What is the best way to learn Graphic Design?

As we all know that Graphic design is an art to create visual compositions and communicate ideas through typography, imagery, color and forms. It is a creative process that combines art and technology.

I am interested to learn Graphic Design but before starting it, I have few questions.

  1. What is the best way to learn graphic design?
  2. What are some good sources on the web?
  3. What is the best free graphic design tool?
  4. What are best rules of graphic design?
  5. How can I improve my graphic design skills as a beginner?
  6. What is the future of graphic designers?
  7. How can I start freelancing in graphic designing?
  1. Education
  2. Accredited courses
  3. Free - Scribus, Inkscape, Gimp - full list here - Free Open Source Alternatives for Adobe Creative Suite
  4. Doing it 25 years and still haven’t figured out all the rules
  5. Education
  6. Que sera sera
  7. Education first and foremost. Work in the industry for at least 5 years with a company with a good reputation. Then go freelance.
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I’d like to add to 4. It’s likely the rules, however one would define that, are always evolving and vary by environment and scope of work.

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What is the best way to learn graphic design?

Go to a good school that requires a portfolio review going in AND coming out. And also has a dedicated and useful interneship program. If the school leaves you on your own to find your own internship, it has failed you.

What are some good sources on the web?

The web should only be used to answer immediate questions, like how to I make a gradient in certain software. It should not be used in place of a structured education.

What is the best free graphic design tool?

Free is worth every penny you pay for it. You can use whatever tool you want, but if you can’t hand off the file for output at a printer or fabricator, free gets you no where.

What are best rules of graphic design?

Keep studying, even after you get out of school and get a job.

How can I improve my graphic design skills as a beginner?

Get a job working for a place where you will learn and be tutored. Not someplace hiring you cuz you are cheap money.

What is the future of graphic designers?

Abysmal. Choose a different career if you want to put food on the table any time in the future. Harsh but way too true.

How can I start freelancing in graphic designing?

Work in the industry for 10 years. Learn everything you can about finding project opportunities, interfacing with clients, interfacing with output providers and dealing with business law in general. Only then, consider if you have the chops to do it ALL on your own. The chances of making it as a freelancer as a fresh out of school designer…well the odds are not in your favor. The chances of making it on simply watching some youtube tutorials? Snowball in hot place.


Education, education, education – then five years experience. Only then do you get to even begin thinking about calling yourself a designer. Another 15 years of experience after that and you might just be a competent one.

There are not short cuts.


You know what I’m waiting for? The day somebody files a class action suit against all these crappy, dodgy $2 logo sites that suck in all you hobby designers. Not gonna happen. But I can dream.

Hanging out a “professional designer” shingle without the appropriate education and experience should constitute committing a fraud against an unsuspecting victim.


I agree. I have said this many times and people sometimes think I am being somewhat extreme, but actually it is tantamount to fraud.

If you are ignorant, but call yourself a designer and produce ignorant work that will patently not do the job it is supposed to and you are taking money off clients under false pretences – albeit unwittingly – how is that different to selling any other bad financial service. It will affect their bottom line.

Blind leading the blind. It should be regulated or, at least you should have to prove you have the requisite qualification and / or experience before being let loose on paying clients.

Caveat emptor is not an acceptable get out.

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A link should be made to this thread for future similar enquiries, of which I am certain there will be plenty.


I definitely recommend going to college and earning a degree if you want to seriously go into design, but if you want to get your feet wet, or just better prepare yourself for going to college LinkedIn Learning is an amazing resource. I just finished grad school and got to teach while in school and we utilized LinkedIn Learning in conjunction with our classes to help students learn software faster so they could focus on projects and discussion in class. I’ve watched a lot of the courses on LinkedIn Learning to evaluate the content and there are some great courses that introduce graphic design and cover basic concepts, history, etc.

I remember looking at several LIL classes when they were Lynda. com. Unless they’ve significantly changed, the instruction favored learning the software over learning the correct production methods while using the software. There is a BIG difference there. I haven’t looked recently because I cancelled the account over the amount of email spam I was getting from them. Eventually had to block them entirely, because these days, internet entities, they just don’t let you walk away.

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They’ve added a lot more courses since being bought by LinkedIn. The primary focus is still on learning software, but there are now lots of courses on graphic design ranging from overviews, history, and production methods for various types of projects. They don’t cover everything and it’s not project-oriented like skillshare, but it’s a great resource and well worth the subscription fee for content that is structured well.

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Similarly, if anyone is looking to learn Website Design and/or to be a software developer then I’d recommend freecodecamp. All of their lessons, practice, and blogs are free and decently set up. And they don’t sugar coat how much work you’ll need to do. (1 training = 300+ hours and they offer many trainings)

I’ve been following them for years but only this past month I started really putting their teachings into practice. I think their materials are similarly good to other ‘learn to code’ sites. The difference to me is they are very active with their online community. Constant new blogs, new lessons, YouTube videos with Q&A, etc.

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I’m also interested in this (related to making templates).

Read all the answers above.

  1. Learn Photoshop
  2. Courses, Blog, Youtube
  3. Photoshop, Adobe Spark, Canva, SketchUp
  4. Choose suitable colors, fonts and shape.
  5. Blog, Youtube, Forum and more practice.
  6. More Employment
  7. Make portfolio and find clients to show it.
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That is a check list of exactly what not to do.

Sorry to be so critical when this was your first post, but I’m afraid, you just demonstrated exactly what the problem is with the state of Graphic Design at the moment.

Becoming a Graphic Designer is definitely NOT simply about learning software, any more than learning to be a chef is all about using a knife.

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Similarly, here’s how to become a dentist

  1. Learn to use X-ray machine
  2. Course, Blog, YouTube
  3. X-ray machine, floss, injections, nitrous oxide
  4. Choose suitable chair, office decor, and carpet to hide blood stains
  5. Blog, YouTube, Forums, and practice on patients
  6. Get new patients. Make more money.
  7. Make portfolio of tooth extractions and diseased gums. Find patients to show it to.

How to be a racecar driver

  1. Learn to drive a tractor
  2. Courses, Blog, Youtube
  3. GoKart tracks, Off-road racing, MotoX, BMX Freestyle
  4. Choose suitable; car, tyres, helmet, and track
  5. Blog, YouTube, Forum, and practice
  6. More employment (can’t be bad, right? Maybe as fast-food delivery)
  7. Make a portfolio and find races to race at

Good luck!

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It depends what kind of graphic design career a person wants to have. If they’re only interested in making wedding invitations to sell through Etsy, they could get by with self-learning via internet tutorials.

No idea a thread like this can be so entertaining.