11 Best Online Graphic Design Courses

1- Fundamentals of Graphic Design

2- Graphic Design Bootcamp: Part 1

3- After Effects CC 2019: Complete Course from Novice to Expert

4- Graphic Design Masterclass – Learn GREAT Design

5- Introduction to Graphic Illustration

6- Intro to the Design of Everyday Things

7- Design Thinking for Innovation

8- Fundamentals of Visualization with Tableau

9- Advanced Styling with Responsive Design

10- Introduction to Typography

11- Human-Centered Design: an Introduction

 

11 Best Graphic Design Courses

Course #1: Fundamentals of Graphic Design

Gain major fundamentals of graphic designing through this graphic design certification course. Because it is filled with visual examples, such as typography, image making. And working with color, shape and composition. All these are some foundational skills common in all areas of graphic design. After all, graphic design is about making and communicating. And that is why this course offers lots of opportunities to work on practical projects. But to succeed in this course, you will need access to a computer. Finally, prior knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite programs will benefit you here. And those programs include Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign.

Offered by: California Institute of the Arts via Coursera 

Instructed by: Michael Worthington (Faculty, Program in Graphic Design, School of Art)

Price: free

Skills and Knowledge Imparted: 

  1. Graphics
  2. Design theory
  3. Color theory

Difficulty Level: beginner

Duration and Total Lectures: 14 hours

Average User Rating: 4.8 (6,184 ratings)

Review:

It’s an excellent yet free online course on graphic design. After the completion, 51% of students started a new career in this field. Learners find the assignments enjoyable. They aren’t overwhelming. But are easy to begin with. And optional ones offer great opportunity to explore graphic design fundamentals further. It’s a great course for beginners, but might be a bit too basic for someone who already has some experience in design. It’s still good for such learners. Because it breaks things down to simplest parts. Thus it becomes very easy to remember root concepts better.

Course #2: Graphic Design Bootcamp: Part 1

You will use Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator during the progression of this course. Because these are industry-standard applications for graphic design. Relevant terms and design practices are reviewed in this course. Thus students can create pixel-perfect projects for print and web. With the goal to get them started as successful graphic designers.
 
There is also a private Facebook group with over 13,000 students and increasing. And it is to be used as another resource as students go through this course. Projects are posted, insightful critiques are shared. Networks with other like-minded international students and professionals are built on that group. All the principles covered in this course transcend to tools used everyday. For instance, CS3, CC 2019, Sketch, Pixelmator etc. 

Offered by: Udemy

Instructed by: Derrick Mitchell (creative director and online teacher)

Price: $18.99

Skills and Knowledge Imparted: 

  1. Understanding how to work with print/web projects in Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.
  2. Creating things like flyers, business cards, web graphics and more.
  3. Building a skill set that can set you up to be employable in the creative industry as a graphic designer.
  4. Creating business cards, custom logos, brochures, web graphics and flyers ,etc.

Difficulty Level: beginner

Duration and Total Lectures: 96 lectures, 15.5 hours

Average User Rating: 4.5 (10,193 ratings)

Review:

A Udemy bestseller course for more than a year. A very fast-paced course, but with the option to go back and re-watch in case something is unclear. It’s a great course as the instructor covers many different parts of the graphic design world in a good pace.

The only thing learners wished to see in this course is more of the keystrokes. Because there are many shortcuts that come up and seeing them again helps memorize them.

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Course #3: After Effects CC 2019: Complete Course from Novice to Expert

Aiming to practice and develop your skills as a visual effects and graphics artist? This is the perfect course for you. Because it is the most comprehensive, highest-rated after-effects course. And it contains over 430+ lectures and 30+ hours of video. The course will start with a fast track to get familiar with After Effects. And then proceed to create crash animation. Then it will teach students all about essential transformations using practical animations. To aid in that process, effective examples are included.
 
You will be required to build projects and videos from scratch. Thus you will learn more about a myriad of After Effects features. This course also covers essential manipulation of many methods in After Effects. With emphasis on practical uses of those methods highlighted as well. 

