11 Extremely Helpful (And Free!) Online Graphic Design Courses

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In our visual world, graphic design is an increasingly important skill for all kinds of creatives to have. For photographers and creatives in the fashion world, knowing the basics of Photoshop and the principles of graphic design is crucial for giving your work that professional edge. For illustrators and artists, graphic design is a fundamental part of the job—all the more reason to keep expanding your design skills and knowledge.

Improving your graphic design skill set doesn’t have to mean going back to school, though. There are lots of free online courses that can help you hone your design talents, offered by universities, graphic design experts, and online course hubs like Udemy. We’ve searched for the best free graphic design courses out there to help you budding designers and other interested creatives brush up on the foundations of typography, color, essential graphic design software, and lots more.

1. Alison Online

Alison calls itself a “new world of free certified learning.” The site is full of different types of courses that often lead to earning a test-based certificate. This can add a new qualification to your resume. Having a certificate in a subject actually goes a long way to secure a job or freelance opportunity. Alison has several options to build graphic design skills, such as a certificate course in Visual and Graphic Skills, one on Design Principles, and more specific classes like Photoshop Essential C6 Tools.

2. Udemy: Introduction to Graphic Design

Udemy features videos by independent teaching contractors with prices depending on the length of the video, the teacher, and the field. Essentially, Udemy is a competitive classroom marketplace. This means classes are rated, and the quality of the class is illuminated by ratings just like on Yelp. There are frequently sale specials on the site, so watch out for deals on the classes you want. Many of the courses on Udemy are free, too. This Introduction to Graphic Design is a great example.

3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers online opencourseware. Opencourseware is the most egalitarian form of education. It exists online as a free database of courses through professional academic teachers and course writers. Most of these graphic design lessons are related to an overarching class on another topic, such as web coding, but they are still helpful and trusted resources.

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