20 great resources for learning graphic design

Maybe you’re right at the start of your graphic design career or studies. Or maybe you’ve been doing it for a few years, but still feel there are some gaps in your education.

Either way, it’s always good to have some good resources to hand, setting down the fundamental principles and basic terminology we all work by.

In this post, we round up the best posts for walking you through what you need to know as a graphic designer, plus a few pointers about where you can go further. Make sure you bookmark this page so you can come back to it again and again.

01. Typography rules and terms every designer must know (opens in new tab)

Learn all the font-related terminology you need in this comprehensive guide

Learn all the font-related terminology you need in this comprehensive guide

Typography is, quite simply, the art and technique of arranging type. It's central to the skills of a designer and is about much more than making the words legible. This article explains the fundamental concepts and key terminology of typography.

02. Key terms every graphic designer should know (opens in new tab)

Graphic design, like any profession, is littered with jargon and phrases you might not be familiar with. This article by Rob Carney outlines some of the key terms you should know, with a brief explanation – in words you can understand – plus info on where to go to learn more.

03. 15 printing terms every designer needs to know (opens in new tab)

The world of print design can be a confusing one for those coming from other design disciplines, not least because of all the unfamiliar printing terms and concepts that have evolved gradually over hundreds of years along with the art and science of printing. Confused by printing terms such as pigments, RIPs, and solvents? Keep this jargon-busting glossary close by.

04. 15 design terms you're probably getting wrong (opens in new tab)

Which terms do you get wrong?

Which terms do you get wrong?

Any designer will tell you that the industry is teeming with terms every creative needs to know if they're going to be taken seriously by their peers and clients. Compiled by Creative Market, this infographic runs through some of the most frequently mistaken design-speak.

05. The designer's guide to the Golden Ratio (opens in new tab)

Science meets art in the Golden Ratio

Science meets art in the Golden Ratio

There's a common mathematical ratio found in nature that can be used to create pleasing, natural looking compositions in your design work. This article explains what it is and how you can use it, and points to some great resources for further inspiration and study.

06. The designer's guide to grid theory (opens in new tab)

An incisive explanation of grid theory from Sam Hampton-Smith

An incisive explanation of grid theory from Sam Hampton-Smith

Grids are like the glue that holds a design together, so whether you work in web or print, you need to understand grid theory. This article by Sam Hampton-Smith explains all you need to know.

07. How to create a design style guide (opens in new tab)

Hit the right tone with your style guide

Hit the right tone with your style guide

A design style guide shouldn't read like the work of a control freak, but nor should it be vague and ambiguous. This article by Paul Wyatt explains how to strike the right balance.

08. How to create balanced page layouts (opens in new tab)

Top tips for balanced page layouts

Top tips for balanced page layouts

A good page composition should be both pleasing to the eye, but also communicate those key messages clearly to the intended audience. This article collects together some top tips to help you ensure your page layouts have balance.

09. How to design a poster (opens in new tab)

If you want to know how to design a poster, then you can do no better than turn to the experts. In this post, three top illustrators and designers to offer tips on how you can design better posters.

10. How to design a brochure (opens in new tab)

It’s one of the most common tasks given to jobbing graphic designers. But how do you make a brochure that really dazzles? These top tips will get you started.

11. How to master colour theory (opens in new tab)

Sam Hampton-Smith describes the three primary component parts that help us define a colour

Sam Hampton-Smith describes the three primary component parts that help us define a colour

This article by Sam Hampton-Smith cuts through the jargon to explain the basic concepts and terminology of colour theory, in words that you can understand. Topics include how colour is formed, colour systems and the colour wheel.

12. Digital colour mixing explained (opens in new tab)

Mixing colours digitally is not the same as mixing them physically. This article explains what the difference between the two is and how to go about it in practice.

13. How to choose a colour scheme for your logo design (opens in new tab)

Graphic designers need to harness the power of colour psychology to bring resonance to their designs – and in no field is this more important than that of logo design. In this post, Martin Christie of Logo Design London explains what you need to know.

14. 10 rules for better editorial design (opens in new tab)

The fundamental skills required to be a good editorial designer are much the same as any form of graphic design, but as with any specialised area there are always unique challenges and general rules that apply. In this post, Luke O'Neill offers 10 rules of thumb for better editorial design.

15. How to design a business card (opens in new tab)

A well-designed business card can make you stand out from the crowd. Here are some top tips from Sam Hampton-Smith on how to make one that leaves a lasting impression.

16. How to design a book (opens in new tab)

The Book Designers cover the basics of flowing in and formatting text for a book layout

The Book Designers cover the basics of flowing in and formatting text for a book layout

The layout of the pages inside a book is just as important as its cover design. After all, the pages are what people will experience as they read the book. This tutorial from The Book Designers provides a basic step-by-step process for designing and laying out a book that's driven by its text.

17. Free ebooks for designers (opens in new tab)

There's a growing movement towards free and freemium content on the web, and the quality of the content is often on a par with the books you'd part cash for. Compiled by Sam Hampton-Smith, here are 22 of the best ebooks for learning design to download today.

18. The best graphic design podcasts (opens in new tab)

For those who've always wished they could turn on their radio and listen to people chatting about design, this article by Joe Nicklo lists 12 informative, fun, and thought-provoking podcasts that every designer should be listening (and subscribing) to.

19. Photoshop secrets to improve your skills (opens in new tab)

Once you've overcome the beginners' learning curve, there are some real gems hidden inside Photoshop that can help you speed up your work and get more out for less effort. This article rounds up 30 of the best Photoshop secrets to help sharpen your skills and improve your productivity.

20. How to create the perfect infographic (opens in new tab)

Follow these 10 steps to create beautiful infographics

Follow these 10 steps to create beautiful infographics

The modern day infographic has taken on a slightly different form to that of its predecessors. However, the fundamentals remain the same, explain JESS3's Tiffany Farrant-Gonzalez and Jarred Romley in this article, as they take you through 10 key steps in the creation of informative and beautiful infographics.

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Tom May

Tom May is an award-winning journalist and editor specialising in design, photography and technology. Author of the Amazon #1 bestseller Great TED Talks: Creativity (opens in new tab), published by Pavilion Books, Tom was previously editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine. Today, he is a regular contributor to Creative Bloq and its sister sites Digital Camera World, T3.com and Tech Radar. He also writes for Creative Boom and works on content marketing projects.