Forget New Year’s resolutions. Instead of vague good intentions, why not start 2018 with some solid actions to move your career or creativity forward, like learning some useful new skills?
Here’s a roundup of some courses and tutorials in the fields of graphic design, web design, coding, photography, and business. Many of these resources are free, and others are included in a subscription to Envato Elements. So there’s nothing stopping you from picking up a valuable new skill this month.
The great thing about photo manipulation is that if, like me, you can’t draw to save your life, you can still create some amazing scenes like the one above, just by merging photos together and applying some effects. There’s a bit more to it than that, of course, but this tutorial breaks it all down into easy steps. So why not learn photo manipulation today?
Along with making New Year’s resolutions, another popular activity at this time of year is making a new career move. If you need to update your resume to propel you towards that dream job in 2018, this short course is for you. Building on a professional template from Envato Elements, you’ll learn how to create a resume that is clean, targeted, and highlights your skills and abilities. Take the course to give your career a boost this month.
Machine learning is a hot topic right now, and it’s only going to get more important as time goes on and the possibilities and capabilities of the technology multiply. This tutorial will help you surf the crest of the wave by introducing you to natural language processing, a key element of machine learning. Essentially, it’s the means by which computers understand human speech—not just grasping the basic meaning, but doing complex things like analysing sentiment and pulling out key information. Read the tutorial to find out more about how it works and to get some practice using it in iOS 11.
We’ve all seen great photos ruined by the sun being in the wrong place—usually right behind our beautiful subject, making it into a silhouette shorn of all its details. Of course, the sun is never really in the “wrong place” at all. It moves predictably around the sky, and there will be a time of day—or a different season—in which you can get the shot you want. Read the tutorial to find out how you can use a simple web app to plan your photography shoots with the sun in mind.
Sketch is a powerful digital design application, and it’s perfectly suited to those who design user interfaces for web or mobile apps. In this course, you’ll learn how to create a mobile UI design in Sketch, working from an initial wireframe all the way through to a completed design.
Here’s an idea for the New Year: do something to help future generations have a habitable planet on which to make and break their own resolutions. An infographic is a great way to communicate complex information and statistics in an engaging way, and this tutorial teaches you how to create one in Adobe InDesign. Find out how it’s done.
Branding is a powerful tool for building a company’s reputation—some of the major world brands are worth billions of dollars. Having a consistent and professional branding package across print and web can really help set a business apart from its competitors. This course teaches you how to create this package on a budget by using Envato Elements and Affinity Designer. You’ll produce a logo, branding colors, a customized website, a business card, a Facebook cover design, and more. Get started here.
Anko is a Kotlin library that makes it easier to build Android apps. What better way to learn it than by getting your hands dirty building a music player app that can automatically pick and play random songs from the user’s device? It’s quite a complex app, but the tutorial makes it easy to understand. Get the full instructions and code.
If you have a website or do any kind of design work for the web, you should be conscious of how to design sites that everyone can view easily—including the millions of people with color blindness, low vision, blindness, or other visual impairments. If you’re not, or if you need a refresher, then read this accessibility tutorial to make sure you’re not inadvertently excluding potential visitors and customers through simple but common design flaws.
Want to Learn More?
If these new courses and tutorials aren’t enough for you, check out the full Tuts+ library of more than 1,000 courses and 24,000 tutorials. There’s sure to be something there for you. Or have a look at these recommendations from previous months to get some more inspiration.
In case you haven’t heard the news yet, color fonts are shaping up to be one of the hottest design trends of 2018. This tutorial teaches you how to create your very own color font using the latest version of Adobe Illustrator and the powerful Fontself extension. So why not learn this important new design skill?
Speaking of new skills, have you tried Gravit Designer yet? It’s a completely free vector application that was launched earlier this year. It’s available in the browser as well as on Linux, Mac, ChromeOS and Windows, making it arguably the most accessible application of its type in the world. Learn how to use it in this thorough introductory course.
