10 Best Graphic Design Courses

There is no denying that graphic design is a fascinating field. The demand for quality graphic designers has always been high, leading to these professionals having attractive salaries.

To become a graphic designer, it is essential to possess a bachelor’s degree in a related field, as most employers require it.

Taking courses for certification is optional but recommended. A certificate will give you an edge when applying for a job, making you stand out from candidates.

1. Graphic Design Specialization

Graphic Design Specialization
  • Specifications.
  • Difficulty: Beginner and Intermediate.
  • Duration: 5-6 months, 4 hours per week.
  • Price: $49 per month.
  • Provider: Coursera.

Course highlights

Five instructors lead this specialization from CalArts, recognized globally for delivering over 70-degree programs in the performing, media, visual, and literary arts.

This 5-course series includes the whole of graphic design, including fundamentals, image-making, typography, branding, and design history.

It is self-paced and includes readings and videos, practice quizzes, quizzes with feedback, graded assignments with feedback, and programming assignments.

Enroll Here: https://www.coursera.org/specializations/graphic-design


  • Cover the entirety of the graphic design.
  • Led by five instructors of CalArts.
  • Ideal for beginners.


  • Not suitable for advanced

2. Graphic Design Basics: Core Principles for Visual Design

Graphic Design Basics: Core Principles for Visual Design


  • Difficulty: Beginner and intermediate
  • Duration: 36 minutes
  • Price: 30-day free trial
  • Provider: Skillshare.

Course highlights

Whether you’re just starting in graphic design or are already a pro, you can start somewhere with this course. This 36-minute class will be walked through five basic graphic design principles.

Another class by Jennifer Cole Phillips and Ellen Lupton will teach you how to utilize those basic principles in projects, including marketing, creative design, and even photography. Through this course, you will learn how to:

  • Identify and define the five basic design principles
  • Critique your work, searching for effectiveness and balance
  • Apply every concept to future projects

Enroll Here: https://www.skillshare.com/en/classes/Graphic-Design-Basics-Core-Principles-for-Visual-Design/1539782161


  • Course led by renowned graphic designers
  • The one-month trial will give you free access to content
  • An excellent course for understanding the principles of visual design


  • Quite vague for in-depth learning
  • A relatively small amount included content

3. Demystifying Graphic Design: How Posters Work

Demystifying Graphic Design: How Posters Work


  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Duration: 1 Hour 5 min
  • Price: Free
  • Provider: Skillshare

Course’s highlights

If you love good posters, this course is for you. It is one of the brilliant free courses by Ellen Lupton (Skillshare). Through this course, she will take you through one 1-hour class discovering posters and how they work.

The virtual journey will take you through the Smithsonian Design Museum and New York City’s Cooper Hewitt to admire modern poster graphic design. Then, you can design your own film posters.

Through this course, you will learn:

  • How to create movie posters.
  • How to tell one story through your poster design.
  • How to add motion to your poster with diagonal lines.
  • How to simplify forms.
  • How to make depth with transparency and overlap.
  • How to focus your eye.
  • How to turn your work into one physical artifact.

Enroll Here: https://www.skillshare.com/en/classes/Demystifying-Graphic-Design-How-Posters-Work/1938197477


  • Free.
  • Very useful and interesting.
  • Covers the basics and is ideal for beginners.


  • Not suitable for advanced

4. Fundamentals of Graphic Design

Fundamentals of Graphic Design


  • Difficulty: Beginner and intermediate
  • Duration: 15 hours
  • Price: $39/month with certificate.
  • Provider: Coursera

Course’s highlights

This class will introduce the design’s fundamental principles and deliver to beginners the image-making, compositional, and typographic skills required for designers.

This course is very highly reviewed. Many reviewers complain the assignments are enriching and straightforward.

Others loved this course but complained that it was for absolute beginners. So, this course is an excellent place to start if you’ve just entered the graphic design world.

Enroll Here: https://www.coursera.org/learn/fundamentals-of-graphic-design


  • Assignments are enriching.
  • Provide the required skills of designers
  • Include fundamental principles of design


  • Ideal for beginners only

5. UX Design for Graphic Designers

UX Design for Graphic Designers


  • Difficulty: Beginner and Intermediate
  • Duration: 90 min.
  • Price: $13.25 per month
  • Provider: Pluralsight

Course highlights

If you are one Graphic Designer who wants to break into the UX field, this course will work for you.

It will teach you what a UX Designer does and how to sell your designs to stakeholders. It also gives you a general walkthrough of a typical project at a digital agency.

It will also allow you to explore incorporating research into the work. It includes talking to key stakeholders, speaking to those using the app and website, and much more research methods.

Enroll Here: https://www.pluralsight.com/courses/ux-design-graphic-designers


  • Great for value
  • Ideal for beginner Graphic Designers.
  • The course instructor holds rich UX experience.


  • Just for beginners.

6. Google UX Design Professional Certificate

Google UX Design Professional Certificate


  • Difficulty: Beginners with no experience
  • Duration: 6 months (10 hours per week)
  • Price: $39 per month (via a Coursera subscription)
  • Provider: Google

Course’s highlights

This course is ideal for beginners who prefer to learn the UX (user experience) design fundamentals. You do not need prior experience or qualifications to take the course. All you need is to be ready to learn independently and remotely.

It is an affordable, flexible option for newcomers to this field. Once you have been certified, it is okay to apply to work as a web designer, UX designer, web developer, or application designer.

Enroll Here: https://www.coursera.org/professional-certificates/google-ux-design


  • Make a UX design portfolio.
  • Earn a professional certificate.
  • Great for beginners


  • Only offered in English.
  • Longer than other certificates.

