How to Teach Yourself Graphic Design in 5 Easy Steps

With many online resources available to learn graphic design skills, it is challenging to choose the one that will work for you. Whether you need designing skills to create graphics for a website or create a brand book for your business, learning graphic design might look tedious and quite difficult at a first glance. But with the constantly growing demand for graphic designers, it is worth investing time and efforts in graphic design schools online. 

The good news is learning graphic design can be easy if you find a course that makes the whole learning process fun on the go.

Woman hand drawing with graphics tablet working designer GRINFER

The following blog post provides tips and hints on how to learn graphics design online. Take a look at the “how to teach yourself graphic design in 5 easy steps: article and make a note of it. Keep on reading to find out where to start, learn how to create better and meaningful graphics, and how to apply gained skills for becoming a successful marketing designer. 

1. Find a reliable learning source and learn graphic design online.

How to become a graphic designer and how to teach yourself graphic design? First, start with extensive research on the internet to find best resources trusted by designers, such as graphic design tutorials, graphic design online courses, or certified graphic design training online. Don’t skip this step. Spending time researching is worth the effort because it won’t let you waste time later on useless advice or out-dated information. There are plenty of free and paid resources available for learning graphic design not to mention how-to videos on Youtube. 

Don’t forget about e-learning platforms since these marketplaces can provide you with one of the most effective tools and approaches for learning graphic design. While choosing an online course, pay attention to ratings and pick the one that has a good number of positive reviews. Look whether the course is offering a free trial and check it out to make sure that this is right one for you and easy to follow. 

Afterall, the course needs to cover all the basics in depth and provide up-to-date information for all topics. Also, make sure that the course you’ve picked offers all necessary assignments and hands-on exercises for practice. If you think that you need an online graphic design certificate, some design courses offer certification of completion at the end of a course. However, don’t dwell too much on getting a proof of completion – focus on the most useful skills instead. Think how to learn graphics design effectively and take the best out of design skills to use them later for your future career as a creative graphic designer. 

2. Learn graphic design online with basic concepts.

Laptop with words Online School on screen and design devices GRINFER

What exactly is graphic design?

Graphic design is a form of art that stands on a strong fundamental base, so you need a perfect understanding of basic design concepts before you go deeper into the subject. You need to know and understand its rules, purpose, and benefits. If you jump straight into using any graphic tools without understanding basic principles, you are more likely to fail. So, spend enough time learning the fundamentals, graphic design terms, and graphic designer skills. Don’t rush. It will pay off later.

What does a graphic designer do for advancing his knowledge and skills?

One of the most effective approaches to teach yourself  is to start following influential designers online. Find and select those designers whose works inspire you the most. Learn more about graphic design by observing and analyzing their portfolios. Pay attention to details because those can be really important. Remember an old saying – from little things can come big things. Learn everything about colors, alignment, and hierarchy rules for clean and refined designs. Plus, there are such essential things you need to know like line and shape theory, space, and texture, etc. 

Teach yourself graphic design and expand your knowledge by building a strong foundation in all the basic concepts and principles of design. Once you learn various concepts and know how to work with them, don’t forget to provide an appropriate visual attraction for your works. Find your own unique voice and develop a skill of conveying messages you want to deliver without text descriptions.

Learn everything about colors, alignment, and hierarchy rules for clean and refined designs. Plus, there are such essential things you need to know like line and shape theory, space, and texture, etc. 

3. Learn graphic design online and choose a niche.

Graphic Designer working with interactive pen display Grinfer

How to be a graphic designer whose skills sell well?

The key here is in finding your own niche. Choosing a right niche for designing graphics is important, if not to say – crucial. When talking about a niche, we refer to a specific format of design you most proficient in or like the most. But there is also a challenge of finding a business niche to sell your skills. The best way to market them out is to make a point on a specific hot skill you sharpened while teaching yourself graphic design and building your own portfolio

Let’s say you’re a designer who specialized in creating banners for mobile apps. Highlight skills you gained in mobile design and make a point of it. This approach gives way more credibility rather than stating that you’re so awesome that there is no such a thing that you can not do in graphic design.

Stay dedicated with your time and daily routine to become more proficient in a chosen niche. Find one you like the most and apply everything you learned to become a good expert. If you’re not sure how to pick a niche, overview your lifestyle and define what inspires you brings joy to your life. It can be anything – your hobbies, interests, favorite brands. Think about other areas where you may stumble across creative ideas. Start with those topics that excite you the most and constantly bring creative vibes to your working process. Look back and review your past projects. Think which were the ones that made you feel most grateful and proud. 

4. The best way to teach yourself graphic design is getting the right software.

Most beginners tend to start with the most-known applications like Photoshop. The trick here is not to become overwhelmed trying to learn all the tools that the Photoshop software provides altogether. Start by checking and determining what would be the exact graphic design software that will do the best job for you. It depends on the area of graphic design you currently work in. You can definitely become a guru of Photoshop. Not a problem. But what if the team that hires you works with Sketch? For creating logos, you’ll need vector applications like Illustrator. An InDesign application works great for designing prints, because it supports the printing process. First, start with learning those apps that correspond to your domain and are necessary to get the job done. However, keep an eye on other tools because you might need them later for your work too.

Can you teach yourself graphic design?

Absolutely! No need to purchase expensive applications like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator for becoming an experienced graphic designer. What is the best program to teach yourself graphic design? There are many free alternatives that provide similar features with nearly the same functionality. If you like to use Adobe family, start with one application that you need the most and subscribe. Don’t buy everything all at once. Find the best graphic design apps online for free or free graphics design programs.

Some design projects require a combination of different graphic design applications and graphic art software for creating a good graphic design and getting best results. For example, if you mix capabilities of Photoshop, Illustrator, and Indesign, you’ll come up with a great design for a print poster. You can edit an image in Photoshop, create logos and titles in Illustrator, and use InDesign for making layout for your poster . 

5. Learn graphic design applications with tutorials.

Graphic design student learning in the classroom - GRINFER

Today, with the Internet technologies, it is as easy as ever to find free video tutorials or step-by-step guides for the graphic design tools that you need  to complete your projects. In addition to video tutorials, there are also plenty of downloadable resources like audios, pdfs, and ebooks. Most of them are also available online for free. Again, you can teach yourself graphic design with free graphics design courses online. Keep an eye on e-learning platforms, such as Udemy, Coursera, Grinfer, Skillshare, because  once and a while they offer design courses for free. Or you can run into promotions with really good discounts for prices. 

Another good way to go with learning graphic design skills is to join an online community established by professional graphic designers. Pick a group and become a part of it to get more useful and exclusive tips, learn about the newest tools, free graphic designing programs, trends, and tricks to follow to sharpen your skills. Also, you’ll get a great chance to learn the pros and cons of the graphic design industry and on how graphic design professionals resolve particular issues. When you boost your skills up to the level where you can show them off to prospective customers or employers, you’ll move on and move up in your career. 

For getting more hands on practice, join a volunteer project and start working with a professional staff. Look for any projects on freelance platforms that you can do remotely. The key to success is to be a doer and not a dreamer. Once you learned a skill – apply it.  Continuous learning and daily practice are the two essentials that will make you a great designer. 

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