Lifelong learning is becoming the new normal in every field, and design is no exception. With new trends and technologies, as well as shifting demands in the job market, designers need to keep their knowledge fresh and their skills up to date. Whether you are a designer just starting out or a seasoned veteran of the field, here are four free online courses that will help you expand your abilities, and also help you develop the skills of 21st century design.
This course, for design students and professionals alike, covers the basic elements and principles of graphic design, which form the basis of much design work today. You will also be introduced to various drawing systems and learn how production processes and systems work in the design industry. For a more advanced online course, Visual Design explores how to apply the elements of design (typography, layout, color, etc.) to create a beautiful user interfaces for various contexts, including the web.
While knowing the basic elements and principles of design (and being able to apply them), as well as how to use various design tools (Photoshop, InDesign, etc.) is essential, creativity is also a large part of what makes a great designer great. This course explores the theories and principles of creativity and will teach you how to recognize and nurture your own creativity, including how to develop creative problem-solving skills and create environments that foster creativity. No matter what area of design you are working in, this course will give you a tool to push yourself to the next level.
If you are interested in becoming a better designer, this course is for you. Each weekly module contains a combination of lectures, readings, and challenges that span the design spectrum from graphics to apparel.
You will create your own projects, as well as review the projects of others. The course is intended for everyone—from beginning to experienced designers—though those who have experience with graphic design programs will find the projects easier.
This course, offered by Aquent Gymnasium, addresses the fact that many employers today are looking for designers who can not only design, but also move their designs to the web. Even just a basic knowledge of coding will distinguish you from your peers when it comes to applying for jobs. This course will teach you how to turn your comps and prototype designs into web pages. Don’t worry if code is a completely foreign language to you—this course is intended for people with at least five years of professional graphic or web design experience, including expertise using Photoshop and other graphic design software, but no prior coding experience.
While the basics elements and principles of design are the same today as they were decades ago, technology has greatly impacted the practice of design. These four courses will help you better understand the design landscape of today, and give you the skills you need to succeed.