Whether you're just starting out in graphic design or a seasoned pro, there's always something new to learn if you want to stay ahead of the game. Graphic design's such a vast discipline covering so many different areas that it's hard to know it all, so learning some new skills is always time well spent.
We've scoured the web for some of the latest and greatest graphic design tutorials, covering everything from basic techniques through to 3D art (opens in new tab) and logo design (opens in new tab). Read on to level up your skills.
Or, if you want to build on your Adobe Illustrator skills, check out our roundup of the best Illustrator tutorials (opens in new tab).
- 6 of the best free online graphic design courses (opens in new tab)
01. How to make icons
Icons seem like they ought to be easy to create – they're tiny, after all – but their minuscule size means that they need to work hard to stand out on a crowded.
This tutorial on how to make icons (opens in new tab) starts with the very basics of what icons are and what purposes they serve, and goes on to cover everything you need to know about creating a pixel-perfect icon that does its job brilliantly.
02. How to solve a tricky brief
One of the toughest challenges for a graphic designer is likely to crop up before you even sit down at your desk. Some briefs are a joy to work with, while others can leave you utterly confused and unsure about how in the hell you're supposed to deliver.
That's why we spoke to some top designers at Jack Renwick Studio to get their pro tips on how to solve a tricky brief (opens in new tab); if a brief's ever left you thinking about giving it all up to work in a bank, this will set you straight.
03. Create a gradient logo in Illustrator
Adobe Illustrator is best known for its vector abilities, but you can also do amazing things with its gradient tools, transforming line-based graphics into colourful and beautifully shaded imagery.
This tutorial by Dansky teaches you how to harness these tools to create a gradient logo in Illustrator; it's a perfect introduction to gradients and also provides some essential insight into making a professional-looking logo.
04. How to resize an image in Photoshop
On the surface, resizing an image in Photoshop is an easy and straightforward job, but if you're just starting out in design then you might not be aware of the many options it has to offer for resizing images, some of which may suit an individual task better than the standard resize tool.
This tutorial on how to resize an image in Photoshop (opens in new tab) takes you through all the possibilities, plus the dangers involved and methods that can help you deal with them.
05. How to create line patterns in Illustrator
If you want to create a great-looking repeat pattern to use in your designs, Illustrator is the perfect tool to help you do it.
In this beginner-level tutorial you'll learn how to create line patterns in Illustrator (opens in new tab), starting with a few basic shape and building them up into intricate, colourful patterns that you can export as swatches and use in any design.
06. How to make a brochure
People keep claiming that print is dead, but it's still hard to beat a good old-fashioned brochure as a marketing technique, and most designers will find themselves making a lot of brochures over the course of their careers.
While it's not the most glamorous job in the world, a beautifully designed brochure can be a boon to a client and lead to more commissions down the line, so it pays to go the extra mile. This tutorial will show you how to make a brochure (opens in new tab) that meets your client's need and grabs customers' attention.
07. How to use the new isometric drawing tools in Affinity Designer 1.7
Illustrator's still the go-to vector package for designers, but Serif's Affinity Designer is giving it a run for its money with a strong set of tools and a friendly price point.
If you're intrigued by this plucky young challenger, this tutorial from Envato is worth a look; it demonstrates how to use Affinity Designer's new isometric drawing tools to create fantastically on-trend designs in isometric 3D.
You can also read our Affinity Designer 1.7 review (opens in new tab).
08. Create a stack of 3D characters in Photoshop
Photoshop's 3D tools may not be a match for professional 3D packages, but you can still use them to add impressive-looking 3D elements to your designs, and this tutorial from Spoon Graphics (opens in new tab) demonstrates one way to do just that.
Starting with some flat text and using Photoshop's 3D extrusion tools, it walks you through creating a set of long, extruded character shapes of different lengths, then adding life to them with realistic perspective, shading and lighting.