Top Best 10 Free Graphic Design Courses with Certificate

Are you someone who is intrigued by the vast field of graphic designing? Do you like to create visual content to convey meaningful messages? 

Do you wish to kickstart your journey in mastering the field today?

If your answer to these questions is a yes, then you’re in the right place! 

Graphic design is a wonderful and exciting field where you can put your passion for art to use in a fun and exciting environment while making money and doing what you love.

Graphic design is a field that offers many choices in terms of jobs, whether you like working solo or as part of a team.

The job opportunities are also increasing day by day with further technological advancements.

Keeping that in mind, today, we will be compiling a list of the top 10 graphic design courses available on the internet at the moment.

And the best part? All of these courses are completely online.

With the power of the magnificent internet, you can get started today, even right now, from the comfort of your own home and complete them at your own pace!

Now, you can easily sharpen your skills and master graphic design! On that note, let’s get started!

1. Graphic Design Specialization

Platform: Coursera

Offered by: California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), California

Instructors:  Michael Worthington, Anther Kiley, Gail Swanlund, Louis Sandhaus, Lorraine Wild

Ratings : 4.7 / 5

Duration: 72 hours with flexible deadlines

Important Topics Covered: Fundamentals of Graphic Design, Introduction to Typography, Introduction to Imagemaking, Ideas from the History of Graphic Design

Type: Free Certification Course

Register Here: Link

Learning Outcomes: In-Depth knowledge of Typography, Design Theory, Adobe Illustrator and more.

Language of Instruction: English

Graphic Design Specialization

The goal of this specialization is to equip learners with a set of tools that they can use to succeed in the field of graphic design.

The modules included will enhance the student’s skill set in various aspects of the field including but not limited to interface design, motion graphics, and editorial design.

There is no better way to learn as effectively as to combine reading with hands-on projects which is exactly what this specialization offers with its unique 5 – course structure.

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2. Creative Coding

Platform: edx

Offered by: New York University (NYU)

Instructor:  Kevin Siwoff – Adjunct Professor, NYU

Duration:  14 weeks, approximately 8-10 hours per week; Instructor paced

Important Topics Covered: Fundamentals of Computational Thinking, Basics of 2D Drawing, Object-Oriented Programming, Harmonic Motion and Animation

Type: Free Audit Course and Paid Certification Course

Register Here: Link

Learning Outcomes: Insights into graphic design, digital media, and creative applications, Cultural literacy of the computational arts

Language of Instruction: English

Creative Coding

This innovative course delves into the world of graphic design in an easy-to-understand and practical manner.

The course has a strong focus on creating an interactive learning experience for the learner, it goes above and beyond the usual sequential problem solving found in typical programming projects and imparts knowledge in such a way that the creative designers can easily apply the concepts in practical life, utilising them in a variety of media like 2D graphics, animation, image and video processing.

3. Graphic Design Masterclass: Learn GREAT Design

Platform: Skill Share

Instructor:  Lindsay Marsh – SkillShare Teacher

Duration:  18 hours and 26 minutes. 143 lessons with flexible deadlines

Important Topics Covered: Design Theory : Typography, Colour Wheel, Photo Editing, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Logo Design and Branding

Type: Paid Membership 

Register Here: Link

Learning Outcomes: Basics of Photoshop, Illustrator, design theory and its practical applications.

Language of Instruction: English

Graphic Design Masterclass: Learn GREAT Design

A graphic design course taught by leading professionals in the field, this course is definitely a great place to begin your journey.

Student’s horizons will be broadened as they get introduced to the limitless creative topics like design skills, basic photoshop tools, photo manipulation and editing and more through a carefully curated course intertwined with live examples and exciting real life practical projects for the learners to work on. This gentle but extensive course is an opportunity not to be missed. 

4. Graphic Design

Platform: Coursera

Offered by: University of Colorado, Boulder

Instructors:  David Underwood-Media Teaching Consultant

Ratings: 4.8/5

Duration:  27 hours including 3 lessons, 12 readings, and 5 quizzes  with flexible deadlines

Important Topics Covered: Importance of Good Design, Graphic Elements and Colours, Visual Tricks

Type: Free Certification Course

Register Here: Link

Learning Outcomes: Effective visual communication,  Understanding of simple design tricks

 Language of Instruction: English

Graphic Design

This completely free course offered by the reputed University provides a deep insight into the intriguing concepts of graphic design.