Offered by: Udemy

Instructed by: Louay Zambarakji  (motion graphics/visual effects/video editing)

Price: $18.99

Skills and Knowledge Imparted: 

  1. Understanding the concepts behind animation techniques.
  2. Learning how to design, animate, and sequence complete motion graphics projects.
  3. Working with all the transformations, basic and beyond.
  4. Learning easy yet powerful techniques to create the most complex animations.
  5. Creating stunning visual effects using Build in Effects.
  6. Applying special effects such as Rotoscoping, Chromakeying, Camera Tracking and many others.

Difficulty Level: beginner

Duration and Total Lectures: 430 lectures, 30 hours

Average User Rating: 4.6 (12,481 ratings)

Review:

This is the ultimate after-effects and visual graphics course. And it is for anyone looking to polish on these skills. An excellent course where you’ll enjoy the teaching style. It’s recommended as a vital course. Particularly if you want to understand basics of after effects’ powerful graphics engine. This is the most satisfying video course you will ever buy.
 
But it is not only about after effects. It is also about the knowledge and will to share that knowledge. And these are the things that make this course so interesting and important. To conclude, this course is for anyone willing to understand after effects in all areas. 

Course #4: Graphic Design Masterclass – Learn GREAT Design

Ever felt overwhelmed or confused about using things like Photoshop and Adobe InDesign? Can’t seem to create real-world design projects? Then you should start by going over related basics and techniques. The practical stuff that makes your brain confused sometimes. But then the question arises. How do I tackle those basics and techniques? Techniques like typography and color theory, cutting objects and Adobe Photoshop? How do I use liquefying tools and the whole lot of them?
 
Well, you can stop worrying about those answers. Because this comprehensive course is here for you to learn graphic designing. And you will do so by finding answers to above questions yourself! Thus this course will help you select which design niche you should concentrate. Because it comes with an exploratory mini-class. And that is added to the Graphic Design Masterclass course on Udemy (Section 15). 

Offered by: Udemy

Instructed by: Lindsay Marsh (graphic design: Photoshop; illustrator, Canva, XD)

Price: $194.99 

Skills and Knowledge Imparted: 

  1. Logo design
  2. Print and editorial design
  3. Pattern design and illustration
  4. Package design
  5. Branding design
  6. UX/UI design
  7. Social media/digital graphic design

Difficulty Level: beginner/intermediate

Duration and Total Lectures: 129 lectures, 13.5 hours

Average User Rating: 4.6 (2,989 ratings) 

Review:

Students found the pace with which this course proceeds exactly right. But still somewhat fast to learners with no prior knowledge. So it doesn’t matter if you’re starting out as a newbie or happen to have some skills in the area. This course is suitable for everyone. The instructor is very experienced and artful. Furthermore, she is a clear and articulate communicator, too.

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Course #5: Introduction to Graphic Illustration

In today’s diverse consumer market, you can never know too much. Because there is always something new being discovered or created. Especially when it comes to creative fields like graphic designing. Graphic illustration exists through many expressive forms. And some of those forms are separate from traditional roles of an illustrator.
 
Through a series of projects here, students will see production of their creativity. They will witness those creative ideas being distributed on other platforms too. Through a combination of design principles and drawing skills, students will gain opportunities. And those opportunities will lead them to illustrated expressionism in graphic design market.

Offered by: Cornish College of the Arts via Kadenze 

Instructed by: Junichi Tsuneoka (instructor)

Price: free

Skills and Knowledge Imparted: 

  1. Digital art 
  2. Graphic illustration

Difficulty Level: beginner

Duration and Total Lectures: 6 weeks

Average User Rating: 4.5 (4,750 ratings)

Review:

A prerequisite to this course is basic drawing skills. And also basic digital tool skills. Such as those related to Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. Furthermore, having an understanding of fundamental design theory will be a plus. Students will find themselves getting college credit after taking this graphic designing course. It builds on what you think you knew about graphic design such that you take home new concepts and theories.

