intro to graphic design online course

Last Updated on August 8, 2022 by Team College Learners

Want to start a career in design or just want to better understand the ideas behind the designs you see everywhere? This introduction to graphic design online course on class shows you how, and gives you the tools you’ll need to think visually. Inspired by your ideas, we’ll supply the guidance and support you need to turn those ideas into realized concepts and designs.

The graphic design courses online brings a design-centric approach to user interface, visual, and graphic design; and conceptualization with an emphasis on strategic thinking, process, and iterative design principles. You will learn hands on by working through a project-based curriculum, building your portfolio one class at a time.

best graphic design courses online

What is Graphic Design? The Graphic Designer Job Explained in Plain English

Our graphic design courses online have helped more than 30,000 people just like you improve their skills and their lives. Our classes are taught by professional designers who make learning fun and engaging. They’re there to help you every step of the way so you’re never on your own if you need it.

1. Graphic Design Basics: Core Principles for Visual Design

Lectures: 9 | Length: 36 minutes | By: Ellen Lupton

Whether you’re new to graphic design or an old pro, everyone has to start somewhere. Generally, that means starting with the basics which is the focus of the Graphic Design Basics: Core Principles for Visual Design. This 36-minute class will walk you through 5 basic principles of graphic design.

Another class taught by Ellen Lupton and Jennifer Cole Phillips will show you how to use those basic principles in projects that range from creative design, marketing, and even photography. Through the course, you’ll learn:

  • How to identify and define the 5 basic principles of design
  • How to critique your own work looking for balance and effectiveness
  • How you can apply each concept to your future projects

2. Creating Brand Systems: An Overview of Combining Logos and Type

Lectures: 7 | Length: 18 minutes | By: Mike Ski + Jessie Jay

Taught by Mike Ski and Jesse Jay, designers from True Hand, the Creating Brand Systems course asks students to consider how a great logo or brand system comes to be. Through the six video courses, Ski and Jay describe the collaborative process they used to create the logo for Kensington Quarters, an eatery in Philadelphia.

A shorter class than most, the Creating Brand Systems course is designed with designers, illustrators, enthusiasts, and creatives in mind. Those looking for a high-quality walkthrough of what it takes to create a dynamic logo that can be used across many different channels and applications will want to check this course out.Take Class

3. Typography That Works: Typographic Composition and Fonts

Lectures: 10| Length: 36 minutes | By: Ellen Lupton

When you’re starting as a graphic designer, you may spend a lot of time perfecting the logo that portrays your brand to prospective clients, but what about the typography on your website or business card? What is that telling your clients about not only your business but about you as well?

Also taught by Ellen Lupton, curator of contemporary design at Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, this course teaches you the difference between good typography (which can be very beneficial for you or your client) and bad typography (which can have adverse effects). In this course you’ll learn:

  • Sans + Structure – Learn what gives the sans serif typeface its special character
  • Serif + Details – Exploit the details of the full-bodied serif type family
  • Slab + Customization – Learn what to do with slab faces, described as heavy furniture by the syllabus

Free Graphic Design Courses on Coursera

While not every course on their site is free, Coursera offers online courses from some top universities such as Stanford and Yale. At first glance, the site pushes you towards paying for classes but there is the option to “audit” the class.

This means that while you can take the class, none of your work will be marked and you won’t be able to earn a certificate at the end of the course. To take the classes for free, follow this guide here and get started right away. Here are some free courses you may want to consider:

1. Learn Graphic Design Online by David Underwood

Lectures: 4 modules |Length: approx. 27 hours | By: David Underwood

Taught by David Underwood, this Graphic Design course is structured to provide you with the tools to generate professional looking reports, resumes, presentations, and PowerPoints using techniques and practices that have been refined through years of practical use.

Through 4 modules of this course, you’ll learn –

Module 1: How to make your work look inspired and fresh.

Module 2: Discuss the importance of working with a grid, recognizing negative space, and applying suitable margins. You will also look at the element palette, font, color, images, and graphic components such as borders, bars, and backdrops.

Module 3: You will learn how applying simple design “tricks” can give your project an air of confident professionalism.

Module 4: Finally, learn how to respond to criticism and use it to make your project go from good to great.

For a more in-depth course (6months) see their Graphic Design Specialisation course and their Coursera Plus membership that provides access to 3000 courses.Enroll Now

2. Fundamentals of Graphic Design

Length: 4 weeks, approx. 15 hours | By: Michael Worthington

Led by Michael Worthington, a member of the faculty at the California Institute of Arts, the course will teach you how to implement visual, rhythm, and pattern in the design. You’ll also learn techniques of image-making, how to create your own series of images as well as how to use scale, direction, texture, weight, and space in your project.

The Fundamentals of Graphic Design course does this by breaking down the topics into four one-week segments that cover a different topic each week:

Week 1 – Fundamentals of Image-Making – The lesson shows how an image functions to convey connotative and denotative messages in the first class.

Week 2 – Fundamentals of Typography – This week’s class looks at typographical terminology and the basic rules for typography creation.

Week 3 – Fundamentals of Shape and Color – Graphic designers use shapes and colors as the fundamental building blocks of their work. In this week’s class, you will take a closer look at how they do this.

Week 4 – Fundamentals of Composition – How graphic designers use visual contrasts, cropping, direction and hierarchy with complex compositions and single images is the focus of this week’s lesson.Enroll Now

3. Introduction to Typography

Length: 4 weeks, 8 hours | By: Anther Kiley

Anther Kiley, an LA-based graphic designer, teaches anyone who already has a basic working knowledge of and access to Adobe InDesign how to get the most out of the program’s features and tools.

The Introduction to Typography course goes in-depth into the different areas of typography and is broken down into 4 weekly lesson plans:

Week 1 – Talking type – In this week’s lesson, the course looks at typefaces, as physical artifacts as well as works of design.

Week 2 – Typefaces and their Stories – Exploring how a typeface can express connotative meaning, otherwise known as how they can tell stories, is the lesson’s focus this week.

Week 3 – Putting Type to Work – Learning to engage visual principles and the conventions of typesetting is the focus of this week’s class. A look at how the spaces between letters, lines, and blocks of type can be manipulated to refine their appearance is included as well.

Week 4 – Making Meaningful Type – In the course’s final week, the class will look at how typography can dramatically shape the meaning of written language.Enroll Now