25 tutorials to build up your design skills

One of the best ways to improve and build upon your design skills is by using tutorials — short, instructional guides that teach techniques so you can craft great designs.

We’ve collected 25 of our favorite tutorials from across the web to help you practice your skills. These skills include:

  • Programs: Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign
  • Logo, Web, App, Icons, Print and Packaging, Tshirt
  • Typography, Grids, 3-D, Opacity, Gradients, Masks, Patterns, Layout, Color Management, Brushes, Meshes, Textures, Bleeds and Margins, and more.

Remember – these designs aren’t for you to actually submit, but to teach you how to use tools to create your own original designs!

LOGO

Create Isometric Grid-Based 3D Lettering

Programs: Illustrator
Level: Intermediate
Skills: Typography, Grids, Creating 3D Objects

Simple Organic Shapes the Illustrator Way

Programs: Illustrator
Level: Beginner
Skills: Opacity, Duplication, Masks

Creating a Crazy Cool Logo

Programs: Illustrator
Level: Intermediate
Skills: Typography, Shading, Gradient, Transformations

Create a Clean Retro Badge in Adobe Illustrator

Programs: Illustrator
Level: Intermediate
Skills: Typography, Pattern Brushes, Effects, Color Management

WEB

Watercolored Design Studio Blog Layout

Programs: Photoshop
Level: Intermediate
Skills: Opacity, Typography, Buttons, Layout

Design a Warm, Cheerful Website Interface in Adobe Photoshop

Program: Photoshop
Level: Intermediate
Skills: Grids, Filters, Navigation Bars, Typography, Buttons, Masks

How to Build a Stylish Portfolio Web Design Concept

Program: Photoshop
Level: Beginner
Skills: Color Management, Buttons, Shadows

Create a Nature Inspirated Painted Backdrop in Photoshop

Programs: Photoshop
Level: Beginner
Skills: Brushes, Noise, Color Management, Texture
Remember: If you use any brushes as a stamp, remember that you MUST declare that as stock artwork when you submit your design!

APP

Photoshop Tutorial: Create a Multimedia Player

Program: Photoshop
Level: Beginner
Skills: Beveling and Embossing, Gradients, Layers, Masks

Design a Clean Launch Email for a Mobile App

Program: Photoshop
Level: Intermediate
Skills: Smart Objects, Clipping Masks, Warping Text, Buttons, Shadows, Footers

Design an IPad App UI

Program: Photoshop
Level: Intermediate
Skills: Grid Structures, Wireframes, UI/UX design, Marquee, Masking

ICON

Quick Tutorial: Create a Sleek Bevel Styled Icon

Program: Illustrator
Level: Beginner
Skills: Buttons, Depth, Shading

Icon Design Tutorial: Drawing a Pencil Icon

Programs: Illustrator
Level: Intermediate
Skills: Sketching, Paths, Shapes, Gradient, Color Management

Icon Tutorial: Video Projector

Programs: Illustrator
Level: Intermediate
Skills: Gradients, Pen Tool, Ellipse Tool

How to Illustrate a Tomato Using Adobe Illustrator

Programs: Illustrator
Level: Advanced
Skills: Meshes, Gradients, Blends, Paths, Shading

PRINT

A Tutorial for Good Typography in InDesign – Setting up a Baseline Grid

Programs: InDesign
Level: Beginner
Skills: Grids, Typography, Layout

How to Create A Professional Magazine Layout

Programs: Indesign
Level: Beginner
Skills: Alignment, Grids, Text, White Space

Design a Ready to Print Brochure in Photoshop

Program: Photoshop
Level: Intermediate
Skills: Drafting, Bleeds and Margins, Texture, Color, Shadow, Free Transform

Design a Grunge Vintage Poster in Photoshop

Program: Photoshop
Level: Beginner
Skills: Pattern, Guides, Shapes, Layers, Colorizing, Texture, Hue/Saturation

PACKAGING

Create a Zee Vintage Label on Illustrator

Programs: Illustrator, Photoshop
Level: Intermediate
Skills: Typography, Layout, Masks, Layers, Texture

Create a Stylish Coffee Cup with Smart Objects

Programs: Photoshop
Level: Advanced
Skills: Paths, Free Transform, Shadows, Gradient Overlay, Layers, Opacity, Blurs, Highlights, Masks

T-SHIRT

Create Abstract Characters

Programs: Illustrator
Level: Intermediate
Skills: Sketching, Color Management, Depth, Brushes

