Graphic design skills are important even for professionals not in design fields. Business professionals creating reports, teachers creating instructional materials, and scientists sharing their discoveries, all could benefit from basic graphic design skills.

Person working on laptop with digital sketchpad, markers, and other items. Photo by Theme Photos on Unsplash

Take advantage of free courses to help you develop your skills for whatever career path you are on.

Basic Courses

Understanding the basics of graphic design will help make better presentations, show off data and make it memorable, and even make a splash on a school, college, or business report.

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Here are some quick and dirty courses on the basics:

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Canva Design School has a variety of graphic design courses great for people already using Canva like educators and non-profits. Try:

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Alison is a platform with free courses including design like:

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Udemy courses aren't always free but these two are:

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Youtube — Okay. It's not a course per se, but there is great content here to explore and tutorials for specific projects from beginner to advanced. Check out this playlist:

In-Depth Courses

If you are interested in diving deeper into graphic design, or looking at specific types of graphic design try Coursera. They offer college courses that can last as little as a few weeks and have hours of content that you can take at a pace that suits you.

A few of the courses they offer are:

Coursera courses are for anyone from beginners to advanced. Some are specifically project based, while others include varying amounts of course work, and many courses are available in languages other than English.

Free Graphic Design Software

Practice is the best way to learn new skills from any course. And they best way to practice free courses is with free software, right?

Try out these free open-source software options:

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LibreOfficeThis software includes document writing, spreadsheets, and slide presentation components comparable to the popular paid versions.

GIMP Logo GIMPThis free software is an alternative to other programs that allow you to do image and photo manipulation and editing.

Inkscape Logo InkscapeThis software option lets you create illustrations and vector graphics, typography, and more.

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Blender is great for 3-D graphics creation, visual effects and animation, video editing, and so much more.


You're preparing a presentation for school or work and you want the visuals to "pop." What graphic design resources would you consider using? Select all that apply.

Take Action

Improving your graphic design skills doesn't take great expense. Free courses and open-source software can provide you all you need to practice and gain the graphic design skills needed to make a great impression.

Home office with desktop computer screen reading Photo by Carl Heyerdahl on Unsplash


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