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I like to work more on Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and so forth in my spare time.

I'm already under education to becoming a Graphic Designer. I love working in the listed programs, and making all kind of stuff.

But when i come home i have a hard finding something i can do in these programs, i don't really have any projects.

Sometimes i make a logo for a fictive company or existing company, but i find it hard to stay motivated, when it's not going out in the real world.

I sometimes see tutorials on youtube, but i feel they are not always the best quality, and that can also be kinda boring, when i know how to do most of the stuff in the tutorial already.

So i would just like to hear what you guys do when you just want to get better in these programs.

I wanted to give Lynda a try, but i feel like it's way to expensive.

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  • There's a lot of free video content on Youtube.
    – Lucian
    Apr 9, 2017 at 16:26
  • I just feel like most of those videos doesn't go as in depth, as places like Lynda for example. Apr 9, 2017 at 17:07
  • You get a free 10-day trial with Lynda. Try it and compare.
    – Lucian
    Apr 9, 2017 at 17:30
  • I have tried it. Apr 9, 2017 at 17:34
  • Udemy has some great courses. They can be expensive, but they have regular discount events. Create an account and wait for the course you want to go on sale.
    – Westside
    Apr 9, 2017 at 20:21

4 Answers 4

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You have a ton of options...but first you need to define what it is you are trying to learn.

There are tutorials in graphic design skills, and there are tutorials for using the Adobe programs more effectively. Frequently the Adobe program tutorials show you how to accomplish something that you need to do to create good graphic design (like using baselines, or dividing your page into grids), but they are not teaching you when to use baselines or grids. That would be taught in a graphic design tutorial.

Once you have determined what it is that you are looking to learn, then just do a ton of Googling. Watch whatever videos you can find on your topic, but begin keeping notes about which videos are more or less useful. As you develop a list of people who are consistently helpful, you can start with their websites or YouTube accounts when you are looking for information about a new skill. If they can't help you, then you start Googling for other resources.

I have sometimes been described as having very strong Google-fu, by which people mean that I am good at finding information on Google that others have been unable to track down. My best trick is to be quite specific when searching. Don't ask "How to retouch an picture;" instead ask "how to eliminate items from a photo using Photoshop CC2017." This is the opposite of the advice you will frequently get when using a search feature, but it is the easiest way to cut through the information overload when you are doing a Google search.

A couple of additional resources that I can recommend off the top of my head:

For graphic design skills: Try starting with About.com. They have a section on graphic design. Go there, read the information and then work their practice suggestions and examples. About.com won't give you the intensive, cutting edge experience of an official graphic design program, but it will give you the opportunity to practice the skills you are taught over and over, and that is how you learn.

Each time you learn a new concept in graphic design, Google "[name of concept] practice," or "[name of content] examples" or something along those lines. Whether or not the website you go to is particularly useful, just the process of practicing the specific activity over and over will do wonders to improve your eye, and to cement that particular concept in your brain.

For help with specific programs: First, make sure to check out the tutorials available on Adobe.com. They want to keep you using their products, so they provide quite a bit of free instructional content. They also have a magazine called Create, that has a sample project in every issue. Reading the process, or even better, following along can be really useful.

There are lots of other on-line magazines/websites that focus on graphic design issues. Go to those websites and read the articles, follow along with their tutorials, etc.

You also can do some research and see if there are any user groups in your area for the programs you want to learn. These groups are made up of people who work with a particular program, and often have free or low cost tutorials for that program.

Otherwise, I think your best bet is to make good use of Google (follow my advice if it helps you) and keep track of where you find good advice. You will start developing a list of "go-to resources" that you can depend on when you are looking for some specific information.

With all this said, I do have a subscription to Lynda.com, and I love it. But, when I am trying to solve a specific problem right away, I am much more likely to Google it and find a solution, than I am to turn to Lynda.

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Here are some websites which will help you to develop your graphic design skills.

http://www.creativebloq.com/

http://creativenerds.co.uk/

You can also start the part-time freelancing career. By this way can improve your graphic design and communication skills.

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I think the better way is to research by yourself and filtrate the most appropriate information for your current skills level.

For example here are some free tutorials https://www.tutpad.com/ - final artwork is not always impressive, but some techniques may be useful.

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I go to different places with each program For example with InDesign I usually seek resolutions to particular problem I have. I usually look here :) or https://indesignsecrets.com/ (which often link to Lynda materials as they go in deep with solutions).
There are some basics you often do in this program and some things you don't do as often but will get the grip of the idea with one or two screenshots.

In Photoshop and illustrator I looked at https://psdtuts.com and https://abduzeedo.com because they show you the problem and then how to recreate it. Or with Abduzeedo you see something you like and that push you to look for "how to" on the internet. But after a while it's like with playing guitar. At beginning you look at tabs. And sometimes they are wrong. But with time you learn how to just play by ear. So you just look at them to give just a hint. In those program you need to know them inside and out because you need what does what. I had a portfolio full of "fades". When the double exposure was in I learned how to do that because that what clients wanted. Then it was flat desing. And those instagram filters.

But just learning how to make them was pointless. What I really looked at is what else it can be used for. Of course I forgot a lot of things (because how often will you use color map?). But now I know where to look to get the thing I want to achieve.

I follow Smashing Magazine and computer arts. Just to look for neat things I try to recreate and just learn the program really and not the "how to paint an owl".

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