Course #6: Intro to the Design of Everyday Things

They say boredom is often the mother of some of the best ideas anyone comes up with. But the more you know about good design, the more you can bring those ideas to life, be it on a piece of paper or on a screen. This program is actually a precise. It builds on concepts presented in first two chapters of Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman.
 
Those concepts explain how one can represent the same thing in different ways. How one can draw a living room from a new angle. And how one can visualize then draw their everyday experiences in a new light. Thus this course is intended for those eager to know more about design. Finally, the content targets everyday people, technical people, designers, and non-designers alike.

Offered by: Udacity

Instructed by: Don Norman (instructor), Kristian Simsarian (instructor) and Chelsey Glasson (instructor)

Price: free

Skills and Knowledge Imparted: 

  1. Learning about signifiers and how to improve the utility of your designs.
  2. Using conceptual models to improve your designs.
  3. Learning how to design such that users develop their own conceptual model.
  4. Discovering design and creation possibilities using Gulf of Evaluation.
  5. Combining everything learned in this course to design the user interface for a Timebank.
  6. Sketching a concept of your design.
  7. Conducting user testing to improve upon your design.

Difficulty Level: beginner

Duration and Total Lectures: 2 weeks

Average User Rating: 4.5

Review:

This course contains knowledge needed to understand the role graphic design plays in everyday world. And to start making better design decisions in one’s own life. You will not only learn basic design concepts. But you will also gain practical knowledge by observing and applying design principles. To conclude, this is one of the best graphic designing courses you will find.

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Course #7: Design Thinking for Innovation

Before you set off to create graphic designs that you wish can create a huge impact on the world out there, consider learning more about the very process of design thinking itself. What design questions need to be addressed?

Thus this online class provides a general summary of design thinking with the help of a model containing four key questions and several tools to help students understand design thinking as a problem solving approach. Furthermore, this course considers some stories from various organizations that used design thinking to discover and utilize fascinating solutions.

Offered by: University of Virginia via Coursera 

Instructed by: Jeanne M. Liedtka (professor of business administration, Darden School of Business) 

Price: free

Skills and Knowledge Imparted: 

  1. Strategic thinking
  2. Design thinking
  3. Innovation management
  4. Design management
  5. Innovation

Difficulty Level: beginner

Duration and Total Lectures: 10 hours 

Average User Rating: 4.6 (3,074 ratings)

Review:

This course is a great way to view other instances of how different projects, industries, and teams have used design thinking. But it is still easy to follow. And learners will find that this program is an eye-opener to a whole new world of graphics design.

Also a great course for designers and entrepreneurs. Finally, it touches on innovation, which is one of the most desired traits in today’s world.

Course #8: Fundamentals of Visualization with Tableau

This is the first course in Data Visualization with Tableau Specialization. In it, you will gain a clear understanding of what data visualization actually is. And how it can be better used to see and understand data. Thus using Tableau, this course examines fundamental concepts of data visualization and explores Tableau interface, identifying and applying the various Tableau tools. So, at the completion of this course, students will be able to prepare and import data into Tableau. And explain the relationship between data analytics and data visualization. Furthermore, this program is designed such that novice learners can use Tableau in it as well. It serves as a guide through necessary steps to create your first visualization graphic design from scratch based on data context.

Offered by: University of California, Davis via Coursera 

Instructed by: Suk S. Brar, M.B.A. (lead business consultant, Blue Shield of California) and Govind Acharya (principal analyst, Budget and Institutional Analysis) 

Price: free

Skills and Knowledge Imparted: 

  1. Tableau software
  2. Data virtualization
  3. Data visualization (dataviz)
  4. Visualization (computer graphics)

Difficulty Level: Beginner 

Duration and Total Lectures: 10 hours 

Average User Rating: 4.5 (2,585 ratings)

Review:

43% of this course’s students ended up starting a new career affiliated with graphic designing. Students claimed it was an ‘amazing course with amazing instructors and assignments.’ They really enjoyed working with Tableau.