If you do any kind of online collaboration, you’ve probably come across Slack. It’s used by over 50,000 companies—and yep, Envato is one of those. This tutorial shows you the code and takes you through all the steps to build your own unique integration with Slack, using Python for the logic. Learn the steps here.
We all know that a presentation looks smarter and more coherent when we use a well-designed template, don’t we? But getting the most out of a PowerPoint template is another story. This in-depth video course shows you how to create a polished presentation from start to finish, using the popular X Note template as an example. So take the course and move your presentations to the next level.
More new design software for you to learn. Studio is a free online UI design tool, ideal for web designers or anyone else designing for digital products. Watch the video to get up to speed with Studio quickly and easily.
Have you ever taken some great video footage, only to find that it is too shaky to be usable? Unless you use a tripod or have the steady hands of a neurosurgeon, the answer is probably yes. Luckily, Apple’s Final Cut Pro X has stabilization processing built in. Find out how to stabilise your video footage in this video tutorial.
Any designer will tell you that typography is crucial to good design. From company brands to newspaper headlines to advertisements to websites, you can see the power of typography in action everywhere. But, like any specialised field, typography has its own vocabulary, which can be confusing for beginners. Watch this 60-second typography video to learn how to tell your counters from your spines and your stems from your shoulders.
If you often switch between different languages (or if you just enjoy using words like “smörgåsbord”), you’ve probably encountered the annoying situation of taking ages to type a letter with an accent that’s not included on your standard keyboard. On a Mac, of course, you can hold down the key and see a range of common accents, but that can still take a while. There’s a better way, involving automation apps. Learn the shortcuts here.
In the wake of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and all of the associated consumer frenzy, you may well be sick of 2 for 1 deals. But this course offers genuine value, by allowing you both to brush up your icon design skills and to learn Adobe XD at the same time. Take the course to get instructions on using Adobe XD to design a range of useful icons.
If you want to create apps for Apple devices from watches to iPhones, Swift is the programming language to use. With version 4 only released a few months ago, now is the perfect time to get up to speed with secure coding in Swift 4. Read the in-depth tutorial to learn about concurrency, race conditions, Grand Central Dispatch, and more.
Take a look at your favourite website. There’s a good chance that it was built with PHP. This powerful programming language created a big proportion of the web, and it’s easy to learn and easy to use for writing web applications. In this comprehensive, seven-hour video course, you’ll learn all the fundamentals of PHP, from the basics of using variables and writing loops and functions up to coding classes for simple object-oriented programming (OOP). Along the way, you’ll learn all the most important skills for writing apps for the web. Take the course to get started building your own web applications.
You’ve probably seen them before—those grids of beautiful photos, often accompanied by an inspirational message. This tutorial shows you how to create them yourself, either in Photoshop or with a simple grid-building app. It’s quite easy, and the results can be impressive. So why not give it a try?
This tutorial hits the trifecta—you can learn a new skill, explore your creativity, and relax at the same time! What’s not to like? Drawing a mandala can be very therapeutic, and although it looks complex, it’s actually quite simple to do. So learn all the steps and start sharpening your drawing skills while relaxing your mind.
I love old movie posters from the 1950s and 60s. The tools available to designers back then were so much simpler, but there were no limits to their creativity, and some of the results were just fantastic. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create a movie poster paying tribute to the classic Vertigo poster designed by Saul Bass. You’ll learn a lot about Adobe InDesign along the way, while also doing some Photoshop and Illustrator work. So get started on this wonderful project, and upload your own version in the comments for others to take a look at.
If you use a Mac, you’ve probably come across the “Terminal” icon, and if you’re like me, you’ve probably ignored it. But the Terminal gives you unfettered access to the deeper reaches of your Mac via the command line (if you remember MS-DOS, think of that classic C:\> prompt and the commands you used to enter). You can do some pretty useful things that just aren’t possible with the usual graphic interface (such as “caffeinating” your Mac). So take this beginners’ tutorial to discover some nifty examples and get started using the command line.
