Graphic Design | Revised Course | Alison

Graphic Design

Learn about the theory, principles and practices involved in graphic design with this free online course.

Art and Crafts
Free Course
This free online graphic design course will teach you about graphic design from the ground up, designed for both those already practicing in the field, and complete newbies. Start this course today and you will learn about the theory and practice of graphic design, how text and images can be used effectively to create an impact and convey a message to a specific audience, the tools used to do so, and much more!
  • Duration

    1.5-3 Hours
  • Assessment

  • Certification

  • Responsive






View course modules


Traditionally referred to as graphic design, communication design is the process by which messages and images are used to convey information to a targeted audience. In this free online course Graphic Design you will learn how designing is a form of problem solving, where a system is created to communicate a specific message. The designer breaks the problem into discrete creative activities. From this, solutions are evaluated, both for their perceived impact on the target audience and for their perceived effectiveness.

The course begins by teaching you about the history of graphic design. For example, in addition to font development, the Industrial Age contributed the photograph and ultimately its use in books and advertising. The study of semiotics (creating and understanding symbols and the study of sending and receiving visual messages), allowed design students in the twentieth century to understand the parameters of communication, in a more scientific and studied way. Schools such as ITS, balanced the stabilizing visual qualities of cleanliness, readability and objectivity with the dynamic use of negative space, asymmetrical composition and full background photography.

In addition, in this course, you will learn about developing design projects in collaboration with others. The design process involves generating a concept, refining ideas through visual exploration and preparing rough layouts. You will learn how the AIDA process works as a structure. You will learn about using the elements of composition - point, line, colour, plane and focal point - how techniques are used for contrast and emphasis and the importance of typography and organizational systems. This course will be of interest to those wishing to enter the field of graphic design, those already practicing and experimenting in the field and those who would like to develop a deeper understanding of the main theories, principles and practices involved. So, why wait? Start the course today and by the end of the week, you will have gained valuable graphic design skills!

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Learning Outcomes

Having completed this course you will be able to:

  • Recognise common examples of graphic design in use
  • Explain the design process as a problem-solving activity
  • Discuss design elements such as space, colour and type
  • Describe the influence of the industrial revolution on design practices
  • Summarise the main features of graphic design in the modern and post-modern periods
  • Describe the key content and partners involved in the design process
  • Explain AIDA and the use of various graphic design techniques
  • Summarise the process involved in designing drafts
  • Discuss the use of graphic design elements such as point, line, plane, colour, space and figure/ground
  • Explain the use of compositional techniques such as contrast, emphasis, movement, symmetry and visual hierarchy
  • Summarise how constraints, alignment, grids and organizational systems enhance design


All Alison courses are free to enrol, study and complete. To successfully complete this Certificate course and become an Alison Graduate, you need to achieve 80% or higher in each course assessment. Once you have completed this Certificate course, you have the option to acquire an official Certificate, which is a great way to share your achievement with the world. Your Alison Certificate is:

Ideal for sharing with potential employers - include it in your CV, professional social media profiles and job applications
An indication of your commitment to continuously learn, upskill and achieve high results
An incentive for you to continue empowering yourself through lifelong learning

Alison offers 3 types of Certificates for completed Certificate courses:

Digital Certificate - a downloadable Certificate in PDF format, immediately available to you when you complete your purchase
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All Certificates are available to purchase through the Alison Shop. For more information on purchasing Alison Certificates, please visit our FAQs. If you decide not to purchase your Alison Certificate, you can still demonstrate your achievement by sharing your Learner Record or Learner Achievement Verification, both of which are accessible from your Dashboard. For more details on our Certificate pricing, please visit our Pricing Page.



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