The course is beginner friendly and it teaches a great deal of starter graphic design information by breaking it down into easily understood videos and quizzes

After completing this course students receive the skills needed to create professional looking PowerPoints, reports, resumes, and presentations.

5. The Complete Graphic Design Theory for Beginners Course

Platform: Udemy

Instructors:  Lindsay Marsh, Jeremy Deighan

Ratings: 4.6/5

Duration: 8.5 hours of videos consisting of 73 lessons, 10 downloadable resources with flexible deadlines

Important Topics Covered: Colour Theory and Typography, User Interfaces. Photography

Type: Paid Certification Course

Register Here: Link

Learning Outcomes: Deep understanding of intricate concepts of Graphic Design Theory. Adobe Photoshop and Canva

Language of Instruction: English

The Complete Graphic Design Theory for Beginners Course

An interactive course offered by the reputed platform udemy takes the learner on a journey through the world of graphic design with practical examples and real-world applicable projects.

Students also learn how to relate the concepts of design theory to the world around them in a meaningful way. They are guided on their step-by-step path to becoming a graphic designer.

Additionally, learners are given a look into the mind of those in the field of graphic design with common graphic design practices and the thought process behind these.

This course concludes with a glance at current design trends to inspire and motivate the students to create their own masterpieces.

6. Graphic Design Basics

Platform: Canva

Instructors:  Johanna Roca, Lynneal Santos, Jason Little, and Joe Moore

Ratings: 4.7/5

Duration: 12 brief lessons lasting for roughly half an hour

Important Topics Covered: Moodboards, Fonts, Tints and shades, Colour wheel 

Type: Free Course

Register Here: Link

Learning Outcomes: Awareness of the importance of design and significance of creativity in design

Language of Instruction: English

Graphic Design Basics

This unique graphic design course offered by the well-known design software Canva is an ideal culmination of various topics explained in an interactive and easy to grasp manner.

Also Read:  Top 10 Best Free Speed Reading Courses Online In 2022

The concepts of what is design, why design matters to individuals, and how anyone can become and think like a designer are explored.

Along with this, the steps to a successful project are also talked about. On top of that, each lesson includes an optional activity to practice the concepts learned in the lesson.

This short course is structured in an easy-to-understand manner and is perfect to get a quick introduction to design.

7. Become a Graphic Designer

Platform: LinkedIn

Instructors: Sean Adams, Cara St. Hilaire, Tony Harmer, Ina Saltz, Jim Krause, David Blatner, Julieanne Kost, Denise Jacobs, Nicte Cuevas

Duration:  27 hours consisting of 11 lessons.

Important Topics Covered: Introduction to Graphic Design,  Layout and Composition, Colour and Art, InDesign: Essentials, Creative Collaboration

Type: Free Version / Paid certification version

Register Here: Link

Learning Outcomes: Awareness of the importance of design and significance of creativity in design

Language of Instruction: English

Become a Graphic Designer

Building, exploring and practicing concepts are the focus of this course.

These intriguing lessons taught by an ensemble of highly trained instructors serve as an informative window into the world of graphic designing.

The topics covered are expansive; extra content and exercises available with the paid version aid the students in the successful completion.

Along with lectures, hands-on exercises are also available to be performed on InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop to enrich the skills learned by the students.

On top of all that, it also explores recent color trends to help students use suitable resources to make their graphic design projects better than the rest.

8. User Interface Design and Implementation

Platform: OpenCourseWare

Offered by: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Instructors:  Prof. Robert Miller

Duration: No specific duration, completely student-paced.

Important Topics Covered: Color design and typography, Graphic Design, Animation

Type: Free Graduation Level Course

Register Here: Link

Learning Outcomes: Insight Into the basics of graphic design, user interfaces like mobile user interfaces and animation through experimental analysis.

