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online graphic design courses Navigate free online graphic design courses for beginners and professionals. Enroll in these courses to elevate your portfolio and career prospects.

The best graphic design courses allow individuals to create visual content communicating a message. These courses are short-term programs designed to learn professional skills like Photoshop, Illustrator, UI/UX, etc. The best graphic design online courses can help students develop specific skills and knowledge and build expertise. 

Pursuing accredited graphic design courses online can help students get hired by the top graphic design companies. Learning graphic design skills does not have to be expensive, and you can definitely do it on your own time. This blog will explore the best online graphic design courses to jumpstart your career as a graphic designer. Let's head to our list now!

An Overview Of The Online Graphic Design Courses 

Top universities and industry leaders design and teach online graphic design courses. These courses cover a vast spectrum of skills associated with designing. From basic design principles to advanced digital illustration techniques, you can learn it all. 

The best graphic design courses online can help you learn industry-standard software, including Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Whether you are aspiring to become a professional graphic designer or exploring the field as a hobby, these courses can cater to diverse needs. 

Online courses in graphic design courses can vary greatly in length, breadth, and format. From short-term courses to comprehensive degree programs, you can choose any based on your interests. Taking a graphic design course can be incredibly beneficial for professionals and hobbyists. 

Comparing the Top Graphic Design Courses


Name of the course Price of the course Duration of the course Level
Adobe Illustrator for Beginners


1.5 Hours


CalArts Graphic Design Specialization by Coursera

Free Enrollment

2 months (10 hours per week


Canva Design School: Graphic Design Basics


40 minutes (10 lessons for 3-4 minutes each)


Graphic Design Basics: Core Principles for Visual Design

Free Enrollment

36 Minute


Applying design principles


1.5 - 3 hours


Certificate in Adobe CC Express


7.5 hours on-demand videos

Beginner to intermediate

UX Academy by Design Labs


15 weeks or 13 weeks

Beginner to intermediate

Introduction to Graphic Design History

Premium Membership- $20 per month

6 hours per session (7 sessions in total)


Logo Design: From Beginners to Professionals


49 minutes of on-demand videos

Beginner to Intermediate

Branding Essentials for Designers


5h 16 minutes

Intermediate to Advance

List of the best 10 online graphic design courses in 2024

Graphic design online courses blend artistic principles with innovative digital tools to create compelling visuals. At the core, the main purpose of these courses is to equip students with an understanding of fundamental and advanced design principles. Along with developing essential skills, these courses also offer hands-on experience with the latest graphic designing apps and tools. 

We will provide you with an overview of all the top graphic design online courses along with their unique features. This section will help you choose the best graphic design course for yourself. Let’s move ahead with our courses now- 

1. Adobe Illustrator for Beginners


Skills Acquired

Price of the course Link to the course
  • Draw in illustrator
  • Work with color and gradients
  • Use of text and fonts in Illustrator
  • Create effects and patterns


Adobe Illustrator for Beginners

Adobe Illustrator is a foundational course designed to introduce users to Adobe Illustrator. The primary focus of this course is to introduce beginners to the interface, tools, features, and workflow of Adobe Illustrator. The course ensures that users are able to create their own vector artwork with confidence. 

By the end of this course, participants will be able to navigate the software with maximum ease. Using the basic tools, users can effectively learn to design simple vector graphics. This foundational course lays the basework for more advanced study and practice with the tool. 

It is among the best graphic design online courses offered by Envato Tuts and instructed by Dan Scott. Learn to design basic and custom shapes and manipulate texts on the platform. Furthermore, learners can access all the information about creating gradients and beautiful color palettes. The best part about this course is that, with a variety of practice exercises, learners can practically apply all their knowledge. 

Key Components of the Adobe Illustrator for Beginners course

  • Introduces illustrator workspace
  • Simple techniques to redefine designs and shapes
  • Explains pen tools, shape tools, and selection tools
  • Formatting texts and understanding typography basics
  • Best practices for saving, sharing, and printing vector diagrams 

2. CalArts Graphic Design Specialization by Coursera

The California Institute of Arts offers a comprehensive design program to teach the fundamentals of sophisticated graphic design. This course comprises five different modules designed and taught by faculty members at the university. 

