The Best Free Online Design Courses And Resources

Learning Design doesn’t have to involve getting a degree or splashing out on an expensive education. If you have the patience and persistence, you can teach yourself various elements of design and build a cracking portfolio.

There are many free online courses in design offered by both top universities and experts in the field. There are also fantastic websites, articles and books that have been created to deepen your knowledge of design.

Below you’ll find courses that will boost your skills as well as lists of the best typography, graphic design and web design resources.

Free Online Design Courses

Graphic Design – Visual and Graphic Design – from Alison

Adobe Photoshop CS6 Essential Tools – from Alison

Adobe After Effects – from Alison

Google SketchUp for 3D Modeling – from Alison

Design – Applying Design Principles – from Alison

Product Design – from Alison

Multimedia Design and Applications – from African Virtual University

Design and Composition – from Palomar College

Computer Graphics – from MIT

CSS Layout with HTML5 – from UC Berkeley

Multimedia Storytelling – from UC Berkeley

Building Flash Templates – from UC Berkeley

3D Design – TUFTS University

Adobe Illustrator: Mastering the Fundamentals – Via Udemy

Web Design for Web Developers: Build Beautiful Websites! – Via Udemy

Beginner Photoshop to HTML5 and CSS3 – Via Udemy

Cinematography for 2D Animation Essentials – Via Udemy

The Beginner’s Guide to Graphic Design – Via Udemy

Fundamentals of Graphic Design** – from CALARTS

Character Design for Video Games ** – from CALARTS

** Free for the full course without certification


Best Typography Resources

Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works by Erik Spiekermann and E.M Ginger – Book

Creative Lettering and Beyond: Inspiring tips, techniques, and ideas for hand lettering your way to beautiful works of art – by Gabri Joy Kirkendall – Book

Typography Workbook: A Real-World Guide to Using Type in Graphic Design by Timothy Samara – Book

A Typographic Workbook: A Primer to History, Techniques, and Artistry by Kate Clair and Cynthia Busic-Snyder Book

The Elements of Typographic Style: Version 4.0 by Robert Bringhurst – Book

Thinking with Type: A Primer for Designers: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students by Ellen Lupton – Book

We Love Typography – Website

Incredible Types – Website

Playtype – Website


Best Graphic Design Resources

Meggs’ History of Graphic Design by Philip B. Meggs and Alston W. Purvis – Book

Creative Workshop: 80 Challenges to Sharpen Your Design Skills by David Sherwin – Book

Visual Literacy: A Conceptual Approach to Solving Graphic Problems by Judith Wilde and Richard Wilde – Book

100 Ideas that Changed Graphic Design by Steven Heller – Book

Graphic Design: The New Basics by Ellen Lupton and Jennifer Cole Phillips – Book

How to Use Graphic Design to Sell Things, Explain Things, Make Things Look Better, Make People Laugh, Make People Cry, and (Every Once in a While) Change the World by Michael Bierut – Book

The End of Print: The Grafik Design of David Carson by Lewis Blackwell and David Carson – Book

Graphic Artist’s Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines by Graphic Artists Guild – Book

12 Steps to a Super Graphic Design Portfolio – Article

Creating A Successful Online Portfolio – Article 

10 Steps To The Perfect Portfolio Website – Article 

Behance – Website

History of Graphic Design – Website


Best Web Design Resources

W3Schools – Website

Developphp – Website

The Odin Project – Website

Bento – Website

Code Avengers – Website

Aquent Gymnasium – Website

Codecademy – Website

MSDN – Website

Don’t Fear The Internet – Website

Code School – Website

DASH – Website

Web Design with HTML, CSS, JavaScript and jQuery Set by Jon Duckett – Book

The Principles of Beautiful Web Design by Jason Beaird – Book

Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug – Book