me after going through this wonderful article…. I’ll try all my possible best to be good in graphics design as you stated research is truly essential the theory might seem boring but indeed essential …thanks a lot
I love how organise you are in your writing. Easy to read. Helpful information for beginners who are wondering what is necessary to start digital design. I love it. Congrats for good article.
It was an amazing article. I was on search of someone who can answer me. Thank you .
Very educative article.lm starting my own blog very soon and from now on lm taking graphic design Seriously to part the things l will be doing on my blog. Thank you.
i’m in high spirits and so excited because when i read your article, i felt that i’m empathetic and that give me a lot of motivation to keep on studying Graphic Design. Honestly, sometimes i intend to quit this subject but now it doesn’t anymore. Thanks so much for a good article and hope you achieve great success in your life.
Hi Thanh, thank you for taking the time to comment! Wishing you all the best in pursuing graphic design!
Wow. That was great.
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10+ Best FREE Graphic Design Courses Online
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Are you looking to learn graphic design online or start a career in graphic design ?
One of the amazing things that the internet can offer is online courses. Whether you want to learn about graphic design , learn a new language, or learn how to start lettering, chances are there is a resource out there for you to learn how. In this article, we’ve compiled the best free graphic design program (courses) online !
I know what you’re thinking though – that you don’t have the time. You have a full-time job and a house and kids to take care of and on top of that, you don’t have extra money laying around to spend on books or materials or to pay for classes, and you do not want to take another student loan to pay for them.
I get all of that and let me say that those excuses are just that. Excuses. Yes, we’re all busy and have other responsibilities. However, here is the wonderful news you have been waiting for…
These graphic design courses are 100% free.
Yes, free. I know it’s not a word we use much anymore in our culture. But if you are interested in taking a course in graphic design, whether you’re a beginner or have 25 years in the field, free is good.
With that in mind, we wanted to highlight some of the best free graphic design programs and courses that you can find online in 2023 and beyond. That way, you can table the excuses, start learning and either add a new skill or sharpen an old one. Let’s get started!
This page contains affiliate links and I will earn a small fee if you choose to purchase using my links, at no additional cost to you.
How to Teach Yourself Graphic Design?
Becoming a graphic designer does not have to be done at school. In fact, if you follow the below steps and enroll in a free graphic design courses, you will be well on your way to becoming a professional graphic designer.
- Understand the core principles of graphic design (see courses below)
- Ground yourself with the history of graphic design ( this book is essential )
- Familiarize yourself with the graphic design process & solving problems creatively
- Consider advanced study & development (either online or at school)
- Learn from professional graphic designers
- Develop your proficiency, intuition, and flow (your process)
- Put together a portfolio and blog
- Participate in professional graphic design communities ( join ours here )
- Diversify your skillset (Enroll in more specialized courses)
- Find work as a freelance graphic designer
How to Choose the Best Graphic Design Courses for You?
Choosing to take an online course to learn a new skill, try a new path, or even as a refresher for the skills you already have is a very honorable thing to do. Like you, I understand that time, money and many other factors can keep you from picking one course to take over another.
We hope that the free design courses showcased here can give you some idea of some of the best free graphic design courses available online today.
10+ Best Free Graphic Design Courses Online
Below we’ve shared the top 10 reputable online graphic design courses providers and their recommended courses to start teaching yourself graphic design.
- Skillshare (1 Month Free Trial then $10/month)
- Coursera (more in-depth)
- Creative Live
- Graphic Design School
- Interaction Design Foundation
Free Software to Learn Graphic Design
If you’re learning graphic design, you should know that Adobe provides the industry-standard graphic design software for creative professionals and that they offer free trials as well as some generous student discounts allowing you to save up to 65% .
Adobe offers a subscription service called ‘Creative Cloud’ which gives you access to several powerful design applications including Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and more. See the full Adobe software list here.
- Download a free Photoshop trial for PC, Mac, or iPad now
- Download a free trial of Illustrator for PC, Mac or iPad now
Free Graphic Design Classes on Skillshare
Skillshare offers prospective students lots of short but in-depth courses centered around graphic design. Many of these are available for free or, with a paid subscription, you can access them all. To help beginners, we wanted to highlight a few beneficial and free-courses.
The best part about Skillshare is that you can get Skillshare Premium free for 4 weeks !
1. Graphic Design Basics: Core Principles for Visual Design
Lectures: 9 | Length : 36 minutes | By : Ellen Lupton
Whether you’re new to graphic design or an old pro, everyone has to start somewhere. Generally, that means starting with the basics which is the focus of the Graphic Design Basics: Core Principles for Visual Design. This 36-minute class will walk you through 5 basic principles of graphic design.
Another class taught by Ellen Lupton and Jennifer Cole Phillips will show you how to use those basic principles in projects that range from creative design, marketing, and even photography. Through the course, you’ll learn:
- How to identify and define the 5 basic principles of design
- How to critique your own work looking for balance and effectiveness
- How you can apply each concept to your future projects
2. Creating Brand Systems: An Overview of Combining Logos and Type
Lectures: 7 | Length : 18 minutes | By : Mike Ski + Jessie Jay
Taught by Mike Ski and Jesse Jay, designers from True Hand, the Creating Brand Systems course asks students to consider how a great logo or brand system comes to be. Through the six video courses, Ski and Jay describe the collaborative process they used to create the logo for Kensington Quarters, an eatery in Philadelphia.
A shorter class than most, the Creating Brand Systems course is designed with designers, illustrators, enthusiasts, and creatives in mind. Those looking for a high-quality walkthrough of what it takes to create a dynamic logo that can be used across many different channels and applications will want to check this course out.
3. Typography That Works: Typographic Composition and Fonts
Lectures: 10| Length : 36 minutes | By : Ellen Lupton
When you’re starting as a graphic designer, you may spend a lot of time perfecting the logo that portrays your brand to prospective clients, but what about the typography on your website or business card? What is that telling your clients about not only your business but about you as well?
Also taught by Ellen Lupton, curator of contemporary design at Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, this course teaches you the difference between good typography (which can be very beneficial for you or your client) and bad typography (which can have adverse effects). In this course you’ll learn:
- Sans + Structure – Learn what gives the sans serif typeface its special character
- Serif + Details – Exploit the details of the full-bodied serif type family
- Slab + Customization – Learn what to do with slab faces, described as heavy furniture by the syllabus
Free Graphic Design Courses on Coursera
While not every course on their site is free, Coursera offers online graphic design courses from some top universities such as Stanford and Yale. At first glance, the site pushes you towards paying for classes but there is the option to “audit” the class.
This means that while you can take the class, none of your work will be marked and you won’t be able to earn a certificate at the end of the course. To take the classes for free, follow this guide here and get started right away. Here are some free graphic design courses you may want to consider:
1. Learn Graphic Design Online by David Underwood
Lectures: 4 modules | Length : approx. 27 hours | By : David Underwood
Taught by David Underwood, this Graphic Design course is structured to provide you with the tools to generate professional-looking reports, resumes, presentations, and PowerPoints using techniques and practices that have been refined through years of practical use.
Through 4 modules of this course, you’ll learn –
Module 1 : How to make your work look inspired and fresh.
Module 2 : Discuss the importance of working with a grid, recognizing negative space, and applying suitable margins. You will also look at the element palette, font, color, images, and graphic components such as borders, bars, and backdrops.
Module 3 : You will learn how applying simple design “tricks” can give your project an air of confident professionalism.
Module 4 : Finally, learn how to respond to criticism and use it to make your project go from good to great.
For a more in-depth course (6months) see their Graphic Design Specialisation course and their Coursera Plus membership that provides access to 3000 courses.
2. Fundamentals of Graphic Design
Length : 4 weeks, approx. 15 hours | By : Michael Worthington
Led by Michael Worthington, a member of the faculty at the California Institute of Arts, the course will teach you how to implement visual, rhythm, and pattern in the design. You’ll also learn techniques of image-making, how to create your own series of images as well as how to use scale, direction, texture, weight, and space in your project.
The Fundamentals of Graphic Design course does this by breaking down the topics into four one-week segments that cover a different topic each week:
Week 1 – Fundamentals of Image-Making – The lesson shows how an image functions to convey connotative and denotative messages in the first class.
Week 2 – Fundamentals of Typography – This week’s class looks at typographical terminology and the basic rules for typography creation.
Week 3 – Fundamentals of Shape and Color – Graphic designers use shapes and colors as the fundamental building blocks of their work. In this week’s class, you will take a closer look at how they do this.
Week 4 – Fundamentals of Composition – How graphic designers use visual contrasts, cropping, direction and hierarchy with complex compositions and single images is the focus of this week’s lesson.
3. Introduction to Typography
Length : 4 weeks, 8 hours | By : Anther Kiley
Anther Kiley, an LA-based graphic designer, teaches anyone who already has a basic working knowledge of and access to Adobe InDesign how to get the most out of the program’s features and tools.
The Introduction to Typography course goes in-depth into the different areas of typography and is broken down into 4 weekly lesson plans:
Week 1: Talking type – In this week’s lesson, the course looks at typefaces, as physical artifacts as well as works of design.
Week 2: Typefaces and their Stories – Exploring how a typeface can express connotative meaning, otherwise known as how they can tell stories, is the lesson’s focus this week.
Week 3: Putting Type to Work – Learning to engage visual principles and the conventions of typesetting is the focus of this week’s class. A look at how the spaces between letters, lines, and blocks of type can be manipulated to refine their appearance is included as well.
Week 4: Making Meaningful Type – In the course’s final week, the class will look at how typography can dramatically shape the meaning of written language.
BONUS: Coursera Plus – Get the ‘Graphic Design Specialization’ Courses and 3000+ more courses
You can learn online graphic design courses with Coursera and you can get it for free for 7 days as a trial. Or for $49/month OR for $499 a year, join Coursera Plus , where the true value is.
With Coursera Plus , you can access the Graphic Design Specialization and 3,000+ other courses in various domains including business, computer science, health, personal development, humanities, and more.
- See our related post: Best 9 Coursera Courses for Creatives
Coursera Plus will save you money if you are planning on taking multiple courses over the year.
A ‘specialization’ such as this 5 part graphic design course takes an average of three months to complete, so that would save you approximately $130 over three months or $520 over the year.
Free Graphic Designing Tutorials on Domestika
Domestika is a relatively new player in the graphic design course market but they are growing quickly due to their professional teachers & high quality production.
Domestika has a whole blog post highlighting their 73+ free graphic design classes with special mention to their 10 free graphic design classes post as well as their 10 online classes for improving your illustrations .
We’ve also compiled our own top design course lists including:
- Top 10 Branding & Logo Design classes on Domestika
- Top 12 Most Popular Courses on Domestika
- Top 10 Illustration Classes on Domestika
- Top 10 UX/UI (Web Design) Courses on Domestika
Domestika Coupon Code – Save 10%
Get an exclusive 10% off with the discount coupon promo code: “JACOB_6-10”.
1. Adobe Illustrator for Graphic Design
For beginners who want to learn and work on adobe illustrator, this course from Valeria Dubin is a great solution. The course will help you to explore many tasks in graphic designing through six lessons.
The course begins with an introduction to the software and basics. It will let you know about the settings and options where you will learn the differences between the elements like pixels and vectors. From your second course, you will learn from selecting the tools to applying them to your project. It may include using and editing vectors and other tools.
2. Editorial Design: How to Make a Magazine
Domestika presents this course focusing on editorial designing. This is helpful for people with an interest in designing and printing magazines. As a beginner-friendly course, you will learn many necessary elements for creating a magazine.
Unlike many common graphic design classes, here lessons speak about ideas for the magazine, such as planning, organizing, formatting, and publications. You will get a chance to explore various processes like photography, typography, and illustrations, and help you design special editions.
With unlimited access to the course, the 16 lessons and 28 resources will help you learn about editing and designing magazines.
Free Graphic Design Courses on Udemy
Founded in 2009, Udemy is an online learning platform created to help people learn new skills. Many of the courses on Udemy can be perfect for someone looking to learn graphic design. We decided to highlight a few of these that we think you may find helpful, plus our list of the Top 10 Udemy courses.
1. Introduction to Graphic Design
Update 2023: This course is no longer free and is available for $116 .
Lectures: 27 lectures | Length : 2 hours 24 minutes | By : Anthony Isaac
This Introduction to Graphic Design class is the perfect way to learn graphic designing online. Also, it is your way into the graphic design world with practical real-world examples. You don’t need any special software or hardware to take the course. As stated by the overview, the only thing required is “an open mind and thirst for knowledge”. You will use the web-based Canva to create designs.
Designed to be a practical application course, the Introduction to Graphic Design helps provide beginners with information about the graphic design field what is and isn’t considered a design, and the process that goes into designs. If you’ve ever had an interest in graphic design, but aren’t sure if you’re ready to take a practical class, this is a good first step.
This online graphic design course is suitable for beginners or professionals. There are 27 lectures and over an hour of free content. You’ll learn all about Canva & many different graphic design skills that will prove useful in real-world projects like Logo Design or Business Card Design.
2. Learn Adobe Photoshop from Scratch
Update 2023: This course is no longer free and is available for $17.
Lectures: 37 lectures | Length : 8 hours 2 minutes | By : Eduonix Learning Solutions + Eduonix-Tech.
