Which new design skill will you learn today?
Whether you’re a design novice or pro, it’s always a good time to pick up new skills or practice your existing ones. These ten free design tutorials and courses will help you get the most out of Photoshop, Illustrator, Procreate, and other popular design software.
Some are video training, others are written tutorials, but one thing they all have in common is that they’re free. So read on and decide which new design skills you’re going to master today.
1. Redesign a Logo From Scratch
If you want to learn about logo design, this video is a great place to start. Designer Dena Nguyen explains the full process of creating a logo—in this case, redesigning the logo of the energy drink Celsius. From refining the idea to creating it in Adobe Illustrator, all the details are in this video.
2. Make a Dia de Muertos Flyer in Photoshop
3. Make a Stained Glass Effect in Illustrator
Stained glass is a beautiful traditional style, but it can be difficult to recreate in digital form. Check out this amazing video in which Andrei Marius breaks down the step-by-step process of creating an incredibly detailed and realistic stained glass effect in Illustrator.
4. Use Chalk Brushes in Procreate
5. Learn 65 Key Design Terms
Graphic design may be a visual medium, but the language we use to talk about it is also important. If you want to understand a brief, communicate clearly with colleagues, or explain concepts to a client, you’ll need to use the right words. So check out this comprehensive guide to design terminology. From typography to logo design and from design principles to technical terms, it’s all here!
6. Create Metal Textures in Photoshop
Metal textures can vary so much, from the shiny elegance of gold to the smoothness of burnished steel or the rough feel of rusting iron. This single Photoshop tutorial teaches you how to create five very different metal textures from scratch.
7. Create a Metal Text Effect
And speaking of metal, why not create a metal text effect to go along with your textures? This video shows you the full process of making metallic text in Photoshop.
8. Create a GQ Magazine Cover
Creating a stylish magazine cover design is easier than you think. Read the tutorial to learn how to create an iconic version of the GQ magazine cover in Photoshop in just a few simple steps.
9. Swap Backgrounds in Photoshop
Changing the background of a photo in Photoshop doesn’t have to be a headache. In this video, Abbey Esparza shows you a few tricks to remove green screen in Photoshop and add new backgrounds—even when you have tricky items like hair to extract.
10. Make a Band Flyer
Even in a digital world, paper flyers are still a great way to spread the word about a coming event. So it pays to know how to design an effective flyer that will grab people’s attention. This tutorial demystifies the whole process, showing you how to make a cool flyer in Photoshop and give any gig the perfect promotion!
Want to Learn More Design Skills?
These ten free design courses and tutorials are just a few recent examples—there are thousands more in the full Design & Illustration section on Envato Tuts+. Have a look at these recommendations from previous months to get some more inspiration.
Make a Coffee Shop Logo in Illustrator
If you want to master logo design, this is a great way to do it. In this tutorial Alice Thorpe takes you through the whole process, from gathering inspiration and ideas through to designing the logo in detail in Illustrator and presenting it to the client. The example is for a coffee shop logo, but you could apply the same techniques to any type of logo.
Animate Text in Procreate
Did you know that you can create dynamic, animated text like this in Procreate? See how it’s done in this quick, easy tutorial. Like all the other design tutorials featured here, it’s free to read, so there’s nothing stopping you.
Make a Pride Rainbow Gradient in Illustrator
Show your support for the LGBTQIA community by adding a rainbow gradient to your images, logos, and artwork. This simple video tutorial walks you through the process of making your own rainbow gradient in Illustrator.
Learn Procreate From A to Z
Procreate is a powerful digital painting app. Like all apps, it has a lot of features that even experienced users may not know about. So watch this A to Z of Procreate video to get a rundown of Procreate tips, tricks, and hacks—one for every letter of the alphabet from A to Z.
Learn Typography From A to Z
And if learning from A to Z is your style, why not also try this tutorial on typography. Learn about necks, overshoots, gadzooks, and more!
