best online course for graphic design

There are many online courses for graphic design you can find online online, but only a couple of them deliver more than just entertainment. Going to the great lengths along with the necessary effort in order to understand and master the topic is huge deal when combined with competitive price – it’s even bigger challenge.

Do you want to start a career in Graphic Design or refresh your design skills? One of these fantastic graphic design certifications and courses will help you learn new skills or refresh your knowledge.

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.

1. Graphic Design Specialization by CalArts (Coursera)

Online Courses by CalArts

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.

Key Highlights

  • 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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2. Graphic Design Masterclass – Learn Great Design (Udemy)

Udemy Online Courses

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.

Key Highlights

  • 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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3. Graphic Design Elements for Non-Designers Specialization by University of Colorado Boulder (Coursera)

Online Courses by University of Colorado Boulder

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:

  1. The first course focuses on basic elements of design, design principles and overview of software used for design.
  2. 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.
  3. The third course focuses on the textual elements of graphic design, so students will learn about types, fonts, typography and spacing.
  4. 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.

Key Highlights

  • 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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4. Graphic Design Bootcamp (Udemy)

Udemy Online Courses

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.

Key Highlights

  • 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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5. Become a Graphic Designer (LinkedIn Learning – Lynda)

LinkedIn Learning - Lynda Online Courses

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!
  • Introducing Illustrator
    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

Best Online Graphic Design Classes

Learn the skills and tools you need to thrive in this growing field

Our editors independently research and recommend the best products and services. You can learn more about our independent review process and partners in our advertiser disclosure. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

From branding and web design to print promotions and online advertising, graphic design plays a major role in the marketing of every business. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the graphic design industry keeps 281,500 employed, but the industry headcount will decline by 4% by 2029.1 That means that designers who work to improve their skills and knowledge of industry trends and tools will have a competitive edge in their fields.  

Online graphic design classes can help budding artists learn the skills and tools they need to begin a career in graphic design. We reviewed over two dozen online courses based on popularity, ratings, skills taught, accessibility, price, and more. Here are our top picks.

The 8 Best Online Graphic Design Classes of 2022

Best Online Graphic Design Classes

BEST OVERALLGraphic Design Bootcamp by Udemy


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Growing up in a small Turkish village, Udemy founder Eren Bali had very limited educational opportunities. Inspired by the idea of online learning after his parents bought him a computer, Bali founded Udemy in 2007. Today, Udemy offers over 155,000 courses in 65 languages taught by 56,000 instructors. 

Udemy’s Graphic Design Bootcamp was created to help beginners quickly learn the skills to produce high-quality, professional print and web projects in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. As a result, students will need to have access to those programs for this course.

Udemy’s Graphic Design Bootcamp is taught by Derrick Mitchell, a graphic designer who has taught nearly 150,000 students online in 11 classes. At the time of writing, the course had more than 109,513 students already enrolled and nearly 15,000 reviews, with an average rating of 4.4 stars out of five. We chose this class as the best overall because of its impressive number of positive reviews, experienced instructor, and reasonable price.       

The Graphic Design Bootcamp consists of 15.5 hours of on-demand video, one article, and 13 downloadable resources. Students will learn how to create professional print and web projects in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. The course also covers the basics of logo design, including typography and color usage, and how to develop the skills to become a marketable graphic designer.   

Udemy’s Graphic Design Bootcamp is available for a one-time purchase price of $149.99 and can be accessed online, on mobile devices, and through the Udemy app. Students get full lifetime access to the course and a certificate of completion at the end of the course. Udemy also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

RUNNER-UP, BEST OVERALLGraphic Design Masterclass by Udemy


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Another top offering from Udemy, the Graphic Design Masterclass will teach students the essential tools and capabilities of Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign as well as design theory, branding, and logo creation. We chose it as our runner-up since it has a lower enrollment than Udemy’s Graphic Design Bootcamp with more reviews and a slightly less appealing curriculum.

The Graphic Design Masterclass is taught by Lindsay Marsh, a graphic designer with over 15 years of experience who has taught nearly 200,000 students online in 17 classes. At the time of writing, the course had more than 100,000 students already enrolled and over 28,000 reviews, with an average rating of 4.6 stars out of five.       

The Graphic Design Masterclass consists of 25.5 hours of on-demand video, one article, and 41 downloadable resources. Although the class is geared toward beginners, it is also detailed enough for intermediate and advanced students.

In addition to learning the essential tools and capabilities of Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, students will develop a comprehensive understanding of typography, color theory, photos, layout, blocking, and other design skills. The course also instructs students on creating logos and branding packages, how to create magazine layouts in InDesign, logo and ad design principles, and a step-by-step process for becoming a graphic designer.

Udemy’s Graphic Design Masterclass is available for a one-time purchase price of $174.99 and can be accessed online, on mobile devices, and through the Udemy app. Students get full lifetime access to the course and a certificate of completion at the end of the course. Udemy also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

BEST FOR BEGINNERSThe Complete Graphic Design Theory for Beginners Course by Udemy


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Unlike Udemy’s previous two courses, the Complete Graphic Design Theory for Beginners Course focuses on graphic design theory and best practices with real-world applications rather than on learning specific graphic design software. We chose it as the best for beginners because it provides a solid foundation in graphic design with hands-on practice projects.

