SALES / SUPPORT : 855-752-5503 (Mon-Fri, 09:00-17:00 EST)

Graphic Design Courses for Students to Take When At Home [Free & Paid] -

Graphic Design Courses

Featured Image: iStock/nadia_bormotova

Graphic design is an important skill that applies across mediums, technologies, and disciplines. If you want to learn graphic design as a career choice, we have good news for you. Learning graphic design doesn’t require a 4-year degree program and you can do it from the comfort of your home, at your own pace.

Below, we have listed 40 graphic design courses for you – free and paid – offered by graphic design schools and other online course platforms that you can join and slowly start to build your design portfolio for business logo design.

Some of these programs offer college credits, certifications, and/or accreditations. Some span only a few hours of the week (beginner level), while others are more in-depth and require a higher level of commitment from you (intermediate/advanced level).

Related: How To Learn Logo Designing Without Going To College?

Let’s take a look at all these courses.

Free Graphic Design Courses Online

As all of the courses listed in this section are free, very few of them offer course certifications. However, some platforms will provide you a completion or professional certificate after paying a one-time fee. While few of these courses offer in-depth, resource-centered learning, these are great for beginners to test the waters. However, we have also listed a couple of free courses here that do offer a more comprehensive understanding of the concepts, so browse with attention.

1. Graphic Design – Visual And Graphic Design – Revised (Alison)

  • Rating: 3.8/5
  • Level: Secondary
  • Certification: Yes (after a fee)
  • Link to Apply

In this free course, you’ll learn the fundamentals of graphic design and design process. You’ll learn about balance, contrast, hierarchy, and other design principles. Consider this course as an introduction to what you’ll mostly be doing daily as a graphic designer.

2. Introduction To Design Thinking And People-Centered Design – Revised (Alison)

  • Rating: 3.8/5
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Certification: Yes (after a fee)
  • Link to Apply

In this course, you will learn to apply design methodologies to create solutions to design problems. You will learn the strategic use of design, how to innovate and be creative with the tools and techniques you’ve learned.

3. Fundamentals Of Graphic Design By CALARTS (Coursera)

  • Rating: 4.8/5
  • Level: Beginner
  • Certification: Yes (after a fee)
  • Link to Apply

It’s a beginner level course but is quite in-depth. Though it’s a paid course, it’s available for free as a promotion. This course will teach you the fundamentals of composition, use of colors in logo design, and typeset. It will tell you how to use these principles to execute visuals.

4. Media And Methods: Seeing And Expression (MIT)

  • Rating: N/A
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Certification: No
  • Link to Apply

The course discusses visual experience from the perspectives of both the creator and the viewer. It presents design problems and teaches students how to solve them by using image-making in a visually significant way.

5. Visualization For Mathematics, Science, And Technology Education (MIT)

  • Rating: N/A
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Certification: No
  • Link to Apply

A lot of graphic design has to present data in visual ways to make understanding and decision-making easy. This course is an introduction to principles and techniques of visual communication to aid scientific and engineering learning and teaching.

6. Graphic Design Foundations: Color (LinkedIn)

Free For One Month

It is a comprehensive course in the basic understanding and application of color and composition in graphic design. You’ll learn and practice various concepts of colors in this course, such as temperature, saturation, contrast, color language, as well as color blindness.

7. Become A User Experience Designer (Linkedin)

Free For One Month

This is your introduction to what a user experience (UX) designer does. You will learn the concepts and principles of user-centered design and create wireframes and graphics. The course will help you create a professional portfolio consisting of user personas and interactive prototypes.

8. Basics Of 3D Graphics With Blender 2.7x (Udemy)

This is a beginner level course that will equip you with all you need to understand the basics of 3D through comprehensive assignments. Basic UV mapping, texturing, and modeling are included in this course.

9. Online Graphic Design Course (Shaw Academy)

  • Rating: N/A
  • Level: Beginner
  • Certification: No; Offers pathway
  • Link to Apply

The course helps students gain a thorough understanding of graphic design, its history, and misconceptions, how it’s different from art, and more. Students will familiarize themselves with Adobe Applications. It’s quite in-depth and consists of 32+ hours of learning.

