If you want to learn graphic design one of the best places you can go to for intro design classes is Skillshare. It’s a fantastic place to learn a variety of different creative skills because it’s populated by talented designers who are willing to share their knowledge and expertise.
Classes on Skillshare are given a rank on each class page, with beginner being the most introductory. Despite that, just because a class has beginner level content doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be ideal for someone coming in with zero graphic design knowledge.
This list is for those people who want to learn graphic design but have no idea where to start. The people who need the basic basics and some context for everything else they’re going to learn. So here is a list of intro graphic design classes on Skillshare that will help to start a career in design.
Note: All the classes listed here require a Skillshare membership to watch
This is a short introductory class for anyone interested in learning graphic design. This class comes with a fantastic downloadable PDF resource guide that answers a lot of questions new designers might have and provides some great general information about how the industry works.
Class Project: There isn’t really a project for this class like there is for most Skillshare classes. Instead, the instructor simply asks that students read the last page of the PDF guide and answer the questions on it. The questions are really just a jumping off point for students to start doing their own research about graphic design, but they are still important questions to answer.
|Topics Covered||The design industry, what to learn, how to start in design|
|Class Length||25 min|
By Ellen Lupton
This is another short class at on only 36 minutes, but it provides a lot of great information for new designers. This class covers the basic principles of design and how to bring them together to create something polished. Students will learn about symmetry vs asymmetry, scale, framing, hierarchy, grids, and more.
This class is taught by Ellen Lupton, a legend in the design community, who has written many books that adorn the shelves of designers. Ellen Lupton is the author of Graphic Design: The New Basics, which you should go out and read if you’re really serious about starting a career in design.
Class Project: The class project is to create a design that utilizes the five core principles of visual layout which are symmetry/asymmetry, scale, framing, hierarchy, and grids.
|Topics Covered||Design fundamentals: the basic principles of design|
|Class Length||36 min|
This is another great fundamentals class that introduces students to the basics of graphic design. In this class, students are taught to create imagery and accompanying typography using design fundamentals such as composition, hierarchy, scale, colour, texture, contrast, and more.
Class Project: The project for this class is for students to design a promotional poster for a museum exhibit using what they’ve learned so far. Students are asked to use ‘Uncommonwealth’, as a title/theme for a fictitious contemporary art exhibit for their poster.
|Topics Covered||Typography, image making, principles of design|
|Class Length||32 min|
This introductory colour theory class is great for new designers who have little understanding of how to properly use colour in their design work. Students will learn basic colour theory and terminology, how to create colour, how to build a colour palatte, and how to use colour for context.
Class Project: The class project is for students to create four images that express emotions through the use of color.
|Topics Covered||Understanding and working with colour|
|Class Length||1 hr 33 min|
By Meg Lewis
Knowing the basics of using design software is really important for new designers. Knowing the three key programs, Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator, is key to being able to create works of design. This class introduces students to Adobe Photoshop, the industry standard for photo-editing and imagemaking.
Class Project: The project here is for students to create a geometric collage that shows their knowledge of how to use layers.
|Topics Covered||Photoshop interface, tools, layers|
|Class Length||1 hr 16 min|
By Meg Lewis
This class is the continuation of the Photoshop class listed above. This one goes into a little more detail about how to draw in Photoshop, use layers, masks, make selections, and more.
Class Project: The class project is to combine multiple images together using the masking and selection techniques taught in the class.
|Topics Covered||Photoshop drawing, layers, masks, selections|
|Class Length||1 hr 5 min|
By Anne Bracker
This class gives students an good introduction into how to use Adobe Illustrator. Students are shown how to build objects with simple shapes, apply colours, use the pen tool to draw, and create custom type.
Class Project: The project for this class is simply for students to share some of the work they’ve created during the class. This could be things like objects made by combining shapes, pen tool drawings, custom type, etc.
|Topics Covered||Using shapes, colours, pen tool, type|
|Class Length||1 hr 19 min|
By Daniel Scott
This is a very long but fantastic introductory class to Adobe InDesign that is perfect for anyone brand new to the program. Students learn how to create a new document, set sizes, use colours, import images, how to group objects, make shapes, and how to export a finished design.
Class Project: The class project is for students to create simple company flyer, brochure, and newsletter in InDesign.
|Topics Covered||InDesign interface, tools, use images, etc.|
|Class Length||6 hr 40 min|
This is a really helpful class for new designers who want to learn about how to create effective layouts. This class covers effective layouts, grids, editorial spreads, and more.
Class Project: The project for this class is to design a flyer or poster that uses at least three of the layout principles discussed in class.
|Topics Covered||Layout basics|
|Class Length||41 min|
By Jeremy Mura
This class provides a great introduction for new designers looking to learn logo design. The class covers logo design principles, the design process, styles of logos, how to use Illustrator to create a logo, and more.
Class Project: The class project here is for students to create a space-themed logo mark and show their process.
|Topics Covered||Logo design basics|
|Class Length||1 hr 30 min|
This is a great class for new designers who want to learn illustrative ways of creating badges and icons in Illustrator using basic geometric shapes. Students are shown how to brainstorm and explore ideas, how to design using basic design principles to build visual consistency, and how to build a series of badge designs that work as a whole.
Class Project: The class project is for students to create a set of icons or badges using basic geometric shapes and the techniques they learned in class.
|Topics Covered||Working with vector shapes|
|Class Length||2 hr 51 min|
By Ellen Lupton
This is a short but thorough beginner typography class that introduces students to basic type terminology like sans serif, serif, and slab serif, in addition to how to use each type. This is such a great class for new designers because type is so important to what we do. Knowing how to properly use type is key for designers of every level.
Class Project: The class project is for students to design their own business card. Students should show four different designs that play with structure, one design that uses a literary typeface, and one that uses a slab typeface.
|Topics Covered||Type classifications, how to use type|
|Class Length||36 min|
If you’re just starting out in design, the amount of information out there is probably overwhelming you. It’s hard to know where to start and where to get the right information from. Fortunately, Skillshare is such a great place full of creative talent that you’re bound to learn exactly what you need to start a career in design. And no, this post is not sponsored. I just enjoy using Skillshare a lot.
Are there any other classes you think belong on this list of intro graphic design classes? Is there another online educational platform that has excellent intro graphic design classes? Let me know in the comments below.