Master Photoshop Retouching
Using Photoshop to retouch your images can really bring out the best in them. Watch this free Photoshop retouching course for detailed instructions on how to retouch your images the right way. You’ll learn about frequency separation, retouching skin, clothes, and makeup, removing loose threads and hair, editing colors, and much more.
Learn Illustrator From A to Z
Make a Propaganda Poster
Propaganda posters have a bad rap. We tend to associate them with nefarious regimes peddling lies, but why not use the same techniques to draw attention to a good cause? Try out this tutorial to learn how to make a propaganda poster: in this case, it’s a voter registration poster for International Women’s Day.
Make a Stunning Photo Manipulation
Make a Vector Glitch Effect in Illustrator
Make a Smoke Effect in Photoshop
Adding wisps of smoke to an image can instantly give it more impact. Learn how to do it in this tutorial detailing how to make a smoke effect in Photoshop by creating your very own Photoshop action using custom smoke brushes. It’s way easier than you think!
Make Your Photo Look Like an Oil Painting
If you’ve ever wondered what you’d look like in a traditional oil painting, or if you’d like to apply an oil painting effect to other photos, then watch this video. It shows you how to turn a photo into a realistic-looking oil painting, quickly and easily.
Learn Photo Manipulation in Photoshop
Photo manipulation is a great technique for beginners because you don’t need drawing or painting skills—you just take existing images and combine them to create something beautiful and other-worldly. There are some important tricks to master if you want it to look realistic, though, and you’ll learn all of them in this free Photo Manipulation design course with Abbey Esparza.
Get Started With Affinity Designer
Of course, Adobe’s not the only game in town. Affinity Designer is a powerful piece of design software, and this detailed YouTube video course gets you up to speed in using it. It’s designed especially for those new to Affinity Designer or thinking of switching to it, so it makes for a perfect introduction.
Make Your Own Illustrator Grass Brush
Making your own custom brushes in Illustrator can save you loads of time on repetitive tasks. Grass is the perfect example—how long would it take you to draw each blade individually? By making brushes, you get realistic-looking grass, without hours of tedious work. Learn how to make your own grass brushes in this simple, step-by-step tutorial.
Or if you’d prefer something more systematic, try this epic three-hour YouTube video, in which Dan Scott takes you through all the essential features of Adobe Illustrator and shows you how to use each one, with examples. It’s all broken down into separate sections too, so if you just want to learn something specific, like how to use the Pen Tool, you can use the navigation links in the description to jump straight to that.
Master Photo Compositing in Photoshop
This photo manipulation course features a dynamic image of a robot in a post-apocalyptic industrial scene. With the skills you pick up in this free course, you’ll be able to take your viewers anywhere—the only limit is your imagination.
If you’re stuck at home, what better thing to do than learn a creative skill like drawing? This beautiful and easy-to-follow tutorial teaches you how to draw a rose, step by step.
Design a Take-Out Menu
Learn Adobe Illustrator in a Free Course
If you want to be a better designer or illustrator, you’ll love this course. Adobe Illustrator is such a powerful design and illustration software package, and this course takes you through the essentials of the program and how to use it. Start watching and learning today!
Make a Restaurant Menu Template in InDesign
Whether you’re a restaurateur looking to design your own menu or a graphic designer who’s been hired to create one, this tutorial on How to Make a Restaurant Menu Template in InDesign has you covered. It takes you through the full process of creating not just a professional-looking menu, but an InDesign menu template that you can adapt to use again and again. Find out how it’s done.
Design a Winning Project Proposal
When you’re putting together a proposal, the design really matters. Your prospective client will probably have dozens of other proposals to look through, and grabbing their attention with a clean, elegant design will give you a crucial advantage. This course teaches you how to stand out from the crowd by putting together a great proposal in InDesign.
Design a Business Card
One of our most popular design courses is now free to watch! Learn how to design a business card in Photoshop in this free 45-minute course. You’ll see how to make three stunning designs inspired by minimalist, photographic, and artistic concepts.