Created by Eduonix Learning Solutions, this program provides students with eight hours of on-demand video. It doesn’t have any specific requirements to take the class other than already having Photoshop installed on your computer. It’s a comprehensive course that introduces beginners and experienced users alike to professional Photoshop principles.
This online graphic design course is structured to provide you with hands-on software training while sharing tips and tricks that pros use. It does this by using task-based lectures and discussions about the Photoshop tools. Techniques and effects are taught through detailed process lectures. The Learn Adobe Photoshop from Scratch is a great class for anyone looking to get the most out of Adobe Photoshop.
3. Professional Logo Design in Adobe Illustrator (Free)
Lectures: 45 lectures | Length : 2 hours 22 minutes | By : Rawson Uddin
In Professional Logo Design in Adobe Illustrator , created by Rawson Uddin, students are given lifetime access to over seven hours of on-demand video courses, and a certificate of completion at the end of the course. The only recommended requirement is to have a basic knowledge of Adobe Illustrator as the course is an advanced lesson.
Throughout the course, you will learn about a plethora of topics that can help you design your own logo or maybe even start a logo design business on the side. These topics include:
- How to choose the right typeface
- Using simple shapes in a design
- Designing with negative space
- Choosing colors for the logo
- Adding other effects to your logo design
As part of course, you can download a working file to practice with as you go through the course. All in all, the Professional Logo Design in Adobe Illustrator provides a robust class for those looking to start designing logos.
4. Become a Professional Designer
If you want to start or switch career as graphic designer, then this course is a good option. The course was created by Stone River eLearning is one of the efficient ways to start as a learner. It introduces the commonly used software for designing like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Acrobat, etc.
As a beginner-friendly course, it will give you a clear idea of selections in Photoshop, formatting texts, handling the layers, and other tasks. You will also learn the principles of visual communications and graphic design.
The course is accessible on mobile to TV and will give you lifetime access. With 20.5 hours of video lectures and four resources you may download, the course will also provide a certificate after completing it. So, this graphic design course is also helpful and best for creative artists, web designers, and all similar fields.
Alison Free Online Graphic Design Courses
Any list we create would be incomplete without Alison Online on it. Taking the Visual and Graphic Design (2 modules of 1.5 to 3 hours) course on the site will earn you a test-based certificate upon completion, which can be great for anyone already studying graphic design.
If you’ve been working in graphic design for some time, you may not see the value in the completion certificate. However, if you are just starting as a graphic designer a certification in a subject can help establish credibility when trying to secure a new job or freelance project.
Founded by Mike Feerick, Alison Online offers completely free classes, but they are uncredited. This means that your current or prospective employers may not recognize the certificate of completion or diploma. Self-described as a “new world of free certified learning” Alison Online offers not only classes in graphic design but also in so many different subjects, that it’s worth checking out regardless.
Canva Graphic Design School
Canva has grown to include a design school for those who may not have that much experience with graphic design to learn the basics and helpful hints.
The Design School area of their website provides students with several resources that can benefit beginners, those with a little bit of experience, or anyone working in graphic design for quite some time. There is a great starter course for anyone looking to learn the basics of design.
The Design School from Canva is broken down into different modules for easy learning.
Piktochart – Free Fundamentals of Visual Storytelling
Lessons: 7 lessons | Length : 1 hour 30 minutes| By : Sarah Kim
While this course focuses mainly on visual storytelling, Piktochart is a useful online application that can help you create beautiful infographics, reports, presentation slides, posters, flyers, and much more.Whether you want to create striking visuals to make your communication more efficient or reach out to the audience to grow brand awareness, this simple and complete course by Sarah Kim will definitely help.
This free graphic design courses is divided into 7 lessons. An experienced instructor will show you how to use Piktochart to create and deliver a delightful visual presentation. Through the course, you’ll learn:
- How to design the content structure and create a typography poster
- How to create a color scheme in Piktochart
- How to choose and use the right icons
- How to visualize data in Piktochart
- How to choose photos and modify layout orientation
Envato-tuts+ – Adobe Illustrator for Beginners
Lessons: 20 lessons | Length : 3 hours 30 mins (approx.) | By : Daniel Walter Scott
Learning the basics and building a strong foundation are important for graphic designing. Adobe Illustrator is a popular software and this course revolved around it. The free Adobe Illustrator tutorial is perfect for beginners to quickly learn the basics of graphic designing. Even if you don’t know anything about the software and have absolutely zero knowledge in the design field, this super easy tutorial can help you develop some design and illustration skills. From the very basics like installation and setting up the software to learning about effects, patterns, shapes, logos, and other tools, you can master it all step by step.
As the modules are properly divided in the free course, you can skip to a set of videos in case you want to learn something specific. By the time you finish the course, you will be able to delightfully create patterns, drawings, logos, illustrations, and much more with ease. You will also learn to export your work for both web and print, and there are multiple exercises in the course as well.
More Paid & Free Graphic Design Courses Online
There are so many different sites out there that can help you learn more about graphic design, but I didn’t have the room to list them all. But to give you the best information to start your journey, here are a few more! If you have any other free graphic design courses to add, let me know!
- Lynda / LinkedIn Learning
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- General Assembly
- The Graphic Design School
- Springboard (UX Design / Business / Marketing) Get $500 off with code ‘CASSCREATIVE500’
- Interaction Design Foundation – Get 3 months off your first year!
Top 3 Premium Graphic Design Courses on Udemy
Special offer 70-95% off all udemy graphic design courses.
Get 70-95% off any online course from Udemy, making most classes just $10-$15.
1. The Complete Graphic Design Theory for Beginners Course (approx. 8.5hrs)
Lectures: 73 lectures | Length : 8 hours 28 minutes | By : Lindsay Marsh + Jeremy Deighan
As the name of the course suggests, The Complete Graphic Design Theory for Beginners Course tackles basic color and layout principles, visual disciplines, and typography lessons. Led by brand experience experts Lindsay Marsh and Jeremy Deighan, this Udemy offering packs 10 downloadable resources, full lifetime access, and a certificate of completion. Prepare to upgrade your approach to design and become a more critical storyteller after finishing this course.
2. Graphic Design Masterclass: Learn Graphic Design in Projects (approx. 4hrs)
Length : 45 lectures, 3 hours 55 minutes | By : Chad Neuman, Ph.D.
There’s a lot to unpack in design, and Good Creative Academy founder, Chad Neuman, understands this. Join his Graphic Design Masterclass and immediately learn how to apply graphic design strategies, create stunning gig posters, and develop captivating online ads. With four hours of on-demand video and easy access to mobile and TV, you’re sure to become a wiser designer at the end of this Udemy favorite.
This is a fairly short but succinct course that covers the essentials.
- Produce effective designs in Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.
- Apply color theory and typography practices
- Design an online ad, infographic, poster and postcard.
3. The Brand Design Masterclass – The Brand Design Process (approx. 9hr)
Length : 56 lectures, 8 hours 30 minutes | By : Lindsay Marsh
The brand design process isn’t quick or easy. Take the cue from Lindsay Marsh, Udemy’s instructor for this Brand Design Masterclass course. Like her first course on this list, the brand expert is shedding valuable insight into the complex world of design and all it entails to succeed in the industry. But unlike her first offering, she explains sketching, brand voice, portfolio creation, and more tips and tricks.
Learn Graphic Design Online: Top Paid Graphic Design Courses
Looking for the best paid graphic design courses online? Here are a few 4 more options to consider:
Business Branding (4.5 hours)
- Build a strategic brand from the ground up with Stephen on Udemy.
- Create a brand that sparks interest, connects through emotion and nurtures long-lasting and loyal relationships.
- Learn how to build a strategic brand from the ground up.
Graphic Design Fundamentals (3.5 hours)
Designed for beginner and intermediate graphic designers as well as more experienced designers looking for a brush-up on design principles.
- Identify and apply fundamental graphic design elements
- Add essential design skills to your toolkit
- Approach and manage the creative process through varied projects
A Brand Called You (Personal Branding) with Debbie Millman (4.75 hours)
You’ll learn how to make a living doing what you love—graphic design..
- Create a meaningful philosophy that will guide your career
- Present yourself in meetings and interviews
- Network and standout from your competition
- Find discipline in your approach to work
- Sell yourself with more confidence
10 Best Free Graphic Design Courses Reviewed
Watch our video to see a summary and review of the best free graphic design courses.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can i learn graphic design.
Udemy , Alison Online , and Skillshare are some places where you can learn graphic design for free.
Can you teach yourself graphic design?
Yes. With time, dedication, efforts, and a plethora of free graphic design crash courses, you can teach yourself fairly well.
Is graphic design a promising career?
Yes, it is. With a graphic design certification in your hands and your skillset, you can nail down a great job for sure.
How do I get into graphic design with no experience?
As newbie graphic designers seeking to gain experience in the industry, you can have an online presence, show off your work, get an internship, start your own project, or become a freelancer.
What software do graphic designers use?
Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Sketch, CorelDRAW, and countless more from Adobe Creative Cloud . Gather more information about the software graphic designers use here. And see the full Adobe Software List here. There’s an endless list of software that a graphic designer can use.
If you are passionate about starting a career in graphic design, the courses listed in this article will help you hone your abilities, and advance as a graphic designer. The online graphic design courses specified in this article come with both paid and free options so you can choose one that suits you the best. Also, some paid courses offer free trials for you to explore and enjoy the classes, and you can switch your courses accordingly.
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- Best FREE Online Art Classes
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- Best MasterClass Courses
- Best Courses on Skillshare
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Intro to Graphic Design with Photoshop
Enroll in this Graphic Design course to acquire knowledge to create graphics, and manipulate images and motions using Photoshop. Learn to design visual content to solve for real-time problems for free online.
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What you learn in Intro to Graphic Design with Photoshop ?
About this free certificate course.
This free Graphic Design course is designed to help you learn Graphic Design and graphic designing tool called Photoshop. With this graphic design tutorial, you will thoroughly understand the fundamentals of graphic designing and learn to work with the text, graphics, and other effects that make designing more effortless and exciting for artists, designers, and photographers. The course also comprehends a demonstration of Photoshop to help you understand better.
After this beginner-level, self-paced guide to Graphic Design and Photoshop, expand your skills with trained practice through Design Thinking Courses .
- Course Outline
This section gives the definition of graphic designing and explains its basics with examples. It includes concept of visual communication with examples. This section also discusses career opportunities and applications of graphic designing.
This section explains various graphic elements in designing and discusses characteristics like the layout, elements, typography and color of the graphics and helps you choose its best properties that suits the best to design a motion or an image.
This section gives you a demonstration to work on the aforementioned characteristics of graphic designing.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What prerequisites are required to learn this Graphic Design course?
This is a beginner-level course and requires no prerequisite knowledge. It teaches concepts from basics and equips you with the required skills.
How long does it take to complete learning Graphic Design free course?
The course contains one hour of video content that you can finish at your convenience. Great Learning Academy courses are self-paced and can be finished at your own pace.
Will I have lifetime access to this free course?
Yes, the Great Learning Academy free course comes with lifetime access. Any learner who wants to brush up on their skills can revisit and retake the course.
What are my next learning options after this course?
You can refer to the attached course study materials and work on the sample problems to strengthen your skills. Also, enthusiasts of the field can opt for Great Learning’s professional UX UI certificate course that covers all the essential skills to build your career in graphic design.
Is it worth learning Graphic Design with skills in Photoshop?
Along with understanding particular technological tools, graphic artists must develop their design abilities. Having proficiency in Photoshop will improve your employment. The possibilities are endless; you may even create graphic designs on a contract basis for others.
What is Graphic Design used for?
Graphic design is a discipline where professionals will create visual content for communication and problem-solving. The field is considered a subset of visual communication and communication design, but graphic design is sometimes used synonymously. It is a broad spectrum that includes signs, typography, drawing, graphic design, illustration, industrial design, advertising, animation, color, and electronic resources. Graphic Design is a complex task requiring you to have specific skills, design techniques, and knowledge of tools that help in graphic designing.
Why is Graphic Designing so popular?
Because visual aids are more successful at communicating ideas, graphic design aids in effective communication with the audience. Creative designs, educational visuals, or photos can more efficiently communicate ideas and concepts than text can. Using graphic design, one can develop a credible brand image.
What jobs demand that you learn Graphic Design?
There are several work prospects in various contexts in the graphic design industry. As a graphic designer, you can work as a
- Creative Director
- Production Artist
- Art Director
- Marketing Specialist
- Brand Designer
- Web Designer
- Product Developer
Will I get a certificate after completing this course?
Yes, once you finish the course modules, you can take the quiz that will reward you with a course completion certificate. The certificate showcases your skills and imparts value to your professional career.
What knowledge and skills will I gain upon completing this course?
This free course will help you to understand the fundamental concepts of Graphic Designing and imparts skills in Photoshop to work with different signs, typography, drawing, graphic design, illustration, industrial design, advertising, animation, color, electronic resources, and designing.
How much does learning Photoshop with Graphic Designing course cost?
The course is entirely free of cost. So any learner can enroll and start learning to work with Photoshop with Graphic Design course for free online.
Is there a limit on how many times I can take this Graphic Design with Photoshop course?