10. Diploma In Photoshop (Shaw Academy)

  • Rating: N/A
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Certification: No; Offers pathway
  • Link to Apply

This 8-week course helps students gain understanding and practice of working with Photoshop. You learn how to do post-production, image manipulation, retouching of photographs, and become familiar with the tools and techniques of Photoshop.

11. Introduction To Typography By CALARTS (Coursera)

  • Rating: 4.8/5
  • Level: Beginner
  • Certification: Yes (after a fee)
  • Link to Apply

Typography is an important element of graphic design. It deals with fonts and font styles. In this course, you will basic terminologies of typography, the measuring system that is used to describe and understand it and learn the history of it. Practical assignments are available.

12. Creating Brand Systems: An Overview Of Combining Logos (Skillshare)

Free For Two Months

As a graphic designer, you will be working with companies and businesses to create, enhance, and present their brand identities. This course will teach you how to work with logos, combine icon and text in logos, and curate effective brand identities using these principles.

13. Graphic Design: Create A Bold, Colorful Album Cover (Skillshare)

Free For Two Months

It’s a fun and engaging class that helps you transition from paper sketches to Illustrator. Students learn to work and experiment with form and color. You also get to create an album cover as part of your assignment.

14. Beginner To Advanced With Adobe XD Auto-Animate (Tuts+)

  • Rating: N/A
  • Level: Beginner to Advanced
  • Certification: No
  • Link to Apply

It is a free tutorial designed to help students learn and practice the fundamentals of animation. You’ll work with Adobe XD and learn how to adjust the position, sizing, and rotation of objects in the animation. As a practical assignment, you will animate a complex UI as part of the program.

15. Introduction To Design Systems (Tuts+)

Design Systems is a fairly new concept in graphic design but it is quickly gaining fame due to its effectiveness in product building. This is only one of the few courses that address this important evolution in design. The course will introduce you to design systems, help you learn the ropes, and teach you how to create your design systems for a practical and solution-oriented approach to graphic design.

16. Computer Graphics By UC San Diego (Edx)

  • Rating: N/A
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Certification: Yes (after a fee)
  • Link to Apply

This course will help you get comprehensive knowledge and understanding of 3D graphics. You’ll write and develop programs that create 3D images. Ray Tracing, OpenGL, and Lighting are some of the core concepts of this course. Having a programming background is a prerequisite for this course.

17. Design Thinking: Prototyping And User Testing

  • Rating: N/A
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Certification: Yes (after a fee)
  • Link to Apply

Prototyping and user-testing allow a designer to identify problem areas in their product/design. This course will help students learn how to build prototypes that can user-tested so better products can be launched in the market. It will also help you learn how to rectify problems post-launch.

18. Professional Logo Design In Adobe Illustrator

  • Rating: 4.4/5
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Certification: No
  • Link to Apply

Identify the components and design techniques that have gone into making some of the most popular logos of all time. Learn to create your own. The tutorial will help you fine-tune your skills and introduce you to some new techniques that you can use to create client projects and paid work like a professional.

19. Create A Segmented Ring Infographic In Illustrator (CreativePro)

In this quick how-to tutorial, you will learn how to create infographics in segmented ring forms. The tutorial will also help you understand infographics in broader terms and give you quick tips.

20. Convert Static Symbols To Dynamic Symbols In Illustrator (CreativePro)

It is another quick video tutorial on Illustrator. You will learn how you can transform a static symbol to a more interesting, dynamic symbol using Illustrator’s newer functions. These changes are both on an individual as well as a global level.

Paid Graphic Design Courses Online

While some of the best places to gain online graphic design education are course platforms like Coursera and Udemy, etc, consider this list your introduction to a wider range of online course platforms. We have researched and compiled this list to give you more variety as you look for more unique courses and different educational environments.

1. Motion Design: Time And Technology By Ringling College Of Art & Design (Kadenze)

  • Rating: Not yet reviewed
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Certification: Yes (with premium membership)
  • Price: $600
  • Link to Apply

The course aims to equip students with practical knowledge of core concepts of motion designs such as editing, timing, 2D animation, and motion design principles. You will learn to apply visual storytelling techniques to your design, utilize stop motion photography, and much more.

2. The Complete Typographer By School Of Visual Arts (Kadenze)

  • Rating: N/A
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Certification: Yes
  • Price: $500
  • Link to Apply

This program is a series of three courses that help you become a professional typographer. You will learn the fundamentals, history, and concepts of typography through practice. You will also learn and master custom hand-lettering and creating original typefaces using digital programs.

