Lynda.com is one of the best online tutorial sites. They have countless courses from experts that cover everything from digital art to photography, app programming to graphic design, and pretty much anything else you can think of.
All their great courses are available from just $20 a month. I’ve recommended people use it to learn photography, but it’s just as good for graphic design.
With hundreds of courses available, knowing where to start is a challenge; to help you decide, I’ve pulled out ten of my favorites.
There’s more to graphic design than just drawing. You need to understand how to layout the different parts of your composition, which colors work well together, and all the elements of typography. There are also three apps you need to be familiar with from Adobe’s Creative Cloud: Illustrator, InDesign, and my favorite app, Photoshop.
In Introduction to Graphic Design, Justin Seeley covers all this. It’s not the most in-depth course on this list, but if you’re just getting started it’s the one to watch first. Before diving deeper into the apps, you need to understand the theory behind how to use them.
Deke McClelland’s Photoshop CC One-on-One courses made my list of awesome photography courses because of how detailed they were. His Illustrator courses make this list for just the same reason.
In Illustrator CC 2015 One-on-One Fundamentals, Deke spends 17 hours going through Illustrator’s most important features in massive detail. He uses projects from the start to put the tools into a real world context. 17 hours is a long time but the course is exhaustive. If you really want to understand Illustrator, it’s the one to watch.
Picking up where the Fundamentals course stops, Illustrator CC 2015 One-on-One Advanced sees Deke dive even deeper into Illustrator. Now that you already have an understanding of how to use Illustrator, he’s free to explore the most powerful features it offers.
Clocking in at 15 and a half hours, it’s crammed with great information. Deke’s two One-on-One courses offer far more Illustrator instruction than most graphic design degrees.
Spend the time working through the projects alongside Deke, and you will be an Illustrator expert by the time you finish the final lesson. It might take you a few months, but it’s well worth the time if you want to be a graphic designer.
Illustrator is only one if the apps graphic designers use. If you’re doing any layout work, then you need to know how to use InDesign.
While Deke, unfortunately, doesn’t have a monster InDesign course, David Blatner’s InDesign CC Essential Training is a worthy alternative. At just under 10 hours long, you’ll fly through it after finishing the One-on-One series.
Just because it’s shorter, it doesn’t mean the information is any less useful. Blatner just moves faster through the material rather than dwelling on every point. Work through the course and you’ll be capable of creating any kind of project in InDesign by the end.
Logo Design is one of the most important skills for graphic designers to have. In Foundations of Logo Design, Von Glitschka works through everything from the design process to the nitty gritty details of contract negotiation.
Glitschka goes through it all, step-by-step, giving you all the tools you’ll need to start designing professional logos.
One of the best ways to really understand a skill is to watch an expert work through their process. In Designing a Logo for a Media Company, Nigel French does just that. It’s a short, advanced course so you’ll need to understand the fundamentals of graphic design before watching it.
The best bit of the course is watching Nigel iterate on different ideas before finally settling on the one that works best for the brief. If you’ve mastered the tools but are struggling with the process, this is the course for you.
Along with logo design, creating eye-catching business cards is one of the fundamental skills graphic designers need to have. Another project course from Nigel French, Designing a Business Card is a great introduction to the process.
Working through business cards for two imaginary companies, you’ll get a real understanding of how something goes from idea to fully realised project. Again with this course you’ll need to understand the fundamentals of graphic design to get the most out of it.
Infographics are one of the best ways to display information. We share a cool one everyday here at MakeUseOf. If you’re a designer looking to make a name for yourself, launching a viral infographic is a killer way to do it.
In Designing an Infographic Nigel French shows you how to apply your design skills to creating infographics. Breaking complex data down into an easy to understand graph is a lot more involved than creating a business card but Nigel makes it seem easy.
Drawing and creativity are the foundations of graphic design. They’re also skills that you need to constantly practice if you want to be a successful designer. No one has ever hired an un-creative designer!
If you’re not working full time as a designer, it can be hard to find the time or motivation to exercise your skills every day. In this course, Von Glitschka has a challenge for you: draw every day for 21 days. Each day there’s a new challenge. You do your drawing and then watch how Glitschka approached it.
If you want to practice drawing and creativity, this is an awesome course to follow along with. Do it every day for three weeks and you’ll be shocked by how your skills grow.
Continuous education is important in many professions and graphic design is no exception. Every Monday, John McWade releases a new episode of Before & After: Graphic Design Best Practices. The videos are all short and laser focused on one concept of graphic design.
Every Monday, if you want to be a designer, the first thing you should do is watch McWade’s latest video. It will keep you constantly learning, thinking, and growing.
Lynda.com is a site I keep going back to. I’ve learnt photography, Photoshop, and design using their courses. If you want to educate yourself in graphic design, it’s one of the best sites to use.
Once you’ve worked through the ten courses above, check out some of the others they offer from the authors I’ve highlighted. Everything Nigel French and Deke McClelland release is magic but the other instructors are great too.
There are very few learning tools as good as Lynda.com.
Have you used Lynda.com to learn graphic design? Which instructors and courses did you find most useful? Let us know in the comments.