The Ultimate Guide to the Best Online Graphic Design Courses Around

We live in a great age for learning – scholars will find that, thanks to the internet, nearly any field of knowledge is just a few clicks away! Design is no exception, and today the web is filled with online graphic design courses and guides covering all things design.

Today we’re detailing the best of the best, helping you find the online learning resources to becoming a design pro. The courses listed below are all affordable, and in some cases, even free. Take a look and pick out your next online professor!

Udemy

With online courses covering everything from typography and logo creation to responsive web design, Udemy is a great spot to find reasonably priced, online design classes.

udemy graphic design courses

Udemy boasts a host of video courses, and prices for these classes usually range between $40 – $100. There are tons of reasonably priced design video classes to choose from. Here are a few that have received top reviews:

If you want to sign up for a Udemy class, use this referral link to get $5 off (only works for classes that are $10 or more).

Tuts+ Teach Yourself Graphic Design: A Self-Study Course

This course by Tuts+ lets you teach yourself graphic design through self-study materials that you can read and browse on your own schedule.

online design courses

Functioning as a complete graphic design guide, it provides reading and resources for all graphic design topics, including:

  • Principle and Theory of Graphic Design
  • Conceptualization Solutions and Real World Experience
  • Learning From Other Designers
  • Creating a Work Flow
  • Finding Work as a Freelancer

Skillshare

Skillshare is another website specializing in online video courses where creators teach creators. Skillshare has classes on everything from cooking and DIY crafts to design and entrepreneurship.

They have a decent selection of design classes, with some popular classes including:

Skillshare is a pretty great deal – it uses a subscription-based model, so once you pay for membership, you have access to all of their classes without any additional cost. Skillshare only costs $10/month or $8/month if you pay annually.

There is also a free offering that lets you enroll in the free Skillshare classes, but the free classes are virtually non-existent and impossible to find. Skillshare also offers team discounts and scholarships for those in need.

Treehouse

Treehouse is a popular site providing online training for a variety of tech specialties. Treehouse mostly focuses on teaching coding languages, providing lessons on:

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • Design
  • JavaScript
  • Ruby
  • PHP
  • WordPress
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Development Tools
  • Business
  • Python
  • Java
  • Digital Literacy

Treehouse’s learning tracks make it easy to complete courses through their guided videos and quizzes. Earn points and badges to stay motivated and reach your coding aspirations!

Treehouse also offers unique group features, which let businesses and schools create online training programs to help users learn together.

Pricing starts at $25/month for the Basic Plan, which includes access to 1000+ video resources, code challenges, and help forums. There’s also a Pro Plan at $49/month which includes everything from the Basic Plan, plus talks from industry leaders and bonus content.

Lynda

lynda design courses

Lynda is another popular source of online learning, and the Lynda design section overs a wide range of topics, including:

  • Logo Design
  • Drawing
  • Illustration
  • Typography
  • Digital Publishing
  • Digital Painting
  • Infographics

Lynda also contains a bunch of software-specific lessons covering popular programs like:

  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe InDesign
  • AutoCAD
  • Corel
  • Gimp
  • SketchBook Pro
  • And more

Lynda memberships cost $25/month (or $250/year) but if you work for a large company, consider checking to see if they already have Lynda memberships for employees, as Lynda offers deep discounts for businesses, schools, and government groups.

Code Academy

Code Academy is a website that offers free lessons on all things code, including HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and other coding languages that are useful for designers to know.

free online design courses

Code Academy is a favorite among coding newbs. With tons of free lessons that walk you through coding and tons of helpful members (who are often happy to help you troubleshoot), it’s a great place to learn coding basics.

Coursera

Coursera is one of the original MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) sites. Coursera hooks students up with online classes from universities around the globe. Watch lectures, read essays, and discuss with fellow classmates, all within their easy-to-use dashboard.

coursera design classes

Coursera offers a number of free design-oriented classes, including:

Visual Design – UC San Diego

This course covers the basic principles of visual design, including typography, information architecture, layout, color, and more. You will also learn about mobile design, responsive interface, and how to handle new devices.

Design: Creation of Artifacts in Society – Upenn

This course will help you learn how to be a better designer and emphasizes the basic design process: define, explore, select, and refine. This broad design course covers all areas of design, including architecture, graphics, services, apparel, engineered goods, and products.

Data Visualization – University of Illinois

This class teaches students to present data in visualized formats, helping students create graphs, charts, and infographics, which are becoming an ever-more popular form of content.

Students will be introduced to elementary graphics programming, dealing primarily with 2D vector graphics. The course covers human perception and cognition, how to create optimal graphs and charts, data mining, information hierarchy, and everything else you need to know to create captivating data visuals.

Gamification – Wharton School of Pennsylvania

This gamification course covers the mechanisms of gaming and how to effectively use game elements to motivate users and achieve desired results. From employee motivation to crowdsourcing, gaming elements are everywhere online and in apps. Learn the psychological motivation behind gamification and how to implement gamification into your designs for a more delightful user experience.

Introduction to Computational Arts – Stony Brook University

This computational arts course offers an introduction to and exploration of electronic media in art. Learn the fundamentals of basic programming, simple image processing, and beginner sound recording in order to create computational artistic creations.

Final Thoughts

These resources can help you become a master of design without putting you in debt. School is in session!

What do you think of the classes listed here – have you tried any of them before? Do you have any suggestions for design classes? Share your experience and thoughts in the comments below!

For More Online Courses, see these posts:

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