Course #9: Advanced Styling with Responsive Design

Responsive layouts are becoming more and more desirable. Because this is not the age of desktop computers alone anymore. There are much smaller screens being used widely now. Creating graphic design elements that will surely fit on each and every kind of those small screens can be a challenge if you aren’t familiar with the basics involved in creating it, such as CSS3. This course will help you gain those much-needed skills if you are to create a responsive design. This is the fourth course in the Web Design For Everybody Specialization. Additional courses focus on adding interactivity with the JavaScript Programming Language and completing a capstone project.

Offered by: University of Michigan via Coursera 

Instructed by: Colleen van Lent, Ph.D. (lecturer, School of Information) and Charles Russell Severance (professor, School of Information) 

Price: free

Skills and Knowledge Imparted: 

  1. Bootstrap (front-end framework)
  2. Responsive web design
  3. Javascript
  4. Cascading style sheets (CSS)

Difficulty Level: intermediate/expert

Duration and Total Lectures: 10 hours 

Average User Rating: 4.7 (1,532 ratings)

Review:

A prerequisite to this course is that learners come with a basic understanding of HTML and CSS. 50% of its students started new careers in the field. Well-structured, well-taught and easy to follow course with great exercises for improving aforementioned skills.

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Course #10: Introduction to Typography

As the course description itself explains, “Typography is the art of manipulating the visual form of language to enrich and control its meaning. It’s an essential area of skill and knowledge for graphic designers. Typography predates modern graphic design by around 500 years; it is rich in rules, conventions, and esoteric terminology—but it remains an exciting space for invention and expression.”

Keeping this brief introduction to what typography is in mind, this rigorously beginner’s course will focus on studying, naming and measuring characteristics of letter forms; the historical and aesthetic histories of familiar typefaces; time-tested conventions and best practices in setting type. Lectures include a series of three peer-assessed assignments, concluding in an opportunity to design a full-scale typographic poster. 

Offered by: California Institute of the Arts via Coursera 

Instructed by: Anther Kiley (instructor)

Price: free 

Skills and Knowledge Imparted: 

  1. Adobe Indesign
  2. History of design. 
  3. Getting creative with everyday design concepts.
  4. Graphics

Difficulty Level: beginner

Duration and Total Lectures: 10 hours

Average User Rating: 4.8 (2,720 ratings)

Review:

A prerequisite to this course is a basic working knowledge of Adobe InDesign or some other page layout software. Access to a computer and page layout software, such as InDesign, to complete the assignments, is required. The main typeface study is carried out throughout this graphic design program. The content is very well organized and detailed regarding the history and characteristics of typography. 

Course #11: Human-Centered Design: an Introduction

Design that centers around humans as a species, their likes, dislikes, frustrations and what not. Design that keeps all those subjectivities and their myriad colors. A design that revolves around those colors…now that’s something new altogether. This course is aimed at teaching how to design technologies that create such graphic designs; designs the likes of which include rapid prototyping, evaluating multiple interface alternatives and why rapid prototyping and comparative evaluation are essential to excellent interaction design.

You’ll learn how to conduct fieldwork with people to help you get design ideas. Armed with these design-thinking strategies, you’ll be able to do more creative human-centered design in any domain. This is the first course in the interaction design specialization.

Offered by: University of California San Diego via Coursera 

Instructed by: Scott Klemmer (professor, Cognitive Science and Computer Science) 

Price: free

Skills and Knowledge Imparted: 

  1. Rapid prototyping
  2. Story-boarding
  3. Heuristic evaluation
  4. Paper prototyping

Difficulty Level: beginner/intermediate

Duration and Total Lectures: 15 hours 

Average User Rating: 4.7 (2,046 ratings)

Review:

Even those with a lot of past experience in graphic design will take home many new concepts from this online graphic designing course. It’s very enjoyable and fast-paced, with tons of practical and factual information. Peer evaluations are also a part of this course, which are a great learning tool.

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