A lot of people promote the importance of formal education, and the design field is no different. Principled and structured education of formal topics and obtaining a graphic design degree can be the launching pad to a great career. However, art schools and graphic design schools tend to be quite expensive to attend in person, and most of the learning is done digitally these days. So, with that in mind, many colleges and training programs have started focusing on online graphic design degrees.
While you can debate the merits of both a formal graphic design education vs an online graphic design degree, many of the most successful designers in the industry are self-taught. They have the same knowledge as people who have obtained formal education, but they basically assembled their own online graphic design program and education. Practice and passion are the two most important factors for successful designers.
So, with that in mind, its possible to assemble a list of resources and tutorials that rival an online graphic design degree. And, in this post, that’s what I’ve gathered up: 10 of the best, fundamental guides for a self-taught graphic design education. From typography to color, interface design and logo design, along with photography, Photoshop and freelancing, these guides will make it possible for you to get a free online graphic design degree (well, without the diploma of course).
Photoshop is the lifeblood of designers, but it’s a complex beast. This session will teach you everything you need to know about using Adobe Photoshop.
Crash Course on Adobe Illustrator
For designers, Illustrator is the software used to create vector graphics for logo designs and more. This course will teach you all the finer points of using Illustrator.
Typography Guidelines And References
This tutorial will teach you the ins and outs of typography, such as serif vs sans-serif, kerning, leading and other typography concepts.
Color Theory in Web Design
Colors are crucial to all types of design, including web design. Each color invokes an emotion, and has a set of colors that it works well with. Find out how to use color in your designs in this massive guide.
User interfaces are a huge job area for graphic designs, and in this set of creative sessions, you’ll learn the basics and start building complex UIs.
Complete Guide to Starting a Graphic and Web Design Business
It’s important for every designer to have the knowledge to manage a business, track time, manage invoices and deal with clients. Even if you work for a large studio, your boss will love you for it.
The Complete Guide to Logo Design
Logo design involves branding, marketing, printing as well as design. The multifaceted aspect of logo design makes it one of the most challenging–and rewarding fields out there. This guide will teach you everything about logo design.
250 Photography Tutorials: Ultimate Collection
Photography has a special place in graphic design. Whether it’s using stock photos, shooting your own, or simply understanding the principles of contrast, exposure, color balance and composition, these photography tutorials will teach you everything you need to know.
Graphic Design Creative Session
This creative session covers everything graphic design: printing, illustration, web design, colors, posters, vectors and sketches. A crash course on everything design to get you up and running right away.
Character illustration is a great sub-field of design by itself, but it also has applications for logo design, web design and poster design. Illustrating realistic characters will help teach you composition, realism vs interpretation, as well as how to express emotions through design.
And there you have it! Using these resources, you’ll get the same information as an online graphic design degree, but best of all, these are all free!