Graphic Design Tutorial Links for #ChallengeHalf

by post_author

Hello all,

Throughout the semester we will be exploring many different areas and learning how to use different software in order to create desirable products, experiences, etc.

Some of the tutorials we’ll be using are on Lynda

Lynda is essentially a collection of tutorials taught by experts. The tutorials range a variety of fields, including Design, Business, Video, Web Development and others. As a Harvard student, you should be able to register on Lynda by going here:

If you do not have a Harvard email as this process requires, please verify if your university has a similar procedure, or contact me.

Feel free to browse around, this is a great resource! Done? Ok, let us point you to some tutorials we find will be useful to you throughout the course.



Adobe Illustrator is an industry standard across many design fields, used for generating vector-based images. If you do not have Illustrator installed on your computer, install a free trial version here:

This will point you to the Adobe CC application suite. Once that is installed, you may choose from a variety of Adobe products to install on a trial period.

The first series of Lynda tutorials we are recommending are here:

These tutorials, taught by “mildly famous” Adobe guru Deke McClelland, are intended for users with no prior experience with Illustrator. The series contains 34 videos, clocking in at just under 4 hours. However, each video averages 5-7 minutes; none are longer than 9 minutes. From the course information page, topics include:

  • Setting up your first Illustrator document and artboards
  • Drawing and painting basic shapes with the brush tools
  • Creating and formatting text
  • Coloring artwork with fills, strokes, and gradients
  • Working with paths to create free-form shapes
  • Creatively applying dynamic effects that are automatic and editable
  • Tracing scanned artwork to create digitally editable graphics

If you do happen to have some Illustrator experience, perhaps you can pick and choose which topics from this video series would be most useful. Otherwise, you can search for different tutorials in Lynda, filtering for Intermediate or Advanced topics to your liking. Deke McClelland’s videos can go very in-depth. The following series are for beginner, intermediate, advanced, and “master” users, respectively:

That should keep you busy for the year!

We believe you’ll find Illustrator to be very useful throughout the course and in the future. By no means is this a definitive series of tutorials to learn Illustrator. You may choose other tutorials as you see fit, or use other sources. However, we hope you also find Lynda useful, as we will be using other software in different challenges, and using Lynda’s tutorials to help you get started. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to let us know.


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