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Graphic Design for Beginners Online Short Course

Course description

This short online graphic design course gives you an intensive and practical introduction to 20 key graphic design principles.

Each week you will gain experience applying these principles, by completing practical and realistic projects. Through this project work you will become familiar with techniques for working with images and fonts, designing layouts, and crafting logos and visual identities. The four projects can be tailored to your needs and can be related to current professional projects if required.

The course is also suitable for those wishing to discover and practice the fundamental principles of communication via the combination of text and image, perhaps as a first step into a new area of study, or simply to exercise an enquiring mind in a two-dimensional arena. The course does not cover the use of graphic design software, but you are welcome to complete projects using any software you wish, or none, as all projects can be completed working with hand tools (pens, pencils, paper, scissors, glue etc.).

Who is Graphic Design for Beginners for? (Online Short Course) for?

This course is designed for individuals interested in exploring the endless possibilities of how words and images interact. Perfect for small business owners, creative individuals working in a corporate world and those keen to craft a graphic identity online. This is an opportunity to expand your portfolio and become familiar with the 20 key graphic design principles. Each of the four projects can be tailored to your needs and could be used for professional endeavours if you wish. Perfect for those wishing to study the subject at a high level or for those who eager to widen their skills and exercise an enquiring mind.

Course Outcomes:

By the end of the course you will have;

  • Attained an understanding of what graphic design is and what graphic designers do
  • Become familiar with technical graphics terminology
  • Studied techniques that can be applied to each graphic specialism
  • Completed a diverse range of exercises designed to strengthen your visual skills
  • Have a clear understanding of how graphic design is used to communicate ideas
  • Gained knowledge of typefaces and fonts prior to designing your own typography
  • Learned how magazine layouts are formed and devised your own with creative freedom
  • Discovered what makes an effective logo and created several of your own
  • Had your worked reviewed weekly by the tutor and received personalised feedback

All our Online Short Courses include:

  • Live online lessons with the same tutors
  • The same course content and learning outcomes
  • Lesson recordings, for review
  • Access to VLE with course content
  • Forums for support
  • 2 weeks online access
  • Certificate upon completion

Please note that all courses are taught in UK time.

Available dates

It can take a few moments for our course dates to load - if there are no available dates, please sign up to our mailing list where new course dates will be announced or browse other courses within your chosen subject area to find an alternative.



  • Layout design
  • Typography
  • Kerning, tracking, and leading
  • Working with images
  • Scale, spacing, and positioning
  • Using grids to enhance your work
  • Logo design
  • Exploring the notion of the ‘graphic idea’
  • Communicating words and feelings through images
  • Fusing physical and digital processes
  • Found objects: creating an overlay
  • Scale, spacing, and positioning
  • Visual hierarchies, integrating each element and the role of white space
  • Pastiche, appropriation and creating visual puns
  • Decoding / constituting typefaces and designing typography
  • Executing the double-page spread
  • The visual relationship between words and images
  • Experimenting with kerning, tracking, leading and bleed
  • Exploring symmetry, consistency, and colour


Online Short Course Materials

To take part in the Online sessions you will need:

  • An up-to-date web browser (we recommend Firefox or Chrome)
  • Microphone and headphones (a headset with a microphone function is recommended)
  • Webcam
  • Strong Internet connection via WiFi or ethernet; 2G, 3G or 4G will not be sufficient

Course Specific Materials

Please ensure that you have the following materials to hand:

  • Black ink pen
  • Sketchbook (A4 size)
  • Coloured pens and pencils are useful
  • A camera (any sort, a camera phone is fine)
  • 1 x USB webcam (external), to easily show work in progress
  • A printer (any sort, basic black & white laser printer is fine)

For those who wish to work by hand (not computer) it is also necessary to have:

  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • A3 tracing paper (around 6 sheets)

To neatly trim printed out work, and for more precise cutting when creating compositions, the following is useful:

  • Scalpel knife
  • Cutting mat
  • Metal safety ruler

NB The course does not cover the use of graphic design software, but of course you are welcome to complete projects using any software you wish, or none, as all projects can be completed working with hand tools (pens, pencils, paper, scissors, glue etc.).

Meet the Tutor:

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In this online short course on graphic design, you will gain hands-on experience by working on various projects, from logos to magazine spreads. You will gain practical knowledge that can be applied to any visual communication project.

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