Every logo, advertisement, or user interface (UI) you’ve ever seen has graphic design behind it. Graphic design is an important part of the digital world, and there’s a lot to learn about it. If you’re interested in entering this field, you’ll need some guidance, and there are some great YouTube channels that can offer that.
And, just to be clear, we’re covering channels that focus on design here—not photo editing. These skills can easily be confused if you’re brand new to either of them (and some programs can do parts of both). But, as we previously said, design focuses on stuff like logos and UI, while photo editing is about enhancing and, well, editing photos. Although, if you are interested in photo editing, there are plenty of channels to help you out with that as well.
Finally, let’s talk a little bit about software. There are a lot of options when it comes to design-centric programs, and finding YouTube channels that cover all of them isn’t possible. But most design programs do have fairly similar UIs, so some basic info can transfer between them (and of course, the principals of what makes a good logo are universal). If you do need help deciding on a program, we can help you out with that as well.
So, without further ado, let’s get into it.
Getting Started: GCFLearnFree.org
GCFLearnFree.org is a general educational channel, but they have a great six-part series covering the basics of graphic design, which is exactly what any budding designers need to get started. The series covers fundamentals, branding, typography, color, layout, and general images. These videos will ease you into the world of graphic design and teach some of the basic terminologies you’ll need to know.
General Tips: Will Paterson
Once you’ve learned the basics, you’re going to start needing some more general knowledge to round out your skillset. Fortunately for you, Will Paterson uploads three videos a week covering his personal history in graphic design, general topics, or giving advice on software and hardware. No matter what platform or program you’re using, you’ll definitely pick up more than a few things from Will’s videos.
Specific Adobe Effects: Yes I’m a Designer
The Adobe Suite (mainly Illustrator) is a pretty common tool among graphic designers. So, if you’ve decided to bite the bullet and jump on the Adobe train right out of the gate, Yes I’m a Designer can show you specific tricks you can pull off to create great-looking graphics. Whether you want to create custom brushes in Illustrator, create neon images in Photoshop, or just need some advice on layouts—this channel’s got you covered.
Adobe Suite Guides: Satori Graphics
This is another channel to help you out with Adobe’s software. You’ll find videos to help you navigate Adobe Illustrator, covering specific tools, and going over plugins. Videos go deeper into the design process than their titles would imply, also offering tips on stuff like brand research and gaining inspiration. And, while the channel mostly focuses on Adobe’s products, there are also videos for other programs like its recent video covering free design programs.
Best for Inkscape Users: Logos by Nick
Inkscape is a great design program that’s both free and open-source. Despite being free, it can easily match premium design software in features, which is what the channel Logos by Nick displays perfectly.
Need an overview of the latest update? Want to create custom brushes? Or just want to make some cool looking text? Nick covers all that and much more—he even has a 15-minute long in-depth comparison of Adobe Illustrator and Inkscape. You can also find some design tutorials for GIMP (another free open-source program, but with more of a focus on photo editing) here.
Design in Motion: TipTut
TipTut will open a whole new world of design to you. Creating static logos and artwork is one thing, but what about motion graphics and animation? These are valuable skills to have, and Tiptut will help you find your way with many great tutorials series. Learn the basics of animation in Adobe Animate, watch the almost 4-hour-long intro course to motion design, or just watch his explanation of typography. If you’re interested in this part of the design world, Tiptut is simply a channel you need to check out.
Fun Redesigns: Kel Lauren
To round out our list, we wanted to end on a more relaxed channel. Kel Lauren may not focus on teaching you specific techniques or effects on her channel, but rather just has a good time redesigning logos or other random design tasks. Even with this more chill vibe, you’ll still probably pick up a thing or two just by watching her work though. Videos are on the longer side of things, but with some good editing and humor they’re engaging throughout, so just grab a snack, sit back, and watch her redesign Girl Scout cookie packaging.