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15 Best Online Graphic Design Courses

If you’re trying to make it as a graphic designer, you can’t skate by on talent alone. In-depth knowledge of programs such as Illustrator, Photoshop, 3D Max, or Blender is required, and these aren’t that easy to learn on your own.

In this post you will find 15 of the best entry-level, intermediate, and advanced courses that can help you develop your career as a graphic designer or animator. Find out now which course can fill in your information gaps and make you a better artist – without breaking the bank or putting in too much time.

1. Fundamentals of Drawing Anything

This course is one of the freshest on Udemy. A lot of graphic design artists these days try to improve their technical abilities by working with various 2D and 3D design software. But if you want to be a complete artist, you have to understand drawing on paper.

Contouring, shading, shadowing, lighting, and a lot more – these are concepts you’ll learn in this course. Apart from the course fee, the cost of the materials is nothing since you only need pencils and paper. There are over 9 hours of video lessons for you to browse or progress through at your own pace.

2. Graphic Design Basics: Core Principles for Visual Design

This is one of the best free entry-level courses in graphic design on Skillshare. It offers a 35-minute collection of introductory lessons. These will teach you the basic principles of graphic design.

Individual sections and lessons are available for symmetry vs. asymmetry, scale, hierarchy, framing, and grids. There is also a demo section which shows students how to combine all these principles to better assess their work. You will also learn to apply the five core concepts of graphic design in any future projects, from the most basic to the most complex.

3. Introduction to Graphic Design

Udemy also has its fair share of free online courses. Introduction to Graphic Design is one of the most popular to date, even though the course hasn’t seen an update since 2014. The reason why it remains relevant today is that the course isn’t built around specific software.

Instead, the course teaches complete beginners about design, basic elements, design process, separating design from art, and what graphic designers essentially do. This is a very interesting approach since very few courses actually prepare you for the variety of jobs available in the field.

Taking this course will make it easier to understand various tips and tricks type of courses and other software-specific guides that always seem to rush through the basics.

4. Become a Professional Graphic Designer

This is another Udemy masterpiece in terms of education. The course not only familiarizes students with popular graphic design software such as Illustrator, Photoshop, and Dreamweaver, but it also prepares them for what various projects or jobs might ask of them.

Basic principles and advanced concepts are taught in a progressive manner so that even the less skilled student can come away with an understanding of what a digital artist is supposed to do, and how to do it, of course. The fundamentals of visual communication are rarely better explained than in this 20+ hour course.

5. Professional Logo Design in Adobe Illustrator

Making logos for a living can be a very lucrative line of work. And, a lot of the time it involves more technical knowledge than artistic talent. This free Udemy logo design course for Illustrator was created to teach people who have a basic understanding of the software about how to create something unique.

The course explains various techniques that are essential to logo design, how to combine them, and also how to approach taking in new clients. Over the course of 7.5 hours of video lessons, you will understand the differences between average logos and professional logos and also how to make them yourself.

6. Mastering Logo Design Gridding with the Golden Ratio

The Golden Ratio is a mathematical principle that has amazing applications in art and design. George Bokhua teaches a Logo Design class on Skillshare that’s built around his own personal use of the Golden Ratio when designing eye-pleasing logos or drawings.

Gridding is a huge part of the 45 courses, and most importantly, gridding complex logos in Illustrator. This is not exactly an entry-level course but rather a workshop for experienced graphic designers that are ready to take it to the next level.

If you’re looking to make more of an impression with your work, then learning the Golden Ratio or Golden Spiral principle and how it allows you to develop complex drawings of a timeless effect is a solid choice.

7. Typographic Logo Design in Illustrator for Beginners & Beyond

Daniel Evans is perhaps the most popular teacher on Udemy that offers courses in logo design. Although the course is beginner-friendly, you will need Illustrator to take in all the information and put it to good use, but luckily the trial version is enough.

This is truly one of the more interesting graphic design courses for aspiring digital artists, as it explains everything there is to know about font-based typography logos. Your own creativity aside, there is a certain level of art you can achieve if you’re willing to take in the knowledge.

8. Mastering Illustrator 10 Tips and Tricks to Speed Up Your Workflow

If you think 40 minutes can’t teach you anything new, you should probably give this class a try. It’s one of the best explained graphic design courses for anyone looking to speed up their workflow without sacrificing creativity.

