Graphic Design Courses or Certificate

Dec 18, 2013

Hi All,

Sorry if this has been asked and answered before (please point me to the thread if it exists).

I'm finding that a lot of e-learning jobs are requiring me to have more skills in graphic design, and my lack of graphic design knowledge and experience is holding me back from creating what I visualize.. I can fake some things like cropping or editing an image. But other than that, I have no formal training or experience in design.

Does anyone have any recommendations for online graphic design courses or certificate programs? If there was anything that was targeted as graphic design for e-learning, that would be awesome..

Skills in color, layout, typography, and Photoshop or Illustrator or other tools would seem to be what I need to take my e-learning to the next level and match the needs of the jobs I'm applying for.



4 Replies
Cheryl Theis

I have taken a variety of classes offered on to increase and fine tune my graphic design skills.  There are software specific courses and general courses.  I first started using this site because it offers a free trail period.  But found it so usefull, I paid for a subscription which is affordable.  

Hope this helps you and good luck.

Jeff Fuqua

I'll second It's just a fantastic resource.

There are quite a few places like which have some good, basic content:


I taught freshman-level graphic design for a lot of years. The thing which gave students the biggest understanding of graphic design was just taking the time to expose themselves to it. Sites like Pinterest is a good way to collect design.

With a basic understanding of design principles, I asked them to try and put themselves in the head of the designer of anything they were attracted to. Break it down using design principles. Is it effective in communicating the content? Who is the target audience and would they too find it solves the problem?

The other thing to do is sketch ideas (thumbnail). Note that I don't mean sketch as in the fine arts world where it's becomes something an artist builds up (though, if you had the skills, you could do this) but as a recording device for ideas in your head. I often write notes beside my doodles just to help explain the idea. It gives you the ability to quickly explore numerous ideas and, afterwards, go back and evaluate which ones have potential for further development.

Work small. Work fast. Let the ideas flow. The more ideas you generate, the more ideas you have in which to choose. If you are like me, I have to see an idea on paper before I can truly evaluate whether or not it has potential. In this day and age of making "pretty design" on the computer, it's not natural for many to take out a pencil and sketch out an idea first but it's a big time-saver when wanting to explore multiple ideas in a short amount of time.

A pretty good book which might help is by Robin Williams (not Mork from Ork) called "Non-Designers Design Book". It hits on a lot of the core principles of design.

Good luck!

Michaela Pacesova

Hi Anna,

there are many graphic design courses on - some of them are better, some of them worse. You can almost always get a great discount if you follow the right people who are affiliates with Udemy and offer those discount codes. One of them is on twitter @intercer.

I agree that the "Non-Designers Design Book" is great! We have used it in my graduate program and I still keep it for reference.

Good luck!


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