It’s still quite early days for Adobe XD, Adobe’s user experience design software, which only came out of beta a few weeks ago. So why not be one of the early adopters? This course shows you how to use Adobe XD to wireframe and design a landing page from start to finish. Take the course and build your skills in this useful application.
Envato Tuts+ ran quite a few tutorials and articles last month to mark Spirit Day. Although the day has now passed, this tutorial will still teach you some useful skills for creating text effects in Adobe Illustrator. Plus you’ll be prepared for next year’s event, which will probably come around again sooner than you expect! Find out how to create the effect.
Those newspaper stories about kids running up huge credit-card bills on their parents’ iPads are fun, aren’t they? But they’re probably not so much fun for the parents involved. If you have kids or know someone who has kids, there’s a high chance that your beloved iPad will fall into their hands one day. So take this tutorial and find out how to protect your iPad from damage (both internal and external), as well as protecting kids from coming across bad stuff on the internet.
Kotlin is a new programming language for coding Android apps, and it’s way more concise and secure than traditional languages like Java. This course teaches you everything you need to know to get started coding in Kotlin, from the basics of getting set up and writing your first code right through to advanced features like lambdas, higher-order functions, and using Java and Kotlin together in the same app. Take the course and add a powerful new language to your toolkit.
Think of creative designs, and maybe you think of a creative use of images, shapes, and colour. But you can do a lot with plain old letters, and this course shows you how. You get to play with typography and develop your creativity as you create a concept-driven typographic artwork. Take the course to give your creativity a boost this month.
Yes, Halloween is coming around again, and that can mean only one thing: it’s time to turn your cat into a zombie. In fact, this tutorial shows you how to turn any portrait, whether human or animal, into a terrifying, dead-eyed, blood-spattered zombie. Even if you hate Halloween as much as I do, you’ll still pick up some useful Photoshop techniques in this one. So take the zombie-making tutorial and see how it’s done.
If, like me, you run a WordPress site, you probably alternate between feeling good about the number of websites that use your chosen platform (currently 28% of the web and rising) and feeling worried about the constant security threats. Take this short course to learn the key steps you should take to make your WordPress site much more secure.
OK, the simple app created here doesn’t look as good as the zombie cat, does it? Fair enough. But once you’ve learned the skill of incorporating image recognition into an Android app, there are so many possibilities for more complex apps. This tutorial shows you how to use machine learning to recognize the content of images with the IBM Watson Visual Recognition service. Get the step-by-step instructions and code samples here.
Drawing tutorials can be frustrating—they sometimes seem to be written for people who already know how to draw. But this tutorial is truly for beginners, and it breaks the whole process down into simple shapes like ovals, curves, and crosses. It’s a great way of learning to draw, and it may just help you see the structures behind objects so that you can draw things other than monkeys. Read the full instructions.
Google’s AMP is awesome! It’s a great way of optimizing your website with simple plug-and-play code. Why would you want to optimize a site without it? Well, actually there are several reasons, and you’ll learn more about them in this course. You’ll also learn exactly how to convert an existing AMP-based site to use non-AMP equivalents, helping you to make your site blazing fast while keeping total control. Take the course to find out more.
Lots of people just use generic business cards, but if you really want to make an impression, it’s much better to do it yourself. You get a chance to showcase your creativity while ensuring your business card sticks out from the crowd. It doesn’t have to be complicated either—this tutorial shows you how to create a great-looking business card from scratch in Adobe InDesign in just ten steps. Find out how.
A job board is a great type of website to build for any industry or niche—it allows you to provide really useful information (everybody likes to be able to find job opportunities), and your traffic and referrals can grow fast. This tutorial shows you how to create one using a WordPress theme and some simple customisation, with no coding skills required. Start creating your job board website here.
In the world of coding, design patterns are incredibly useful ways of solving common problems that arise in development. But they can be abstract and hard to grasp for beginners, and you can end up struggling to tell your factory from your facade. This comprehensive, 24-video, 3.5-hour course will set it all straight, with detailed explanations and examples of how each pattern can be used in the Swift programming language. Take the course here.
