Can You Teach Yourself Graphic Design?


Jun 5, 2024

Are you looking to teach yourself graphic design? If so, you may be wondering if it is possible. The answer is yes—it can definitely be done! With the right resources and tools at your disposal, anyone can become a graphic designer.

However, there are some things to keep in mind as you embark on this journey. While there are plenty of online tutorials that teach basic graphic design skills for free or low cost, they often lack the depth and breadth of knowledge required for professional success. To truly excel as a graphic designer, you need a more comprehensive approach—which can only come from a comprehensive course like Shillington’s Online Graphic Design Course.

Why should I teach myself graphic design online?

One of the positives of teaching yourself graphic design online is the freedom you have. You don’t have to worry about tuition fees, location or class schedules. You can learn at your own pace and on your own schedule. Additionally, there are plenty of online resources available, such as YouTube tutorials, blogs and forums dedicated to learning graphic design online. These resources can teach you everything from the basics of color theory to advanced design software techniques.

Can I learn graphic design on my own?

However, teaching yourself graphic design online can be challenging. Without the guidance of a teacher or mentor, it can be difficult to stay motivated and consistent. You may also struggle with time management as you balance learning with other responsibilities like work, family, and hobbies. Moreover, without a structured curriculum, you may miss out on important concepts or fundamentals. In the end, you may find yourself with gaps in your knowledge and skills that you would have otherwise picked up in a structured course.

That’s where an online graphic design course like Shillington’s could make a massive difference. A course will teach you industry-standard knowledge and skills, even if you have no previous experience or design background. Moreover, it will give you the practical tools and guidance you need to apply your learning—something which teaching yourself online can’t offer. With Shillington, you’ll have access to highly qualified teachers to offer feedback and mentorship. Additionally, a course will provide you with structure, support, a community of peers and ample opportunities for growth all tailored for online learning.

The benefits of an online course aren’t just anecdotal. A study shows that “eLearning is proving to be up to 70% more effective than traditional classroom training” (DDLS). An online course can help you stay disciplined, motivated and provide you with critical feedback that you would miss out on trying to teach yourself. Additionally, Shillington’s graphic design course provides students with real-world experience, which is incredibly valuable when it comes to building a portfolio, finding work or transitioning into a new career.

How to teach yourself graphic design online

If you do want to teach yourself graphic design online, here’s six steps you have to teach yourself to get there:

1. Understand what a graphic designer is and does

Learning what a graphic designer is and what they do is an important step in teaching yourself graphic design online. Graphic design involves the use of various tools, techniques, and processes to create visually appealing images, designs and layouts that communicate ideas or messages effectively. It requires an understanding of color theory, typography, composition principles, software proficiency and communication skills—more on this later!

With so much to learn it can seem like a daunting process—but with Shillington’s comprehensive online course you’ll be working as a graphic designer from the very start! You’ll quickly learn what it means to be a graphic designer, and start working on briefs on your first day of class.

2. Learn the fundamentals of graphic design

Learning the fundamentals of graphic design and design theory is essential if you’re teaching yourself graphic design online. You’ll need to understand composition, color theory, typography and other core principles in order to create effective designs. At Shillington, students learn these key concepts as our comprehensive online course teaches them the skills they need to become successful designers.

With this solid foundation in place, students are then taught how to apply their learning and underpin each design with these fundamentals and design theory. This ensures every design created by a Shillington student is well thought out and carefully crafted—a huge benefit when building an impressive portfolio or transitioning into a new career!

3. Teach yourself graphic design software

Graphic design is more than just a creative skill—it requires technical know-how to use the right graphic design tools and software. Graphic designers need to be proficient in programs such as the Adobe Creative Cloud, in particular InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, and the digital design app Figma if they want to create professional artwork. If you want to teach yourself graphic design at home, it’s important to find a way to learn these crucial skills for your future career. Fortunately, with an online course like Shillington’s you’ll learn how to use all of these programs from scratch, even if you don’t have any previous experience, from the comfort of your own home!

4. Practice, practice, practice!

Teaching yourself graphic design online can be a great way to gain the skills and knowledge needed for a successful career in the field. But it’s not enough just to learn the basics—you need to practice your craft and hone your skills if you want to become a working graphic designer. That’s where design briefs come in: they provide real-world challenges that you can use to sharpen your abilities as a graphic designer, no matter how much experience you have.

If you really need practice then Shillington students are given the opportunity to work on over 20 briefs during their online course. These briefs are designed to challenge and push their skills, and allow them to gain real-world experience in the graphic design field. Each brief is delivered and critiqued by Shillington’s experienced teachers, who are practicing designers alongside teaching on the course.

5. Build a graphic design portfolio

When you are teaching yourself graphic design online, the most important thing to do is build a portfolio of your work. A graphic design portfolio is a collection of your best projects or designs that shows potential employers what you can do and demonstrates your skills. It also helps to show off how creative and innovative you can be with design solutions—a must if you want to stand out above other applicants in an increasingly competitive job market.

But if you’re teaching yourself graphic design online, it can be hard to know where to start with a portfolio. That’s why Shillington’s online course is the perfect way to build your skills and create an impressive portfolio that will show employers what you can do. With experienced teachers offering feedback and mentorship, real-world briefs designed to challenge and push your abilities, plus access to industry standard software in Adobe Creative Cloud—Shillington has everything you need to become a successful graphic designer!

6. Network with other graphic designers

Graphic design is a highly competitive field, and as such it’s important to network with other graphic designers if you are teaching yourself the craft online. Networking not only provides an opportunity to learn from experienced professionals, but also allows you to build relationships that could lead to job opportunities in the future. Fortunately, there are several ways for self-taught graphic designers to connect with others in the industry: attending events, joining social media groups dedicated to graphic design, or even taking part in online forums where fellow designers can provide feedback on your work.

Looking to build your first network? Shillington’s online course provides students with immediate access to an experienced network of likeminded creatives who can offer valuable insight and advice. Through these connections, you’ll be able to build and develop relationships that could not only lead to job opportunities in the future, but deep friendships through shared experience.

While it’s true that you can teach yourself graphic design online, we believe that it is not as effective as taking an online course. Self-taught skills often do not have structure and may leave significant gaps that hamper your professional progression later on. Shillington’s online graphic design course is a great option for anyone who wants to build their skills, gain high-quality education and learn with a supportive community.