The Complete Graphic Design Theory for Beginners Course is taught by Lindsay Marsh, the instructor of our runner-up pick, the Graphic Design Masterclass, and Jeremy Deighan, an experienced graphic designer who has taught over 200,000 students online in 17 classes. 

The Complete Graphic Design Theory for Beginners Course consists of 8.5 hours of on-demand video, one article, and 10 downloadable resources. At the time of writing, the course had nearly 50,000 students already enrolled and over 9,000 reviews with an average of 4.6 stars out of five. Unlike the previous two Udemy classes we reviewed, students do not need to have access to Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign.

Instead, students will gain intermediate- to expert-level knowledge of graphic design theory that can be applied to their careers. The course also covers color theory, photography composition, logo design and branding, and how to follow the proper laws of copyright and trademarks. Finally, students are offered a step-by-step process to becoming a graphic designer along with real-world projects they can follow along with and practice. 

Udemy’s Complete Graphic Design Theory for Beginners Course is available for a one-time purchase price of $159.99 and can be accessed online, on mobile devices, and through the Udemy app. Students get full lifetime access to the course and a certificate of completion at the end of the course. Udemy also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

BEST VALUESkillshare Graphic Design Courses


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Skillshare was created in 2010 as an online learning platform where anyone could create classes based on their individual expertise. Now, the platform has a catalog of over 37,000 classes in design, business, tech, and more. We chose it as the best value since it offers a variety of graphic design courses for a limited free membership. Users can also update to a paid membership for an affordable, subscription-based price.

Skillshare offers hundreds of graphic design courses in the theory and core principles of graphic design as well as specific platforms, including logo design, 3D illustration, brand identity design, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Affinity Designer, and more. Courses can be sorted by popularity, time length, or topic.

Every Skillshare course can provide students feedback for projects, allowing them to put their skills into practice. They can also share and collaborate with a community of over 12 million users. Skillshare courses can be accessed online anytime with the Skillshare app.

Skillshare has a limited number of classes available for free. However, if users want access to Skillshare’s full course catalog, they’ll need a premium membership, which has a 30-day free trial period. After that, students can purchase a Premium membership for $13.99 per month billed annually or $32 per month billed monthly. In addition to extending course access, a Premium membership also allows students to view each course offline.

BEST FOR INTERMEDIATE DESIGNERSGraphic Design Masterclass The NEXT Level by Udemy


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A follow-up to Udemy’s Graphic Design Masterclass, the Graphic Design Masterclass: The NEXT Level is ideal for intermediate-level students who want to learn more about digital design and building a portfolio. We chose it as the best for intermediate designers because of its focus on advanced graphic design skills and career building.

The NEXT Level is taught by Lindsay Marsh, the instructor of the beginner-focused Graphic Design Masterclass. At the time of writing, the course had more than 24,000 students already enrolled and over 2,600 reviews with an average rating of 4.7 stars out of five.       

The NEXT Level consists of 16.5 hours of on-demand video and 29 downloadable resources. Students who enroll should have a basic working knowledge of Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign and access to Adobe Creative Cloud version 5.5 or newer.

In addition to diving deeper into logo, ad, digital, and social media ad design, students of the course will also learn how to use more intermediate tools in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop and the mechanics of Photoshop editing and manipulation.

In terms of professional development, the course also lets students work through an entire logo design process, including how to export files and present work to clients. It showcases different options for making money by selling creative content and resources, how to create and build a strong graphic design portfolio, and what makes compelling advertising.

Udemy’s Graphic Design Masterclass: The NEXT Level course is available for a one-time purchase price of $129.99 and can be accessed online, on mobile devices, and through the Udemy app. Students get full lifetime access to the course and a certificate of completion at the end of the course. Udemy also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

BEST FOR EXPERIENCED DESIGNERSDigital Design Masterclass for Graphic Designers by Udemy


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Udemy’s Digital Design Masterclass for Graphic Designers is designed to help graphic designers expand their skill-set and offer more services by mastering digital design projects including social media, icon design, web design, and more. We chose it as the best for experienced designers because of its focus on advanced digital design projects.

The Digital Design Masterclass for Graphic Designers is taught by Lindsay Marsh, the instructor of the Graphic Design Masterclass and the Graphic Design Masterclass: The NEXT Level. At the time of writing, the course had nearly 5,000 students already enrolled and over 600 reviews with an average rating of 4.6 stars out of five.       

The Digital Design Masterclass for Graphic Designers consists of 9.5 hours of on-demand video and five downloadable resources. Students who enroll should have a basic working knowledge of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.

Students of the course will learn a wide variety of digital design projects like icon design, website layout, digitizing sketches and typography, e-book cover design, social media campaign design, digital display ads, YouTube thumbnail design, and more. The course also covers the basics of WordPress and website design, creating animated gifs and animated display ads, and creating Apple App Store icons and entire icon sets from start to finish.  

