It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words; in current times when the whole world has shifted towards digital space, we can say that a good graphic design is worth a thousand dollars in any business. Graphic Design plays a big role in modern businesses and our everyday lives in many ways, it is clearly an important form of communication between a business and its audience or consumers. Be it a logo or brochure or website or signage or magazines or business cards or leaflets, all use graphics to draw attention of potential customers. Companies hire the services of graphic designers to design all this and much more. With internet pervading all aspects of our lives, role of graphic designers has increased to include designing online ads, social media posts, sales pages for product releases or email series to up sell services and more.
One obvious way to learn graphic design is to attend a design school and commit to a degree course. But that’s not the only route. If you are passionate about design and have a desire to learn, you can learn on your own by making use of plenty of resources and graphic design tutorials available online. A good foundation in graphic design theory and practical application will help you hit the ground running. You will also need a working knowledge of desktop design software, such as Illustrator, InDesign etc., and image-editing packages such as Photoshop. For an in-depth knowledge of all of these, you can choose self-directed study through a good online graphic design course or certification that will provide you with proper foundation in various areas of graphic design.
Our team of global experts has researched and compiled this list of best graphic design courses, tutorials, training programs and certifications available online. It includes both free and paid resources with a super-flexible timetable, thus allowing you to study additional learning and practice material on your own. There is stuff for every type of learner whether beginner, or intermediate or an expert level.
The Graphic Design Certification program by CalArts(California Institute of the Arts) is geared toward beginners and teaches them fundamental skills required to make sophisticated graphic design. Learners will be equipped with knowledge of formal and conceptual tools used in the area of graphical design.
It comprises of five courses — an introductory Fundamentals of Graphic Design course, a Typography course, an Imagemaking course and a Graphic Design History course — all of which culminate in the final project for the Capstone Course where students get an opportunity to tie together their knowledge and skills learnt into a single project: a brand development guide for a company that they invent. Only learners who have earned a certificate in the four previous courses in the Specialization are eligible to take the Capstone. All the courses contain video lectures, homework assignments, creative prompts and additional materials.
All courses in the program are instructed by known faculty members of the prestigious CalArts. CalArts is famous worldwide and offers more than 70 comprehensive degree programs in the visual, performing, media and literary arts.
For people who have never had a formal design education, this specialization serves as a great starting point for any formal studies in graphics, or further work in interface design, motion graphics, and editorial design.
- Aimed at beginners entering the graphics design field or students interested in learning more about visual culture, analysis and processes
- Understand the entire design process, from ideation to creation to presentation
- Learn to communicate through image-making and typography
- Complete a capstone project to add to your professional portfolio
- Learn everything you need to know to work in interface design, motion graphics, and editorial design
- Read and view the course content for free
- Assignments and practical exercises at the end of each week to apply topics learnt
- Active community and Peer reviews to provide feedback
Duration : 5-6 months, 4 hours per week
Rating : 4.7
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This Graphic Design Masterclass by Lindsay Marsh is the bestselling course on Udemy for graphic design. It is geared towards beginners who want to become graphic designers whether part-time or full-time or those who want to learn the design skills and techniques to advance their current careers. At the same time, this course is detailed enough for intermediate and advance level students to get a ton out of it.
This course effectively pairs the graphic design basics and theory with real world projects and applications. You will learn typography, color and layout theory, proper type hierarchy and balance to create stunning designs. A variety of topics and projects including photo manipulation, magazine layouts, branding and logo design projects will be covered. Students will also be taught basics of Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, which are tools that every graphic designer should use and master.
There are tons of extra valuable content sections in this course. One such section is about most up-to-date design trends, so you can be knowledgeable on what’s hot in the design world right now. Another great newly added section called ‘Finding your Design Niche’ is an exploratory mini-class in which Lindsay reviews some main core design categories and talks about what types of projects each niche entails and also what you will need to learn to leap into those design niches. This will greatly help you to choose your top focal niches. Some of the niches covered by Lindsay are logo design, print & editorial design, pattern design and illustration, package design, branding design, ux/ui design and social media/digital graphic design.
