20+ Free Online Graphic Design Tutorials for Absolute Beginners

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Almost anything these days can be quickly learned online. Most of us started learning on our own by reading tutorials around the web. And along the way, even seasoned graphic designers still find solutions from online lessons when encountering design problems. But for every graphic designers, especially beginners, these free online graphic design tutorials we listed here are very important. Here we have compiled everything a beginner or novice graphic designer needs to learn to advance his skills and start creating killer designs. We have grouped these online free lessons into four categories, design principles and elements, color theory, typography, design layout and composition, and graphic design applications software. Alright class. Let’s begin!

Design Principles and Elements

Principles of Design

This article discusses the basics like balance, alignment, proximity/unity and other principles of design.

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The Principles of Good Design

This useful article comprises of eight lessons discussing the principles of design in more detail like balance, movement, proportion, contrast, etc.

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Graphic Design Basics

This insightful lesson discusses both basic graphic design elements and principles.

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Color Theory

Color Theory from worqx

This is a comprehensive study about color theory from basics, system, color wheel to picking the right color pallette.

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Basic Color Theory from colormatters

Another easy to understand article explaining basic color theory with the color wheel, color harmony, and the context of how colors are used.

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The Power of Color

An informative and creative presentation about basic color theory, tips, inspiration and how to choose and put them altogether.

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Understanding Colors

This article will help you understand colors and how they are applied with examples and video presentation. 

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Typography

Typography Tutorial for Beginners

This tutorial discusses everything you need to learn about typography, from basics to some useful resources and examples.

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Principles for Combining Typefaces

A crash course in typography discussing how to effectively combine typefaces showing the importance of contrast and mood.

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Pulling It All Together

A follow-up tutorial from the previous Principles for Combining Typefaces. This tutorial discusses the guidelines for combining fonts for paragraphs and headlines, as well as for other common type elements, like pull quotes and by-lines.

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How to Kern Type

This article shows 10 useful tips about how to get kerning (process of adjusting the spacing between letters to achieve a visually pleasing result) type right.

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Design Layout and Composition

Beginning Graphic Design: Layout and Composition

This article about layout and composition discusses the five basic principles that affect it in easy to understand text and video format.

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The 5 rules of design composition and layout

While the previous article above discusses the five basic principles, this one tackles the five rules of layout and composition and how important they are in building the structures of your designs.

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Grid-Based Design 101

Grid system is an important solution to control the structure of many types of designs (web, print, etc.). This article talks about some of the basics of grid-based design and how you can apply it to your projects.

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Guides, Grids and Frameworks

If you are more into web and UI design layout and composition, you’ll find this article useful as it talks about guides, grids, margins, flow and alignment of elements, etc.

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How to Create Balanced Page Layouts

This article tackles some common principles you can apply to ensure balance in your designs. Applicable for both print and web designs.

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Graphic Design Software Applications

Get to Know Adobe Photoshop (official Adobe tutorial)

Get Started with Photoshop tutorials that teach you the basic fundamentals, tools and techniques of Adobe Photoshop CC. This tutorial introduces you to the Photoshop work area and shows you how to open and save your images, zoom in and out, and undo mistakes.

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Collection of Adobe Illustrator Tutorials

Where else can we learn more about Adobe graphic design applications but from Adobe.com. This site features a wide collection of video tutorials on how to create beautiful vector art using Illustrator. From basic to advance, you’ll surely find something to learn and refine your Illustrator skills.

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Collection of Adobe Indesign Tutorials

Adobe InDesign is today’s standard in creating digital and print publications. And if you want to dig in with InDesign, this collection of video tutorials, created by Adobe, will teach you everything you need to know to start working.

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Basic InDesign Tutorial in Creating your First Book Layout (Part 1 & 2)

To add another InDesign tutorial, we would like to present our very own two-part InDesign tutorial in creating your first book layout.

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These tutorials, especially the software application tutorials, barely scratches the vast availability of resources from around the web. It’s now up to you to continue your search and learn journey in becoming a better graphic design professional.

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