Free online courses can advance your design skills, whether launching a website or creating a brand.
Here is a list of helpful design courses. There are courses on design theory, web design, graphic design, user experience design, logo design, color theory, and more. Some are multi-class programs, while others are short tutorials. All of the courses are free, though several offer premium options for additional access and accreditation.
Free Design Courses
Graphic Design Basics. Part of Canva’s Design School, this course is a series of 12 quick lessons on design, including color wheel basics, typography, tints, and shading.
Don’t Fear the Internet. This series of short tutorials help creatives and non-designers understand practical web design. Learn how to take a basic WordPress blog and manipulate the CSS, HTML, and even some PHP to match your aesthetic.
Intro to Web Design. This course of nine short lectures addresses the importance of design when planning and building a site from scratch. Learn to identify your purpose, audience, and site structure. Sketch a home page and achieve a consistent layout throughout the site.
Build Your First Web Pages With HTML and CSS. From OpenClassrooms, this is an introductory course on building a web page with HTML and CSS. Use tags and attributes to identify key information. Explore how semantic HTML tags structure a web page, and apply CSS to HTML elements.
Web Design for Web Developers. This hour-long on-demand video provides over 25 rules and guidelines to achieve exceptional web design. Explore visual hierarchy, color, graphic imagery, fonts, and more. Learn simple design techniques to improve your website’s conversions.
Learn Web Development. From MDN Web Docs (previously Mozilla Developer Network), this is a set of articles with basic instructions on coding websites. From there, learn through the rest of MDN and other intermediate-to-advanced sources.
Digital Design. This course is about designing digital content for multiple devices. Explore the full range of digital design from computer-aided to animation, covering topics such as rigging, keyframing, rendering, and more.
Visual Web Design Mastery. Learn web design by watching a designer at work. In this series of five videos, watch as five home pages are created, start to finish, for five businesses. There’s also a 139-page ebook that explains the concepts.
Design Thinking Fundamentals. This course from Rochester Institute of Technology provides an overview of the end-to-end design process. Explore methods to evaluate problems, develop ideas, and create innovative solutions with users in mind.
UX Methods Fundamentals. This hour-long course explores five user-experience design processes: Design Thinking, User-Centered Design, Agile UX, Lean UX, and Behavioral Design Process. Compare UX methods, and find the right system to develop your optimal user experience design.
Teach Yourself Graphic Design. From Envato Tuts+, here is a self-study course outline to learn graphic design. Explore the summary and tutorial resources on design principles, including shape, spacing, rhythm, color, texture, type, history, the design process, and more.
Graphic Design History and Methods. This is a two-part course on graphic design from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Part 1 provides a history of graphic design, from early printing to art nouveau, constructivism, Dada, Bauhaus, and current design discourse. Part 2 examines the design process itself, exploring storytelling, authorship and ownership, systems and identities, multisensory design, principles of design thinking, behavior and interaction, and more.
Graphic Design Specialization. From the California Institute of the Arts, this four-course sequence explores the fundamentals of graphic design: images, typography, composition, color, and shape. Also, explore the history of graphic design and the emergence of design as a recognized practice.
Logo Design Fundamentals. In this hour-long course, learn to create and build a unique logo design using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.
Sketch for Beginners. Sketch is a popular vector graphics editor. Use it to design websites, icons, logos, and more. This short course will teach the fundamentals of Sketch, including reusable elements and styles, prototyping, collaboration, and Sketch plugins.
How to Build a Website with Squarespace. This is an easy-to-follow six-step tutorial on designing a professional website with Squarespace. Review the basic process of building the site and the design features you can access.
WooCommerce for Beginners. This is a free one-hour video tutorial. Learn how to set up WooCommerce, add a storefront and products, customize the store, and more.
Ultimate Web Design Course. From Webflow University, this web design course includes over 100 videos. Learn the basics of HTML, how CSS classes and subclasses function, and how to construct a page design with containers, divs, flexboxes, and grids. You’ll also learn how to design websites using Webflow.