Add Textures to Vectors Using Smart Objects

Program: Illustrator, Photoshop
Level: Intermediate
Skills: Color, Smart Objects, Textures

Layer up Vectors for Unique Effects

Programs: Illustrator
Level: Advanced
Skills: Pen Tool, Color Management, Layers, Shading

Simulate Screenprint Effects

Programs: InDesign, Photoshop
Level: Beginner
Skills: Photography, Converting File Type, Bitmap, Rasters

Still want more? Check out some of 99designs original tutorials:

Have great tutorials you’ve used? Share them in the comments :)

Kaitlyn is part of the Community Team at 99designs.com. She grew up in Boulder, CO and went to school at Northwestern University in Chicago. When she's not blogging, she spends her time having adventures and being generally creative. She's all about having new experiences as often as possible!
Kaitlyn Ellison

27 Comments

  1. Lac_us

    great tricks, thanks! :)

    Reply December 26, 2011 at 9:02 am
  2. OneTen

    WoW Great Collection Mr/Ms Kaitlyn

    Reply December 26, 2011 at 10:17 am
  3. okydelarocha

    damn !, this is very cool

    Reply December 26, 2011 at 9:31 pm
  4. okydelarocha

    damn ! this is very cool, I think it would be great if you also provide a tutorial for coreldraw user

    Reply December 26, 2011 at 9:33 pm
    • Kaitlyn

      Thanks for all the positive input! We’ll definitely be working on continuing with helpful material like this in the New Year – so stay tuned :)

      Reply December 28, 2011 at 11:03 am
  5. TITU SARKER

    Thanks,these tricks are great.

    Reply December 26, 2011 at 10:05 pm
  6. dandyvasanth

    hanks 99, great tutorials!

    Reply December 27, 2011 at 3:52 am
  7. Shapewear

    Thank you for the compilation of these great tutorials.

    Reply December 27, 2011 at 7:20 am
  8. Ady

    Great stuff! Thanks for sharing…

    Reply December 27, 2011 at 8:28 am
  9. jaku

    thank you, great tutorials

    Reply December 27, 2011 at 8:32 am
    • Jackie

      Woot, I will certialny put this to good use!

      Reply March 23, 2012 at 10:14 pm
  10. karthikeyan

    good collection if tutorials.. loved it.. thanks for the share…

    Reply December 27, 2011 at 8:42 am
  11. Tosh

    Unfortunately, most designs that win in this site are actually extremely simplistic.. No actual design, but only some sort of a font. Seriously. I’m very disappointed of the intellectual capacity of the contest holders..

    Reply December 27, 2011 at 9:49 am
  12. adhieZ

    nice article, all good & creative designs. :)

    Reply December 27, 2011 at 4:00 pm
  13. Lalindu

    Thanx This will be helpful

    Reply December 28, 2011 at 7:14 am
  14. ali f

    it’s inspiring me.. thanks.

    Reply December 28, 2011 at 7:59 am
  15. bunkit

    thanks for sharing, it’s really insping inspiring me

    Reply December 28, 2011 at 9:03 pm
  16. simbams

    GILA, keren banget…. sangat menginspirasi…

    Reply December 30, 2011 at 7:52 pm
  17. Kade Cooper

    very nice, thanks.

    Reply January 2, 2012 at 8:20 pm
  18. thoppp

    Very impressive! The greatest tutorial

    Reply January 9, 2012 at 4:49 pm
  19. Steve Harwood

    Thanks for sharing this really great list of resources, you’ve included a good variety of different design scenarios. A useful compilation of different techniques, even better that they are tutorials, as sometimes just looking at elements of design isn’t enough to be able to achieve a similar result, especially for novices. You learn best by doing, so these really are a awesome resource. Thanks!

    Reply February 22, 2012 at 12:58 am
  20. ryan

    excellent tutorials, thank you

    Reply March 17, 2012 at 12:14 pm
  21. webceo

    Awe-Inspiring. I have seen some of them before but they are all just awesome and amazing inspiration. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply May 20, 2012 at 7:37 pm
  22. Umberto

    awesome tutorials! love the retro badge one i will try that myself… thanks again for sharing :)

    Reply June 7, 2012 at 11:02 am
  23. janryc

    thank you so much! ^_~ IMHO, I learn more by doing those kind of tutorials rather than following along ‘boring’ procedural process like the ‘essentials’,

    Reply June 28, 2012 at 6:33 am
  24. Sahin Rana

    great really great all the tutorials……

    Reply November 22, 2012 at 7:15 am

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