No, the course doesn’t set any limit to taking it. Learners can take this course as many times as they want. Hence, whenever you feel like revising your learnings, you can revisit the course and start learning again.
Can I sign up for multiple courses from Great Learning Academy at the same time?
Yes, there are 1000+ free courses you can enroll in and start learning. You can sign up for as multiple courses as you want to enroll in simultaneously with Great Learning Academy.
Why choose Great Learning Academy to learn Graphic Designing with Photoshop course?
Great Learning Academy is a comprehensive platform that provides self-paced courses in various domains. Learners take benefit from these courses in their professional careers. There are more than 5 million learners worldwide who are benefitted from these courses. This course is helpful for enthusiasts looking to develop skills in Photoshop and learn Graphic Designing. The course also provides hands-on working experience to equip you with the required skills.
Who is eligible to take this free Graphic Design course?
This free online course can cater well to you if you are an enthusiast in acquiring graphic designing skills. Anybody interested to learn graphic designing and Photoshop can take up this course.
What are the steps to enroll in this course?
You need to follow the steps below to enroll in this course:
1. Visit the Great Learning Academy homepage. 2. Search for the course in ‘Graphic Design with Photoshop’. 3. Now click on the ‘Enroll for Free’ button. 4. Register yourself with Great Learning Academy to enroll in any course by providing the required details and start learning the course for free.
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Graphic Design with Photoshop
Graphic Design is a kind of craft that allows professionals to create visual content for your company’s products and convey related messages. Graphic Design is proving to be one of the excellent career options for many. It improves the user experience and paves the way for your business growth. Designers can use visual hierarchy, page layouts, typography, and pictures to meet the user requirements and focus on presenting them in more interactive designs. You can also optimize your user experience through Graphic Design.
Graphic Design has eventually grown to a broader area with newer technology put into use. There is an enormous scope for Graphic Designers who work in user experience(UX) design. They need to be very sure about their stylistic choices, designs, image locations, etc. Hence, these designers must have a high empathy to understand the user approach towards their product and requirements. Graphic Design is related to visual design, and it is also a challenging job as you need to focus on emotional design. Because you are in the digital age, it is essential to attract your customers to your product and achieve your goals in this highly competitive world.
There are many helpful career paths available in Graphic Designing. It starts with a Junior Graphic Designer, an in-house design team under a well-established company, senior designer, art director, creative director, and more. You can also opt for freelance. Many Graphic Designers have opted for freelancing as they can work at their convenience, enjoy the freedom offered, and enjoy what they enjoy doing. Many designers with good work experience opt for freelancing after a good amount of professional experience. Some of the graduated students are also drawn towards freelance.
There is always a promising career ahead for those skilled in what they are doing. Passion with toppings of skills is what every company is looking for. If you are that candidate, there will always be a good demand for your work. There is also a good demand for Graphic designers in the marketing and advertising domain. Graphic Design ensures that you are one of the creative souls who tries bringing innovativeness in your work, leading to the betterment of the business. You can anytime startup your agency in Graphic Design and earn it for yourself rather than making money for someone else.
Photoshop is considered the standard digital tool for a variety of Graphic Design roles. Many will be knowing the basics of photoshop. But to grow your career in it, you must be a bit more skilled with broader visual design skills that can bring out innovative ideas at a professional level. Photoshop has become an integral part of Graphic Design. It is also not enough to know only Photoshop, but it is mandatory that along with other skills, you must know photoshop. Graphic Designers usually use photoshop for creative purposes and for combining images, adding texts, applying effects, or editing images to convey messages meant to be delivered.
The preliminary version of Photoshop, called Photoshop CC, is considered the best version for Graphic Design beginners. All the latest versions from the photoshop family have proven to add more value to the other requirements. Photoshop Lightroom is the best suited for photographers to flaunt their work professionally. There is also Photoshop which abides basic requirements with effectiveness. Visual designers and Graphic designers often tend to have excellent photoshop skills. It appears easy, but with the required efforts, you can master photoshop skills which will help you bring a lot of creativeness that adds to the better revenue collection for your business.
Through photoshop, design techniques are achieved more quickly and skillfully. Many design assets can be combined into simple, unique composites for your use. Layers are one of the basics of photoshop design. You can create a layer for your original artwork and include multiple images to the original one. You will become familiar with the Layers and understand their importance in designing better once you start utilizing them. There is also a flexible method of combining images through layer masks. It allows you to hide some part of the layer, like using a layer mask to replace the hazy part of the image with something new and blend it with the present design.
You can add text to your design through photoshop. You can groom these texts with creative layers to provide them with a unique look. Type layers and Typekit will help you hunt amazing fonts and other features to make your text more effective in the design. Photoshop is not only meant for photographers, and you can use vector graphics of photoshop to create shapes and logos using photoshop. Once you complete your design, save it in PSD format to save its effects and layers that can be manipulated in the future if required. You can save and export it in PDF format and share it in friendly web formats.
You can provide crazy 3D effects to your design through photoshop, fine artwork with flawless surroundings. With the right training in photoshop, one can achieve more excellent designs as it provides various exciting features to designers that help them achieve their designing goal easily. Specifically, Graphic Designers. They can achieve their goals of delivering more excellent designs for their business through photoshop. Graphic Design with Photoshop allows one to communicate well with the intended customers through the design created and ultimately sells your products at a higher rate.
If you are at a beginner level and are eager to learn Graphic Design with Photoshop in-depth, here is the full-fledged Introduction to Graphic design course, which will walk you through all the required concepts. You can also learn to edit an image with the demonstration provided. Enroll in this Graphic Design with Photoshop free course and earn the free certificate, which helps you grab better job opportunities.
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Top 33 Free Graphic Design Courses & Certifications (2022)
Certifications and courses are an important way of leveling up your skills. Here are 33 free graphic design course websites to learn and certify easily online for graphic designers.
Graphic Design is an essential skill that you need to learn if you want to communicate visually to present, share, and sell your work.
For photographers, aspiring fashion designers, creative pros, or small businesses, knowing necessary graphic design skills is vital and helps you present your work professionally. As an illustrator or artist, you may want to learn graphic design to supplement your professional skills. Or you may even want to become a professional graphic designer. Whatever be the case, there are lots of extremely affordable, and even free online graphic design courses available now for you to teach yourself graphic design on your own time and speed, without going to a graphic design school.
We have researched and put together a list of the best free graphic design classes online that you can take up, depending on your interests and goals. Starting from the basics of graphic design to typography, colors, composition, and using graphic design software , these courses offer all you need to know to improve your graphic design skills.
And while you are improving your graphic design skills, don't forget to create your graphic design portfolio website to showcase your work.
Here's the list of top 26 online graphic design courses
- Graphic Design Basics: Core Principles for Visual Design - Skillshare
- Graphic Design 101: An Overview of the Field - Skillshare
- Logo Design with Draplin: Secrets of Shape, Type, and Color - Skillshare
- Duke Graphic Design Principles Index
Skillshare has lots of in-depth graphic design tutorials available for free or through a subscription. With a Skillshare membership, you can access all the courses at a very affordable price. Most Skillshare courses are by industry experts and include video content that makes them even more engaging.
You can check out the various online graphic design courses offered on Skillshare at this link .
2. Graphic Design Basics: Core Principles for Visual Design - Skillshare
Designers Ellen Lupton and Jennifer Cole Phillips present this excellent starter course that talks about the five core principles of design . The 35-minute video class provides examples and demonstrations that you can use and apply right away on your design projects.
Perfect for beginners looking to build a solid foundation in graphic design, this course teaches you how to apply graphic design principles in real-world projects like creating logos, marketing materials, and other design projects.
3. Graphic Design 101: An Overview of the Field - Skillshare
Designer and Art Director, Mason Gentry presents this course in the form of critiques and reviews of logos, packaging, posters, book covers, motion graphics, websites, annual reports, environmental graphics, and editorial design.
Through his reviews, Mason teaches about what makes a particular design work or fail. Why the designer made the design decisions that he did? How could the design be approached differently? It's an unusual way of learning graphic design, one that you would enjoy, especially if you are an inquisitive person who always asks the question - Why?
4. Logo Design with Draplin: Secrets of Shape, Type, and Color - Skillshare
This course by Aaron Draplin is taught by using Adobe Illustration demos, which will teach you core skills to design a logo. Aaron takes up a personal project and shares the logo design process in it. He tells about the background research, geometric structure, color choice, typography, and such.
The emphasis of this graphic design class is to tell about the techniques and uses of a simple design, which leads to creating impactful logos. Graphic designers, creators, and anyone who wants to learn to design a logo can take up this course.
5. Duke Graphic Design Principles Index
Duke University, an Ivy League school in North Carolina, has put together a resource that covers all the basic design principles. Its an excellent starting point with a lot of chapters that work like mini-classes.
The course gives fascinating insights into many aspects of graphic design like How to Use Color and Type, Create Memorable Moods, Maintain Visual Consistency, and much more. The course is structured in the form of chapters that function like mini-classes.
6. AIGA: Graphic Design Theory
AIGA has a great article on the theory of graphic design, which is an essential read for anyone trying to delve into the concepts behind the practical aspects of graphic design.
7. 200+ Free & Beginner Friendly Photoshop tutorials
PhotoshopBuzz tutorials are designed easy to follow and provide multiple solutions for each problem. Theories are easy to learn, it’s all about practice.
You’ll also find some extra bonus tips that’ll help you solve problems faster in your creative process. Note: all the tutorials are free to use and are based on the latest version of Adobe Photoshop CC.
8. A Short Introduction to Graphic Design History
Another course for the ones who love their history, this course takes you to the very beginnings of graphic design as we know it today. The course delves into the history of symbols and how handwriting developed. It presents a fascinating read on typographic milestones, a history of posters and books, and the rise and fall of many of the graphic design movements like Modernism, Bauhaus, etc.
9. The Graphic Design - Visual and Graphic Design - Alison
This course on Alison is ideal for graphic design students or anyone interested in learning graphic design in general.
This insightful course explores graphic design and the design process in general and gets deeper into design elements in specific, such as lines, shape, form, and texture, and design principles like composition, balance, contrast, and hierarchy.
Alison.com also has several other free graphic design courses to help you build your skills at your own pace.
10. Introduction to Graphic Design - Udemy
Designer, Sean Berg has created this course comprising of presentations and audio lectures that focus on answering questions such as what design is and what designers do.
This beginner-level course aims at helping you understand the five fundamentals of good graphic design through exercises that demonstrate how these fundamentals get applied in the real world.
If you are interested in going beyond Photoshop tricks and just learning the software, this course is a great foundation course that would engage, inform, and excite you about graphic design.
11. Professional Logo Design in Adobe Illustrator - Udemy
This free course on Udemy from Rawson Uddin has 7.5 hours of video content that explains the design techniques and components used to create many successful logos and how to use these principles to create your own logo.
Learn the fundamentals of logo design by deconstructing famous logos and also learn how to create a great logo using Illustrator by focusing on these fundamental principals:
- Picking the right typeface
- Using simple shapes for your design
- Playing with visual elements like texture, bevels, transparency, gradients, and shadows.
- Using negative space in your logo design
- Choosing the right color palette for your logo
- Creating the final print files for the logo
12. Logo Design From Concept to Finish - Udemy
Learn how to design a logo using Adobe Illustrator in this 3-hour long video course by Lindsay Marsh.
In this course, Lindsay Marsh shows you the screen capture of her working on creating an actual logo in Illustrator and explains all the tools and processes that you can use to create a great logo in Illustrator from conception to the finished files.
In the process, Lindsay explains the essential ideas and concepts behind designing a logo, such as typography, colors, symbols, shapes, and styles.
Additional Resource : You can check out LogoDesign.Net for some amazing logo design ideas.
13. Learn Adobe Photoshop from Scratch
This 8 hours on-demand video course is a complete guide for learning Adobe Photoshop and is great for beginners and intermediate learners alike. The course structure gives a basic design introduction to start off with and then goes into detail on how to use the various Photoshop tools and features like Selection, manipulation tools, creation, and workspace tools. The course also takes you through design principles, tips, and tricks to help you get started in Photoshop.
14. Canva Design School
Canva is an online tool for creating basic graphics easily and quickly without using Photoshop, Illustrator, or any other software. Canva also has a Canva Design School section on its website that offers several resources for beginners, intermediate, and even experienced graphic designers. It has a new course on Creativity and one on creating graphics for Facebook, amongst many others.
Canva offers a free online video course called Introduction to Graphic Design .
The self-paced course is structured into four modules and covers:
- Using fonts, colors, and images
- Using backgrounds, layouts, and shapes
- Using grids, transparency, and filters
- Putting it all together
15. 99 Designs
99 Design is a great platform that connects graphic designers with clients and helps them generate new work. 99 Designs also have a great blog with tons of articles with inspiration and business tips for designers. There is an in-depth Learn section as well in the blog that has hundreds of tutorials and articles on mastering everything from color and typography to logo design and Illustrator.
16. Illustration and Design Courses by Envato Tuts+
Envato Tuts+ offers over 851 hours of tutorials for designers that cover the whole gamut of topics, including Illustrator, Photoshop, Cinema 4D, Rhino, and many more. Tuts+ has a $19/month subscription that gives you access to hundreds of step-by-step tutorial videos on courses ranging from Adobe Creative Suite elements, coding, and web design.