There are tons of useful downloadable resources in this course, including an 11-page guide to using grids, a color theory sheet, anatomy of typography poster, font-pairing guide, and graphic design resource guide with links to free and paid tools, resources and places to find design inspiration.
- Understand and learn the essential tools and capabilities of Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign
- Work through the entire package design process
- Understand solid logo design and ad design principles to create compelling campaigns and logos
- Learn the basics of Affinity Designer and learn the difference between Adobe Illustrator and Affinity Designer
- Work through a 7 page vector tracing worksheet and feel confident creating a complex vector illustration
- Access to over 15 hours of video content with 20 downloadable resources
Duration : 15 hours on-demand video
Rating : 4.6
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This is a hands-on Graphics Design Specialization offered by the world-renowned University of Colorado Boulder, and explores basic graphic design elements, color theory, images, publication design and techniques for creating effective layouts. You will also learn about typography, the creative process, the importance of brainstorming, and how to discuss and critique design in a professional setting. After completing this graphics design certification students will be able to independently design foundational creative projects, including business card, brochures, ads, websites and manuals.
There are four courses in this specialization:
- The first course focuses on basic elements of design, design principles and overview of software used for design.
- The second course discusses the graphical elements of design, including color theory and various types of images used in both print and digital design projects.
- The third course focuses on the textual elements of graphic design, so students will learn about types, fonts, typography and spacing.
- The fourth course discusses print and digital elements of design, so students will learn to use a design in print medium such as logos, brochures and larger printed projects that also carry over as seamlessly as possible into the digital realm of websites and social media. Branding and user experience is also covered in this course.
All the courses include recorded video lectures, auto-graded and peer-reviewed assignments, and community discussion forums. This is a beginner friendly specialization and does not require any background experience in graphics and design. Anybody with a zest to learn and explore can take up this program.
- Learn to communicate design principles and strategies clearly, and start doing your own designs
- Appreciate the study of design layout and conceptual elements concerning design projects
- Discover techniques for working and communicating with graphic designers and other creative professionals
- Earn a Specialization Certificate to share with your professional network and potential employers
- Access to lectures, readings and assignments anytime and anywhere via the web or mobile app
Duration : 3 months, 3 hours per week
Rating : 4.7
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Udemy’s Graphic Design Bootcamp by Derrick Mitchell is one of the most top-rated courses on graphic design for beginners. For first timers, who want to build a skill set to make them employable in the creative industry as a graphic designer, this course is certainly the best. It is equally good for freelancers or entrepreneurs who plan to start their own business. This course has over 73,000 students already enrolled and more than 7000 five-star ratings.
The aim of this course is to quickly equip the learners with right skills and programs to create stunning, high-quality designs. Since the course focuses on project-based learning, students are taught how to make some of the most popular projects in the industry, like custom logos, business cards, brochures, flyers, web graphics and more. It also covers the basics of Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. The instructor of this course Derrick Mitchell has based the lessons and projects on his 18 years of experience in the design industry and has strategically crafted the content to teach learners exactly what they should know to become successful graphic designers and use Adobe program software.
Since the software that designers use is constantly updated and changing, one needs to be educated on the new trends and tools. Derrick regularly updates the course material as new software updates are released. All students enrolled for the course will get a lifetime access to these new and updated course lessons.
- Get a clear understanding of how to work with both print and web projects in Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign
- Access to Private Facebook group with over 14,000 members, that gives a platform to post projects, get insightful critiques, and network with other like-minded students and working professionals all over the world
- Explore a lot of program shortcuts that help to increase productivity and maximize workflow
- Get lifetime access to over 15 hours of video content with 13 downloadable resources with a shareable certificate upon completion of course
- Ideal for beginners, freelancers, entrepreneurs or anyone looking to gan skills in graphic design
Duration : 15.5 hours on-demand video
Rating : 4.6
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LinkedIn Learning – Lynda is a great choice for learning graphic design. They have a learning path called ‘Become a Graphic Designer’ which has several courses that will help you quickly come to grasp with concepts and foundations of graphic design and also learn the latest tools and software used to build innovative design projects.