Udemy’s Digital Design Masterclass for Graphic Designers is available for a one-time purchase price of $129.99 and can be accessed online, on mobile devices, and through the Udemy app. Students get full lifetime access to the course and a certificate of completion at the end of the course. Udemy also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

BEST UNIVERSITY-BACKED COURSEGraphic Design Specialization by Coursera


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Coursera was founded in 2012 by two Stanford University computer science professors who were inspired by their experiences in offering their courses online. Today it serves more than 77 million learners through over 5,100 courses offered worldwide by more than 200 top universities and industry educators. We chose it as the best university-backed course because it gives beginners access to one of the premier programs for studying graphic and print arts in the U.S.

Coursera’s Graphic Design Specialization is taught by five instructors from CalArts (California Institute of the Arts), famous worldwide for its offering of over 70 degree programs in the visual, performing, media, and literary arts. 

This five-course series covers the entirety of graphic design, including fundamentals, typography, image-making, the history of design, and branding. This self-paced course consists of videos and readings, practice quizzes, graded assignments with peer feedback, graded quizzes with feedback, and graded programming assignments. Students are also required to complete a capstone project showcasing the skills that they can use for their portfolio.

Coursera’s Graphic Design Specialization course is available for a subscription-based price of $49 per month. Students get a shareable certificate at the completion of the course and capstone project and can try the course free for seven days.

BEST GRAPHIC DESIGN SERIESBecome a Graphic Designer by LinkedIn


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In 1995, former Hollywood digital animator and special-effects designer Lynda Weinman created a website to teach web design to her Art Center College students. Following rapid growth, the company was purchased by LinkedIn in 2015 and rebranded as LinkedIn Learning. We chose it as the best graphic design series because it offers a comprehensive learning path that helps students quickly grasp the foundations of graphic design and learn the tools and software used to build design projects.

LinkedIn Learning’s Become a Graphic Designer learning path features 11 courses with over 27 hours of video tutorials from nine separate professional designers and instructors. The series helps students build a solid foundation in the elements of design, including typography, color, and layout; explore the design process; and learn the skills needed to build or advance a career as a graphic designer.

Students will complete hands-on exercises in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign and earn a shareable certificate to showcase their achievement. The platform also allows course videos to be downloaded to the LinkedIn Learning mobile app to be viewed anytime.

LinkedIn Learning offers access to all course content in the Become a Graphic Designer learning path for free for 30 days after signing up. After that, the cost is $19.99 per month paid annually or $29.99 per month paid monthly.

FAQs

What Is Graphic Design?

Graphic design is a set of skills that covers everything from creating logos and social media images to editing photos and designing entire websites. While talent can give designers a good head start, it’s also valuable for them to learn the essentials of color theory, typography, and other “soft” design skills as well as how to use major industry graphic design software to start a career as a graphic designer

Most online graphic design courses teach a mix of theory and software instruction as well as industry trends and best practices, tips for building a portfolio, and instructions for marketing oneself as a freelance or in-house graphic designer.  

What Do Graphic Design Classes Include?

Online graphic design classes typically include a dozen or more hours of video instruction from skilled graphic designers. These courses teach the foundations of good design as well as the specific software used to create the marketing materials we see around us every day.

There are many courses geared toward beginners that require no previous skill or experience. Some require students to have access to the specific software they teach, while others allow students to follow the process of designing specific graphic materials without needing any software of their own.    

What Do Graphic Design Classes Cost?

Most of the online graphic design courses we reviewed were available for a one-time purchase between $150 and $175 and include lifetime access to all course materials. A few that we reviewed used subscription-based pricing ranging from $13.99 to $49 per month with course access only available while the subscription is active. 

How Much Do Graphic Designers Earn?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for graphic designers is around $53,380. The report shows that the lowest 10% earn less than $31,720, and the highest 10% earn more than $93,440.2

The highest-earning industries for graphic designers include advertising, public relations, and related services. Next are specialized design services followed by newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers. At the bottom, are printing and related support activities. 

Is Taking an Online Graphic Design Class Worth It?

Anyone wanting to start a career as a professional graphic designer can benefit from taking an online course. Watching an experienced designer cover the concepts of good design, typography, and taking a project from start to finish can be like having a personal mentor.

Similarly, graphic design courses that teach the fundamentals and advanced functions of design software can significantly lower the learning curve and improve a graphic designer’s skill quickly. Finally, a course that offers tips on building a portfolio and marketing oneself can help propel a graphic designer into a lucrative career faster.

How We Chose the Best Online Graphic Design Classes

We looked at nearly two dozen online graphic design classes for this review. At the top of our list were courses offered by well-established online learning providers with high ratings. Next, we looked for courses that were geared toward beginners and covered design principles, specific skills, and career-building.

It was also important to find platforms that were easily accessible and could be watched on multiple devices. Finally, because the cornerstone graphic design software offered by Adobe can be an expensive investment for beginning graphic designers, we wanted to find courses that were reasonably priced to jumpstart careers or open new opportunities at a reasonable budget.

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