Coursera has a lot of online courses from some of the best graphic design schools, such as Stanford and Yale, that you can access for free. If you want your work reviewed and get an online graphic design degree at the end of a course, there is a fee. However, you can get the graphic design course material for free by choosing the "Audit this course" option.
Check out the best graphic design courses offered by Coursera.
18. Ideas from the History of Graphic Design
This course taught by Louise Sandhaus and Lorraine Wild from the California Institute of the Arts is targeted at beginners and students interested in learning from and about the history of visual communication.
The course traces the history of design and how it emerged as a recognized practice. The course also explains how designers approach specific design problems in their work and why things look the way they do.
If you are a design enthusiast, then this course is the perfect springboard to initiate you into learning more about the world of design.
19. Fundamentals of Graphic Design
This 4-week course for beginners is taught by Michael Worthington, Faculty in Graphic Design from the California Institute of the Arts.
This course uses visual examples to teach you the fundamental principles and foundational skills of graphic design: typography, composition, working with images, color theory, and shapes.
This course emphasizes hands-on participation and has many design exercises and practical projects that you can do yourself.
Kadenze, like Coursera, provides courses on art, music, design, and creative technologies. As in Coursera, you can choose the 'Audit Course' Course' option to get access to the course materials for free.
21. Graphic Design History: An Introduction
This 7-session, adaptive course taught by Brockett Horne and Ellen Lupton, authors and leading faculty at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), is targeted towards beginners.
The course introduces the history of graphic design and answers questions like how did graphic design evolve as a discipline and what are the current and future design trends . The course covers everything from fonts and letterforms to posters and brands.
You can also test your knowledge through short quizzes, and practice your design skills by taking up the creative exercises prompted in the course.
22. Introduction to Graphic Illustration
This 5-sessions, the adaptive course is taught by Junichi Tsuneoka from the Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle. The course focuses on how you can take your design skills and grow them into professional, marketable illustrations .
This course will help you to explore how you can translate your visual ideas into high-quality illustrations. The course also delves through a series of projects into how you can develop your illustration abilities to produce and distribute illustrations.
This course is for intermediate designers who possess basic drawing skills and have a basic understanding of how to use digital tool skills such as Adobe Illustrator or Adobe Photoshop, as well as an understanding of fundamental design theory.
CreativeLive is an excellent resource that offers a range of online courses geared towards designers and artists to advance their creative skills. While many of the classes are paid, you can get good deals on many of them. There are a few free classes, as well.
These online courses are taught live by professional instructors over the span of a few days and include HTML and CSS for designers, an introduction to typography, fundamentals of Adobe programs, and more.
24. Thinking like a book designer with Jessica Helfand, Michael Bierut - CreativeLive
There are a lot of elements that go into designing a book, this course is designed to help you in that. Book designing is also important to learn graphic design. This online course by CreativeLive has lessons on the history and approaches to book design, how book design can be made engaging and entertaining, and working with grids, grid systems, and text, among others. Abbott and Miller also share their personal book projects in the form of a case study and behind-the-scenes interviews with professional designers working at publishing company Random House and studio Pentagram.
25. Branding 101: The Complete Toolkit - CreativeLive
This graphic design course is taught by Danielle McWaters, who runs a studio specializing in branding. The class will help you learn how to represent a brand visually. This will be done by defining the vision, core values and the positioning of a brand. One of the best graphic design courses, it will help you to make a brand stand out.
26. Invitations in Photoshop - CreativeLive
By making use of Photoshop as a tool, this class will teach you how to make memorable art. Invitations are an important thing to design as they remind of the most important event in people's lives. After taking this class, you will be able to finalize the design based on its look and feel, work with text and image, find creative assets, establish a hierarchy in designs, and do a lot more.
27. Basics of Packaging Design in Illustrator - CreativeLive
This graphic design class on packaging will help you create packaging dielines through Illustrator. Jason Hoppe, the instructor of this course is a certified Adobe instructor. He teaches the terminology used in packaging like dielines, trim, bleed, knockout, etc. From this tutorial, you will how to make a grid structure and set up all the panels and flaps, among other things to finally make a package for the industry.
28. Graphic Design Courses at Linkedin Learning (previously Lynda.com)
Lynda.com has hundreds of free courses in graphic design that you can choose from. There are paid courses as well that you can access for a small subscription fee of around $20/month. There is a free one month trial, which should be enough for you to access and study the top courses.
29. Graphic Design Foundations: Color - Linkedin Learning
Color plays an important role for designers and artists. The course will help graphic designers to use colors effectively to tell and story and make stunning designs. The role of color in forming a brand identity and how it affects the mood of the viewer will be taught to you by Mary Jane Begin, a professor in Rhode Island School of Design.
30. Photography for Graphic Designers - Linkedin Learning
This course is for graphic designers but about the role of photography in graphic design and how to effectively handle it. It starts by explaining the logistical and legal aspects and goes on to cover the permission and releases, layout, budgeting and more. The course also covers photography which is required for being used in print pieces.
31. Designing an Infographic - Linkedin Learning
Infographics are used to show complicated data in an easy to understand and visually appealing way. This online graphic design course will help you use Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, and Excel to analyze the data, plot locations, and build a timeline. This information will be made by using compelling fonts, colors, and backgrounds.
GoSkills has a selection of professional courses available on a free trial or a subscription. With a GoSkills subscription, you can get access to all courses at an affordable price. All GoSkills courses are expert-led, bite-sized, and on-demand, enabling you to learn any time and anywhere. Each bite-sized lesson comes with a quiz, exercise file, and cheat sheet so you can test and put your knowledge into practice immediately.
33. Illustrator Basic - GoSkills
Visual Designer for Major League Baseball and WWE, Eric Vasquez takes budding graphic designers on a tour of the tools that are at their disposal in Adobe Illustrator. In 41 practical tutorials, learners will gain a fundamental understanding of software and learn techniques that will help them bring their creations to life efficiently.
With so many affordable options for online graphic design courses available, learning graphic design is easier and more accessible than ever. You do not need to invest time, money, and resources in enrolling in a full-time course at a design school and getting a degree in graphic design to take up graphic design as a profession. For creative pros, it's a great opportunity to add graphic design skills to their repertoire, keep up with the latest graphic design trends, and present their work professionally.
So go ahead and pick an online graphic design course that excites you and gets cracking at become a great graphic designer.
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How To Learn Graphic Design (Even If You’re A Beginner)
Are you wondering how you can start learning graphic design? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Maybe you’ve been wanting to make a career change to a more creative profession or need to add another skill to your CV—regardless of the reason, the importance is to take the first step.
Read on to learn more about the foundation of design as you begin your design journey, along with inspirational content to discover why taking a graphic design course could be beneficial for you and more!
Step 1: Learn the History of Graphic Design
By learning design history, its movements and designers, you’ll become more informed and appreciate not only the work of past designers but also take inspiration from current design practices. This will allow you to diversify your taste and learn about what makes good design. As you navigate the different design disciplines, start to pick areas that you’re drawn to and learn more about that subject to discover where your passions lie and areas you want to explore further.
As a designer, you will dedicate your life to learning new techniques and processes. Having knowledge of design history will enrich your skills as a designer as you learn more about the profession and past design movements. Knowledge of past movements and designers will enrich your skills, inform your approach to new projects and serve as inspiration for the work that you will create.
There are many places where you can get started with your design history knowledge, from podcasts to documentaries and design books. Want to get started building your own design library? We’ve curated this list of both classics and newer releases that can be a great starting point of important books to start reading. To get you started, be sure to add these five to your list:
- Graphic Design School: covers the essentials of visual design, theory and practical examples with case studies covering both print and digital.
- History of Graphic Design Vol 1 : is a great starting point for your graphic design studies. This first volume from Jens Müller is a comprehensive history of 70 years of graphic design, designers and developments from the late 19th century to after the Second World War.
- History of Graphic Design Vol 2 : is a comprehensive resource on the history of designing from the 1960s until the mid-2010s explaining the work of prominent designers like Massimo Vignelli, Paula Scher and Stefan Sagmeister, providing you a concise summary of key figures in design.
- 100 Ideas That Changed Graphic Design : gives an overview of the most influential ideas within the world of design from the 19th and early 20th centuries, highlighting key ideas and providing valuable insights that shaped post-war consumer society.
- Graphic Design Visionaries : goes beyond theory and focuses on 75 designers that shaped history, sharing their stories and important works. The book covers the development of design, mid-century design, corporate branding, typography, magazine design and iconic posters.
For more book suggestions, check out Shillington’s Book Club recommendations where Shillington teachers share their favorite books from their own personal libraries. And for some more inspiration, explore Design History 101 in the Throwback Thursday series on our blog for brief lessons on design legends like Aaron Douglas, Louise Fili, Alan Kitching, Emory Douglas and many more.
Step 2: Master the Design Principles & Process
Graphic design is the effective visual communication of an idea or concept. Design is all around us—from food packaging and logos to billboard posters—design is a daily part of our lives, enticing us to buy a product or helping with an everyday task like using an app on your phone.
Every designer knows the 5 key principles of design which are alignment, repetition, contrast, hierarchy and balance. These principles help to create a cohesive design, stability, organization, consistency, impact and a clear message. By following these fundamental principles, designers can solve visual and conceptual problems as a part of the design process , from the research to the idea generation and final outcome that answers the client brief.
In order for a piece of design to be successful, it needs to adhere to these fundamental design principles and how each one works together. Alignment helps to create a more cohesive and orderly design. And through repetition, the design is strengthened by tying the elements together through association, creating a familiar and consistent visual style.
On the other hand, contrast is a method to create emphasis within a design for impact, which can be seen in color choices, scale, or making specific text bold thereby creating a central focal point. To create an organization in your design, hierarchy helps to create a system where each element is organized according to its level of importance.
And, to achieve balance, the design needs to have structure through either symmetry or tension. Next time you’re looking at a design online or out on the street, try an exercise and see if you can identify these principles.
Step 3: Enrol in a Graphic Design Course
Want to learn graphic design? One very eays way of doing this is to enrol in a graphic design course.
Any graphic design course worth its salt will teach you everything you need to know about graphic design and set you up to head out into the world as a graphic designer.
But if you don’t want to spend years training for your new career, you’ll need a graphic design course that will get you working as a graphic designer as quickly as possible—and we have the perfect course for you.
Shillington’s graphic design course is the best way to become a graphic designer. Our innovative approach to graphic design education means you’ll be on your way to a new creative career in no time. With an industry relevant curriculum, our course teaches aspiring designers all the skills and expertise and all important portfolio they need to work as a graphic designer in just three months full-time or nine months part-time.
Step 4: Geek Out On Typography
Typography relates to the way copy is formatted and arranged within a layout and plays a pivotal role in graphic design. Type includes typefaces, point sizes, line-spacing, letter-spacing and kerning. As you navigate your way through design, you’ll learn about the differences between a sans serif and a serif, deepen your knowledge of typefaces and learn which fonts pair well with one another.
Typography gives character to a brand and is crucial to all communications, from magazine copy to advertisements and logos. By understanding typography, you’ll be able to justify typographic choices in your own work and how it can elevate the design. Apart from being central to the communication of ideas, type gives the design a specific mood through the tone of voice.
Type can be created by hand or digitally, but it’s also worth noting the different specializations within typography. Let’s review lettering, typeface design and typesetting in detail to learn more about each one:
- Lettering: custom-drawn letterforms created either by hand or digitally that can be used for logos, murals, signs, album artwork, advertising, products, wedding invitations and more.
- Typeface Design: is the creation of type characters that can be the full set from A-Z (along with numerals, punctuation, accents). Although some typefaces contain the full set, others can be limited to just upper case or only lowercase. The characters are created within a vector-based program like Adobe Illustrator before transitioning to an application like Fontographer for further refinement.
- Typesetting: is the process of laying out text within a layout, whether it’s a newspaper, brochure or magazine. The typesetter usually works with large blocks of text and establishes a hierarchical structure for the headings, quotes, captions and so on.
If you’re finding yourself curious about typography and possibly experimenting with letterforms, then why not explore some Instagram accounts to further familiarize yourself with some awesome creatives. We’ve compiled this list of Instagram accounts for type lovers and you should give these accounts a follow.
Step 5: Study the Fundamentals of Color
Color affects the mood and personality of a design. The best way to learn about color combinations is to look at the work of other designers and studios. You can then begin to create your own inspiration boards with color palettes that invoke different moods. You can also explore Adobe’s Color CC to further experiment with various color combinations. Palettes can be created from photos, prints, patterns or any other graphics that you find.
Color is such an important part of design because it can be used to affect the mood of design and the brand, being used as a tool to persuade and entice. Designers learn about the meaning of each color, color combinations and how the palettes can be used for emotive impact. When selecting colors for a design, it’s important to have a solid foundation of color and the science behind it. By understanding color theory, the designer can make the proper choice in the color selections to ensure the brand stands out and is relevant to the target audience.
The book Color Now: Color Combinations for Commercial Design Color is an excellent resource to help guide you in making thoughtful decisions about color use, color combinations and examples of successful projects for inspiration. By looking closely into the psychology of color, associations and its application, this book is your go-to manual for research and inspiration. Perhaps after reading this book, you’ll look at ads or apps more critically, and then learn to apply the concepts within your own work, ensuring the color palettes you select evoke an emotion that is aligned with the brand and audience.