Two expert designers, Dan Kuhlken and Nathan Goldman, put together this class to show people the most important shortcuts and design concepts when using Illustrator. And, although the video lessons were captured from a Mac, there’s also a cheat sheet that lets you transpose the shortcuts to Windows machines.

9. Graphic Design Bootcamp: Part 1

There are plenty of comprehensive free graphic design courses and webinars. That doesn’t mean you should avoid paying for an introduction into the field. The Graphic Design Bootcamp: Part 1 is a paid Udemy course that offers over 15 hours of on-demand video lessons and other resources.

The course also has a 30-day money-back guarantee like all other Udemy courses. There’s nothing to stop you from assimilating the information and requesting a refund. Although beginner-friendly in name, the course does have some creative and technical requirements, such as drawing skills and the Adobe Creative Suite.

This may seem like a bit much. But the course covers all the Abode CC programs and creates an easy-to-follow roadmap for the beginner or struggling graphic design artists.

10. Learn Adobe Photoshop from Scratch

This Udemy course seems tailor-made for aspiring graphic design artists. However, it is focused more on introducing photo editing techniques. For the better part of the 8-hour course, you’ll learn photo correction techniques, how to use effects, how to use workflow tools, and how to pull off professional-level work.

The best part, of course, may be that the course is free. But the learning process is very interesting too. This course uses task-based pedagogy, originally developed for learning new languages – to some people, graphic design might as well be a new language.

It is a lot more interactive and should keep your interest long enough so that the information can sink in after watching and practicing various techniques.

11. Professional 2D Game Graphic Design in Photoshop

There’s a big step from graphic design to game graphic design. There’s a level of complexity to the latter that demands a comprehensive explanation. However, if you already own a drawing tablet and have an artistic side and fair knowledge of Photoshop, you might want to give this course a try.

The 6.5hours of video lessons will teach you how to create 2D game graphics, most importantly – backgrounds. There’s also a section within the course that addresses how to find work in the gaming industry as a graphic artist without having to add coding and animation work to your repertoire.

12. Basics of 3D Graphics with Blender

This Udemy course is short and straightforward but it is essential if you want to add depth to your work and use a software like Blender. What you will learn after 3.5 hours of video lessons is how to create basic models, use UV mapping, and create basic texturing. Essentially the building blocks of Blender.

But what makes this course superior to some free YouTube tutorials? – It’s all about the presentation and how the information is compressed. Designed by a professional graphic artist and teacher, the course is a lot more fluid and easier to take in.

13. Discover How to Draw and Paint Comics

With the recent increase in popularity of comic book-inspired movies and TV shows, comics are popular again. There may just be a need to train more people in the art of comics painting. As a graphic design artist, you’ll only have to worry about the images.

However, you have to be good enough that each picture tells the 1000 words missing from the text bubbles.

This course gives you over 60 hours of video lessons. You will learn pencil techniques and Photoshop painting techniques. The course also does a good job of encouraging students to expand and make full use of their own imagination. Learning to hone your creativity should be good for you as a graphic design artist regardless of whether you pursue a career in graphic comics.

14. Anatomy for Figure Drawing: Mastering the Human Figure

Another interesting Udemy course, this one also features over 60 hours of video lessons on how to master anatomy in drawings. Most graphic design courses focus on how to use program tools. This is why it’s important that you spend time learning what it actually takes to draw.

The course takes you from beginner to seasoned pro and can help you with or without prior knowledge in graphic design software. You can just as easily learn by using pen and paper as the principles don’t change. This is a great course if you want to become a master of character creation and have a solid foundation to pursue animation in the future.

15. Graphic Illustration: Boldly Design with Color and Shape

Perhaps a lot of people underestimate just how important it is to understand colors. If you’re looking to become a graphic designer or digital artist, you need to learn how to enhance your creativity. You also need to learn how to be less apprehensive about approaching various motifs and colors.

This course is available on Skillshare. It is mostly intended for those pursuing a career in illustration work. But you can also learn how to adapt the concepts explained in this course to serve your purposes when creating logos, animations, game assets, or websites.

Wrap Up

The 15 courses on this list contain a lot of valuable information. And not just for beginners. A lot of expert digital artists find themselves stuck in a niche for far too long. This could eventually stump their creativity.

Relearning the fundamentals and embracing something new is a good way to get out of a creative rut. With both free and paid courses available 24/7, there’s no excuse to not strive for excellence in your field.

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Staff Writer DLC

Daily Logo Challenge staff writers focus on creating in-depth guides focusing on mastery of design and development. Let us know what you think in the comments section above.