How to learn graphic design? This article provides some answers to this question. Graphic design is an exciting career option as it is a combination of creative and technical skill sets. It is a broad field with several sub-specialties where you might focus your efforts. Some of these subspecialties are website design, logo and branding design, package design, layout design, social media ad design, user interface and experience design, and many more.
How to Become a Graphic Designer
Initially, a formal degree in technical design was required to pursue a career in graphic design. But this requirement is no longer necessary due to the availability of some top-quality and affordable graphic design courses online. The only requirement for a graphic designer is that you should be a competent and creative person who has good knowledge of design software and can create attractive and consistent work throughout. For this, you need to learn the basics of great design and to create practical and business-savvy design projects.
What to Learn in Graphic Design?
To start a career in graphic design you need to learn the below-mentioned basics.
a. Basics of Graphic Design Theory
Design theory is the foundation of graphic design. Design theory includes the in-depth knowledge of the following techniques.
1. Color theory and harmonies– The knowledge of color combinations that work and the standard color harmonies.
2. Typography and font pairing – Knowledge of different fonts like serif and sans-serif, and their pairing so they look cohesive in a design
3. Layout – Knowing about layouts and how to apply them to achieve the best results
4. Type and layout hierarchy – How to nudge the viewer towards the most important item and so on
5. Contrast and scale – How to use contrast and scaling i.e., sizing
These are the basics among several others that are required for learning graphic design for beginners.
b. Graphic Design Software Tools
After the basics of design theory, you should learn about the three types of design software tools needed for graphic design.
1. Photo Editing Software
Photos are a very important part of graphic design. A good photo editing software is required for editing and also for creating social media images, web graphics headers, GIFs among others. Some popular photo editing software is Photoshop, GIMP, and Affinity Photo.
2. Vector-based software
By Vector, we mean graphics that are scalable, i.e you can increase and decrease the size of the graphics without affecting their quality. A vector-based software is used to produce icons, illustrations, and logo designs. Some popular vector-based software is Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape, and Affinity Designer.
3. Layout software
Layout software is necessary for designing magazines, books, catalogs, and PDFs and for handling a substantial number of pages. Some popular layout software is Adobe InDesign and Affinity Publisher.
Graphic Design Courses Online
Many graphic design courses are being offered online by education portals in collaboration with expert graphic designers and reputed universities. We have collated a list of some excellent online graphic design courses offered by two of the best online platforms. Some of the courses also provide a certificate of completion on finishing the course. Let us look into these courses by Udemy and Coursera one by one.
a. Courses by Udemy
Udemy is a popular learning platform for learning different skills. It provides some of the best courses for graphic design. These courses range from free to thousands of rupees. Once you enroll in the courses you get lifetime access and can easily access the course through its mobile app or website. If you are interested in enrolling for an Udemy course that costs thousands of rupees then you can employ some loopholes to enroll at a reduced price. If you are accessing the Udemy website for the first time then you can enroll in several courses at a reduced price ranging anywhere from Rs 300 to Rs 1000. This is done to encourage new students to join and see for themselves the quality of education provided. Also, courses are offered at reduced rates by frequent sales throughout the year. Udemy will also send promotional e-mails offering reduced prices. Given below are some of the best graphic design courses after 12th provided through the Udemy platform.
1. The Complete Graphic Design Theory for Beginners Course by Lindsay Marsh and Jeremy Deighan
For learning graphic design for beginners this is one of the best courses to choose. This course covers the fundamental principles and elements of design like color, typography, photography and layout theory and logo design and branding, and design trends for 2020 and 2021. This course has 8.5 hours of on-demand video with a certificate of completion. It uses programs like Adobe Photoshop, CC, and Canva but you can just go through the lectures with no need to access them unless you want to practice at the same time. The course is currently offered at Rs 8640 but provides lifetime access and you can also utilize some loopholes described earlier to access it at a lower cost.
