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Q&A - Graphic Design Courses & Classes

Is there any open courseware available for online graphic design courses?

Some of the best graphic design classes online are from the companies that create popular design software. Companies such as Quark and Adobe provide free online graphic design classes to teach users how to maximize their software.

The Open University offers numerous top graphic design online courses . You can try the Design and Designing course as an introduction to design, then move on to the 10-week Design and the Web course for more focused graphic design information. For something more theory based, you can take Fundamentals of Interaction Design, which explores techniques, tools and theories that affect the design of everyday products such as mobile phones and word processing software

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which is ranked the fifth best university in the United States by U.S. News and World Report, offers useful online graphic design courses and general design courses, including Art of Color, Digital Typography and Modern Art and Mass Culture, where you will analyze visual art and its impact on modern society.

Tufts University offers an exciting free graphic design course online on Blender 3D design software, which includes lessons on lighting, rendering, animation and applying texture to 3D objects. Plans are currently underway to update the course materials to address updates in the Blender software.

What blogs or other online resources might be useful in my graphic design courses?

A popular blog among graphic designers, Smashing Magazine, is an online magazine for professionals with a focus on design technique, industry best practices and helpful tools. The site also offers a biweekly newsletter with added tips and tricks of the trade to help you stay up to date.

The HOW Magazine website provides information on design events, news, competitions and more for designers, and highlights design work from around the world. If you are taking a graphic design class online, you may be interested in networking opportunities presented by HOW Magazine conferences, which range in topic from package design to how to earn a living as a freelancer.

Design Observer is a design blog that takes a broad view of design and its relationship to politics, cultural criticism and trends as they relate to the world of design. Information presented on this blog will help you to stay current and can provide topics for discussion during class or at networking events.

The American Institute for Graphic Arts, the oldest and largest professional organization for graphic design, offers free webinars featuring industry experts discussing a variety of topics, including Typography for the Web and Reinventing the Magazine Experience for the Digital Era. The AIGA also hosts a list of design contests and competitions, which can be a great way to network with peers and to showcase your design skills.

What magazines or journals can I read while I study in my offline or online graphic design classes?

Hundreds of magazines and journals are available, whether you are taking accredited graphic design courses online or attending onsite design classes. All of the magazines listed below also have a great deal of additional information on their websites to further enhance your graphic design training online.

Print is a bimonthly print magazine and website that covers topics ranging from book design to rock posters, to animation and corporate branding. The magazine also hosts a series of downloadable webcasts about design, as well as a useful directory that you can use to identify design firms, graphic design jobs and organizations that are dedicated to the field.

Communication Arts is a bimonthly trade journal that showcases the top work in graphic design, advertising, illustration, photography and interactive design. The publication offers in-depth feature writing by industry experts who explore design trends, color predictions and book reviews. It will help you become better acquainted with the important names in the graphic design field and to keep informed about new products and industry trends.

The well considered .net magazine provides an informal view of the graphic design world and features interviews with design experts. Its articles discuss the most pressing and popular issues affecting the graphic design field today, enabling you to speak knowledgeably to professors and peers about the industry.