7. SVG Fundamentals

SVG Fundamentals


  • Difficulty: Beginner and intermediate
  • Duration: 90 min.
  • Price: $29 per month after a 10-day trial
  • Provider: Pluralsight

Course’s highlights

This course will allow web developers and designers to familiarize themselves with the basics of the scalable vector graphics image format. Through exciting and intuitive videos, you will learn many things, including:

  • What is the scalable vector graphic?
  • How to create scalable vector graphics.
  • Many ways to implement scalable vector graphics.
  • When it makes sense to use scalable vector graphics.
  • Various things can be done with scalable vector graphics.
  • What to look out for when using scalable vector graphics.

Enroll Here: https://www.pluralsight.com/courses/svg-fundamentals


  • Include visual videos.
  • Easily accessible to beginners.
  • Taught by the Chief of UX at SoCreate.


  • Advanced professionals will need another course.

8. Illustrator CC Designing Type With Graphic Styles

Illustrator CC Designing Type With Graphic Styles


  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Duration: 60m
  • Price: US$ 29 per month after a 10-day trial
  • Provider: Pluralsight

Course’s highlights

If you want to make your own customized type for projects, you can’t go wrong with this course. Through this short course, you can expect to master Adobe Illustrator and make custom graphic styles for objects and types.

Also, you will learn more about styling gradients and strokes along the way. Finally, you will cover glyphs, alignment, border styles, and more to complete your project.

Enroll Here: https://www.pluralsight.com/courses/illustrator-cc-designing-type-graphic-styles


  • Great for value
  • 10-day trial
  • Short duration, but effective


  • You need to have basic knowledge of Illustrator CC

9. Graphic Design Elements for Non-Designers

Graphic Design Elements for Non-Designers


  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Duration: 4 months, 4 hours/week
  • Price: 7-Day Free Trial
  • Provider: Coursera

Course’s highlights

It is a beginner-friendly graphic design specialization offered by the renowned University of Colorado Boulder.

It will allow you to explore basic graphic design elements, images, color theory, publication design, techniques for making effective layouts, and more.

It will also provide knowledge about typography, the creative process, the role of brainstorming, and how to critique and discuss design in professional settings.

After completing the certification, you can independently design foundational creative projects, such as brochures, ads, business cards, manuals, and websites.

This specialization includes four courses, which will turn you from zero to hero.

Enroll Here: https://www.coursera.org/specializations/graphic-design-elements-non-designers


  • Access to lectures, readings, and assignments anytime via web or mobile app.
  • Explore working and communication techniques.
  • Offered by the University of Colorado Boulder.
  • Great for beginners


  • Time-intensive to finish

10. Intro to Graphic Design: Expressing Emotion with Color Theory

Intro to Graphic Design: Expressing Emotion with Color Theory


  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Duration: 12 Lessons (1h 33m)
  • Price: N/A
  • Provider: Skillshare

Course’s highlights

The goal of this class is to develop the essential tools that designers or illustrators will need. It helps the student process their visual toolbox.

Moreover, it communicates skills regarding feelings, emotions, and thoughts needed for good graphic designers.

Here are the skills you will learn:

  • The basics of color terminology.
  • Exploring design on skillshare.
  • Developing color interaction and creating ideas on color context.
  • Building and expanding a color palette, depth, and consistency.

Enroll Here: https://www.skillshare.com/en/classes/Intro-to-Graphic-Design-Expressing-Emotion-with-Color-Theory/237935014


  • It will open your eyes to the process of building out a color palette!
  • Includes helpful hands-on projects.
  • Low-time commitment.
  • This course is expert-taught.


  • Not a certificate course.

Learning Guide

How to choose a suitable graphic design course.

Your Budget

Courses are offered at various prices, ranging from free to hundreds of dollars. So consider what you have to spend and what you get to choose the best one.

You should not judge the quality of a course by the fee. Proof that there are a lot of great courses offered for free.

Your Current Level

Not all courses are designed to fit the same level. There are courses for beginners which provide the most basic knowledge related to the field of graphic design.

In addition, there are options designed for professionals, where more in-depth knowledge is available.

So it is essential to determine your current level to choose a suitable course.

Your Available Time

The duration of the courses will also vary. Some last several weeks, while others last from a few months to a year. So choose what is most convenient for you.

Knowledge That You Need to Focus On

Graphic design is a vast field encompassing many knowledge and skills. You must identify what you want to learn, improve, or strengthen. Then choose a course that can meet your needs.


What Is Graphic Design?

Graphic design involves a craft, where experts in this field (graphic designers) create visual content to communicate messages.

By utilizing visual hierarchy and layout techniques, these designers use pictures and typography to fulfill clients’ specific needs. They also focus on the logic of displaying elements in interactive designs to optimize clients’ experience.

Are There Free Courses for Graphic Design?

Yes! You can find various free courses online, which are made for graphic design at several levels.

What Skills Do Graphic Designers Need?

Technical Skills

  • Picture skills (photography) or photo editing
  • Digital technology (HTML, CSS, JS)
  • UX design
  • RGB and CMYK
  • Design principles
  • Follow The Branding Guideline
  • Font selection
  • Typography skills

Soft Skills

  • Storytelling
  • Creativity
  • Time management
  • Communication skills
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Emotional intelligence

Do I Need a Degree to Become a Graphic Designer?

You are required to hold at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college, university, or private design school to apply for design positions.

Final Thoughts

Above are the top 10 graphic design online courses, including free and paid. They all give you the essential knowledge and skills to become a successful graphic designer in the future.

In addition, after completing the course, you might receive a certificate (not always), which will make employers more interested in you.

Thanks for your time!