Graphic design course
Apps & tools
Learn how to create slick artwork
Before you start a graphic design course it is worth noting that although they are mostly intertwined, graphic design vs technical knowledge of graphic design software are different skills.
To achieve professional-grade design you will also need some knowledge of typography, illustration, layout or other related discipline.
Also, in theory, you could have a graphic design career without using any computers at all!
A graphic design course at Digital Skills Training CIC can provide pre-employment training and mentoring, equipping participants with both technical skills and on-the-job work experience.
Adobe graphic design software
Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator are core workflow tools for many graphic designers, marketing professionals, social media managers and others. The apps work seamlessly together and, in many cases, overlap in terms of possible outcomes.
However, industry-standard graphic design software might be expensive for a lot of people; discouraging or even excluding those on limited income from learning new skills.
Although we can’t offer a free graphic design course right now (we do hope to offer funded courses in the future) we can remove the cost of Adobe Creative Cloud apps which, at the time of writing, is £49.94 per month.
Using free software to teach our graphic design course
There are free software options which, if not replicate, get near to the experience of learning Adobe software – the skills learned are easily transferrable to apps like Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign.
As a community interest company with a mission to create social impact (read more here) we’re committed to ensuring nobody is excluded due to low income, so all our courses offer a choice between Adobe software or free alternatives:
Adobe InDesign > Scribus training course (PC / Mac)
Adobe Illustrator > Inkscape training course (PC / Mac) / Vectornator training course (Mac)
Adobe Photoshop > GIMP photo editor training course (PC / Mac)
We can discuss these options before you book to make sure you or your group can continue learning. If you have specific software or apps installed at your organisation, please let us know and we’ll plan around these.
To encourage a graphic designer’s mindset we will send you a free copy of Graphic Design For Everyone: Understand the Building Blocks so You can Do It Yourself when you sign up for at least 6 hours of lessons.
Employment mentoring and work experience
Alongside the creative and technical skills required to become a graphic designer, individuals will also benefit from our insights into how to apply their knowledge to: being a freelance graphic designer; working in a marketing agency or in-house design team; their own entrepreneurial projects and business start-ups.
We cover how to create a solid graphic design portfolio, creating and interpreting briefs, costing and invoicing; etiquette at meetings and loads more.
Our instructors’ real-world experience in all of the above spaces will help you to formulate a clear pathway to achieving your goals. An introductory graphic design training course may help you on your way to further learning with us, self-led courses or even a higher qualification at a college or university.
Graphic design as a creative pursuit
It doesn't all have to be about work - graphic design can be used in a personal capacity as a hobby or artistic pursuit. Design a t-shirt for your friend's birthday, create a poster for your mum's kitchen; there are all manner of possibilities!
Email us or call 0113 282 9146 with any enquiries or if you just fancy an informal chat.
More knowledge incoming!
We're passionate about the apps and software that we teach and we hope to pass some of that on to you.
These skills can make you powerful so, to make your training more of a learner journey, we'll send you a hand-picked book relevant to your chosen discipline when you sign up for at least 6 hours of training.
Who is this training for?
- Aspiring graphic designers or those studying / interested in creative fields.
- Marketing professionals who would like to extend their skill set to content creation.
- Those with existing knowledge of graphic design software who want to level up across disciplines.
- Individuals looking to learn a fun new hobby!
What's covered in this course?
Our dynamic training quickly snaps to learner skill levels and aims but broadly:
- Tour of workspaces and tools.
- How the three apps work fluidly together.
- How to use Smart layers which translate across apps.
Will I get a certificate?
Absolutely, but only if you want one. You will be provided with a certificate of attendance and we can optionally add specific achievements and skills learned to the parchment.
Our training is dynamic so we reduce time spent learning tools or techniques that are irrelevant to your chosen path unless they are fundamental to the software and best practice workflow. That's why, for now, we don't issue one-size-fits-all certificates.
What will I need for remote training?
- A stable internet connection.
- For Adobe training, a full or trial version of the relevant Adobe app(s) installed on your desktop or laptop computer.
- For free software like Inkscape, GIMP or Scribus, a full version of the relevant app(s) installed on your desktop or laptop computer.
- For shared video display with remote control access: Google Meet and Google Remote Desktop.
Lesson pathway suggestions
We’ve put these lesson pathways here to give you an idea of what kind of stuff you could create during your training. Whatever you choose to do, the fundamental skills that you learn along the way can be applied to a multitude of projects.
If you have a specific project you would like to apply your training to you can add details at checkout or let us know via email or phone.
Logos should ideally be created as vector graphics. It ensures designs can be scalable without any loss in quality. We can tell you more about this on the course!
Adobe Illustrator is the industry-standard vector app but if you don’t have access due to cost we offer Inkscape training too.
Design a t-shirt, hoodie or cap
Pick a theme (street art, logotype, music…) and explore designs, fonts and colours. Finish up by getting your design printed onto a real-life product and start selling online.
Minimum recommended hours: 6
Photoshop, Indesign and Illustrator play very nicely together. Find out how to use smart layers throughout.
Design a flyer or poster
Got a party or community group you want people to know about? Here’s how to make something to help get the word out.
Minimum recommended hours: 3
Learn how to create business cards, letterheads, reports, editable PDF forms for invoices and more.
Minimum recommended hours: 3
Your Digital Skills Training
Dynamic curriculum shaped around chosen course, skill level and individual or group goals.
Option to bring a buddy to your first lesson, maybe a workmate or family member – get ‘em involved!
Flexible scheduling – lessons are valid for up to one year after purchase.
Free hand-picked, hard-copy book relevant to your chosen digital skill set.
All tuition, follow-ups, skills and employment mentoring comes from local digital skills experts.
Book your digital skills course
Please select how many learners will be attending the training, how much time you would like to book and whether the training will be remote or in-person / onsite.
After you have completed checkout you will be given the option of: scheduling date(s) and time(s) for your digital skills training.
Please note the free 30 minute consultation can only be selected as a remote option.
Please see the price matrix to find out how our pricing structure works.
Do you need a mixture of in-person / onsite <-> remote? Easily done! We can create a bespoke costing depending on:
- What your goals and objectives are (thus how many hours are needed).
- Your budget.
- How many learners will be taking part.
- The location of the training. We charge less if we do the training remotely over video call due to reduced travel time and equipment use.
Hardware and software
We have two fast MacBook Pro laptops that learners can use. You may feel more comfortable learning on your own machine with your own preferences. Either is fine by us, just let us know if you would like us to bring anything.
Software / apps
At any one time we have access to a certain amount of Adobe Creative Cloud licenses but please check with us, especially if the number of learners is high. The same applies to Microsoft Office licenses. As with hardware, if you already have your machine setup with the required software just let us know. We have a list of free and open-source alternatives to mainstream apps – please ask for more details.
Charities and community organisations
As a social enterprise we may be able to offer extra discounts to charities, community interest companies, social enterprises and other community-focused organisations. Please get in touch to discuss.
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