Download our “Guide to a career in Graphic Design”
The Ultimate Guide on how to learn Graphic Design even if you are a beginner.
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Step 6: Learn Design Terminology
As you start learning more about graphic design, it’s also important to become acquainted with the terminology so that you can speak the same language as other designers. We’ve put together a list of 120 design terms to help you understand the meaning behind each one.
A few common terms you may have heard of include the golden ratio, rule of thirds, hierarchy, kerning, leading, tracking and x-height. By becoming fluent with the common design terms, you’ll be able to understand the “design speak” when meeting with other designers as well as communicating with your team.
Step 7: Master Design Programs
As a designer, you’ll need to learn the basics of the Adobe Creative Cloud (Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop) and Sketch to learn how to work with them together to create everything from a logo to a poster or a book. By mastering the essential design programs, you’ll be able to tackle client briefs with ease. The top four you need to start with include:
- Adobe Illustrator: is a vector-based program that allows you to create shapes and draw using the pen tool. The great thing about the tool is that it allows you to create a broad range of artwork from logos to icons and illustrations. Plus, each graphic can be reproduced and expanded to any size since it’s a vector.
- Adobe InDesign: is a layout tool that can be used for both digital and print, working cohesively with Photoshop and Illustrator. As the industry standard, it’s a powerful program for creating multi-page documents, creating master pages and paragraph styles that can be used to create everything from magazines to brochures.
- Adobe Photoshop: is a powerful program used by many creative professionals from designers to developers and photographers. The purpose of the program is for image editing, retouching, image manipulation and creating compositions.
- Figma: is the standard for digital designers. A digital design (UI and UX) application for vector design and prototyping.
Step 8: Get Creatively Inspired
Looking through design blogs , design books , creative magazines and social media (Instagram, Pinterest, Behance) is a good starting point to discover what type of aesthetic you gravitate towards. By learning from the work of other designers, you start to learn about different styles and current trends. Over time you’ll begin to develop your own personal style based on your interests.
As a creative, it’s good to know what the latest trends are and what other designers are creating. By following blogs, you can get your dose of inspiration and maybe get a few new ideas in the process. We’ve put together this amazing resource of 50 blogs on art and design that you can explore so that you can stay up to date on what’s going on in the creative space, as well as push your creative projects forward. Here are a few to get you started:
- Create by Adobe : a magazine by creatives, for creatives—available online and as a mobile app. Visit them for inspiration and tutorials on photography, illustration, graphic design, web design, motion graphics, audio/video, branding and more.
- 99U : started by Adobe which is aimed at helping creative professionals within their careers. The practical articles offer guidance on productivity, positive work habits, work & life balance, personal branding, leadership and much more.
- Wix Creative : offers great content for creatives, from inspiration to tips and resources with helpful guides on topics from mood boards to creating an online portfolio.
- It’s Nice That : is a popular industry resource for top articles on design, art and illustration around the world.
- The Inspiration Grid : an online magazine that showcases global creative talent, providing you with the best in art, photography, illustration, design and typography.
To learn more about studios and other designers, take a look at the I Love These Geniuses selections from Shillington bootcamp students and staff from around the world to find out about the creatives who inspire them.
As any creative knows, Instagram is full of visual delight from illustration to lettering, photography and design. As the third most popular social media platform, it’s the perfect go-to for your daily inspiration and to connect with other creatives. To help you get started, take a look at our curated list of 100 Instagram accounts to follow to discover your new favorite creative.
Our next place to browse for inspiration, research and creating mood boards is on Pinterest. It’s the perfect platform to discover new boards and create themed boards that you can reference later or share with a friend. To save you time, we’ve put together our top 100 Pinterest accounts for graphic design inspiration that you can start following now and begin creating your own boards today.
And lastly, Behance is our next source for inspiration where you can discover top designers, typographers, digital artists and studios. Explore this list of 60 Designers on Behance that we think you should know about and bookmark for future reference.
Step 9: Get Social
Social media platforms like Dribbble , Behance and Instagram are great resources for not only discovering the work of other creatives but an opportunity to connect with other designers from around the world that you admire. By regularly publishing your work on these channels, you’ll be sure to get your work noticed by other designers. These platforms allow you to share your work and receive feedback for an ongoing exchange which can help you grow as a designer and possibly land your next job.
You never know what can develop from a new connection and find an unexpected opportunity. Through social media, you can exchange in conversations with other designers, share your latest work and ask for feedback from someone you admire. Stay engaged, join groups and follow companies that you respect. Want some tips on mastering your social media strategy and deciding which channels you should be sharing your work on? Then read this list of tips for Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Facebook and portfolio websites.
Step 10: Submit your Work
Once you start producing your own work, updating your online presence should be an ongoing part of your overall strategy to ensure you gain visibility and get your latest projects noticed by other designers, recruiters and agencies. This is the first step to getting your work seen! Though social networks like the ones mentioned above are good places to share your designs, they’re not the only places where you should be showcasing your talents. Reach out to other sites such as blogs and online magazines to gain visibility with a broader audience.
There are a lot of websites out there and you may be wondering what are the best places to submit to? To help you out, we’ve put together a list of 40 design blogs you can familiarize yourself with and submit your work to. Here’s a preview of five favorites you can start with:
- Creative Review : the leading publication in showcasing the latest design work and supporting new talent. To submit your work, contact their editorial team.
- Visuelle : your go-to resource for graphic designers around the world for a daily dose of visual inspiration. To be considered, email [email protected]
- Creative Boom : has been the key player in celebrating creativity and curating a wide range of work from various disciplines. It’s also an amazing blog for expert tips and industry insights. To submit your project for consideration, go to their guidelines page.
- Eye On Design : one of the oldest associations for design in the United States and has a huge membership base. Their Eye On Design blog is the perfect destination to discover emerging and established designers. To apply, reach out to past blog contributors to be considered.
- Design by Women : founded by graphic designer Mary Hemingway and aims to showcase and champion female creatives from around the world, as well as to inspire other women. If you’re a creative working in design and identify as female, get in touch with Design by Women for a feature.
Getting your design work featured in magazines and blogs is an incredible way to advance, but equally, submitting to awards can help with gaining international exposure. A few popular design awards you can look into are The Design Kids Awards , Indigo Awards , AGDA , Creative Design Awards , Adobe Design Achievement Awards , Young Guns and the D&AD New Blood Awards .
Step 11: Join Design Groups and Network
By attending design events (now virtually!), joining global and local design groups and professional organizations, you can network with other creatives to build your connections in the industry. By connecting with and learning from fellow designers, you can create long-lasting friendships and potentially find a mentor (which is great even if you’re not a beginner) who can help you in your design career.
As a creative, especially when you’re a beginner first getting started, you’ll need to continue learning as much as you can and network. But of course, the learning never ends, especially when you want to ensure your long term success. As technology is constantly evolving, you too need to learn about the software, new techniques and ways to be a more efficient designer. Taking a design course is an important step in gaining practical knowledge and building a portfolio, but the learning doesn’t end beyond school. As a designer, you need to stay curious and continue self-training.
A few popular creative events you can bookmark to stay in the loop about future happenings are:
- Adobe Max : offers live and on-demand content that you can watch on topics relating to creativity, technology and entertainment—with over 300 sessions to watch, there’s plenty to choose from depending on your interests.
- Adobe 99U : the annual conference is aimed at inspiring creatives through keynote speakers, workshops, talks and masterclasses so that you can reinvigorate your work with new ideas and network with other creatives. Some famous past speakers include Debbie Millman, Adam Kurtz, Tina Roth Eisenberg and Michael Bierut.
- Nicer Tuesdays : monthly event with talks featuring four speakers from around the world that talk about their latest project. Every month there’s an incredible line-up of speakers you should not miss.
- Creative Mornings : hosts virtual events in cities around the world centered on a different monthly theme. They also provide a platform called FieldTrips which are meetups where you can interact with others, learn and collaborate.
- Wix Playground : hosts monthly events that include workshops, talks and portfolio reviews hosted by creatives for designers. Topics covered include type inspiration, illustration and talks with well-known creatives about their career to name a few.
- Ladies, Wine & Design : is a global group started by Jessica Walsh with the aim of promoting diversity in the creative industry and creating a space inclusive of all women. Through the group, there is a free mentorship offering, along with portfolio reviews and creative meetups.
For local design events in your home city, check out the Design Event listing on the Shillington blog.
Step 12: Explore Creative Career Paths
As you’re learning more about graphic design, start thinking about the type of creative work you’re interested in. The design industry is constantly evolving and an exciting career to pursue. As a designer, no day is ever the same and you will be tackling a wide variety of projects at a fast pace. A job as a graphic designer is in high demand with some impressive starting salaries and a promising trajectory.
While you’re in the exploratory stage and learning more about design, start thinking about the type of work you want to specialize in, such as UX/UI Designer, Visual Designer, Digital Designer, Creative Director, 3D Designer, VR Designer, Muralist, Product Designer, Motion Designer, Animator and so on.
There’s nothing better than working in a field that you love and are passionate about. It’s exciting to have so many different career options to choose from as a creative once you’ve acquired the training . If you start off as a junior designer, your career can progress to an art director and after a few years in the industry, you may choose to go freelance or start your own studio. If you didn’t start off in a creative industry, it’s not too late to change paths.
Want to hear from other designers who took the plunge and changed careers? Find out about their stories and discover how they were able to change from working in various professions like marketing to accounting and become a full-time designer.
Learning graphic design offers many opportunities in the type of work that you can be doing. To help you decipher the world of design and the different areas you can take in your professional career, we broke it down into several parts:
- Branding/Visual Identity Designer: whether it’s an individual, startup or small company, every business has its unique story to tell. As a designer, you would work with the client to develop the brand identity to bring the brand to life.
- Advertising & Marketing Designer: as advertising is all around us, from billboard posters to social media ads and Youtube advertisements, the advertising designer’s role is to create a concept that is targeting the demographic of the product.
- Digital Designer: refers to design produced on a screen and covers everything from User Interface (UI) for websites to apps. As a digital designer, you will be working on all the visual elements for the digital experience. Based on your design, UI developers code to bring the final product to life.
- Product Designer: as a product designer you are part of the entire design process for the product and can be in one of these roles—Interaction or UX Designer, Graphic or Visual Designer, User Researcher, Data Analyst, Prototyper or Business Strategist.
- Editorial Designers: are responsible for the design of magazines or books, such as creating a cover, layout and graphics. As an editorial designer, you’re responsible to convey the idea of the editorial.
- Packaging Designers: make a significant impact on the visibility of the brand in the market through creating the packaging for a new brand or redesigning old packaging which can greatly impact the brand image and boost product sales.
- Typeface Designers: combine their knowledge of typography to create typefaces. As you already know, typography is an integral part of visual communication and typographers are essential to design and know the ins and outs of typography. Looking to familiarize yourself with some of the best type foundries? Multidisciplinary designer Tobias van Schneider shares his picks of some of his favorites from Milieu Grotesque to Hoefler & Co.
- Human-Centered Design: is also known as design thinking that informs all facets of design and the design process—identifying the problem and then finding the solution. Essentially finding an effective way to solve the design problem.
- Design for Good: focuses on the user as part of human-centered design and social change for positive impact and making the world a better place.
- Ad Agency or In-House Marketing Design: when you’re beginning as a designer, you may ask yourself if you want to work at a studio, ad agency or in-house for a company. Of course with the choice you make there are always positives. With an in-house role, you will be part of the team and work according to the brand guidelines, becoming an expert in the overall direction of the brand. However, working at an agency you’ll work across a broad range of products and get to apply your knowledge and skills in different industries.
- Freelancer: want to go freelance after graduating? It’s an excellent path if you want to work from anywhere in the world! Working as a freelancer comes with additional responsibilities where you have to find clients, handle contracts and build your own brand. To learn more, hear from the Liverpool designer Matt Pealing who offers some advice on how to succeed as a freelance designer and what tactics you can use to build up your client list.
Step 13: Start a Passion Project
Passion projects are a wonderful way to develop a new skill that is outside of your comfort zone or start a self-initiated project that is connected to what you’re passionate about. The work that you develop can turn into an interesting series and a future addition to your portfolio.
If you’re in need of some creative inspiration and have the time to start something new, take a look at these six approaches to start a new project, either solo or to collaborate with another creative. Apart from learning new skills or collaborating with another creative, you can start with self-initiated timed experiments, creative or design challenges.
As with any project that you initiate on your own, don’t put too much pressure on yourself, allow yourself to experiment freely and make this a time for play. To get those ideas flowing, you can browse other designer portfolios, explore creative blogs and scroll through Pinterest or Instagram. For some ideas on creative projects, check out this list that Format put together for seven design projects to get those creative juices flowing regardless of your background.
The graphic design track can be perfect for you if you have a creative eye and an endless curiosity about the world around you. By committing yourself to a practice of learning and applying the skills you learn daily, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a graphic designer. You may even want to deepen your knowledge and gain a certificate in graphic design so that you can advance your skills even further and set yourself apart from the competition.