2. Introduction to Graphic Design – Offered by StudyOnline247
This course is designed for beginners who want to learn graphic design after the 12th. You do not need any prior graphic design experience to enroll in this course but you need to have access to Adobe Photoshop. This course covers the fundamental principles and elements of design and offers 11 hours 38 minutes of on-demand video with a certificate of completion once the course is finished. The course is currently offered at Rs 8640 but provides lifetime access and you can also utilize some loopholes described earlier to access it at a lower cost.
3. Logo Design Fundamentals by Andrew Boehm
Logo design is an important and challenging part of any graphic designer’s job. This course teaches how to create a distinct branded logo. This course is made up of 15 modules that teach you how to make a logo and ways to effectively connect with clients. This course also addresses the topic of branding, which is closely related to logo designing. This course covers the fundamentals of logo design, logo layout, how to develop a branded logo, and how to finish a design project. This course is free with life access with 49 minutes of on-demand video lessons accessible through the website and mobile app. However, you need to have prior knowledge of the logo design cycle and access to Adobe Illustrator and Reader.
4. Beginners Guide to Graphic Design Without Paid Software by Greg Gottfried
This is one of the best free graphic design courses online which offers double benefit as it teaches graphic design without any need to pay for costly tools. It relies totally on free software to teach graphic design and earn money from it. This course covers how to design logos and modify images, how to make flyers, ads, pictures, how to edit online free, and much more using only free graphic design software and secure websites. This course is free with life access with 34 minutes of on-demand video lessons accessible through the website and mobile app.
b. Courses by Coursera
Other than Udemy, Coursera has quality courses on how to learn graphic design. Some of the notable ones are as below.
1. Fundamentals of Graphic Design by Calarts (California Institute of the Arts)
This course by Calarts has one of the highest ratings with more than five lakh students enrolled. This is an excellent course for learning graphic design for beginners. This course is around 12 hours long and covers the fundamentals of image-making, typography, shape, color, and composition. The course is currently offered at Rs 3615 plus taxes for a month with a free trial of 7 days. The modules will be covered within the month. Enroll in it if you are serious about graphic design and can attend the online classes regularly.
2. Graphic Design by Calarts (California Institute of the Arts)
This is also a beginner-level course by Calarts which differs from the above one as it offers specialization on finishing the course. This is one of the highest-rated courses on the platform with over Five Hundred and Seventy Thousand students enrolled. This is one of the best courses for graphic design and should be enrolled in after the first course is completed so the students have a basic idea of graphic design. Students learn how to create complex projects by learning more about principles of design, image-making, typography and how to do editorial and interface design and motion graphics. This course has a duration of 15 hours and takes nearly 4 months to finish. You have to complete a specialization project to receive the certificate of completion which will help you professionally by honing your skills and enhancing the value of your resume as this will be counted as a real-time experience. The course is currently offered at Rs 3615 plus taxes for a month with a free trial of 7 days. The modules will be covered in 4 months. Enroll in it if you are serious about pursuing a career in graphic design and can attend the online classes regularly.
3. Graphic Design Course from The University of Colorado
This is a beginner-level course on how to learn graphic design with a high rating of 4.8 out of 5 and has been provided by more than 70 different companies to their employees as part of professional training. This course is taught by David Underwood who is a teaching consultant at the University of Colorado and also an acclaimed designer and illustrator. This course teaches fundamental design theory, graphic design history, and how to develop a design project. This course is 5 hours long and is currently offered at Rs 3615 plus taxes for a month with a free trial of 7 days. The modules will be covered in 4 weeks. This course is suitable for beginners and professionals alike who want to polish their skills and learn something innovative.
Do check the best courses for graphic design provided in the article above. These will develop your design skills and assist in becoming an excellent graphic designer. You can enroll in the free courses first or those offered at discount so to assess if the graphic design field is suitable for you and even to brush up on your existing graphic design knowledge. Later on, if you think this is the right career choice for you then you can enroll in the slightly expensive but quality courses offered.
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