As with all Coursera offerings, this graphic design course is entirely available online. Learners can study and practice at their own pace. In addition to theory, this course allows users to practice their skills with assignments. 

The CalArts Graphic Design specialization course is designed for beginners without prior knowledge in this domain. It suits aspiring designers and marketing professionals seeking to expand their skills. Participants in this course can ensure proficiency in key design software and a portfolio of projects demonstrating their skills and creativity. 

Key Components of the CalArts Graphic Design Specialization by Coursera

  • Learn to design visual identities for brands
  • Basic concepts and skills associated with typography
  • Fundamental concepts for effective visual communication
  • Fundamental principles for designing a user-friendly interface
  • Training in essential design software like Photoshop, InDesign, etc. 


Skills Acquired

Price of the course Link to the course
  • Fundamental skills for graphic designing
  • Capstone projects to add to the portfolio
  • Image-making and typography

Free enrollment

CalArts Graphic Design Specialization by Coursera


3. Canva Design School: Graphic Design Basics

This course, created by Canva, helps individuals learn essential graphic design skills. It covers various topics, from color theory to layout principles and visual hierarchy. The course comprises 12 lessons, each covering foundational concepts related to graphic design. 

The course teaches the know-how of creating social media graphics, presentations, banners, posters, and other marketing materials. The course gives learners complete freedom to understand and develop their unique designing style. 

It is one of the best graphic design online courses for participants who wish to learn on the go. With engaging tutorials and hands-on practice exercises, this course is also perfect for professional designers. Build your design expertise on your terms with Canva Design School: Graphic Design Basics.

Key Components of Canva Design School: Graphic Design Basics

  • Understanding Canva’s interface and tools
  • Encourages learners to explore their unique style
  • Access to a community of learners and designers
  • 12 bite-sized lessons tailored to fit your schedule
  • Best-suited for beginners without any prior experience with designing 


Skills Acquired

Price of the course Link to the course
  • Basics of design
  • Creating a mood board
  • Searching for design inspiration


Canva Design School: Graphic Design Basics


4. Canva Design School: Graphic Design Basics

This course is offered by SkillShare and led by Ellen Lupton and Jennifer Cole Phillips. The course covers the five key principles of graphic design within 35 minutes. It covers key concepts like symmetry, hierarchy, framing, and more. 

This masterclass aims to provide learners with a strong foundation for creating inspired, functional designs across various projects. The ideas and principles from this course can be applied to design a visual layout. Learners can design book covers, magazine spreads, web pages, and more. 

It is among the free graphic design courses online, taught by experts, and is thus extremely reliable. Designed for beginners, this course can help you create inspired functional designs quickly and efficiently. 

Key Components of Graphic Design Basics: Core Principles for Visual Design

  • Learn key design concepts and principles
  • Basics about creating functional designs
  • Beginner-friendly and suitable for professionals
  • Short and simple masterclass to fit into your schedule
  • Learn to design marketing materials, creative projects, etc.


Skills Acquired

Price of the course Link to the course
  • Identifying and defining 5 basic design principles
  • Practical application of each concept to core projects
  • Assesses the work for complete effectiveness


Graphic Design Basics: Core Principles for Visual Design


5. Applying Design Principles 

If you are looking to brush up on your graphic design skills or begin a profession in this field, Applying Design Principles is one of the best online courses in graphic design. The course equips you with all the essential tools to put your basic graphic design principles and theory into practice. 

The course attracts both students and professionals seeking to improve their design skills. It can help develop skillsets for balance, contrast, hierarchy, and composition. Completing the course with a score above 80% qualifies learners for an official ALISON certificate. 

Enroll in the Applying Design Principles course to develop or enhance your understanding of key design elements and their applications. 

Key Components of Applying Design Principles Course

  • Suitable for both students and professionals
  • The course is completely free to enroll and learn
  • An Alison subscription is mandatory for certificates 
  • Offers introductory knowledge and practical application
  • Master fundamental concepts- balance, composition, hierarchy, etc. 


