More often than not, the debate to ether or not someone needs to go to University to become a graphic designer, pops up. Some say that school can directly impact your ability to work better. Others defend that equal amounts of dedication and practice can bring a lot more to the table than art school.
Regardless of my opinion, it’s always good to know where to find free online resources. Either to refresh the memory or to learn these concepts for the first time, there are a lot of resources out there.
So let’s break down this list of tools that go from history to promoting the work and everything else in between.
History of graphic design
Before becoming a designer, it’s important to know how it all started and how artistic movements had a direct impact on design.
This free Cousera lesson taught by Louise Sandhaus and Lorraine Wild, will teach you everything you need to know. From the Early Mass Marketing to Graphic Design Radicalism, you will see how Design evolved through time.
After learning about history, the most important thing is to know the fundamentals of design. They are the pillars on which every designer works regardless of their specialization.
Since there’s a lot to learn, I recommend this Skillshare class and this article from Interaction Design about the Gestalt Principles.
There are multiple methodologies you can use for designing products. Design thinking has been the most talked lately and so happens that Stanford University has a virtual free course on this technique.
Typography is one of the hardest skills to master even when you’re already a professional. Many designers struggle with it because it requires a great amount of practice and continuously study and improvement.
The good news is you can start learning it for free and once you become more comfortable with it, you will be able to overcome any difficulties. But even when you’re nailing it, there’s no harm in checking a few more tips for further improvement and inspiration.
Without color what is graphic design? Can you imagine the world without it? All dull in black and white.
Color is at the base of design and like everything else, it works best when you know how to take advantage of the theory.
Although color choice is somewhat debatable, color theory is a real subject. You need to get accustomed to it if you want to become a good graphic designer.
Here are two articles to understand it better:
Interaction Design Foundation on Color Theory
Seven Step Guide from 99 designs
Once you get the basics right, you can move on to Branding. It will combine everything you’ve learned before, and give you a larger perspective on what it takes to get a product on the market.
Building an online portfolio
After mastering all the fundamentals, including printing techniques, it’s time to start thinking about building your portfolio. But before you start putting everything in there, read these articles on how to do it effectively and meaningfully.
6 Tips for Creating a great online Portfolio
Create an awesome design portfolio with these 20 pro tips
4 easy steps to create a beautiful design portfolio
Even though we live in the digital age more than ever, it’s still very important for a graphic designer to know about printing techniques.
Since print is intrinsically related to the evolution of design, I suggest starting with a history article and then move on to printing terms and printing techniques.
Promoting your work as a designer
After having a solid portfolio and presence online, you need to think about your work as a personal brand and promote it as well so you can reach your ideal audience and achieve success as a designer.
Now that you have all the resources, there are no more excuses for not learning design.
All you need now is the willingness to learn the theory and the patient to practice and learn from your own mistakes. All the rest will follow.
Also, if you felt lost by reading this post and you need to see some design definitions, Invision has got an online guide ready for you.