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FREE Graphic Design Courses Online (Learn On Your Own)

Have you ever thought about starting a career in graphic design or has it been a while since you last worked in the field and you want to refresh your skills? FREE Graphic Design Courses Online (Learn On Your Own)

Graphic design is becoming increasingly lucrative with each passing day. If you want to start a career in graphic design, you might be restricted due to the high price associated with kicking off a career in graphic design. This article will provide you with all the needed information about free online graphic design courses. These courses are suitable for both beginners and experts in the graphic design field.

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 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 lying 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. Becoming a graphic designer does not necessarily have to be done formally in a school; in fact, once you understand the core principles of graphic designers and familiarize yourself with the graphic design process, you are good to go. Some of the reputable online course providers that provide courses in graphic designs are: Udemy, Skillshare, Alison, Coursera, Canva

What Is Graphic Design?

Graphic design is a craft that involves creating visual content to communicate messages. Graphic designers often use typography and pictures to meet users’ specific needs and focus on the logic of displaying elements in interactive designs, to optimize the user experience.

Types of Graphic Design

There are 8 types of graphic design. They are visual identity graphic design, marketing & advertising graphic design, web design, publication graphic design, packaging graphic design, motion graphic design, environmental graphic design, and illustration for graphic design.

How to Teach Yourself Graphic Design

  • 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
  • Diversify your skillset (enroll in more courses)
  • Find work as a freelance graphic designer

Free Online Graphic Design Courses with Certificates

Platforms like Skillshare, Udemy, Coursera, Alison, and Udemy offer graphic design courses with a printable certificate.

Below we’ve shared the top 10 reputable online graphic design course providers and their recommended courses to start teaching yourself graphic design.

  1. Skillshare: Skillshare Design Courses offers prospective students lots of courses centered on graphic design. Many of these are available for free, or with a paid subscription, you can access them all.
  2. Coursera (more in-depth): Coursera Free Design Courses – Coursera offers online courses from some of the top universities such as Stanford and Yale. Coursera also offers some free graphic design courses. However, while you can take the class,  you will not be offered a  certificate at the completion of the course. Some popular graphic design courses on Coursera are:
  • Graphic Design by David Underwood
  • Fundamentals of Graphic Design
  • Introduction to Typography

    3. Udemy: Udemy also offers Graphic Design Courses such as Introduction to Graphic Design, Learn Adobe Photoshop from Scratch, and so much more. At the end of these courses, students are offered a certificate of completion.

    4. 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.

   5. Alison: Alison also offers some Free Graphic Design Courses. While Alison online offers completely free classes, they are uncredited. This means that the certificate of completion or diploma issued at the completion of the course might not be recognized by your current or prospective employers.

    6. Canva: 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.

     7. Shaw Academy: Shaw Academy has several graphic design courses available including a thorough Graphic Design course, a budget graphic design course, and courses on Photoshop, Illustrator and Web Design. The course is free for 4 weeks and then goes to $70/m, including access to all other courses in their catalog.

     8. Creative Live

     9. Graphic Design School 

     10. Interaction Design Foundation

    11. Pringboard

Graphic Design Courses

Alison Online, Udemy Massachusetts Institute of Technology, offers some basic intuitive courses on Graphic Design. For instance, Udemy features videos by independent teaching contractors with prices depending on the length of the video, the teacher, and the field. Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers an online graphic design class that provides a few simple activities that will help you learn graphic design techniques and concepts. Visit the MIT website for more information on these courses.

Free Online Graphic Design Courses Certificates

Some of the best graphic design certificates are:

Graphic Design Certification by Calarts (Coursera)

Graphic Design Bootcamp Online (Udemy)

Free Graphic Design Courses (Skillshare)

Learn Professional 2D Game Graphic Design in Photoshop

Canva Graphics Design for Entrepreneurs – Design 11 Projects

The Best Free Graphic Design Software

Mastering the art of graphic design consists of making use of graphic design software around. Although you might not need to study formally in a 4-year institution to become a designer, you will need basic knowledge around graphic design software. Some of the best graphic design software recommended by pros in the field are:


CorelDRAW is a vector graphics editor developed and marketed by Corel Corporation. The latest version is marketed as CorelDraw Graphics Suite 2020 and was released in March 2020. CorelDraw is designed to edit two-dimensional images, such as logos and posters.  CorelDraw is also used to create professional-looking images, vector illustrations, web graphics, blueprints, and more.

Adobe InDesign

Adobe InDesign is a big Desktop Publishing tool like Microsoft Word. But InDesign is way more advanced than Microsoft word. InDesign can be used to make flyers, business cards, magazines, brochures, and on. It is by far the most essential tool in that kind of Desktop Publishing world.

InDesign Tutorial

To master the art of using the Adobe InDesign tool, you’ll need a few InDesign tutorials to get you started.  With InDesign, you can create limitless designs. Persons interested in learning how to use the InDesign tool can visit creativebloq website on various tutorials on InDesign

Graphic Design Schools

You might want to get a formal degree in graphic design instead of taking online classes and tutorials. The schools listed below are considered some of the best schools in the United States for Graphic designs. They include Rhode Island School of Design, Boston University, The New School in New York, Pratt Institute, California Institute of the Arts, and Ringling College of Art and Design. These schools offer various graphic design and art programs for both bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

How to choose the best Graphic Design Course 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.

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