3. Learn To Draw: An Introduction (Creative Live)

  • Rating: 100%
  • Level: Beginner
  • Certification: No
  • Price: $20 (Available for free streaming on selected dates)
  • Link to Apply

A lot of graphic design work is researching and sketching. Putting pencil to drawing paper can help you as a designer to finesse your composition, proportions, and understand balance. This beginner course in drawing is a great place to start to learn mark-making, textural effects, and practice on your skills.

4. Exploring Color And Composition (Creative Live)

  • Rating: 89%
  • Level: Beginner
  • Certification: No
  • Price: $34 (Available for free streaming on selected dates)
  • Link to Apply

Learn all about color and how it has the power to affect your design. You’ll learn the impact of lighting on colors, the textures, and temperaments of colors, and create color studies. The course also covers harmonizing a color palette, experimenting with media and materials, and exploring color expression.

5. Implementing Vector Art In A Pixel-Based Advertisement (Plural Sight)

  • Rating: N/A
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Certification: No
  • Price: $19/month (10-day free trial)
  • Link to Apply

This course combines the techniques of pixel art logo and vector art and teaches you how to create print advertisements that use the best of both these worlds. You are expected to have a basic knowledge of Adobe Illustrator CC and Adobe Photoshop CC.

6. Keys To Amazing Graphic Design Layouts (Plural Sight)

  • Rating: 4.8/5
  • Level: Beginner
  • Certification: No
  • Price: $19/month (10-day free trial)
  • Link to Apply

Everything on a graphic design piece ends up where it does because of a very important concept: layout. This course will teach you how to compose and balance individual pieces of your design on a layout that renders an image perfect. You’ll learn about movement, contrast, proximity, emphasis, unity, and more.

7. Intensive Foundation Course In Graphic Design (The Graphic Design School, Australia)

  • Rating: N/A
  • Level: Beginner
  • Certification: Yes
  • Price: AUD 3500 (10-month and 3-month payment plans available)
  • Link to Apply

If you are looking for a course that provides you a clear and direct pathway to a graphic design career, this is it. It equips you with comprehensive knowledge, practical skills, and understanding about all core principles of graphic design from typography to business logos, design systems to layouts, and even helps you prepare a professional portfolio.

8. Certificate IV In Design (The Graphic Design School, Australia)

  • Rating: N/A
  • Level: Intermediate to Advanced
  • Certification: Yes
  • Price: AUD 4290 (9-month payment plan available)
  • Link to Apply

This course follows the Intensive Foundation Course. Once you complete that one, this course will help you gain a professional certification that will help your career. This course will ask you to complete a set of 5 assignments that will examine how well you’ve digested the material in the above-mentioned course.

9. User Experience Design (General Assembly, Singapore)

  • Rating: N/A
  • Level: Beginner
  • Certification: Yes
  • Price: SGD 5350 (Installment plan available)
  • Link to Apply

A UX designer creates products and design spaces following the intuitive needs and desires of users who’ll be utilizing that product. UX designers are in huge demand. This course will help you become one of them. You will learn about user research, content strategy, wireframing, prototyping, and more.

10. Visual Design (General Assembly, Singapore)

  • Rating: N/A
  • Level: Beginner
  • Certification: Yes
  • Price: SGD 5350 (Installment plan available)
  • Link to Apply

This course tackles the fundamentals of visual design through its innovative teaching methods. You will learn about Gestalt psychology, responsive design, UI and UX design, and more to tackle and solve real-world design problems.

11. Front-end Developer Course (Courses Online, UK)

  • Rating: N/A
  • Level: Beginner
  • Certification: Yes
  • Price: Available upon inquiry
  • Link to Apply

The course gives you ground-up knowledge about HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and more to train you as a professional front-end developer. The course will help you start a career as a professional web designer/developer, front-end developer, and senior graphic designer.

12. Games Development 101 (Courses Online, UK)

  • Rating: N/A
  • Level: Beginner
  • Certification: Yes
  • Price: Available upon inquiry
  • Link to Apply

If you are interested in building your career as a game developer, enroll in this course. You will learn to build and design characters through Adobe Photoshop, understand and work on principles of animation as followed by the Disney Animation Studio, and use the characters in a hack and slash side-scrolling game.