Wait, doesn’t that style look a bit dated? More 2007 than 2017? Yes, well spotted! This last tutorial is a bit of a nostalgia trip. Tuts+ turned 10 years old in September, and to celebrate, we decided to recreate the very first tutorial on the site, by Envato founder Collis Ta’eed, but this time using up-to-date techniques in the latest version of Adobe Creative Suite. So step back in time with us, and start making plastic jelly like it’s 2007!
If you’re not up to speed with Android’s new Instant Apps feature yet, this tutorial is ideal for you. Instant Apps let people load entire sections of your app on demand, just by tapping a URL and without having to download the full app. This gives you a great opportunity to get your app in front of as many new users as possible. Learn how to create an Android instant app feature here.
Yes, we do live in a world of social media and online connections, but a good printed business card is still as important to today’s freelancer or business owner as it was to Don Draper in Mad Men. Learn how to create your own professional business card design in this step-by-step Photoshop tutorial.
If you’re a web designer, your choices are not limited to macOS or Windows. You can also work very effectively in Linux, and in fact there are some real advantages to doing so. Take the course to find out all about using Linux for web design.
No matter what kind of work you do, I’m willing to bet that you send emails, and that you want people to open them. This tutorial shows you 10 simple steps you can take to improve your email open rates. Who knew that the way you capitalise your subject line can make more people open the email? I didn’t, but the data suggests it’s true. Read the tutorial to discover all 10 email tips.
Artificial intelligence is here—and I’m not talking about those dumb social media algorithms that collect masses of data on you and yet still can’t arrange your feed in the right order. I’m talking about chatbots that can hold increasingly realistic conversations with us. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create a simple conversational chatbot using the IBM Watson Conversation service. The best part, for me, is the way it serves up inspirational quotes. Get the step-by-step instructions here.
Sometimes you just don’t have a lot of time to spend learning something new. But everyone can spare a minute, can’t they? That’s the idea behind the Tuts+ 60-second videos—you learn a new skill or technique in just one minute. In this one, you’ll get an introduction to HDR photography. Watch the 60-second video here.
What do you get if you take a photo of the sky, put it in Photoshop, and add photos of a cat, a wall, some trees and a bunch of fish on top? The result, for most of us, will be an amateurish mess. But with the techniques covered in this tutorial, you’ll get the bizarre, impossible and yet weirdly realistic scene shown above. Click here to learn how it’s done.
React is one of the most popular web frameworks, and if you want to learn to use it, what better way than through some practical examples? In this course, you’ll build a digital clock, an Ajax-powered navbar and more, and in the process you’ll learn all the basics of coding React components from JSX and managing state right through to higher-order components and lifecycle methods. Sign up for the course.
If you’ve been working with WordPress for any length of time, you’ve probably heard about the Loop. But do you really understand what it is and how to use it? This short, ten-minute Coffee Break Course will get you fully up to speed. Start learning about the WordPress Loop.
It’s great to learn new technologies and computer skills, but it’s no use having these skills if you’re too unproductive to use them. In a busy work day, it’s easy to get derailed by stress and its close companion, procrastination. So read this quick productivity tip to learn how to take a step back into the stress cave and take some simple steps to help you see the right way forward.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
OK, it’s true that Facebook’s “Instant Articles” feature has been controversial, and you may not love the idea of having your content living on Facebook’s platform instead of your own. But the advantage is that readers get to access your articles at a lightning-fast speed, and your content fits in seamlessly with the Facebook app, making for a great user experience. And whereas at first it was only for large publishers, now it’s available for all of us. Get a step-by-step guide to publishing Instant Articles in this tutorial.
Just when Adobe seemed to have the vector design market locked down, along came Affinity Designer a couple of years ago, winning a whole host of new admirers among web designers and graphic designers. If you haven’t tried it yet, this course is a perfect way to find out what all the fuss is about. You’ll learn Affinity Designer from the ground up—and the course was recently updated to cover new features like artboards, constraints, symbols, and some powerful new typography tools.
