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Top Free Design Courses

It used to be that you would have to pay an arm and leg to get an understanding of the graphic design industry and have the knowledge in the field that you need to have a career as a graphic designer. The good news is that nowadays the technology and resources have advanced to the level that you don’t have to give away your life savings to have a job in graphic design. In fact, you don’t even have to give away half of your life savings. 

With resources like articles, Youtube, and the internet in general, you can get the basic knowledge of graphic design without having to spend a cent. Not nearly enough people take advantage of the hundreds of free online courses that the internet offers. If you’re ready to push aside all the excuses and finally start pursuing your passion for graphic design, then this is the article for you. 

We’ll let know about all the truly excellent online design courses that won’t cost you a penny! They’re all 100% free and will give you the knowledge that you need to get started with graphic design. 

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Graphic Design Basics: Core Principles for Visual Design

Skillshare offers a variety of courses that are all free for aspiring graphic designers to take advantage of. Now, although some more experienced in the field might think that this is beneath their level, it’s important to remember that the principles of graphic design need to come before anything else. To fully understand graphic design and excel in the field, you have to know the foundation that it’s built on. 

This course fully focuses on the basics, a great starting point for those completely new to graphic design and an important refresh for those who are already more experienced. The course is a short 35-minute class taught by instructors Ellen Lupton and Jennifer Cole Phillips and covers the five basic principles of graphic design. This is a great starting course for aspiring graphic designers. 

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Canva Design School: Graphic Design Basics

Ready to dip your toes into actual design? This course will not only fill you in on those necessary basics that are crucial for your understanding of graphic design, but it also lets you test your knowledge of short activities to put what you’ve learned into practice. The course is broken down into twelve short lessons so it’s easy to tackle in your spare time. 

Unlike the first course, this course focuses directly on what designers use in their day-to-day practices; mood boards, theories, and logo design. It won’t fully teach you everything you need to know about graphic design, but it’ll get you on the path of thinking like a graphic designer and gaining knowledge about what their job looks like. We recommend this course for those who are still on the fence about being a graphic designer. 

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MIT Online Graphics Design Programs

MIT’s Open Courseware is the place to go if you’re looking for a library of free resources to teach anyone graphic design. From beginners to advanced designers, MIT offers something for everyone. With over 2,400 courses offered by the school, there are hundreds of graphic design courses that aspiring graphic designers can use on their journey. 

It’s all free, with no need to sign up and the ability to take your time and find the course that is suited for your needs. Although you don’t receive a certificate of completion with this course, the knowledge that you’ll gain over the use of these courses is more than enough reward in itself. 

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Introduction to Graphic Design History

If you’re looking to become a graphic designer, then it’s important that you know about the history of graphic design and how it first began. This graphic design crash course will tell you everything that you need to know about graphic design from how it started to how it still affects us today. 

This is a great course for those looking to have a whole new perspective on the field and what makes successful graphic design. Many experienced graphic designers could benefit from this course and come out of it with having fresh eyes for graphic design and a new perspective towards it. 

Adobe Illustrator for Beginners

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One of the largest software used in the graphic design industry is Adobe’s Creative Cloud Suite. There’s no use in learning the basic principles of graphic design and its history if you aren’t going to put the methods into practice with the software. Many graphic designers choose to use Adobe Illustrator for their designing purposes and this course is the best free one out there to get beginners familiar with the software. 

Instructor Dan Scott will walk you through the course and give you the knowledge and tools that you need to start creating with the software. Scott includes exercises throughout the course so you can see the pace that you’re going at and keep track of your work. Be prepared to learn everything that you need to know about Adobe Illustrator in this three-hour course from creating custom brushes and lines to exporting and saving your files.