Design a Book Cover
People used to dream of having their book published one day. Now, with services like Amazon and CreateSpace, it’s easy to skip the dreaming and go straight to the publishing. But as you’ll see if you browse any online bookstore, getting the cover right is easier said than done. So take this book cover design course to learn how to create a professional-looking book cover that will entice new readers to buy and read your book.
Make a 3D Text Effect
The isometric style is perennially popular, so why not master it in this free course? You’ll learn how to create this amazing 3D text effect in Adobe Illustrator, and you’ll pick up some valuable Illustrator skills along the way.
Master 60 Essential Design Terms
The design world has its own language, and it’s essential to master it if you want to be a successful designer. Even if you have the visual sense and software skills, you need to know how to explain your designs to clients—and how to understand what clients want from you. So here are 60 design terms you should know.
Learn Adobe Illustrator From Start to Finish
This course is a comprehensive guide for complete beginners to Adobe Illustrator. It starts with zero assumed knowledge and in over three hours of video lessons, it takes you up to the point where you can create finished illustrations using the Pen Tool, the Curvature Tool, brushes, and more. Take the course to go from zero to competent illustrator in a few hours!
Make Isometric Food Icons
The isometric style is perfect for making small, compact icons that are instantly recognizable. Learn how to use it to make these three cute food icons in Adobe Illustrator. Read the step-by-step instructions.
Find the Best Alternative to Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Illustrator is a great vector design package, but it’s not the only game in town. In recent years, new competitors have emerged that have a lot to offer. So why not explore some of the other options out there by watching the video above.
Create Your Own Color Font
This tutorial teaches you how to create your very own color font using the latest version of Adobe Illustrator and the powerful Fontself extension. So why not learn this important new design skill?
Understand Basic Typography
Any designer will tell you that typography is crucial to good design. From company brands to newspaper headlines to advertisements to websites, you can see the power of typography in action everywhere. But, like any specialized field, typography has its own vocabulary, which can be confusing for beginners. Watch this 60-second typography video to learn how to tell your counters from your spines and your stems from your shoulders.
Discover Adobe Fresco
Have you tried the latest hot drawing and painting app? Adobe Fresco made a big splash when it was launched recently, but how does it compare with the more established Procreate app? Discover the answer by watching this free video comparison.
Create an Awesome Portrait on Your iPad
Can you believe that this stunning portrait was created on an iPad? And can you imagine creating it yourself in the Procreate app, with step-by-step instructions? That’s exactly what you’ll get in this tutorial. So view the instructions and start using your iPad for something other than Netflix!
Compare Affinity Photo With Photoshop
Adobe Photoshop has ruled the roost for so long now that “photoshopping” has entered the language as a verb. But many people are switching to Affinity Photo, a viable competitor with some impressive features. Watch this video to discover eight features of Affinity Photo that might convince you to switch over from Photoshop.
Design in Memphis Style
Learn to Design for Color-Blind People
If we’re putting something out into the world these days, it really should be accessible to everyone. What I like about this tutorial is that it explains in lots of scientific detail what color blindness is and how things look to people with different kinds of color blindness, and then it goes on to give tips on what you can do to make your designs easier for everyone to view. Read the tutorial to learn how to tell protanopia from deuteranomaly and cater for people with either of them.
Draw Hair in 4 Different Styles
Did you know that the average human head has about 100,000 individual hairs? What that means is that if you want to draw someone’s hair, you can’t draw separate lines for each strand—you need to learn some tricks to create the illusion of 100,000 hairs while using far fewer lines. Take this drawing tutorial to see how it’s done.
Make an Animated GIF
Whether you love them or hate them, animated GIFs are all over the web. This tutorial shows you an easy method of putting together an animated GIF in Adobe Photoshop. The example is of a wolf’s glowing eyes, but feel free to use the same techniques for laughing dogs, weird celebrity mashups, or whatever your heart desires. Start animating your GIFs here.
This post has just skimmed the surface of what Tuts+ has published recently, and in the full archives going back over a decade, there’s even more. So if you don’t see what you’re looking for in this post, you can search the full Tuts+ library of more than 1,300 courses and 30,000 tutorials to find exactly what you need.