Free design classes to keep you learning through the New Year

Kelsey Bryant

The holiday break is fast approaching, but that doesn’t mean you should slack on your design skills. We’ve rounded up some of the best free design classes and tutorials on the web to keep you sharp through the New Year.

Whether you’re looking for something short and sweet or more conceptual, here’s some of the best logo classes from around the web.

Beginner classes

How to design a logo with Illustrator

adobe

This class walks you through the basics of designing a vector-based logo, so that it can be scaleable to any size. Learn how to manipulate shapes, add color and introduce different effects to your design.

  • Source: Adobe
  • Materials: 7 videos; sample files for practice; Illustrator “cheat sheet”
  • Time: 10 minutes

Roundtrip logo from Illustrator to Photoshop

grunge

Learn how to combine Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to edit smart vector objects more efficiently. In this video, Dave Cross will show you how to give your logo’s text a grungy effect while keeping live type in Illustrator that will update immediately in Photoshop.

  • Source: Layers Magazine
  • Materials: 1 video
  • Time: 6 minutes

Logo design fundamentals: Simple and solid brand marks

class1

This class emphasizes the power in simplicity and will walk you through how to “maximize communication with minimal information”. You’ll learn how to create three types of logos: an animal mark, a letterform mark and a negative space mark while learning the fundamentals behind each style.

  • Source: Skillshare
  • Materials: 15 videos; class tips guide, source file
  • Time: 57 minutes

How to create a believable vintage faded logo

vintae

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to apply a faded effect to your logo to make it look authentic on cloth, wood and other vintage aesthetics. This is a great an powerful skill that designers can use to better communicate their ideas and the potential of their logo to clients.

  • Source: 99designs
  • Materials: Article tutorial

How to build a brand: Essentials for designers (Live Class)

stanley

Stanley Hainsworth (former creative-in-chief at Nike and Starbucks) will teach a live class about the tools and methodologies for creating a brand. Find out how to add that “human touch” to a brand while working towards consistency, vision and creative strategies.

  • Source: Creative Live
  • Date: Jan 22, 2015 (9am – 4pm PST)
  • Time: 7h
  • Price: Free design class with RSVP

How to warp text in Adobe Illustrator

crooks

This quick video tutorial will show you how to warp text in Illustrator – a great skill to learn for t-shirt design and retro-style logos.

  • Source: YouTube (via Mike Locke)
  • Materials: 1 video
  • Time: 6 minutes

Logo design process tutorial

logo

This in depth article will walk you through the full process of logo design from sketch to finish. Learn how to pull the essential information from the brief, visualize your design, draft it and apply it to collateral.

  • Source: dryicons
  • Materials: Tutorial article

Brand building: Crafting stories with design

class2

Learn how to build emotional connections between consumers and brands through brand positioning, visual design and client presentation. The course is based on a real life case-study with Awake Chocolate.

  • Source: Skillshare
  • Materials: 6 videos; additional resource links;
  • Time: 45 minutes

5 details to remember when creating a logo

bakery

One of the first things a designer learns in school is to pay attention to the details. When it comes to logo design, these details are more important than ever.

  • Source: 99designs
  • Materials: Tutorial article

Intermediate classes

Logo design: Let the type do the talking

class3

This class walks you through the history of typography, before teaching you how to digitize your own logo sketches, mix fonts and shape your type. Then you’ll finalize your logo with a texture of your choice as a finishing touch.

  • Source: Skillshare
  • Materials: 8 videos; additional resource links
  • Time: 4 hours 12 minutes

How to design sports logos: Create your own team mascot

sports

Master the art of bold, athletic-style marks with the help of Fraser Davidson, owner of sports branding agency Field Theory, as you create your own team mascot logo. You’ll learn how to use reference images, add bold lines and negative space, and introduce shading and coloration.

  • Source: Skillshare
  • Materials: 11 videos; reference images; Photoshop template; completed illustrations
  • Time: 1 hour 44 minutes

Game of Thrones-inspired line art logos in Illustrator

got

Learn how to create geometric line art of your very own with this step-by-step guide. While this tutorial walks you through the steps to create a Barathean deer logo, this technique is easily applicable to your own creations.

  • Source: Spoon Graphics
  • Materials: Tutorial article

Logo design: New ways to create custom vintage type

quinns

Take stock in the vintage trend with this in-depth class as Simon Walker breaks down how to turn sketched, custom typography into clean vector art. You’ll organize your layers, balance logos, and capture that classic style through texture.

  • Source: Skillshare
  • Materials: 10 videos; working files; texture download and resources; example logos
  • Time: 1 hour 21 minutes

Design a flat chicken logotype in Adobe Illustrator

chicken

Try your hand at flat design while also digging deeper into sketching, adding logo detail, creating custom brushes, and finally applying a gentle background. The tutorial will also walk you through converting the logotype to greyscale.

  • Source: Tuts+
  • Materials: Tutorial article

Create an original logotype through custom font treatments

logotype

You don’t need to be a typographer to create a unique logotype. Rather you can start with an existing font’s framework and customize it to be uniquely yours! Learn how in this tutorial.

  • Source: 99designs
  • Materials: Tutorial article

Create a vintage badge in Illustrator and Photoshop

badge-vint

Learn how to create a fun, hipster-style badge with the help of Illustrator and Photoshop. You’ll work with transparency, text shaping, and texture.

  • Source: Abduzeedo
  • Materials: Tutorial article; source files

Have you found any great free design classes or tutorials lately? Share them in the comments!

The author

Kelsey Bryant
Kelsey Bryant

Kelsey is 99designs' Designer Marketing Manager. Born and raised in a small town in Connecticut, she moved to San Francisco in 2009 with a degree in Strategic Communications from Elon University. When she’s not working with the designer community, you can find her exploring the city, taking weekend road trips, and soaking up that California sunshine.

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