There are following 11 courses in this learning path with total of over 22 hours of expert-created video tutorials:
What is Graphic Design?
By: Sean Adams
Learn what graphic design is and how it is used to convey ideas and concepts, and to enhance experiences. Discover the impact graphic design has on the success of individuals and businesses.
Graphic Design Careers: First Steps
By: Cara St. Hilaire
Want to become a graphic designer? Discover the most crucial skills, tools, and techniques for graphic designers today, and where to find training to kick-start your career.
Introduction to Graphic Design
By: Tony Harmer
Learn the concepts and software skills that you need to become a graphic designer. This introductory training covers image editing, logo design, and layout in Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.
Graphic Design Foundations: Layout and Composition
By: Sean Adams
Learn how to create stronger, clearer, more attention-grabbing designs by understanding the how, why, and when of layout and composition.
Graphic Design Foundations: Typography
By: Ina Saltz
Explore good typographic practices. Learn how to select and use type to add impact, how type is measured, and how factors like spacing and alignment affect your design.
Color for Design and Art
By: Jim Krause
Learn about the practical application of color theory: how to create color palettes, manipulate colors in Adobe tools like Photoshop and Illustrator, and paint for learning and for fun.
Learning Logo Design
By: Von Glitschka
Learn to avoid pitfalls, improve your design process, respond to demanding clients, and solve the creative problems that are involved in building a brand’s identity.
InDesign Quick Start
By: David Blatner
Learn the five techniques every InDesign user needs to know to start creating and editing layouts. Get up to speed in less than 30 minutes!
By: Deke McClelland
Quickly learn how to use Adobe Illustrator to create digital illustrations with no experience required.
Introducing Photoshop: Design
By: Deke McClelland
Quickly learn how to use Photoshop for everyday design tasks—combining text and artwork, replacing backgrounds, and more.
Aaron Draplin Takes On a Logo Design Challenge
By: Aaron Draplin
Aaron Draplin, owner of Draplin Design Co., takes our logo design challenge. Watch as he sketches, tests, and tunes his ideas, and provides tips on freelancing and finding inspiration.
- Discover the right set of skills needed to build or advance your career as a graphic designer
- Build a solid foundation in the elements of design: typography, color, and layout
- Explore the design process to visualize compelling ideas
- Learn to use industry-leading tools that every graphic designer should know
- Hands on exercises in InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop
- More than 22 Hours of expert-created video tutorials
- Earn shareable certificate to showcase your achievement
- Courses authored and instructed by professionals and leading experts in the industry
- Access all course content for free for 30 days after signing up
- Download course videos on mobile app and watch anytime
- Flexible timelines to undertake the learning at your own pace
- Empathizing with users
- Defining user pain points
- Defining user needs using problem statements
- Coming up with ideas for design solutions
- Creating wireframes, mockups, and prototypes
- Gathering feedback about designs and testing them through usability studies
- Iterating on designs based on feedback
- Conducting competitive audits
- One of the most popular Coursera UX design certificate program to prepare for a successful career in UX design
- Learn how to create empathy maps, personas, user stories, and user journey maps to understand user needs
- Learn to create wireframes and low-fidelity designs using the design tool Figma
- Learn to build mockups and high-fidelity prototypes in Figma
- Understand how to work with design systems in Adobe XD
- Hundreds of practice-based activities and assessments that simulate real-world UX design scenarios
- Courses developed and taught by Google UX designers and researchers with decades of experience in UX design
- Project work involving designing a dedicated mobile app and a responsive website focused on social good
- No previous experience necessary to enrol in the program
- Identify, discuss, and appreciate the integral role visual design plays in UI/UX
- Interpret and apply strategies and methodologies essential in the UI/UX development process
- Demonstrate visual design’s role in UI/UX through the creation of successful design artifacts
- Skills and knowledge that you learn in this specialization are applicable to a wide variety of careers, from marketing to web design to human-computer interaction
- Extended free trial (1 month) of a full product suite of UX tools from Optimal Workshop for all enrolled learners