Are you ready to take the leap and launch a fulfilling career that excites you? Find out about the upcoming full-time, part-time and online graphic design courses at Shillington. You’ll learn the skills needed to become a graphic designer and develop a polished portfolio , ready to start a new career in just nine months or less.
Want to learn more about our graphic design course?
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Dina Shirin February 9, 2023
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How to Learn Graphic Design: A U.S. News Guide
Learn graphic design skills online and gain practical experience while creating portfolio pieces..
U.S. News & World Report Education takes an unbiased approach to our recommendations. When you use our links to buy products, we may earn a commission but that in no way affects our editorial independence.
Provider : Coursera
Cost : $39 per month after free trial
Skill Level : Beginner
Provider : Udemy
Cost : $124.99
Provider : GoSkills
Cost : $299
If you want to learn graphic design, the tools are at your fingertips. You can pick up these skills on YouTube or in online courses and make logos, posters, social media graphics and more.
“There is no budget limitation to becoming a graphic designer,” says Lindsay Marsh, graphic design instructor at online learning sites Udemy and Skillshare.
Here’s a closer look at graphic design and what classes can help you get started.
Understand How Graphic Designers Work
Graphic designers use visuals, text and color to communicate a message.
“When you're a graphic designer, you’re selling a product or a service; you’re not just creating pretty stuff,” Marsh says. “There is intentionality to everything you create. There’s a sales goal. There’s a communication goal.”
Because graphic design is such a broad field, there are few limitations on the types of projects designers do.
“You hired a graphic designer (and) they did your business cards, your logo, they might even design your website,” says Daniel Walter Scott, digital designer and lead software trainer at Bring Your Own Laptop.
While graphic designers are in charge of their designs, they may collaborate with copywriters, photographers, studio managers and others throughout the process. The amount of teamwork depends on their work environment.
Freelance designers work directly with the client and wear many hats. They often take on more stress, Scott says, because freelancers have to manage every step of the project, from designing to billing. Additionally, budgets are usually smaller for freelance work.
Agency work tends to involve bigger budgets and projects, more collaboration, and less client interaction. Agency designers may have less creative control over a project, Scott says, but they’re given clear parameters to work within.
“In an agency, you’re allowed to focus as a designer a lot more,” he says.
To understand what clients want, designers need a clearly written brief, a plan that lays out the project’s goals and scope. Having a marketing or business background can help designers understand the brief and how they can execute it.
The brief also defines the tone of the project, its target audience and the competition. To start a project, designers might put together mood boards – collections of color swatches, magazine pages and other media – for inspiration.
“There is a problem to be solved,” Scott says. “And it can be really tough in the beginning if you don’t get a clear brief, then you have no idea what you’re solving.”
Throughout the process, feedback from clients is essential and keeps the project on track.
“When there’s a clear brief, the feedback can often be a lot more concise, and it might be just a different interpretation of what was delivered,” Scott says.
Looking for more course options?
Learn Graphic Design Theory and Basic Principles
Start learning graphic design by exploring the theory involved in making design decisions.
Key topics within design theory include color theory, typography, contrast and scale, balance, alignment, proximity, rhythm, and design psychology. Different teachers may emphasize different aspects of each topic, so it's important to seek multiple sources of information.
Lessons span from copyright and trademark laws in design to Pantone and other color systems, the psychology of color in branding, and past and current design trends.
To complement beginner courses, reading graphic design books is a great way to learn about the field. Check out some of the books below.
- “Graphic Design School: The Principles and Practice of Graphic Design” by David Dabner, Sandra Stewart and Eric Zempol gives an overview of the visual communications field, with a focus on design specialties.
- “Burn Your Portfolio: Stuff They Don't Teach You in Design School, But Should” by Michael Janda is a practical guide for the industry.
- For learning the tools of branding, “Designing Brand Identity” by Alina Wheeler guides readers through defining a brand.
- “Thinking with Type” by Ellen Lupton is a guide for how to use typography in visual communication.
- “Logo Modernism” by Jens Muller and R. Roger Remington explores logos, modernism and graphic design in relation to corporate identity.
- For a look into how graphic designers approach their work, “How to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer” by Debbie Millman examines design psychology through interviews with pivotal designers.
What Design Tools Should You Learn?
Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator and After Effects are widely used for graphic design.
The Adobe Creative Cloud products enable designers to work on photography, design, video, web and user experience creations. A subscription to the Adobe collection of more than 20 apps and services costs around $50 a month for an individual.
“Adobe is clearly the No. 1 software of choice,” Marsh says.
Affinity also has photo editing, desktop publishing and graphic design software. Affinity products cost around $50 each and aren’t bundled like Adobe’s. The products include Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer and Affinity Publisher, which are comparable to Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, respectively.
Spending a lot on software might not be necessary. Lessons on general design topics typically aren’t tied to a particular type of software.
“I have a lot of students from developing countries who don’t have the financial resources to go to a two- or four-year institution,” Marsh says. “But they can come and take a Udemy class, pay $10, pay $15, find cheaper alternative software and they can literally start a career, or start making money for their family.”
Both Adobe and Affinity offer free trials of their products. Additionally, beginners can opt to use free graphic design software available online, including Canva for simple designs, Vectr and Inkscape for vector graphics like logos, and GIMP for cross-platform photo editing.
To get more experience using the software, look for design challenges online. Scott runs challenges for his students to design works of their own, receive feedback and ultimately create portfolio pieces. Other design challenge resources include Sharpen.Design, a random design challenge generator, and Briefz, a project brief idea generator.
After you have the software, the only prerequisites to learning graphic design are passion and a laptop, Marsh says.
Get to Know Adobe Photoshop
Designers use Photoshop to manipulate photos and digital graphics. Photoshop courses teach you how to edit photos by working with layers, shapes, colors, text, cropping, retouching, masking, shadows, filters, smart objects and more.
In Marsh's Adobe masterclass, she includes a lesson on using Photoshop to create YouTube thumbnails and images for other social media.
Look for courses based on your skill level. Don’t start with a masterclass, which is usually the more intensive option, if you’re a beginner, Scott says. Instead, consider courses with “essential” in the name.
You can also find free Photoshop courses and lessons on YouTube.
Get to Know Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Illustrator lets designers create illustrations, icons, typography and logo designs for branding. The program uses vector graphics, images created with mathematical formulas. These images can be enlarged without affecting their appearance, making them well-suited for responsive web designs, referring to designs that adjust to different screen sizes.
Marsh teaches Illustrator with tracing worksheets for students to practice tracing shapes. Look for free Illustrator courses on YouTube to get an introduction.
Get to Know Adobe InDesign
InDesign is a program used to create layouts and page designs for print and digital media. Designers use the software for magazines, books, posters, brochures, interactive PDFs and more. InDesign tools let you style graphics, images, text and tables to create appealing layouts. Look for beginner tips for InDesign on YouTube.
Get to Know Adobe After Effects
After Effects is for creating film special effects, infographics, motion graphics designs and moving type. You can practice by creating animated pie charts and bar graphs, lower thirds graphics, opening credits, and other animations. Look for beginner courses on After Effects on YouTube.
Get to Know Adobe XD
Adobe XD is for user experience tasks like experience designing , prototyping, and sharing user experiences for web and mobile.
“My most popular course on Udemy by far is my UX course for Adobe XD; it’s crazy big,” Scott says.
Other experience design software include Figma , InVision Studio and Sketch .
Graphic Design vs. UX Design vs. UI Design
Here’s a look at UI and UX design and how they relate to graphic design.
UI Design: User interface design focuses on the look of websites and apps, including the text, colors and images, and function of elements like icons, buttons and responsive design.
UX Design: User experience is the way someone interacts with a company and its products and services. Therefore, the user experience design of a web-based product focuses on how it makes users feel and whether they can easily accomplish a desired task.
UI and UX designers help companies achieve the goals they set for their web pages or an app. For example, if the company wants people to sign up for a newsletter, Scott says, the UI designer finds ways to steer people toward that choice and the UX designer helps quantify how well different options are working. Often, the same person is responsible for a product’s UI and UX design.
To test whether certain elements are effective, these designers create a hypothesis, conduct A/B testing and gather feedback throughout. “(Clients) don't just want things that look good based on the trust of the designer,” Scott says. “They want the designer to prove what works best, and that ends up happening through user testing.”
Having UI/UX skills may increase your chances of getting hired.
“Graphic design is a harder industry to be in these days because traditional print is not around as much and the real value of being a designer has been shifted to UI/UX,” Scott says. But for someone with a graphic design background to learn UI/UX design, it’s not a big hurdle, he adds.
How to Build a Portfolio
One of the easiest ways to develop a portfolio is to take online courses with built-in projects.
Look for courses that assign homework rather than just take you through slides, Scott says. Doing practical assignments gives you experience using the software.
A strong portfolio expresses the type of work you want to do, Scott says, so create pieces for the job you want. Even if you want to work in print media, you need a digital portfolio, he says. Only rarely will an employer ask for a printed copy of your portfolio.
Having an online presence is also important and can help you find a community of graphic designers and other artists to share ideas and feedback. To improve your work, you must take criticism.
“If you look at something for so long without getting someone else’s eye on it, you lose focus,” Marsh says. “You lose that outsider’s perspective.”
Designers can look for these communities on social media, and Marsh suggests seeking out local creatives to meet with at coffee shops. On sites like Behance and Dribbble , you can post your work for feedback from a larger audience of designers.
Instagram is a good source for inspiration, Scott says, and Facebook and LinkedIn groups are useful for sharing industry information. You can learn what other graphic designers bill for their work, offer support, and share frustrations about clients and freelancing. On Twitter, you can follow design professionals and stay on top of what’s new in the field.
How to Choose Graphic Design Classes
Graphic design online courses are available for just about any level of learner. Online learning marketplace Udemy has a range of courses, some that are free and some that cost upward of $100. Skillshare has free courses and offers monthly and annual subscriptions, $15 or $99, for full access to its platform. Coursera has free courses, though some cost around $49.
It's important to take classes that allow you to experiment and explore. Start by taking introductory courses on graphic design basics and Adobe or Affinity software.
Graphic design classes may have projects covering web design of icons and layouts; magazines and books; logos; branding for apparel, banners, posters and business cards; social media advertisements; and email campaigns.
Online courses make one-on-one coaching for graphic design projects difficult. Marsh acknowledges it’s impossible to review the work of each of the 200,000 students she’s had so far, but she conducts live reviews through her community Facebook group.
Students looking for more individual attention can find it in four-year college degree programs or in-person courses. The student and faculty network, classroom resources, and exposure to a range of design topics are all part of the college experience.
“There’s huge benefits to a four-year college degree in graphic design because you get colleagues, you get fellow students, you get critiques from instructors, you get a lot more hands-on learning,” Marsh says.
If you’re interested in learning more about graphic design, higher education routes include associate , bachelor’s and graduate degrees. Online degrees are also available.
What Does It Take to Pursue a Career in Graphic Design?
Professionals come from backgrounds in marketing, tech, visual arts and communications, among others, to learn the basics of graphic design and make a career change.
“Nobody cares if you’re self-taught or whether you went to the best design school,” says Scott, who has taught graphic design online for more than 15 years.
Pick an area to specialize in and become an expert, whether it’s visual, motion graphics or marketing design, among others. “You can’t be a generalist graphic designer these days,” he says.
Be prepared to show your skills with examples of the work you want to do in your portfolio.
You can work as a freelancer, in-house at a company or at an agency, or do a mix.
Keep learning new design skills, practice, interact with your design community and seek feedback.
“There’s free, open-source software, (and) education costs are so much lower,” Marsh says. “It really opens the door now that graphic design is not an expensive field as it used to be.”
New members: get your first 7 days of Skillshare Premium for free! Click here to redeem
Film & Video
Freelance & Entrepreneurship
Leadership & Management
Find what fascinates you as you explore these online classes.
Learning Graphic Design: 9 Easy First Steps for Beginners
The reality is, getting started in graphic design is no easy task.
If you take the right steps to learn graphic design, you can teach yourself graphic design more efficiently and effectively.
So, here’s the deal:
After years of experience teaching graphic design to myself and others, I’ve found the crucial first steps you have to take to become a self-taught graphic designer.
These are the 9 most important first steps you need to take as a beginner to teach yourself graphic design:
- Find your motivation
- Get passionate about design
- Learn the principles of design
- Get started with graphic design software
- Find and study design resources
- Look for inspiration
- Start working on a project
- Differentiate talent from practice
- Be patient and consistent
Below, I explain in detail how these fundamental steps helped me become a self-taught graphic designer, so you too can get on your way on the right foot.
Step 1: Find Your Motivation
There are different reasons for getting into graphic design. Maybe you want to:
- Create a logo for your website
- Express yourself and be creative
- Learn a new skill
- Learn to use complex software
- Make a career change
- Make money online
The reasons can be endless, but the objective will still be the same:
Your motivation to learn graphic design has to be powerful enough to keep you focused on the goal, which is to become proficient at graphic design.
This motivating factor must be the fuel that powers your quest to learn.
What motivated me was the fear of not having practical skills as a media studies professor in a very competitive field.
One powerful motivating factor can be earning extra income on the side. The good thing is that you don’t have to work as a graphic designer to earn money as a designer, which can motivate you to study, learn, and practice as much as you can as quickly as possible.
