Are you considering pursuing a career in graphic design online? Opting for online graphic design studies can offer the flexibility to switch careers from the comfort of your home. 

The recent shift towards remote work has made home-based learning more prevalent, equipping individuals with valuable remote work skills. As a result, the landscape has seen an influx of online graphic design courses. 

Here, we present a curated list of 11 top-notch online graphic design programs and institutions to aid you in making an informed choice.

Top Online Graphic Design Programs & Schools of 2024

1. Shillington’s Online Graphic Design Program

Established in Sydney, Australia, in 1997, Shillington Graphic Design Bootcamp has been delivering exceptional graphic design education. Shillington’s online graphic design course stands out for its unique approach. Spread over nine months, classes are held three nights a week in real time. 

Led by experienced teachers who are practicing graphic designers themselves, the course covers essential skills and software such as Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, and Figma. Moreover, students gain a comprehensive understanding of working as designers through online studios that replicate professional environments.

Upon completion, Shillington online students emerge as adept and versatile graphic designers, prepared for roles in design studios or freelance ventures. 

What’s more, the program is offered live across four different time zones UK (GMT/BST), US East Coast (EST), US West Coast (PST), and Australian East Coast (AEST)—allowing flexibility to suit diverse schedules and preferences.

2. Udemy

Udemy was founded in 2010. It is an online platform that focuses on courses to improve skills for the workplace. Udemy Graphic Design classes and bootcamps cover a wide range of topics, from Adobe software to comprehensive overviews. 

Udemy’s graphic design courses are primarily delivered via video tutorials, downloadable content and lectures. This allows for self-directed learning as opposed to being guided by an instructor.

Udemy’s Graphic Design Bootcamp – Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign is one of their most popular online graphic design courses. It teaches students to use Adobe programs for web, poster, and logo design. The course is made up of 13 downloadable pieces and 16 hours of video.

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Skillshare is a video-based educational platform that was launched in New York City in 2011. Skillshare is similar to Udemy but unlike Shillington’s complete graphic design education. It offers video tutorials for students to gain specific graphic design knowledge. 

For example, a Beginner’s Guide To Adobe InDesign, or a 13-minute video on how to design a cover. The self-paced videos can range from shorter instructional videos, like this one, to longer training videos lasting up to 20 hours.

Skillshare has been able to attract some of the biggest names in graphic design, including Aaron Draplin from Draplin Design Co, Chip Kidd, who designs book covers, and Paula Scher, a legendary designer at Pentagram.

4. LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning merged with LinkedIn completely in 2021. LinkedIn Learning has over 16,000 courses. It offers just under 500 online graphic design classes. 

LinkedIn Learning offers self-paced video tutorials for those looking to learn graphic design online. These online graphic design courses include quick tips and tricks as well as more comprehensive overviews.

LinkedIn Learning offers Learning Paths as well, one of which is titled ‘Become A Graphic Designer’. This self-paced online graphic design course features 27 hours of videos by different instructors. 

It begins with “What Is Graphic Design?” and ends with “Colour Trends” offering an even more comprehensive course for self-teachers to become graphic designers.

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5. Short Courses at UAL

University of the Arts London, which was founded in 2003 offers a Graphic Design for Beginners online course through Central Saint Martins. The UAL online graphic design course is taught part-time over four weeks on Wednesdays or Saturdays. 

It introduces students to the 20 key principles of graphic design. The course is taught using UK time (GMT/BST) with different course options occurring at different times. This allows more students to participate in the live teaching.

The online graphic design course provided by UAL not only teaches students the necessary knowledge but also includes a variety of exercises that help them practice the skills they learn. 

Each course includes access to an online learning environment that contains relevant course content and materials, as well as forums where students can help and support each other.

6. Coursera

Coursera was founded in 2012. It is an online provider of courses that offers online courses through partnerships with universities, colleges and other institutions. Coursera offers an online graphic design course called Graphic Design Specialization. 

This is a partnership between CalArts and the California Institute of the Arts in Santa Clarita. The course is broken down into 5 segments Fundamentals of Graphic Design, Introduction to Typography, Introduction to Imagemaking, Ideas from the History of Graphic Design and Brand New Brand.

Coursera, an online graphic design course designed for beginners, is self-paced. It takes six months to finish the course at a suggested pace of three hours per week. The five courses are accompanied by a practical project to earn, a graphic design certification.

7. The Graphic Design School

The Graphic Design School was founded in Australia as an online-only school in 2008. It offers several online graphic design classes. TGDS offers the following online graphic courses: Intensive foundation course, CUA40720 certificate IV in design, Design for Social Media, Design@Work, and Web Design Course.

TGDS offers self-paced courses, where students set their own pace to complete modules within a certain time frame. In their CUA40720 certificate IV in design, for example, students must complete 12 modules in 15 months. 

TGDS recommends spending 750 hours on all modules over the 15 months. You can enrol in TGDS at any time, and begin learning on the same day.

8. Noble Desktop

Noble Desktop was founded in New York, USA in 1990. It offers both online and in-person courses. Graphic Design Certificate is one of the courses offered both in New York as well as online. The course can be taken full-time for a month on weekdays and weekends, or part-time for three months on evenings and Sundays.

The Noble Desktop Graphic Design Certificate course is broken into four boot camps: Adobe InDesign Bootcamp; Adobe Photoshop Bootcamp; Graphic Design Portfolio Bootcamp; and Adobe Illustrator Bootcamp. 

Each must be completed to receive a certificate. This allows the student to choose when to complete each course. The online course includes 1:1 mentoring from an instructor.

9. Upskillist

Upskillist, formerly known as Shaw Academy, was founded in 2012 and offers online courses for people who want to upgrade their skills. There are over 80 courses available, including an online graphic design course. 

Upskillist’s online graphic course consists of 32 lessons spread across four modules: Diploma, Intermediate, Advanced and Proficient Graphic Design. The course lasts 16 weeks. The students receive a diploma.

Students can choose how many lessons per week they wish to view. These last between 30 minutes and 45 minutes. This allows them to study at their own pace with pre-recorded lectures. 

Weekly assessments are available, as well as a final examination at the end of each module and a course-ending assessment.



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