- Flexible schedule and self-paced learning makes it suitable for all types of learners
- Earn a verified certificate of completion upon completing the course
- Financial aid is available to learners who can’t afford the course fee
- Learn the core principles of human-centered design and how to appropriately scope a design problem
- Learn the design research fundamentals to identify the user and the solutions they need
- Learn the process of a design sprint, and how to translate findings from research into a prototype that can be tested with users
- Learn advanced user interface principles to build interactive and impactful designs
- Learn how to improve design and user experiences based on engagement data
- Work on real world projects created by industry experts
- Get technical mentor support and access to career services
- Every Skillshare course has a project that allows students to put their skills in practice and get feedback
- Get opportunity to share and collaborate with a growing community of over 7 million creators
- Access to course content from anywhere and anytime with skillshare app (available for both android and iOS platforms)
- All course material is available for free for first 2 months after signup
- Learn intermediate and advanced terminology and concepts to incorporate in graphic design, user interfaces, mobile app design, logo design, t-shirt design, and other digital or print mediums
- Get expert level knowledge of Adobe CC applications that you will immediately be able to apply to your career, job, hobby, or company
- Work on real-world, applicable projects to solidify your learning
- Direct communication with the instructors to help students as they progress through the course
- Learn Adobe Photoshop, the industry-leading program for photo editing and manipulation
- Learn Adobe Illustrator, the number one software for creating graphics, icons, symbols, and branding
- Learn Adobe XD, the premiere software for creating stunning web design and mobile app design mock-ups
- Learn Adobe InDesign, the best software on the market for publishing and marketing materials
- Learn to use all the time-saving features of Illustrator and work efficiently
- Learn how to trace scanned drawings and sketches and turn them into scalable vector graphics
- Learn to create vector illustrations, infographics and icons
- Explore how to produce repeatable patterns for product packaging, apparels and stationaries
- Learn useful keyboard shortcuts and best practices
- Practice everything you learn with provided Exercise Files
- Master the Affinity Designer, Photo, Publisher and Mobile Apps
- Over 10+ hours of video content, downloadable project files, software instruction and practical fun projects
- Know how to export and work with digital and print files
- Learn design basics like layout, color and working with fonts and type, and mastering Grids
- Master Photo Editing Techniques – layers, masking, lighting, blending modes, effects and more
- Learn to create your own custom brushes in multiple programs
- Create a wide variety of awesome practical projects including logo designs, brochures, books, Instagram posts, posters, business cards, create brushes, digital graphics, advertisements and more
- Learn to master photo correction techniques
- Learn to use different manipulation and creation tools
- Includes great practical tips and tricks for professional designers
- Learn to add different effects using photoshop
- Through discussion on photoshop tools
- Full of task based lectures focusing on learning outcomes
- Detailed process lectures on photoshop techniques and effects
Duration : 22 Hours of video content
Rating : 4.5
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6. Google UX Design Professional Certificate (Coursera)
Google has launched a UX Design certificate program online on Coursera to help learners prepare for an entry-level job as a UX designer. In this program, you’ll learn the foundations of UX design, how to conduct user research, and design prototypes in tools like Figma and Adobe XD.
This Google UX certification program is organized as a series of seven courses that explore UX principles, UX terms, and industry-standard tools. These courses cover the complete design process from beginning to end, including the following:
The program places a lot of emphasis on hands-on learning. Apart from videos, courses include several readings, assessments, and hands-on activities. By the time learners complete the program, they will have three portfolio projects to share with potential employers in their job applications. Upon completion, learners will have the opportunity to directly apply for jobs with Google and over 130 partners committed to sourcing talent from Google certificate programs. These include top U.S. employers like Deloitte, Anthem, Walmart, Best Buy, and Astreya.
