Do you ever feel like your design career is stuck? Yes, you are still getting a lot of projects, but all your work is starting to look redundant. You are in desperate need to upgrade your skills, but your financial condition prevents you from taking paid courses? Don’t worry, we got your back. These free options will help you upgrade your career.
Whether you are a beginner- or intermediate-level designer, you still have room for improvement. Design courses are widely available online, and following the free ones is just one way to do it. If you want to upgrade your design career, then upgrading your typographical game is totally worth it. There are tons of available courses on typography online, both paid and free. If you are on a tight budget, we’ve chosen two free online courses for you to consider.
If you are a beginner or perhaps do not possess any knowledge whatsoever in typography or design in general, this course is for you. This course is available in Coursera and taught by Lori Poole, an Instructor from the College of Media, Communication, and Information, University of Colorado Boulder.
The course focuses on the textual elements of graphic design, namely typography. It covers a brief history of typography, the difference between type, fonts, and text, and the concept of typography spacing. Not only that, but this course is also actually a part of a course series covering the basics of design elements.
Designer Aaron Draplin, the founder of Draplin Design Company, shared his techniques on type customization. This course is available in Skillshare, so it’s not entirely free—you need to pay a subscription fee to the website to gain unlimited access. However, they offer free unlimited access for one month to new users, so just sign-up if you haven’t.
The 90-minutes course covers topics like
- Finding references,
- Kerning—manipulating the space between characters,
- Letterform customization,
- Sketching type,
- Preparing a file to print,
- Adding texture and modifying typefaces.
This course encourages you to move away from “standard” practices and discover your own unique typographic style. Once you have mastered the art of type customization, you have added a prevailing skill to your design arsenal.
Gaining knowledge through books is among the most traditional ways of learning and upgrading one’s design career. However, carrying traditional printed books might be a bit uncomfortable for some people, especially if they are constantly on the move. Here is when ebooks come in handy—or in this case, digitally. There are thousands of e-books available online both free and paid, you just have to pick one that piques your interest.
In 2016, Tim Brown, Head of Typography for Adobe Typekit and Adobe Type released his Pocket Guide to Combining Typefaces for free. It was available to purchase through Five Simple Steps in 2013, and thousands have been sold, used in college curricula, and cited in conference talks by experts. Unfortunately, Five Simple Steps closed down in April 2016, and Brown felt it is time to make his works accessible for free.
The e-book is targeted at designers and developers to upgrade their typographic expertise. Knowing how to successfully combine different typefaces can be hard to achieve, and this e-book gives a framework on how to do it. It also covers effective practices, selecting typefaces according to the design context, and more.
This particular e-book bundle is a must-have if you want to delve into interactive design. It’s free, it covers what you will need, and also comes with best practices in its applications. It was released by UXPin, a collaborative prototyping app for the free UX library.
The bundle contains 3 separate e-books. The first book, Interaction Design Best Practices: Volume 1 covers not only the theories but also best practices relating to interaction design techniques. The second volume covers more technical aspects like reliable animation principles and recommended site responsiveness. The third book, Consistency in UI Design, explores the importance of consistency and its effect on your credibility, site intuitiveness, and how intentionally breaking consistencies could draw more attention.