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Websites to Find Free Graphic Design Courses Online

Higher Education Articles April 7, 2013

Several colleges and universities offer free courses online in graphic design. In this article, students will learn which graphic design courses will lead to real college credits, the topics that are covered in the course, and type of courses that are available.

Online Course Requirements and Information

Blogs and designer websites are among the Internet sites that typically offer graphic design tutorials, though these courses may also be offered by some colleges. Credits are usually not provided in courses offered through universities and colleges. Access to specific software may be needed by students who want to benefit fully from the tutorials; such software would include Photoshop, Illustrator, or Adobe Flash.

Various lessons and step-wise instructions are featured in this free online graphic tutorials offered at In Adobe InDesign Tutorials for Beginners, eleven lessons are included that cover layouts, graphics, frames and type. The five Amazing Vector Portrait Tutorials course demonstrates how to create vector portraits using various styles, such as using Adobe Illustrator software, textured layering and effects, and geometric styles.

Web Design from Scratch

Free tutorials and tips are used in the Web Design from Scratch program to teach learners about designing more efficient websites. In the How to Learn Web Design tutorial, users are taught basic ways of designing a web page, and helped understand the most important aspect of web design. Users also get access to resources to learn more. In the “What is the Relationship Between Graphic Design and Web Design tutorial,” learners are given a description of an effective website even as they are taught how web design and graphic design differ from one another.

Students enrolled in the HTML tutorial course offered at are instructed on the basics of HTML through many lessons offered on various web tutorials. Coursework is delivered through a combination of exams, references and quizzes. Concepts in links, elements, layouts, blocks and formatting are explored by students enrolled in the tutorial.

University Of California – Berkeley

Several digital media tutorials are offered through the KDMC by the University of California – Berkeley. Several lessons are featured in these free tutorials. Structuring a document and creation of floating images and gradients are taught to learners in the CSS Layout with HTML5 tutorial, where typography on the web is also explored. Concepts in storyboarding and editing along with using graphics and video are examined in the Multimedia Storytelling tutorial. In the Building Flash Templates tutorial, eleven different lessons are completed by learners; the lessons explore topic areas such as setup, sections, and button editing and background creation.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Assignments with no solutions, examinations and lecture notes are offered by MIT in its Computer Graphics course, including twenty-three lectures offered in PDF format. Coursework focuses on topics such as color effects, animation and transformations.

Planet Photoshop

Different free videos and tutorials are offered by Planet Photoshop to enrolled students on various Photoshop-related subjects. Creation of a zoom effect through the use of Photoshop is taught in a course titled Long Exposure Zoom Effect. Users of this course are taken through a step-wise process in learning how to create this visual effect. The Your Pen Tool tutorial focuses on the proper use of the Pen tool in the creation of a variety of shapes.

Palomar College

Access to projects, examples and lessons are given to independent learners enrolled in Palomar’s Design and Composition course. Completing projects will help users in the learning process during which they will enjoy access to student work that can be used as examples. The program is divided into five diverse components and covers topic areas such as linear perspective, symmetry, the design process, and color.

Absolute Cross

Free tutorials on Photoshop and graphic design are offered by Absolute Cross; these are titled How to Use Drupal’s Contemplate Module, and Typewriter. Users are required to download a module before they can start the How to Use Drupal’s Contemplate Module; from the tutorial, they can learn about detailing aspects of HTML code. Students enrolled in the Typewriter tutorial are taught about creating an animated graphic typewriter effect by using Adobe Flash; they are shown how to accomplish this without having to use Action scripts.


Various free lessons on graphic design are offered by through courses titled as Introduction to the Elements of Design and Graphic Design Basics. Fundamentals of graphic design are taught in the Graphic Design Basics course that includes two basic classes in which the principles and elements of graphic design are demonstrated. Users are taught about color, mass, texture, lines and shapes, through the Introduction to the Elements of Design course. A folder of design samples has to be created and used through the duration of the course by students who are enrolled in the course.

African Virtual University

An overview of graphic tools is provided in this course offered by African Virtual University, a school listed in the Open Courseware Consortium. Applications and multimedia design is available in a full module and offers further readings. The course explores 3D objects, web design, and digital resources.

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