Duration : 6 months, 10 hours per week
Rating : 4.8
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7. UI / UX Design Specialization by CalArts (Coursera)
If you are considering becoming a UI/UX designer, this specialization from CalArts is the best design course that you can pick. It is ideal for anyone with some experience in graphic or visual design and who would like to build their skill set in UI or UX for app and web design.
This course is different from others because its approach to user experience and user interface is design-centric, with focus on imparting practical skills about visual communications rather than programming or marketing only.
This design specialization takes learners through a series of four courses that cover all stages of the UI/UX development process. It starts from user research all the way to how to define the strategy of a project, its scope, and information architecture. It also teaches how to develop sitemaps and wireframes. You’ll learn current best practices and conventions in UX design and apply them to create effective and compelling screen-based experiences for websites or apps. There are tons of practice quizzes, graded quizzes, graded programming assignments.
The instructors of this specialization are Michael Worthington and Roman Jaster, both are design experts with many years of experience in the field.
Since this specialization teaches courses from a graphic design perspective, so it’s ideal if learners have some ability in visual form-making or visual communication. Fundamentals of Graphic Design, the first course in the Graphic Design Specialization, also offered by CalArts on Coursera, would be an excellent course to take in combination with or as a prerequisite to this Specialization.
Duration : 8 months, 4 hours per week
Rating : 4.8
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8. UX Designer Nanodegree Program (Udacity)
This UX Designer Nanodegree program teaches UX fundamentals, and how to conduct design research. When you complete the program you’ll be adept at journeying from concepts to low fidelity prototypes and from prototypes to high fidelity UX designs. It is ideal for learners with some experience in graphic design, who want to build UX skills for app and web design. You will also learn the principles of interaction theory and how to create more user-friendly structures.
The program is organized into 3 modules that teach everything from visual design basics to UX design concepts, to how to convert low-fi sketches into high-fi interactive designs using Figma that are ready for engineering handoff. These modules are followed by a capstone project, for which you’ll build a case study that can be incorporated in a UX design portfolio. The projects will give you real world UX design experience and showcase your skills to research, design, and prototype effective and visually-appealing applications and websites.
Duration : 3 months, 10 hours per week
Rating : 4.6
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9. Free Graphic Design Courses (Skillshare)
Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of classes in design, business, tech, and more. There are more than 21,000 classes designed and instructed by world class experts and teachers. In the field of Graphic Design, there are tons of classes covering a variety of topics like Logo Design, 3D Illustration, Brand Identity Design, Adobe Photoshop CC, Adobe Illustrator CC, Adobe InDesign CC, Affinity Designer, Geometric Grid-based Designs etc. The theory and core principles of graphic design are also discussed in several courses. Students can learn everything from basic design concepts to best tools and techniques used in creating beautiful graphical designs. There are courses for all beginner, intermediate and expert level learners.
The best part is that you can sign up on skillshare for free to get access to all these classes. You can purchase their premium membership for full access to courses in their premium catalog, along with useful features like offline viewing.
Duration : Self-paced
Rating : 4.5
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10. Adobe CC Masterclass: Photoshop, Illustrator, XD & InDesign (Udemy)
This course is for beginners to graphic design and for anyone who wants to learn the full suite of Adobe CC products, including Illustrator, Photoshop, XD and InDesign. It will teach you basic graphic design theory and principles, along with most common graphic design programs and how you can use them to your advantage. There are ample of practical, real-world projects for students to follow along with and practice.
The course comprises of more than 13 hours of video tutorials that teach both beginner and advanced graphic design skills while using the most popular programs around – Adobe Creative Class suite. It covers Adobe CC Programs, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe XD, Adobe InDesign, Social Media Graphic Design, Icon Design, Logo Design, Website Design, Mobile App Design, Poster Design, Book Cover Design, and much more. Be it a designer, an artist, a freelancer or an individual working in a large production house, all can find something useful in this course to build on their creative skills.
This professional class on graphic design is taught by Jeremy Deighan and Lindsay Marsh who have years of graphic design experience and are professional artists by trade. Students who enrol in the course, get access to a facebook group to connect with the instructors and other students to ask questions, get feedback and participate in design challenges.
