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A new wave of online courses are offering graphic design students a second chance at a job, and many of them are geared toward working with big brands, like Apple and Facebook.
But many are aimed at working with small, independent businesses, and some have a decidedly less tech-savvy bent than the courses offered by traditional schools.
That’s partly because there are more online courses, and also because there’s a growing body of work to be drawn from, said Lauren Coughlin, a professor at Stanford’s Graduate School of Design.
In a recent article, Coughlock said she started a class called “The Art of Design,” and it has since been featured in more than 100 articles across the Web, including one by The New York Times.
Coughlinson said her class started with three people, and by the end of the semester it had become a full-time, three-person class.
She’s also worked with students who have a background in design or design-related fields, like graphic design or photography, or with students that have a broader background in digital design, like web design or typography.
“A lot of the things we’re learning in this course are things that we might never have thought of ourselves,” Coughlins said.
“It’s an educational experience.”
While many online courses have been designed specifically for students who want to learn graphic design from an artist, Caughlin said it can be challenging for them to find classes that focus on design from a visual standpoint.
Students who want a visual background need to look for courses that use the Adobe Creative Cloud to access digital artworks, she said.
Some of the more popular courses on the market are the Creative Cloud, Artful and Design Stories.
Artful, for example, is designed for students with no prior design background, but is designed to work well with visual design projects.
The courses are designed to provide students with an opportunity to practice with the Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop tools and practice their craft.
In the course, students learn how to use the tools and techniques to design and illustrate a design.
Artfully also offers a hands-on experience.
It’s designed to teach students how to design, layout, color, design, design-logo, and logo design.
Students can then print out their own designs to use as backgrounds, or print out designs for clients.
The course also includes a digital copy of the course’s online design, copy design, and copy-edit materials.
Design Stories is designed specifically to teach visual designers how to make a digital portfolio, while Artful is designed as a course for designers that want to develop a portfolio of design and graphic work that can be shared online.
“In terms of content, there’s nothing to it that’s particularly unique,” Caughlinson explained.
She said it’s similar to how students learn a subject in college.
“They learn from other people,” she said, “and they learn how other people do things, too.”
While there are some courses that offer a digital version of a course, most of the courses on offer are designed as online resources, with a focus on teaching students how they can create digital content, and how to create a portfolio, she added.
Artworks can be created on a computer, on an iPad, or even on a website, and can be customized for a variety of visual styles, said Kristy Gannon, a designer and author of the online graphic design course The Art of Creative Design.
“There are some digital versions of these courses that I know of that teach you how to do print, how to type in text, how you can do all those things,” Gannon said.
Artwork can also be created by students to show off their design, she noted.
But, she also said, it can sometimes be difficult to learn how much of a graphic design can actually be printed.
ArtWorks also offers digital copies of the entire course.
“We’re very aware of the fact that the print version is only a piece of paper,” Ganny said.
The classes offer a variety with a wide range of topics, from the basics of a design to how to add a logo to a design, said Gannon.
“The students have this opportunity to work in this area that is very new to them, and that they have this skill set that they want to use in the future.”
Artworks is designed with a specific focus on making it easy for students to share designs, said Coughrin.
“What we’re trying to do is get students to create artworks for the course,” she added, “without really having them spend time making it.
It allows them to focus on it in the classroom, without having to actually make a lot of work.”
Artful also has a large focus on the creative process.
“Artful focuses on the art process as opposed to the technology, so it’s very different from what a lot are used to in a traditional design course,” Cugh