Author Resources, Inspiration

10 New Design Skills You Can Learn in August 2017

Take your design skills to the next level with these 10 new courses and tutorials.

Feeling creative? Here’s a selection of the best of this month’s design tutorials and courses on Envato Tuts+. You can learn the best way to create animated GIFs, put together a surreal photo manipulation, draw different types of hair, and much more.

And if you’re not sure which one is right for you, you can take a short quiz at the end to get a personalised recommendation!

1. Create a Surreal Photo Manipulation

Surreal photo manipulation scene

Photo manipulation is a wonderful way to create whole new worlds from your imagination, without needing to draw or paint anything yourself. In this tutorial, you learn how to take seven different photos and blend them together into one weirdly haunting scene. Get the step-by-step instructions here.

2. Animate Icons!

Create animated icons

Sometimes good design is eye-catching, but other times it’s almost unnoticeable. A well-designed icon may not win any great plaudits, but it’s one of the little details that adds up to a better user experience for your website, app, game, presentation, etc. So why not take things to the next level by adding animation. Take the short video-based course for full instructions on creating icons in Adobe Illustrator and then animating them in After Effects.

3. Draw Hair in 4 Different Styles

How to Draw Hair

Did you know that the average human head has about 100,000 individual hairs? What that means is that if you want to draw someone’s hair, you can’t draw separate lines for each strand—you need to learn some tricks to create the illusion of 100,000 hairs while using far fewer lines. Take this drawing tutorial to see how it’s done.

4. Get Up and Running With Sketch

Sketch course

Most of these design tutorials and courses use Adobe software because it’s so popular and offers so many features. But Adobe is not the only game in town. Take this comprehensive, 17-part video course to get up and running with Sketch, a powerful digital design application that’s great for icon design, web design, and more.

5. Learn the Quick Way to Create Professional Logos

Create a logo kit

Have you ever had one of those annoying clients who demands double the work in half the time? Of course you have. Here’s a trick for icon designers: have a few flexible logo kits ready to customise so that you can meet even the tightest deadline. Take this short course to learn how to create the three building blocks of a successful logo kit.

6. Paint “Love” in Sign Language

Love in sign language

OK, I’ll be honest—I’m mostly just including this one because I love the end result. But it does also teach some really useful digital painting skills. Look at the dramatic lighting and the realistic textures of each hand; those are some techniques you could use in a wide variety of projects. See how to create this painting from scratch.

7. Make an Animated GIF

Create an animated GIF

Whether you love them or hate them, animated GIFs are all over the web. This tutorial shows you an easy method of putting together an animated GIF in Adobe Photoshop. The example is of a wolf’s glowing eyes, but feel free to use the same techniques for laughing dogs, weird celebrity mashups, or whatever your heart desires. Start animating your GIFs here.

8. Go Back to the Nineties

Nineties flyer

The 1990s are popular again! Who knew? As far as I remember, the 1990s weren’t even popular in the 1990s. But if those headache-inducing colours and shouting fonts give you a flood of happy nostalgia, this is your chance to step back in time to the days of oversized cargo pants, overused fluorescent colours, and Hootie & the Blowfish. (Oh, and you can also learn some useful flyer design skills in Adobe InDesign.) Enter the time machine here.

9. Send a Ransom Note

Ransom note text effect

Well, no—don’t actually send a ransom note, OK? That would be creepy. But this tutorial does teach some useful skills to help you manipulate fonts and work with shapes and textures in Photoshop to create a realistic text effect. Take the tutorial to learn how it works.

10. Create a Realistic Mockup

Create a wine bottle mockup

If you’ve ever worked in product or packaging design, you know the importance of a good mockup. Clients often struggle to see the potential of a design until you show them how it will look in the real world. This final tutorial in our list teaches you to create your own wine-bottle mockup from scratch in Photoshop. Along the way, you’ll learn how to manipulate photos, create realistic shadows and reflections, add lighting, and more. Ready to get started? Click here for the full instructions.

Take the Quiz!

If you still can’t decide which tutorial or course to take, try this short quiz to help you out.

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Andrew Blackman

About the Author Andrew Blackman

Andrew Blackman is a copy editor for Envato Tuts+ and writes for the Business section. He's a former Wall Street Journal staff reporter, now travelling full-time while working as a freelance writer and editor.