Online/Video Training Websites

So you want to push pixels do you? Well, first some bad news. Learning to be a Graphic Designer isn't an easy task and requires a life-long dedication to learning. The good news is that one can learn important foundations quickly and efficiently without breaking the bank.

You may find that keeping your skill level up to date is a never ending tread-mill of spending and learning for the major software companies continuously release upgraded software packages year after year to appease shareholders, increase their revenues and hopefully give us users sought after feature upgrades.

I've found that the fastest and cheapest way to learn new software and upgrade your skills is to subscribe to online/video training web sites. Trust me, I've spent tens of thousands of dollars on formal in-class education from recognized institutions and have degrees to match but the quality of instruction and sheer depth of knowledge I received doesn't even come close to matching what one can learn online at their own pace. These sites are by far, the best bang for your buck out there and you can learn all kinds of software besides graphic design software.

You can easily spend several times the cost of these site's entire annual memberships on just one University or College level course. Once you get your feet wet, you can make an informed decision on if you need further one-on-one instruction and class interaction to learn your desired topics. Online learning isn't for everyone, but to start out, it's the fastest and cheapest way to go with the least investment.

  • Lynda.com - Software training and tutorial video library in Quicktime or Flash video format. Their online courses help you learn critical skills at your own pace at anytime of the day 24 hours a day, seven days a week on all kinds of industry leading software packages and topics. Free previews on hundreds of tutorials are available. You can join monthly or annually to manage your commitment and budget. Membership levels are structured as either a regular member (without related tutorial file access) or as a premium member (you get full access to the tutorial files to allow you to follow along with the instructor step by step). Pricing is as follows: $25 USD/month basic membership, $37 USD/month premium membership, $250 USD/year basic membership, $375 USD/year premium membership. If I were you, I'd get a premium membership because you definitely want to follow along step by step as you pause the videos.
  • VTC.com - VTC stands for Virtual Training Centre and it is jam packed with software training and video tutorials in Quicktime or Flash video format. They have free access and previews on hundreds of topics. A user is billed according to renewal selection - monthly $30 USD, three months $90 USD, six month $180 USD, or yearly $250 USD. VTC's video tutorials are excellent quality and unlike its cheaper competitor, Lynda.com, you don't have to pay extra for source file access.
  • Coreldrawunleashed.com - I love the graphic design package CorelDRAW and I use it on almost a daily basis in my design work of all kinds because it has a loyal following in the sign industry and is much cheaper than Adobe's rival products such as Illustrator. Coreldrawunleashed.com authors excellent video tutorials and ebooks on DVD that everyone from all skill levels can benefit from. I have their CorelDRAW X5 Unleashed DVD ($49.95 USD) and even though I would consider myself an expert user, I still learned tonnes and save so much time in my designs as a result. Just recently they have released a CorelDRAW X5 Advanced Topics DVD ($39.95 USD) and soon to be released Photo-Paint X5 DVD ($39.95 USD) which I hope to try out myself one day soon.