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The Accelerated Graphic Designer
A proven shortcut for learning graphic design once and for all .
Stop wasting time learning unnecessary skills from random tutorials and start learning what matters the most in design.
My point is this:
By taking the first steps toward generating a new revenue stream from graphic design, you are actually creating a motivation engine that will sustain your journey into graphic design.
No matter what your motivation is, there is a compelling reason to learn graphic design skills:
We live in an increasingly visual culture.
This means that we value images over words as a society. We are surrounded by visual interfaces. Content is mostly organized around images. Today, images are the most important and powerful form of communication.
In today’s world, those who have skills in visual forms of communication are the most likely to succeed in their respective careers.
So what’s the bottom line:
No matter what your motivation is, at the very least having graphic design skills will give you a professional advantage in a world in which images are the main form of communication.
So go ahead and find the motivation that will power your learning.
Resources for Step 1
What is Graphic Design all About? (No-Nonsense Approach)
Is It Hard to Become a Graphic Designer?
The Ultimate Graphic Design Career Guide (Career Paths Included)
Types of Design Practice
What is the Future of Design Careers?
Step 2: Get Passionate About Everything Visual
You have to be passionate about graphic design in order to become a designer.
In the Web 2.0, anyone can become anything he or she wants. But most of the time, people fail not because they don’t have the talent or the skills to become what they want to be.
In other words:
Today, it’s simpler to become whatever you want, and yet the road is more difficult.
So why do so many fail?
The reason is lack of passion.
What I have learned from my own journey and my students is that the capability to learn the necessary skills to become a graphic designer comes from passion: persistence, discipline, and the courage to put yourself out there.
So, learn what motivates you to become a graphic designer but also what makes you passionate about it.
Are you into websites? Facebook memes? Typography and lettering? Logo design? Video game graphics? Comics?
Finding out what particular areas of graphic design you really like are key for becoming passionate about learning.
But you might be thinking:
It’s not only about passion. I am not a talented person. I can’t draw or I’m not good with computers.
This is what exactly leads to the next step.
Resources for Step 2
Wrestling With a Decision: How I Knew Graphic Design Was My Passion
What To Do When You Lose Motivation as a Designer
Graphic Design Is My Passion: 20 Meme Picks
Step 3: Understand the Difference Between Talent and Practice
Graphic design is not primarily about talent.
Do you need talent to be great at design? Sure. The most successful designers I know and who inspire me every day are super talented.
However, absolute talent is not required. This is key and you need to understand it.
If you have read this far, chances are that you already have talent, or are in the process of polishing your talent in the raw.
You have a certain orientation or aptitude that draws you to graphic design in the first place.
This, believe it or not, is what most graphic designers had when they began.
Here’s the deal:
For most of us, talent is just a lot of practice .
You don’t have to win an award or be featured in the most important publication or teach an online course to be a graphic designer.
You only have to be effective . Talent, for the most part, is forged during the process.
You can go from having no idea about graphic design to being effective. It takes some theory, experience, and persistence. It takes time, but not necessarily years.
Some of my best students (with no previous graphic design experience) have accomplished excellent results in only one semester. One of my students even got a job after only one semester of work!
Resources for Step 3
The Talent Myth: 5 Essential Insights on Deliberate Practice
Are Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 Hours of Practice Really All You Need?
Step 4: Learn the Principles of Design
Every discipline has a foundational set of rules that guide its best practices.
Graphic design is no exception. You must learn the fundamental concepts that underlie the practice of design from the very beginning in order to become proficient and gain experience.
What are design principles? The principles of design are the minimum framework needed to achieve successful results as a graphic designer.
Design principles are time-proven and tested concepts that guide us in terms of what works and what doesn’t, visually speaking.
If we follow these principles, we will be able to create visual designs that are appealing, effective, and memorable.
If you want to understand how design principles work, we need to study them first.
It will take time to understand and internalize, so start as early as possible.
Fortunately, the list of design principles is relatively short. People give different names for each, but we can pretty much boil them down to 6 major principles:
- Totality or Gestalt
Want to hear the good part?
You don’t have to learn design principles before actually starting to create something. You can study and apply them as you learn software skills, techniques, and formats.
There are many resources in Self-Made Designer and other websites that will help you understand the principles of design.
Resources for Step 4
Design Principles [Complete Definition with Examples]
Logo Design and Gestalt Theory [Principles and Examples]
The Gestalt Principles
Step 5: Get Started with Graphic Design Software
Graphics editing software is a big part of graphic design. There are different types of software for different types of tasks.
One of the most common types of software are vector and pixel editing systems.
There are many makers of graphics software, but one of the most popular and recognized is Adobe, with Illustrator for vector graphics and Photoshop for pixel (or raster) graphics.
Generally speaking, vector graphics are used for creating shape-based drawings and digital illustrations, such as logos, stylized text, and technical drawings of objects.
Pixel graphics are used for editing photos and photo-realistic renderings, such as photography, magazine montages, and image manipulation.
As a beginner, you shouldn’t worry about learning one brand or another, but on understanding the logic of each type of software.
It boils down to this:
All vector and pixel software work in the same fundamental ways because they derive from the same philosophy and structure.
The most important thing is that you gain access to graphics software right away and start familiarizing yourself with vector and pixel editing.
In this sense, I’m biased toward free, open-source software.
The good news?
Professional-grade graphic design software is available to you for free. I personally use and recommend Inkscape and Gimp for learning vector and pixel graphics, respectively.
In addition to being extremely powerful graphics software, capable of competing with Illustrator and Photoshop, they are free and keep getting better.
You can create your own personal design studio from a laptop at a café with virtually no startup costs.
Download the software and start experimenting right now .
Resources for Step 5
Which Graphic Design Software to Learn? [Why It Really Doesn’t Matter]
Logos by Nick: Inkscape Explained
Logos by Nick: Inkscape Basics
Step 6: Look for Inspiration
One of the best ways to learn graphic design is to emulate artists, designers, and creators that inspire us.
When we look for inspiration, we will naturally gravitate to the styles and trends that we like, and we will start to recognize what works and what doesn’t.
Getting inspired by designers we like or admire gives us a roadmap of what we need to learn. Also, imitating the work of others allows us to learn and improve on new skills.
After all, as children we learn by imitating the people around us. The same is true for graphic design.
Start looking for inspiration and learn what you like or don’t like. Start noticing which trends might apply to what you see and which designers are doing amazing work.
Here are some ideas for getting inspiration:
- Start following high-quality graphic design Instagram accounts .
- Follow specific graphic design hashtags on social media, such as #vectorgraphics, #logodesign, or #designinspiration.
- Do searches on Google Images for keywords such as “logo inspirations” or “best website designs.”
- Go to Pinterest and look for graphic design group boards.
- Follow graphic design social media such as Behance or Dribble.
Resources for Step 6
George Bokhua [self-taught graphic designer]
Step 7: Find and Study Graphic Design Resources, Tutorials, and Free Courses
The great news about becoming a self-taught graphic designer is that all the information you need for learning graphic design is at your fingertips.
High-quality tutorials and lessons are available to you either free of charge or for a small price, at least compared to college education. For example, beginner online courses from sites like Udemy, Skillshare, or Domestika are inexpensive compared to college and are of the highest quality.
But you need to understand this:
A self-taught graphic designer doesn’t magically learn to design. You still need to study, read, and practice using all kinds of different sources, from academic books to YouTube videos and online tutorials.
A self-taught graphic designer still needs to learn what others learn in college. However, you can do it at your own pace and without spending thousands of dollars.
At any rate, you can begin learning graphic design on your own and later take formal design education, especially in an area of specialization (videogame, information, or product design, for example).
So, get yourself an introduction to design book, download free vector and pixel software, and start following some good tutorials on YouTube.
You will find that the amazing thing about this approach is that you will begin right away, focused on what matters the most to you.
Resources for Step 7
Teach Yourself Graphic Design: A Self-Study Course Outline
Logos by Nick: Inkscape Beginner Tutorials
Udemy: Free Graphic Design Courses and Tutorials
Allison: Applying Design Principles
2D Game Art Guru
Inkscape Vector Logo Tutorial [23 Detailed Images with PDF]
Step 8: Find Yourself a Project to Work On, Then Another, and Another (and Don’t Stop)
If you want to become a self-taught graphic designer, my single most important recommendation is to center your learning around a specific project .
The reason is that it is very difficult to learn a skill in thin air.
If you start on a particular project, you will encounter specific problems that, in turn, will guide you to specific solutions.
You will search for advice, tutorials, and knowledge that will be as specific as the problems that come up.
For example, you could take on the challenge to design a logo for your Instagram account.
You could begin to design your future website .
Maybe you could just begin to follow practice projects, such as creating a logo or icon in Inkscape.
The more a resource helps you, the more the quality of the resource. This becomes your noise filter to all the resources out there.
The more problems you are able to solve, the more experience you get, and the more qualified you become as a graphic designer.
So, if you want to become a self-made graphic designer, take on a specific project right now.
Maybe you need to create a newsletter for a group, a business card for your friend, or a logo for your Instagram profile.
By taking on a project that matters to you as an excuse to learn, you will learn so much faster and gain experience as you grow.
Resources for Step 8
9 Ways Projects Will Make You Love Learning Design
10 Graphic Design Projects You Can Easily Create Yourself
5 Mini Graphic Design Exercises to Get the Creative Juices Flowing
Step 9: Be Patient and Persistent: Time is the Only Constant Variable
I do believe that the internet provides the tools and information to accomplish many, many endeavors. I also believe that you can learn graphic design faster .
The only variable that is missing from most of the pep talk about learning something new, changing a personal path, creating a new business, etc., is TIME .
So internalize this:
Any lasting, meaningful, and permanent change takes time .
You can use guidance, passion, and hacks to shorten the time a permanent change in your life will take.
As a self-taught graphic designer, only with time you will gain the insight, skills, and perspective needed to become effective, if not a great, at design.
So, the sooner you begin, the quicker you will obtain your goal. Plain and simple.
Resources for Step 9
Choose Consistency Over Perfection
How Long Does it Take to Learn a Skill?
Josh Kaufman: It Takes 20 Hours Not 10,000 Hours To Learn A Skill
Conclusion: Start to Design Right Now
I have given you the first most important steps you need to take in order to learn graphic design. Take these steps and I promise you that you will lay a solid foundation for teaching yourself graphic design.
Now, the most important takeaway from this post is this:
PICK A PROJECT RIGHT NOW AND CENTER YOUR LEARNING AROUND IT.
As you do this, learn the principles of design. Understand why you’re doing this. Be passionate about it. Aspire to be effective. Use your resources wisely. Understand that it will take time, but don’t hesitate to start.
You will see that it is possible to learn graphic design on your own with the resources available to you.
About the Author:
Ruben Ramirez teaches digital media in college and started Self-Made Designer to share his knowledge of graphic design. He loves skateboards, guitars, and vector graphics.
Table of Contents:
1. get a grip on the fundamentals of graphic design, 2. study the work of graphic designers, 3. understand typography, 4. get well versed with graphic designing softwares, 5. check out online courses, 6. apply for graphic designing institutes, 7. look out for creative careers, 8. conclusion, here are some of the best ways to learn graphic design:.
To master any skill one has to first understand the basic fundamentals of it. Hence, in order to learn graphic design you have to first study the visual arts, learn basic drawing with the use of your hand, learn to use graphic design softwares like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator etc., learn color theory and various other elements in graphic designing. You can learn these from graphic designing courses online or from a graphic designing institute like Digifine which offers Adv ance Graphic Design Course which teaches you softwares like Adobe Photoshop Adobe Illustrator, Adobe After effects and many other such graphic design softwares.
Look at various graphic designs by veteran designers and analyze the small details due to which they were able to captivate the people who saw them. Read a lot of design books, blogs and look at the graphic designs around you in newspapers, magazines, advertisement copies, social media like Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest etc. This will help you figure out what type of aesthetic you want to create.
Typography basically means the way in which a text is arranged in the canvas. It plays an important role in graphic design. Typography includes typefaces, point sizes, line spacing, letter spacing and kerning. Typography gives a character to graphic design and is essential to all applications of graph design from advertisement copy and print design to logos and website design.
In order to ace the art of graphic designing you have to be fluent in certain designing softwares which are going to be of utmost use while creating graphics. Adobe has a palette of such complex softwares with the latest technologies like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign and Adobe Illustrator.
Adobe Photoshop- Adobe Photoshop is used by graphic designers, visual artists, editors and photographers around the world. It is primarily used for image editing, retouching, image manipulation and creating compositions.
Adobe InDesign- Adobe InDesign is used for creating magazines, brochures, newspapers etc. It allows you to create multi-page documents, master pages and paragraph styles.
Adobe Illustrator- Adobe Illustrator is a vector based software that allows you to create shapes and draw freehand with the help of the pen tool. It is mainly used for creating logos, icons and illustrations.
You can learn these softwares from an online course or a graphic design institute like Digifine which offers one of the best professional graphic designing courses in Mumbai
With the expansion of internet access throughout the country and growth of ed-tech companies in recent times there are hundreds of different types of professional courses available online that you can purchase. There are numerous online graphic designing courses which will help you learn the designing softwares, the fundamentals of drawing, the structures of design, different types of graphic designs and many more such aspects.
