Have you always wanted to learn graphic design? No need to return to school. Check these free courses you can do online from anywhere.
Graphic design is a very rewarding career. It has many applications in various industries, so you will find many jobs out there. When you acquire the techniques, skills, you can become a photo editor, logo and apparel designer, web and multimedia designer, production artist, art director, or user interface (UI) professional.
The best part – you can express your ideas and showcase your creativity, which gives you immense satisfaction. Literally anything can be recreated in a digital form: from a 3D model of a car to a genuine ! Why not give this domain a test by taking up some free graphic design classes to see whether it’s your thing or not.
There are all kinds of graphic design courses. Luckily, there are many free courses too that can help you learn the design principles, composition, the use of color, and much more. They’ll give you a chance to set the vector of your graphic design orientation, and decide what kind of it you’re more into. And all that without spending a dime!
The first comes Massachusetts Institute of Technology, offering OpenCourseWare online. This is a database of free courses, created by many professional teachers, who teach at MIT or have successfully graduated and now work in their field. Courses for graphic design here are linked to another topic, like web coding or interface designing, which is great because you can learn different things by joining one single course.
The free course deals mostly with the practical application instead of just theory, so you won’t be ambushed by the actual task, appearing on your way. There are simple activities too that you will do hands-on. As a result, it will be easier for you to learn the concepts and techniques.
Coursera is a large database of some of the best courses from the op universities like Yale and Stanford. Not every course in this platform is free but when you click the “audit class” button, you will get access to its free version.
You can start with “The Fundamentals of Graphic Design,” offered by Michael Worthington, who teaches at the California Institute of Arts. In this course, you will learn how to implement visuals, rhythm, and pattern in design. You’ll also learn techniques of image-making, how to create your own series of images, how to use scale, direction, texture, weight, and space in your project. Michael will tell you about the basic rules for typography creation, teach you the fundamentals of shapes and colors, visual contrasts, and cropping. You can enroll for free!
3) Alison Online
The goal of Alison is to help everyone study anything they want for free. It is a non-profit organization that also offers premium plans with additional features, that everybody can find something, fitting their budget and goals.
You will discover many free graphic design courses on Alison. This means you are sure to find something no matter what your level of expertise is. There are also free courses for specific elements of graphic design like “Design Principles” and “Photoshop Tools”. You can also appear for a test free of charge after the course and get your certificate. The certificate, however, will cost $20 and a framed diploma $100.
This huge free online courses platform presents tons of educational courses, covering the most essential graphic design topics, aside from many other categories. Kadenze offers many courses on music, creative technology, and arts. Like Alison, you will be charged to get a certificate.
The most suitable courses feature topics like “Introduction to Graphic Illustration”, “Introduction to Graphic Design”, “Custom Handlettering”, “The Practical History of Typography”, “Digital Drawings: Points, Lines, Curves”, and may other. Every class comes with a brief syllabus and when you’re done with the course itself, you might check out the related educational lessons in order to dig deeper into the topic or study the topics, very close to the learnt one.
5) Veerle’s Blog
Veerle Pieters is a graphic and web designer from Belgium. She has extensive experience working on many branding and marketing projects. In her blog, you will find some free Adobe Illustrator tutorials, so if you work in this graphic design software and willing to learn some basic tricks & special tips, you’re welcome to drop by this cute blog! When you’re done studying, you might want to see the freebies, created by the author. What if they inspire you to carry out something similarly great?
Apart from it, there are many helpful articles, and tips that will help you immensely. One of them is getting very useful insights on how to create a portfolio — the skill, that’s sometimes is underestimated a little, but very crucial to the career of a graphic designer.
If you’re familiar with Canva and have checked out its efficiency in many creative tasks, then you’ll be happy to discover more functions of this magnificent software. Canva offers tutorials, lessons, articles, and many resources for graphic designers!
The plentitude of course is not that great, but they all compensate the number by the quality of offered knowledge. Canva’s basics, preparing the social media posts and working on the striking presentations — the new knowledge is going to flow constantly! The lessons are all as long-form articles, packed with example designs, and links to various resources.
7) LinkedIn Learning
Just like many others, LinkedIn has its learning platform too. And don’t get confused by the Premium label on the placed courses there: without actually becoming a Premium member, you can benefit from the presented lessons for a whole month!
So, in the first 30 days, you will be able to access more than 13,000 courses, and it would be better to have a list of desirable topics in advance so as to never miss anything during this educational month. You can join as many courses as you like! These courses are recognized by the industry, which means you will be able to become a graphic designer or improve your skills.
If the previous courses were packed with standard college-like formats of teaching, this platform looks more like a set of tutorials on graphic design. The courses are to-the-point, terse and contain very thorough descriptions of the steps you need to make. The central idea is to show how to create in various programs like Illustrator, Photoshop, and After Effects from scratch.
Photo editing or text effects, animation, branding bits, mockup presentations — the abundance of educational material is fascinating! There are 23 pages of valuable information you can absorb and utilise later on in the projects you’re busy with. Some courses last 30-40 minutes, while other ones go for a couple of hours, which is always stated in the course description.
9) Creative Pro How-Tos
Practical tasks mixed with theoretical information on the subject — this platform has everything and even more! In the endless pages of handy tutorials you’re sure to discover the courses for your saves. If you’re ever browsed though the digital marketplaces, dedicated to graphic design, you’ve probably seen all these text effects, actions, photo filters, textures and so on. Here, you can learn how to make these assets yourself and who knows, maybe one day you’ll open a shop to become rich and famous?
If you roam around the website, you’ll also find interesting articles and curious opinions on graphic design, so don’t rush to “Close” button when you’re done with intellectual enlightenment. You can also subscribe to their newsletter to always be alert about the new stuff posted.
Everyone heard of this renowned educational platform, full of unique courses on any existing topic. The videos for these courses are very professional, supported by a well-written script and comprehensible showcasing. You’ll definitely appreciate the production and efforts, put into each episode. It might seem that such a perfect platform doesn’t offer free goods, but it’s not exactly like that!
The way of watching your selected courses freely is to sign up for a free trial period of 7 days. Browse though the library, select the videos you need or like the most and focus on absorbing knowledge during the upcoming week. Remember to remain disciplined and determined to receive new skills as any missed day will be wasted for good.