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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.

Please note that on the six weeks course students will work on two more projects (6 in total) and learn more graphic design terms to apply to them.

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

Further details about preparing for your online course, and the equipment you need, can be found here.

Please note that all courses are taught in UK time. To check and compare times please click here.

Available dates

If no dates are showing then please sign up to our mailing list to find out about upcoming dates and new course developments.

Materials

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)
  • The latest version of Java installed on your device
  • 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.).



Details

Topics:

  • 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

Reviews

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"I really enjoyed this Graphic Design course. Even though it was short, we explored several notions of graphic design and it was really interesting to learn all the keywords and to explore artworks I wasn't previously aware of. Ruth's feedback was always very helpful in regard to improving my work, and thanks to this course, I'm now sure that graphic design and art direction is where I would like to take my career." - Chayana Lim-Quartier, Paris-based Creative Project Coordinator

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"The course gave me a very good introductory foundation to Graphic Design principles and broadened my understanding of design in general - plus it was great fun! I thoroughly enjoyed the course and found it very creatively stimulating. The structure and way in which it is delivered really suited my busy lifestyle and enabled me to learn some new skills about a subject I've always been interested in." - John Collins, IT Project Manager in the retail luxury fashion sector

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"Extremely helpful introduction to graphic design. Ruth was spectacular at explaining design concepts and giving constructive feedback, all while being very understanding and supportive of the ideas behind our work!" - Sammie Chan, marketing officer based in Hong Kong
Meet the Tutor:

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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