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12 Free Resources for Learning Graphic Design

Learning the basics of graphic design and how to use programs in Adobe Creative Suite and Canva is a key skill set any entrepreneur or job-seeker will want to develop. In addition to being a great resume builder, an understanding of graphic design principles and tools is bound to come in handy whether you’re looking to improve your business’ website, create a unique and eye-catching logo, or throw a quick infographic up on social media. Below you will discover a mix of online courses, digital magazines, and YouTube channels for improving your graphic design skills!


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ONLINE COURSES

  • Alison is a digital learning platform featuring thousands of online courses! Simply sign up for free to access general design classes like Graphic Design 1: Visual and Graphic Design and Graphic Design 2: Applying Design Principles, or more technical tutorials on how to use programs like Adobe Photoshop.
  • Introduction to Graphic Design: With this free online course hosted by Udemy, students will learn the basics of design theory with no software necessary!
  • Introduction to Graphic Design on Canva: This free online course takes students through four modules that explore fonts, colors, images, backgrounds, and layouts with Canva. Canva is a free (though members can upgrade) design website filled with templates and tools for creating everything from striking marketing infographics to inspirational social media banners.
  • User Interface Design and Implementation: Are you interested in the more technical side of design? If so, this free course hosted by MIT on human-computer interactions and user-interface design is for you! Those with an eye for detail will appreciate the extensive notes, lesson plans, and homework activities that come with this course!

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DIGITAL MAGAZINES & BLOGS

  • Layers Magazine: Discover a multitude of inspirational articles and video tutorials for Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign and Lightroom!
  • Smashing Magazine: Geared towards those who are particularly interested in web design, Smashing Magazine features thousands of articles, e-books, conferences, and workshops for those interested in improving their web development and design abilities.
  • Adobe Create Magazine: On this beautifully designed site, you can pick from articles to read on matters ranging from branding to motion graphics. With this magazine, you will be able to see what other creatives are doing in their fields to get inspired!
  • Canva Blog: You will love reading these quick but relevant articles full of inspiring quotes, how-to articles, general tips, and profiles on designers in the design community!

YOUTUBE CHANNELS

Terry White’s Tech Blog: Be sure to scroll through Terry White’s YouTube channel for hundreds of videos filled with this designer’s technical expertise on all things Adobe. You’ll soon be hooked as you learn everything from how to design movie posters to how to whiten teeth with Photoshop!

Shawn Berry, Creative: If you’re interested in design theory, Shawn Berry is the YouTuber for you – you’ll love his extensive playlists on typography, visual elements, color, and more!

Will Patterson Logo Design: Do you want to learn about all things logo-related? If so, you’ll love Will Patterson’s channel. Patterson’s main focus is on logo design, where he shares his insights on presenting logos to clients for his audiences, creating modern logos, and so on!

Teela Cunningham: With Teela Cunningham’s video tutorials, you will discover how to create everything from beautiful and complex patterns to watercolor typography both by hand and by using digital design programs!


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anna Deen is a student at Washington University in St. Louis studying English Literature, American Culture Studies, and Communication Design. In her free time, she enjoys hiking in the mountains, going to art museums, and eating ice cream.

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