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Where to Learn Graphic Design Skills

Still interested in pursuing a career in graphic design? You’ll first have to learn the technical skills required to become a talented designer. To help get your started on your journey as a designer, here are the best places to learn graphic design.


While a college degree isn’t required to become a graphic designer, a college classroom is one the best ways to become a designer. According to Graphic Design USA here are the top educational institutions to learn design.

  • Academy of Art University
  • Art Center College of Design
  • Auburn University of Industrial and Graphic Design
  • California College of the Arts
  • Carnegie Mellon School of Design
  • College For Creative Studies
  • Cranbrook School of Art
  • Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, Drexel University
  • Fashion Institute of Technology
  • Kansas City Art Institute
  • Kennesaw State University School of Art & Design
  • Maryland Institute College of Art
  • Minneapolis College of Art & Design
  • Northwestern University School of Professional Studies
  • Otis College of Art & Design
  • Parsons the New School For Design
  • Pennsylvania College of Art & Design
  • Kanbar College of Design, Engineering andCommerce, Philadelphia University
  • Portfolio Center
  • Pratt Institute
  • PrattMWP College of Art & Design
  • Rhode Island School of Design
  • Ringling College of Art & Design
  • RIT College of Imaging Arts & Sciences
  • Savannah College of Art & Design
  • School of Advertising Art
  • School of Visual Arts
  • Shillington School of Graphic Design
  • Art Institute of Tampa
  • College of Saint Rose Center for Art and Design
  • College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning, University of Cincinnati
  • Department of Design Media Arts, UCLA
  • Woodbury University
  • School of Art, Yale University

Learning Design on Your Own

If you don’t have the time, finances or believe in attending a higher institution, you can learn design on your own through the following online and offline ways.

Online Courses

Lynda – This LinkedIn company features 596 courses and 27,968 video tutorials on design.

Digital Tutors – Provides online video training that is taught by professional artists and designers; new training sessions are added daily.

Treehouse – For either $25 or $49 per month students can learn how to build apps, games or websites; there’s also an opportunity to interact with fellow students and industry leaders through exclusive forums.

Designlab – While working with an experienced mentor and through hand-ons projects, students can learn UI/ UX skills.

SkillShare – This large size community has thousands of courses and you’ll receive feedback from members.

Tuts+ – More than 5 million have participated in the more than 580 courses and 20,110 free tutorials; there are also over 180 eBooks to help with the learning process.

Udemy – Offers a variety of free or affordable graphic design courses to join.

Adobe – Most designers will have to learn some form of the Adobe, so why not go right to the source and learn the basics?

Codecademy – An excellent site to learn code for designing websites.


If you’re more of a reader, or just want a little extra knowledge, check out the following books:

  • Creative Workshop: 80 Challenges to Sharpen Your Design Skills
  • Adobe Creative Cloud Classroom in a Book series
  • Thinking with Type
  • Logo Design Love
  • Making and Breaking the Grid
  • Color Index
  • Layout Index
  • Design Basics Index

While college courses, online tutorials, and books are all great ways to learn design, you also want to keep a lookout for non-traditional examples of graphic design – such as in architecture, fashion websites, or even the labels of your favorite food and drink products.

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