Want to upskill in graphic design? Here are the best free graphic design courses to kickstart your freelance design career.
Looking to brush up on your graphic design skills? From beginner lessons to advanced courses, boost your freelance design career with these free graphic design courses.
What is Graphic Design?
Broadly, graphic design refers to the skill of using visual elements – like text, color, graphics, and effects – to create artwork for advertisement or brand purposes. It can include digital design, like websites and animation, traditional printed design, and even product design. As a graphic designer, your job is to create and execute visual concepts. You should aim to inspire, educate, and – most importantly – catch the eye of your audience.
How to Become a Graphic Designer
If your end goal is to be an in-house graphic designer, you might be looking for formal training. But before taking the plunge, free graphic design courses – like those available on Envato Tuts+ – are a great place to start trying your hand and learning some basic skills.
There’s so much you can learn with tutorials – learning and building skills, trying out new graphic design trends, and taking brand design into your own hands. They can essentially help you become a graphic designer without a degree. Alternatively, if you’re already a graphic designer and simply looking to upskill or challenge yourself, tutorials can be the perfect resource (you can read our guide on doing just that).
Ready to brush up on graphic design? Check out these 10 free graphic design courses to get you started.
Top 10 Free Graphic Design Courses on Tuts+
1. The Principles of Design
Sometimes it’s worth going right back to basics. This course uses design principles as a framework to deliver your message and apply visual tools to bring it to life.
2. 65 Design Terms You Should Know
Getting the terminology down is half the battle in most jobs, and graphic design is no exception. This course will introduce you to 65 terms that will serve you well in explaining your visual work in words.
3. Adobe Illustrator for Beginners
To add Adobe Illustrator to your repertoire, this course for absolute beginners is the perfect place to start. Learn to draw, make patterns, use effects, and make the most of type and fonts.
4. InDesign for Beginners
Are you looking for a sign to try InDesign? This course is beginner-friendly, so it’s excellent for those new to the program and those looking to brush up on forgotten skills.
5. Photoshop for Beginners
Adobe Photoshop is an absolute staple of the Adobe design suite; with it, you can do much more than you may think. In this course, you’ll learn the essential tools and techniques, including layer styles, colors, text, and more advanced skills like smart objects and retouching.
6. Sketch for Beginners
If you’re not familiar with the program Sketch, it’s a great option for Mac users. This course starts with an overview of Sketch, covering everything you need to know as a beginner.
7. Advanced Adobe Illustrator
Even for the pros, there’s always something new to learn in Adobe Illustrator. With this course, delve deeper into Illustrator’s 3D features, custom lettering, using compound paths, and alternative ways to execute basic functions.
8. The Ultimate Guide to Typography
Typography is often the lynchpin in product advertising, so you must get a handle on it to communicate it convincingly to your clients. After this course, you’ll be able to wax lyrical about the difference between a typeface and a font and understand readability and typesetting best practices by heart.
9. Figma Components: From Zero to Hero
Figma is a program specifically for UI design. This course will take you through using components and the kinds of elements that you can reuse throughout the design process. Learn to create, change, swap, name, organize, and more.
10. Mastering Logo Design in Adobe Illustrator
Finally, we already mentioned there’s always more to learn in Adobe Illustrator, and one thing worth mastering is logo design. This course will have you creating professional logos like a seasoned freelancer (on that note, read our top tips to boost your freelance graphic design career).
That’s a wrap on the top free graphic design courses for beginners! But your learning journey doesn’t stop here. Envato Tuts+ is a learning hub full of free resources for every step in the graphic design journey. And for all the image, audio, video, and other creative assets you’ll need to execute all your big ideas, a subscription with Envato Elements gives you access to a library with thousands of options.