Skills Acquired

Price of the course Link to the course
  • Modern graphic design skills
  • Practical application of core design principle
  • Essential skills to boost your career in designing


Applying Design Principles by Alison


6. Certificate in Graphic Design with Adobe CC Express

Certificate in Graphic Design with Adobe CC Express is appropriate for learners seeking an effective  course to learn Adobe. The modules are designed to provide basic knowledge before diving into more detailed programs. This course has everything you need to know and learn about Adobe Creative Cloud Express.

This comprehensive course allows students to create an Instagram story, design a resume, create presentations, and do a lot more. It teaches graphic designing skills that are helpful for both learners and professionals. 

This course is an excellent option for exploring the key areas associated with graphic design using Adobe CC Express. Learn the basics and create stunning Graphic designs and web design works with the Certificate in Graphic Design with Adobe CC Express. 

Key Components of Certificate in Adobe CC Express

  • Suitable for priming up before a detailed course
  • Best-suited for beginners without any prior knowledge 
  • Covers vast topics and all the essential tools of Adobe CC
  • Lessons on creating Instagram stories, resumes, and more
  • Offers visual inspirations and tutorials on advanced techniques


Skills Acquired

Price of the course Link to the course
  • Introduction to Adobe CC Express
  • Image masking techniques
  • Enhancing designs, editing images, and more


Certificate in Adobe CC Express


7. UX Academy by Design Labs

UX Academy by Design Lab is a graphic design course to help you launch a successful career in UX design. This course is primarily targeted toward learners with prior knowledge about the basics of designing. 

The course is divided into different modules. Most users prefer to begin with the UX Academy Foundation Course. This course is scheduled for 4 to 8 weeks and helps you understand tools like Figma. Conversely, designers with higher experience can apply to the main UX Academy course. 

The best part of enrolling in this course is that it offers 1-on-1 mentorship with industry experts. Give 10-20 hours/ week to this course and apply all the theoretical knowledge to the final project. The course is also backed by portfolio creation and a certificate of completion. 

Key Components of UX Academy by Design Labs 

  • 1-on-1 mentorship for all participants
  • Expert sessions on Figma, Meta, IBM, and more
  • Modules for fundamentals and advanced concepts
  • Fosters an online community to collaborate and network
  • Capstone projects and portfolio creation at the end of the project


Skills Acquired

Price of the course Link to the course
  • In-depth knowledge of designing
  • Teaches in-demand skills for UI/UX designs
  • Enhancing designs, editing images, and more


UX Academy by Design Labs


8. Introduction to Graphic Design History

The Introduction to Graphic Design History course on Kadenze is taught by Ellen Lupton and Brockett Horne of the Maryland Institute College of Art. It provides an in-depth study of graphic design's evolution. 

This course covers changes in typography, publishing, branding, the avant-garde, and mass media. It provides an in-depth understanding of graphic design's influence on communication.​ Learners will comprehend the evolution of communication tools and theories and how design may be used to effect societal change. 

It is one of the best online certified graphic design courses. The course seeks to provide students with the capacity to apply historical design concepts to modern creative endeavors. It further encourages an understanding of graphic design's role in societal transitions.​

Key Components of Introduction to Graphic Design History Course

  • Industry experts lead the course 
  • Diverse topics- typography, publishing, branding, etc. 
  • A deeper understanding of graphic designing concepts
  • Helps in applying historical concepts to modern projects
  • Detailed modules about the evolution of tools and theories


Skills Acquired

Price of the course Link to the course
  • Typography
  • Understand fonts and letter forms
  • Revolution of graphic design and its principles

Premium Membership- $20 per month

Introduction to Graphic Design History


9. Logo Design: From Beginners to Professionals

Many designers specialize in branding, which is the most important component of graphic design. If you wish to excel in brand identification and design, Udemy's Logo Design course is an excellent place to begin.

The course teaches you the basics of logo design. It covers everything from understanding clients' goals to creating a brand identification system that can be used effectively in various applications. This branding crash course will teach you all you need to know to create an effective logo design from start to finish.

