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How to Become a Graphic Designer Without Going to College: A Definitive List of Tutorials and Advice

by Fahad Saleem

Graphics designing is one of the hottest job skills you could learn. According to some estimates, the average yearly pay of a graphic designer starts from USD 45,000. The need of smart design, minimal web design, logo design and other advanced website and software graphics designing is surging rapidly. Thousands of people want to become a graphics designer. People ask us how to become a graphic designer or how to become a logo designer? This post illustrates how to become a graphics designer from home without any degree. All you need is effort, tenacity, commitment and the continuous focus.

Become a Graphics and Logo Designer Using These Resources

No Magic Pill

First, you should understand that there is no single magic pill which will make you a million-dollar-earning design machine. It takes a lot of effort and hard work.

Essential Readings

Yes! You will have to start with books. Start acclimatizing with basic design terms and background. You cannot move an inch if you are not aware of graphics design paradigm, history and terms.

Thinking with Type

Thinking with Type is one of the best books to start learning graphics design, fonts and typography. All the basic stuff is here and you should grasp it before proceeding.


Type Primer by John Kane

This book by John Kane is a great resource to learn the ABC of typography and design basics. It’s immensely famous in design schools and included in the syllabus of the design courses.


Graphic Design: A History

Richard Hollis’s History of Graphic design is an amazing textbook for the beginners. The idea is not to make you a history nut, but to give you the right perspective in the start. It is not all history. It has hundreds of images, types of designs, explanations, necessary practices and latest ideas in the design field.

john hollis


Now you should get all the necessary tools and software in your computer. Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator are the necessary ones. But before these advanced tools, you should install the tool called GIMP. It is best for beginners. It is a free tool.


MIT’s Principles of Design

MIT’s Principles of Design is an awesome course to give you the complete theoretical and practical know-how of the design practice. Graphics designing is not a haphazard skill. It is an art with set principles and frameworks. You can unlock creativity and new vistas in it by first getting to know the prevalent paths.

Udacity’s Design of Everyday Things

This is of the best courses to learn graphic designing. Udacity’s course is taught by former vice president of Apple, Don Norman. There is a textbook, a series of videos, lectures, presentations and much more. The best part is that this course is free. The first few chapters give a basic introduction to design frameworks and the course gets advanced level by level.

Foundations of Typography Course

Foundations of Typography course by Lynda gives you videos and presentations to make you learn the details and specifics of making attractive typography. You get to know the basics of text and visual typography. You unlock levels of course by performance and tests.

Grid Design Tutorials

Grid based design is the zeitgeist of the modern web design and apps. There are multiple types of grid based design. If you want to learn them, check out Smashing Magazine’s grid design tutorial. This is another great web tutorial to lean basic details of columns and grids. Note that columns and grids are the basics of the object designing.

Udemy’s Canva Course  

Udemy’s Canva course series in a bit expensive, but it is one of the best courses that will give you the advanced, detailed and practical video insights on how to actually design and built stuff. There are different levels in Cava series. You should obviously start from the Canva if you are a beginner.

UI/UX Design Tutorials 

If you want to learn the basic and advanced level UI and UX design, check out the UX Booth’s tutorials. From designing buttons to UI placement and color techniques, these tutorials are enough to give you a detailed insight in UI design. Smashing Magazine’s tutorial for UI design is also a great resource to learn the vital elements of modern web and graphics designing.

Digital Tutors Video Tutorials for Graphics Designing

Digital Tutors prepared these short video tutorials to teach the basic tips and tricks to use the graphics design software. You can learn perspective designing, line making, shading and borders with these tutorials.

Treehouse Photoshop Foundations Course

Photoshop is the centerpiece of the graphics designing. No matter what course you take, what university you go to learn graphic design, you will have to use Photoshop. Treehouse, the powerhouse of video and web tutorials, has prepared a great detailed tutorial to teach the detailed features and functions of Photoshop which are necessary in graphics and web designing. You can learn shapes, lighting, slices, concept of layers, objects, tils, brushes, web, app making and much more in this tutorial.

Lynda’s CS6 Photoshop Tutorial

Lynda’s Photoshop course is a definitive resource to learn Photoshop technology at an advanced level. Hours of videos, rigorous materials, presentations, tests and sample work will guarantee you a vast skillset in graphic designing.

These are some of the best ways to start learning graphics and logo designing. Remember! This is just a start. You have to spend hours of your own research to find ways to refine your skills. Only through concept building and practice you can become a graphic designer. There is no need to go to college or a special school to learn all this. With the right resources and tutorials, you can become an expert graphic designer and start making piles of money.

Share your feedback in the comments and tell us how you plan to become an expert designer.

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