 Language of Instruction: English

User Interface Design and Implementation

MIT is one of the best institutes of technology in the entire world and this free course covers human capabilities, design principles, prototyping techniques, evaluation techniques, and the implementation of graphical user interfaces.

The course is designed for beginners who want to dip their toes into the complex topics of graphic design.

The course includes various materials, all of them being available on the website.

This consists of individual lecture notes, assignments, and interactive activities. Furthermore, students are also expected to work on a few projects to sharpen the skills learned.

The course has a very distinctive structure with a university class-like feel. This golden opportunity to learn from the best should definitely not be missed by eager learners.

9. Introduction to Graphic Illustration

Platform: Kadenze

Offered by: Cornish College of Arts

Instructors:  Junichi Tsuneoka

Ratings: 4.5/5

Duration: 50+ hours with 5 sessions, 10 hours each with flexible deadlines

Important Topics Covered: Digital Tools, Design Principles, Working of Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, and Adobe Illustrator.

Type: Free Basic Course / Paid Certification Course

Register Here: Link

Learning Outcomes: Introduction to the world of illustration, knowledge of basic theories of design, and digital illustration tools imparted.

Language of Instruction: English

Introduction to Graphic Illustration

In this course offered by the Seattle-based college, students delve into the world of Illustration.

A basic understanding of drawing skills, digital tools, and design is suggested for students to understand the material to its full potential.

Students are given in-depth knowledge of the process of illustration i.e the translation of their visual ideas into tangible projects.

In this interactive course, design principles are integrated with drawing skills giving students vast opportunities to express their creativity and discover the scope of illustrations in the market.

10. Graphic Design Bootcamp: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign

Platform: Udemy

Instructors:  Derrick Mitchell

Ratings: 4.5/5

Duration: 16 hours consisting of 2 sections, 98 lectures, and additional exercises with flexible deadlines

Important Topics Covered: Basics of Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, Print and Web Design Projects, Logo and Magazine Design

Type: Paid Certification Course

Register Here: Link

Learning Outcomes: Clear understanding of print and digital projects, ability to create good graphic design projects and moodboards.

Language of Instruction: English

Graphic Design Bootcamp: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign

Last but definitely not least, this intricately curated Bootcamp acts as the perfect first step to gain important insights about design.

It successfully explains the basics of Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign in a project-based environment. Students get crucial knowledge on how to efficiently work on and design mind-blowing projects.

Basic tools like typography, shapes, colors etc, and their uses are also described. Lastly, this course goes into great detail on the how-to of creating a professional portfolio to showcase the skills of the designer. 

And with that, we come to the end of this handy guide to the best graphic design courses available online at the moment.

The courses mentioned in this article are hosted by reputed organizations with detailed material to build a solid base or even enhance pre-existing knowledge in this wonderful and invigorating field of graphic design. 

In a nutshell:

Enrolling in these courses will surely help you in your journey to becoming a professional graphic designer and achieving great heights.

Once you have a basic understanding of the topics, you can learn more advanced topics and even pursue a degree in the same.

Furthermore, taking these courses up, working on projects, and receiving certificates can boost your portfolio which is crucial when applying for jobs or internships. 

As they say, there’s no time like now. So, let your creativity take the reins, enroll in a graphic design course today and get to learning! 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q.1 Which Jobs Are Available to Graphic Designers?

Ans:- Graphic Designers can easily work in a vast amount of fields including but not limited to Web Design, Animation, Advertising etc. Most fields include some need for visual content and this is where graphic designers can easily find a job.

Q. 2 Are online courses actually helpful?

Ans:- Online courses are the best way to gain knowledge of a topic without having to deal with the inconveniences of in-person classes. The best of the best courses can be taken up right from your home!

Q.3 Do the certificates received in online courses hold any value?

Ans:- The certificate received which is a testament to your knowledge can definitely be a plus in your resume which would further help you in finding a suitable job.

Q4. What are the qualifications required to take these courses?

Ans:- There are no such qualifications required to dive right into the world of graphic designing. Understanding the language and basic knowledge of computers and you’re all set to start your journey!


William is a professional content writer with 7+ years of writing experience in Tech, travel, fashion, lifestyle, and Entertainment. You will see him reading a book or listening to Nirvana in my free time.

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