It is not just a basic graphic design course but a detailed module for understanding marketing and branding for businesses. It aims to equip learners with the skills needed to design logos that effectively represent a company's identity and resonate with consumers​. 


Skills Acquired

Price of the course Link to the course
  • Create and design logos
  • Create unique brand logos


Logo Design: From Beginners to Professionals


Key Components of Logo Design Fundamentals

  • A comprehensive course for branding
  • Suitable for marketers, freelancers, and designers
  • Understand different colors, fonts, and other basics
  • Helps in understanding the needs of clients effectively 
  • Allows designers to create a unique brand identity with their logos

10. Branding Essentials for Designers

If you wish to learn graphic design and branding from industry professionals, CreativeLive courses are the best option. The Branding Essentials for Designers explains all the important concepts related to branding. 

Each module focuses on particular aspects of design and branding. It has everything from portfolio development to detailed concepts about designs. This course also offers bonus content and insights for all users. These classes are designed to help learners master graphic design skills and turn their passion into profit. 

Along with this, you can also explore other courses from CreativeLive. The courses are suitable for beginners and professionals. You can also explore courses focused on more niche areas of the industry, such as book cover design and drawing basics. Explore the field of graphic designing and excel the professional skills with CreateLive Graphic Design Courses. 


Key Components of Branding Essentials for Designers  

  • Helps in developing portfolios
  • Access to modules for a lifetime
  • Covers all the concepts of branding for designers
  • Learn the basics of graphic design and niche concepts
  • The class is led by professional designer Stanley Hainsworth

Core Competencies Developed Through Graphic Design Courses

Enrolling in the best graphic design courses online, free or paid, can be beneficial for various reasons. Whether you are aiming to pursue a career in this field or looking to improve your professional skills, these courses can be helpful. 

Here are some key concepts that you can learn by enrolling in graphic design courses. 

Fundamentals of design

Foundational graphic design courses cover basic design elements, including balance, contrast, emphasis, movement, pattern, rhythm, and unity. Understanding these principles is critical for developing visually appealing and effective communication designs.


Students can master the art and method of arranging type so that written language is comprehensible, readable, and visually beautiful when displayed. The accredited online graphic design courses cover studies on typefaces, point sizes, line lengths, line spacing (leading), and letter spacing (tracking).

Color theory 

Color theory is an essential component of graphic design. It involves exploring the psychology of color and how it affects perception and action. Students learn how to use color effectively to stimulate emotions and communicate messages.

UI and UX design

Students learn how to create interfaces for digital products, like websites and applications. This includes identifying customer needs, developing wireframes and prototypes, and testing designs to improve user happiness.

Software skills 

Mastery of graphic design software, such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, is essential. Courses educate students on how to use these tools to bring their creative ideas to life.

Portfolio development 

A key component of a graphic design course is teaching students how to build a solid portfolio. This includes selecting their best work, presenting it effectively, and demonstrating their talents and versatility as a designer.

What are the different types of graphic design courses available in 2024?

In 2024, the landscape of graphic design courses continues to expand, with courses customized to various aspects of design, skill levels, and job trajectories. Here's a breakdown of the different kinds of graphic design courses available:

1. Primer/ Introductory Courses

These courses are designed for beginners and cover the fundamentals of graphic design. These include basic principles, key software tools, and fundamental project creation. They serve as the foundation for deeper studies. These courses introduce students to designing apps or tools and their working. 

2. Degree Programs 

These include graphic design degree programs at the associate, bachelor, and master levels. Top universities and colleges mostly accredit a degree. Degree programs offer a comprehensive education that includes theory, practical skills, and professional practices spanning multiple years.

3. Certificate Courses

These are shorter than degree programs and concentrate on particular aspects of graphic design. Certificate programs can last from a few months to a year. These courses are great for professionals wishing to improve their abilities or specialize in web design, UI/UX design, or branding.