Attending a graphic design institute gives you a university level of expertise that no free courses or YouTube tutorials can provide you with. A good graphic designing institute will have experienced high level industry experts in their academic faculty and it will give you access to the latest softwares and gadgets required for graphic designing. The networking and career opportunities you can get through an institute will not be available anywhere else to you. One of the top graphic designing institutes in Mumbai is Digifine .
Digifine’s Graphic Design Graduate Programme is the best graphic design course in Mumbai which teaches you to create bold and informative visual content and offers mastery over 6 softwares which lead the Graphic Design Industry in a single course. All the modules are taught thoroughly from basic to advanced level by top faculty and with industry insights.
There are numerous career opportunities in the graphic design industry depending upon the kind of work you want to do. Some of the careers are UX/UI Designer, Visual Designer, Digital Designer, Creative Director, 3-D Designer, Virtual Reality Designer, Product Designer, Motion Designer, Animator and many more.
There might be numerous ways to learn graphic designing online for free of cost but if you want to get trained by the industry professionals, get an academic knowledge of the artform, work with the top creative agencies, design studios or advertising agencies attending a graphic design institute like Digifine which offers the best graphic design course in Mumbai which teaches you to create bold and informative visual content and offers mastery over 6 softwares which lead the Graphic Design Industry in a single course. Attending such institutes might help your career exponentially.
Free Graphic Design Course Online: Learn Graphic Design Online
May 20, 2022 by Dan Rodney
Want to get into graphic design? In this video, you’ll learn what graphic designers do, what apps they use, how to get started, and more. See examples of design work and learn about creating a graphic design portfolio. You’ll learn what classes and certificate programs are appropriate so you can take the next step and get started in graphic design.
Graphic Design Classes (attend in New York City or Live Online) Web Design Classes (attend in New York City or Live Online)
In this video seminar you’ll learn:
- What graphic designers do
- The apps graphic designers use (Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Adobe XD, Figma, Sketch, etc.)
- See examples of design work
- Strategies for developing a graphic design portfolio
- How to get started learning graphic design
The slides shown in this online seminar can be viewed at nobledesktop.com/presentation/get-started-in-graphic-design
Nevue Fine Art Marketing
March 25, 2022 By Dave Nevue
Graphic Design Tips for Beginners: How to Sell your Work on Fiverr
As a graphic designer, you may often wonder how to sell your work. It can be challenging to find the right market for your skills and even more challenging to make a name for yourself in that market. Fiverr is a great place to start.
The common challenges that Fiverr artists face when trying to sell their graphic designs on Fiverr are understanding the Fiverr marketplace, creating a profile and uploading their designs, pricing their work, payment options, and customer service. It can be challenging to make a name for yourself in this market and even more challenging to find the proper demand for your skills.
If you are interested in selling your graphic designs on Fiverr and do not know where to start, this article is for you.
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase by clicking on an affiliate link, Nevue Fine Art Marketing may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Affiliate relationships include, but are not limited to, Bluehost, Tailwind, Skimlinks, SareASale and StudioPress. To learn more visit Affiliate Link Disclosure Policy
Understand the Fiverr marketplace
Fiverr is an online marketplace that connects businesses with freelancers who offer various services, including graphic design.
Unlike other freelancing platforms and bidding sites, Fiverr is unique in that all services are priced at a flat rate which is lower than most similar sites. This makes it an attractive option for businesses on a budget and freelancers who want to offer their services to a broader range of clients.
When you sell your work on Fiverr, you can benefit in several ways, including:
- Establishing yourself as a professional graphic designer
- Building a portfolio of high-quality work
- Earning extra income
- Gaining experience working with a variety of clients
- Increasing your visibility on the web
Create a Profile
Creating a profile on Fiverr is an essential step in selling your graphic design work. Your profile is your chance to introduce yourself to Fiverr users and showcase your skills and work.
When creating your profile, be sure to include the following information:
- Your name and professional title
- A brief description of your skills and experience
- Your location
- Your availability
- Examples of your work
- A list of your services
Upload Your Designs
To sell services on Fiverr , you will have to make a Fiverr gig.
A Fiverr gig is a service that you offer for a fixed price. Each gig has its own title, description, price, and delivery time.
When creating your gig, be sure to include the following information:
- An attractive title
- A clear and concise description
- High-quality visuals
- Reasonable pricing
- Offer bonuses
To upload your designs on Fiverr,
- Go to the Fiverr website and sign in
- Click on the “Sell” tab at the top of the page
- Click on the “Gigs tab” section
- Click on the “+Create a New Gig” button
- Enter a title for your gig
- Choose a category and subcategory
- Enter a description of your gig
- Set a price for your gig
- Add images or videos to your gig
- Click on the “Publish” button
Learn About Pricing and Payment Options
When you sell art on Fiverr, it’s essential to understand the pricing and payment options available to you and your customers.
When setting your prices, there are a few things to consider, such as the type of design you’re offering, the project’s complexity, the timeline for completion, and any extras or bonuses you’re including.
It is a great idea to research other artists selling gigs on Fiverr to see how much they charge for their services and information about the design process.
You will notice that beginning artists will charge less for the first gig to build their name on Fiverr. You might want to consider using the same tactic to increase the chances of getting your first order.
You can increase your prices as your audience base grows and your art is in demand.
In most areas, Fiverr purchases may be made using one of the following payment options: Credit Card, PayPal, or Fiverr Credits.
Offer Bonuses for Repeat Customers or Referrals to New Customers
If you’re a graphic designer selling your services on Fiverr, it’s essential to find ways to stand out from the competition and earn money doing what you love doing.
One way to do this is to offer bonuses for repeat customers or referrals to new customers. This is a great way to build loyalty among your existing customer base, and it can also help you attract new customers. By offering these incentives, you’re showing that you’re confident in your abilities and willing to go the extra mile to keep your clients happy. This can go a long way towards building long-term relationships with clients, which is essential for Fiverr success.
How to offer bonuses on Fiverr
Click the “Create Your First Coupon” button to create your first coupon. You can set a discount of up 30% off for any product and only send it out if there are buyers that match what you want them interested in buying.
Promote Your Art Online With Social Media
Promoting your work online is vital if you’re a graphic designer looking to make money on Fiverr. One of the best ways to do this is by using social media channels like Facebook or Twitter.
When promoting your work on social media, be sure to include the following information:
- A link to your Fiverr gig
- A brief description of your work
- A few images of your designs
- Hashtags that relate to your work
By promoting your work on social media, you can reach a wider audience and increase your chances of making a sale. Additionally, you can use social media to build relationships with potential clients and get their feedback on your work.
Publish Blog Posts
The design industry is crowded with artists like you trying to build a business selling graphic designs. Another way to reach a global audience is to publish blog posts about your work, your journey as a graphic designer, or tips and tricks for other designers.
When writing blog posts, discuss details of your services, including images of your work like a logo design or social media design, a seller link to your Fiverr gig, and a call-to-action that encourages readers to check out your work.
By writing blog posts, you can establish yourself as an expert in your field and build trust with potential clients. This is an essential part of doing business on Fiverr, and it can help you stand out from the competition.
Follow Up with Customers
One of the most important things you can do as a graphic designer selling your services on Fiverr is follow up with customers after each project. This allows you to ensure that they’re happy with the work you’ve done, and it also allows you to get feedback that can help you improve your work in the future.
Many artists fail to follow up with their customers, but this is critical for doing business. By following up with each client, you show that you care about their satisfaction and that you’re committed to providing the best possible service.
Use Fiverr Analytics Tools
Fiverr offers several different analytics tools that can help you track your progress and adjust your marketing strategy. These tools allow you to see how many views your total earnings, completed orders, average selling price, etc.
This information can be precious in helping you understand what’s working so you can adjust your marketing strategy accordingly. Additionally, it can help you identify areas to improve your work.
Be Patient and Professional
When selling your graphic designs on Fiverr, it’s essential to be patient and professional. Many artists become impatient when they don’t make a sale right away or receive a negative review.
Remember, it takes time to build a successful business. You won’t make a sale every time you offer your services, and you will occasionally receive negative feedback. The key is to learn from your mistakes and keep improving your work.
Additionally, it’s important to remember that you’re representing yourself as a professional artist when you sell your work on Fiverr. This means that you need to be courteous and responsive to customers, even if they’re unhappy with your work.
The design industry is crowded with artists like you trying to build a business selling graphic designs. Selling art online is hard work, but if you have a solid marketing plan and are consistent with your efforts, you can build a name with people using Fiverr.
One of the best ways to start making money is by using social channels like Facebook or Twitter and blogging about your business.
Another way is to create good art so people will want to hire you for a specific job.
Some people might find Fiverr too competitive. But if you produce industry-standard work at fair prices, more people using Fiverr will be willing to pay for your services rather than going to different sites looking for graphic designers.
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About Dave Nevue
Dave Nevue is a Professional Pastel Wildlife Artist and the founder and CEO of Nevue Fine Art Marketing. He also authored the eBook The Productive Artist How to Live Your Dreams, and provides courses on art marketing at Nevue Fine Art Marketing Courses.
Disclaimer: Some links in this post are affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase. Affiliate relationships include, but are not limited to, Bluehost, Tailwind, and StudioPress. To learn more visit Affiliate Link Disclosure Policy
Not every link on this site is an affiliate link.
Affiliate Link Disclosure Policy .
Where To Start
Art Marketing - Complete Guide For Marketing Art Online
Sell Art Online Startup
Free Drawing Tutorials
How to open an EPS file in CorelDRAW
Is your EPS file not opening in CorelDRAW? Learn how to open an EPS file in CorelDRAW in six simple steps.
6 steps to import an EPS file into CorelDRAW
1. launch coreldraw.
2. Choose File > Open to create a new document
At the top, choose File > Open and select New Document. Select desired canvas size and colors.
3. Choose File > Import / Place after you select the EPS file to open
Then, choose File> Import / Place. The file browser will appear. Select the EPS file you want to import and click Import.
4. Position the image on the canvas
Using the cursor select where you want the image to be placed and click and drag to position the image on the canvas.
5. Edit your EPS file
Make your edits to the image.
6. Save your document
Save the file before closing the EPS file in your desired location on your computer.
5 steps to open an EPS file in CorelDRAW
2. choose file > open the desired eps file.
At the top, choose File > Open and select EPS file to open.
3. Select import settings
Then, choose Import text as > Text or Curves.
4. Edit your EPS file
5. save your document, open eps files in coreldraw on windows.
CorelDRAW is compatible with:
Open EPS files in CorelDRAW on Mac
- macOS Ventura (13)
- macOS Monterey (12)
- macOS 10.14
- macOS 10.13
- macOS 10.12
If you want to open an EPS file, you will need to use specialized vector design software like CorelDRAW. Download a free trial of CorelDRAW to get started designing EPS files .
What is an EPS file?
EPS, Encapsulated PostScript, is a high-quality vector image file, much like a photographic image file format is a JPEG , used to create images in marketing and advertising graphics.
Illustrators and graphic designers use EPS files regularly. These types of files can be scaled to large sizes without losing quality. EPS files are ideal for billboards and other large printed documents.
Professional printers will often ask for EPS files when printing large complex graphics to ensure there is no loss of quality or compression like there would be with JPGs or other bitmap image files.
Advantages of EPS files
- EPS files can contain vectors , images, and text.
- Lossless compression preserves picture quality even when the file is reduced in size.
- Scalable to any extent, meaning the resolution remains high regardless of how large you want your image to be.
- Compatible with most operating systems and vector-editing software.
- Suitable for logo creation and large-scale designs, ideal for printing.
Disadvantages of EPS files
- Requires specialist software to open and edit EPS files.
- Usually, saved files cannot be modified. To make changes, you must return to the original design file.
- Not suitable for a fast-paced work environment.
Do EPS files lose quality?
An EPS is great for large-scale marketing and print materials. Since EPS files are made up of vectors, they can be scaled to any size without losing image quality.
Is EPS lossy or lossless?
The terms “lossy” and “lossless” refer to how a file format reacts to being compressed and uncompressed. Since EPS files contain vectors instead of pixels, they can be compressed and uncompressed without losing any data, making them lossless.
CorelDRAW opens EPS files and many more file formats
We designed CorelDRAW Graphics Suite to open a wide range of file formats, including all of the following:
- pub (Windows only)
- exe (Windows only)
- docx (Windows only)
- doc (Windows only)
Other graphic design topics
How to open an SVG file in CorelDRAW
How to convert JPEG to vector image in CorelDRAW
Download CorelDRAW to open and edit a EPS file
- Marketing/PR Digital Marketing , Digital Strategist
- Design/Web/Multimedia Graphic Design , HTML
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Click on the "Sell" tab at the top of the page. Click on the "Gigs tab" section. Click on the "+Create a New Gig" button. Enter a title for your gig. Choose a category and subcategory. Enter a description of your gig. Set a price for your gig. Add images or videos to your gig. Click on the "Publish" button.
Download a free trial of CorelDRAW to get started designing EPS files. What is an EPS file? EPS, Encapsulated PostScript, is a high-quality vector image file, much like a photographic image file format is a JPEG, used to create images in marketing and advertising graphics. Illustrators and graphic designers use EPS files regularly. These types ...
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