Duration : 13 hours on-demand video
Rating : 4.6
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11. Illustrator CC 2020 MasterClass (Udemy)
This is Udemy’s best-selling Illustrator course. It is taught by Martin Perhiniak, one of the Top 10 Adobe Instructors in the world. The course teaches you how to use Adobe Illustrator as a creative professional. The whole course content, including examples, techniques, exercises and quizzes have been carefully selected and refined to offer the most efficient and enjoyable way to master Adobe Illustrator.
Illustrator is an industry-leading vector graphic application which is used not just by graphic designers but equally useful for Product Designers, Fashion Designers, UI/UX designers and various other areas within and outside of the creative industry. This course is designed for users of all experiences, from complete beginners to existing Illustrator users. Beginners, who want to get into the creative industry and gain a rock solid foundation of Illustrator, will be able to master the software from beginner to advanced features. Even more experienced users of Illustrator will discover hidden gems and workflows or catch up with all the new features released in CC 2020.
By purchasing this course, students get downloadable exercise files so they can actually use the software to work their way through projects while they learn. They can also test their knowledge through quizzes at the end of each chapter.
This course is also a perfect way to prepare for official Adobe Certification called Graphic Design and Illustration using Adobe Illustrator. It covers all necessary skills to pass the exam and also includes a guide for the same.
Marti, the course’s instructor, is a graphic designer and an Adobe Certified Instructor with years of experience teaching in classrooms, seminars and webinars. Over 120,000 students are studying from his online courses from over 200 countries. He has worked as a designer and illustrator for companies like Disney, Pixar, BBC, Accenture, Mattel and as an instructor taught teams at Google, Ben&Jerry’s, House of Lords and Oxford University Press.
Duration : 12.5 hours on-demand video
Rating : 4.6
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12. Learn the Entire Affinity Suite: Photo, Designer & Publisher (Udemy)
This is the best graphic design course for learning the entire suite of Affinity products. For any beginners interested in graphic design and illustration, this is a great way to learn the many tools in Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer, Affinity Publisher and the Affinity mobile apps. It is also a great course for those professionals who are already working in the creative field and want to add the Affinity suite to their software tool belt. In addition to these software programs, the course also teaches basic design principles through several practical projects.
The Affinity suite of products is a wonderful alternative to the Adobe suite of products for designers and creatives. So for photoshop, illustrator and end design users, it’s an easy transition to the affinity suite of products.
The course is taught by Jeremy Hazel and Lindsay Marsh, both of whom have years of experience as design professionals and teachers.
In Affinity photo, Jermey Hazel builds 3 popular advertisements, 3 separate Youtube thumbnails, and a complete movie poster using custom made brushes.
In Affinity Designer Lindsay Marsh works through all of the major tools and builds an engaging downloadable tracing worksheet, so you can master the pen tool, shapes tool and create a series of icons. She also covers logo design, layout design, business card design, type only poster, practical tri-fold brochure etc.
In Affinity Publisher, students learn a wide variety of tools like master pages, character styles, photo frames and book covers etc.
In Mobile Affinity apps, both Designer and Photo are covered where students build out a complete Tshirt mock-up for use in multiple projects. They learn how to do a digital illustration in both vector and pixel personas and create a cohesive themed portfolio.
Duration : 11.5 hours on-demand video
Rating : 4.6
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13. Learn Adobe Photoshop from Scratch (Udemy)
Adobe Photoshop is the go to tool for graphic designers, photographers and illustrators. This course on learning Adobe Photoshop has been crafted for beginners and intermediate users to help them easily understand and quickly assimilate the details of the software program. The course is a complete hands-on training on Adobe Photoshop because of the unique task based pedagogy that it employs, so students not only learn the Photoshop design principles and techniques but also how to use them in various personal and commercial projects.
The course starts with basic design introduction and follows it up with tools like Selection tools, manipulation tools, creation tools and workspace tools. It also covers professional design principles and tips and tricks to get you started on photoshop.
Duration : 8 hours on-demand video
Rating : 4.5
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