13. Introduction To Design (Springboard)

  • Rating: 4.74/5
  • Level: Beginner
  • Certification: No
  • Price: $349 (Discounted)
  • Link to Apply

Consider this course as an evaluation of whether a graphic design career is right for you. The course gives you an insight into what a graphic designer job entails, the kinds of projects they work on, and what a routine work-day is in graphic design. You’ll learn about and practice all the core concepts of graphic design and also finish practical assignments.

14. UI/UX Design Career Track (Springboard)

  • Rating: 4.8/5
  • Level: Beginner
  • Certification: No
  • Price: $8200 (installment plans available)
  • Link to Apply

If you are looking for a course that guarantees you a job as a graphic designer, this is the course for you. You will gain comprehensive knowledge about user-centered design (UCD). You will also learn to identify design problems, conduct research, create and design prototypes, and perform usability testing.

15. Gestalt Psychology And Web Design: The Ultimate Guide (Interaction Design Foundation)

  • Rating: 4.2/5
  • Level: Beginner
  • Certification: Yes
  • Price: Membership starts at $10/month
  • Link to Apply

Gestalt psychology is about understanding everything in its simplest forms. Applying the principles of simplicity and harmony, you learn to create simple and minimal design systems that are intuitive, human-centered, and solution-oriented. This course will help you with the fundamentals of Gestalt psychology and how to apply those principles to achieve compelling and successful website design.

16. Mobile User Experience (UX) Design (Interaction Design Foundation)

  • Rating: 4.2/5
  • Level: Beginner
  • Certification: Yes
  • Price: Membership starts at $10/month
  • Link to Apply

You will learn to design mobile interfaces by creating user personas and task modeling. You’ll learn to apply different UI practices for different operating systems (iOS and Android), and will figure out how to identify bad mobile user experience and how to fix those errors.

17. Photoshop – Advanced (Go Skills)

  • Rating: Excellent
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Certification: Yes
  • Price: $199
  • Link to Apply

If you are familiar with Photoshop but want to learn more about it, consider this course. It consists of 55 lessons and covers the tools and techniques of Photoshop in a highly detailed way. The syllabus contains topics on advanced photo editing, animation, 3D, text effects, Lightroom, and more.

18. Illustrator Advanced (Go Skills)

  • Rating: Excellent
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Certification: Yes
  • Price: $199
  • Link to Apply

It is a similar course like the one above but covers the contents of Adobe Illustrator. It is for those who have a working knowledge of the software. In this advanced course, you will learn higher techniques of Illustrator. These include sketching/tracing, finding a color scheme, adding shadows and highlights, expansion of design, merging of logos, creating custom textures, and so much more.

19. Graphic And Web Design Portfolio (UC Berkeley Extension)

  • Rating: N/A
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Certification: No
  • Price: $981
  • Link to Apply

It is a live online course that helps you create a professional graphic design portfolio. You can share this portfolio with your peers and even present it to potential clients. You learn to create a personal brand and highlight your unique style, identity, and strengths. Your portfolio will consist of both digital and printed documents. The course also gives you college credit.

20. Adobe Photoshop CS5 & CS6 – Complete Training (Online Studies, UK)

  • Rating: N/A
  • Level: Beginner
  • Certification: No
  • Price: GBP 225
  • Link to Apply

This course is for students who want to focus on Adobe Photoshop in their graphic design learning. The course equips students with both Photoshop CS5 and CS6. You get training to master the techniques of Photoshop and become an ace image manipulator. It has applications for both graphic and web designing.

Summing Up

Online courses by industry experts are a great way to gain entry and insight into the profession of your choice. Fortunately, the graphic design profession doesn’t require any formal training from college. And these courses help you gain the knowledge and practice to become a professional graphic designer, without spending a lot of time or money. These courses are not only great for students but also benefit graphic designers to improve upon their skillset.

Author Bio:    

Evan is an Expert in Digital Marketing. He has been working in the social media space since 2008, with a focus on design services, user interface planning, branding and more. Currently, he is leading content marketing efforts at DesignMantic and has played an integral part in the success story of DesignMantic through strategic marketing campaigns. Evan is also a design pro, who has shown a predilection towards DIY design projects.

Leave a Reply