4. Technical Training 

These are shorter than degree programs and focus on certain areas of graphic design. Certificate programs can run anywhere from a few months to a year. These programs are ideal for professionals who want to develop their skills or specialize in areas such as web design, UI/UX design, or branding.

How do you choose the best graphic designing course?

Choosing the best graphic design course involves considering key factors to ensure that the course matches your career goals and level of commitment. Here are steps and considerations to help you make an informed decision:

Assess Your Career Goals

Determine whether you're looking for a comprehensive education that could lead to a degree or a certification focusing on specific skills.

Consider the area of graphic design you're most interested in. These include branding, digital design, UI/UX, or motion graphics, and look for courses tailored to these areas.

Evaluate Your Current Skill Level

If you're just starting out, pick a course that matches what you already know. If you're already pretty good, find something more advanced or specialized.

Research Course Content and Curriculum

Look into the course syllabus and ensure it covers the topics you're interested in learning.
Check if the course stays current with industry trends and uses up-to-date software and technologies.

Consider the Learning Format

Decide whether you prefer online learning that offers flexibility and convenience. Conversely, you can opt for in-person classes, providing more hands-on experience and direct interaction with instructors and peers.

Think about the course's duration and schedule to make sure it fits your lifestyle and commitments.

Check Instructor Credentials

Look for courses taught by instructors with relevant industry experience and a proven track record in teaching. Experienced instructors can provide valuable insights and real-world perspectives.

Look at the Portfolio Requirements

Some advanced courses or degree programs may require a portfolio for admission. Ensure you have the necessary work or can create it before applying.

Consider the Cost

Course fees can vary widely, so consider your budget. Remember to factor in any additional costs, such as software subscriptions, materials, and textbooks. Look into financial aid, scholarships, or payment plans if necessary.

Read Reviews and Seek Recommendations

Look for reviews from former students to gauge their satisfaction with the course, the quality of teaching, and the relevance of the skills learned. Ask for recommendations from professionals within the industry or academic advisors.

Look for Hands-on Experience and Portfolio Development

The best courses not only teach theory but also allow you to work on real projects that you can add to your portfolio. A strong portfolio is crucial for launching your career in graphic design.

How can learning graphic design help you in 2024?

Graphic design courses can help learners both professionally and personally. It is a valuable skill set in today’s visually driven world. Here are a few reasons why you should learn graphic designing or consider enrolling in a graphic design course. 

High demand for design skills 

As per Statista, it is projected that the revenue for graphic design services will amount to approximately 11.3 billion US Dollars.

In an increasingly digital environment, skilled graphic designers are in high demand. Businesses, NGOs, and government organizations all demand efficient visual communication to reach their target audiences, resulting in numerous job opportunities across multiple industries.

Creative expression 

Graphic design is a kind of creative expression that allows you to express ideas, sentiments, and emotions through visuals. It's a rewarding vocation for people who value creativity and artistry.

Freelance opportunities

Graphic design skills allow you to freelance and work with clients all around the world. This freedom allows you to control your workload, the types of projects you work on, and, eventually, your revenue.

Empowered you to start your own business 

With a good foundation in graphic design, you can establish your own design firm or corporation. This entrepreneurial career offers independence and the opportunity to construct something from the ground up.

Personal branding 

In today's world, it's really important to build your brand. Graphic designing skills can help you draft a resume, website, or social media posts to ensure you stand out and leave a strong impression.


The best graphic design courses teach students the basics of design and keep up with new trends and tools. They help students build a strong foundation and stay updated on what's happening in the industry. They provide a balance of theoretical understanding and practical application, ensuring that students develop the abilities required to flourish in a variety of creative and commercial situations. 

Whether through full degree programs, specialty certificate courses, or flexible online learning alternatives, these courses cater to a wide range of objectives and skill levels, opening the door to a variety of professional opportunities.

Sakshi Kaushik

By Sakshi Kaushik

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A passionate writer and tech lover, she strives to share her expertise with mobile app developers and fellow tech enthusiasts. During her moments away from the keyboard, she relishes delving into thriller narratives, immersing herself in diverse realms.

Uncover executable insights, extensive research, and expert opinions in one place.

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