Keeping your skills current is not just about learning new technologies. It’s also about important concepts like accessibility. Making your sites accessible to as many people as possible is not just the right thing to do; it also makes business sense. You work hard to attract visitors, so why turn some of them away because you’ve failed to make the simple changes that would allow them to view your site? I like this quick tutorial because it shows you how to create a style guide for accessibility, while also introducing you to some important accessibility concepts and techniques along the way.
Logo design is one of those things that may well be handled by a specialist graphic designer, but it’s always a useful skill for a web designer to possess. You’ll also get a useful rundown of the major tools, panels and features in Adobe Illustrator, which will be useful for other design tasks beyond logos.
It’s good to learn new skills, but it’s even better to build something useful. This screencast ticks both of those boxes. Take a look at the demo—a neat little tool that lets you select a starting color and have a tasteful color scheme generated for you. You’ll learn how to create that yourself, using the Chroma.js library.
Flexbox is a relatively new layout mode in CSS3, and as the name suggests, it can give you some wonderful flexibility in your page layouts. This popular course lets you get your hands dirty by tackling six projects designed to help you learn Flexbox thoroughly. And now it’s been updated with two more bonus projects on modals and sliders, so it’s an even better way of getting up to speed.
No matter how well you know the ins and outs of CSS, the reality of working as a web designer is that you’ll have to deal with other human beings at some point, and that’s when things can get so complicated that you end up yearning for the comfort of your code editor. This tutorial looks at some useful ways to get the content of a website prioritized among multiple members of a team with the least fuss.
Yes, I know. Forms are not the most exciting topic in the world, are they? But the attraction of this tutorial is not the forms, but the way you create them—using the CSS Grid Layout Module, another quite recent addition to the web designer’s arsenal. It shows you how to create a form the “traditional” way, using floats, and then how to achieve the same end result using CSS Grid.
With so much new stuff to learn, sometimes it’s valuable to go back to basics and make sure you’ve still got a solid grasp of the essentials. Or maybe you’re just getting started and want to avoid some of the most common mistakes. Either way, these 10 simple design pointers from Tuts+ Web Design Editor Ian Yates will help you make sure you’re on the right track.
Have you ever taken your Mac to an Apple store and seen the “genius” running a diagnostic test on your computer? This post shows you how to run that test yourself and interpret the results, as well as checking the health of your hard drive—all without the help of a lanyard-wearing hipster genius.
Here in the northern hemisphere, summer is just around the corner, and festival season will soon be in full swing. I love the summer colours and the vintage VW campervan in this design—but more importantly, the tutorial teaches you some great skills in Adobe InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator. If you’re shivering in the southern hemisphere right now, just think of this one as forward planning.
Some Tuts+ courses are several hours long and cover lots of ground, but this one is very short (just six minutes) and very simple. It teaches you something that sounds straightforward but can cause headaches if it’s not done right—how to add a MailChimp signup form to your WordPress site. In six minutes, you can get your site fully set up to start gathering email subscribers. Not bad, huh?
I love watching aerial video footage. There’s something so calming and majestic about seeing the world from the perspective of a bird. In this video tutorial, you can learn about the best times of day to fly your drone for filming purposes (and in a companion tutorial, you can learn about the pros and cons of different weather conditions). I’m sure it’s all useful information, but I like the tutorials purely for the eye candy.
Have you noticed that explainer videos are everywhere? And they all have the same annoyingly cheery music? In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to put together a good explainer video for your company or personal site. My one gripe is that it’s a written tutorial—being a fan of recursion, I’d have preferred an explainer video on how to make explainer videos. But it’s still a good post. Check it out.
Charcoal drawings look amazing, but creating them involves both getting your hands dirty and spending years on the painstaking and often frustrating process of learning to draw. This video shows you how to skip both of these steps and just create a cool charcoal drawing from any photo with a simple Photoshop action.
I love the split-screen effect here—as you drag your mouse across an image, a line splits the screen and it changes from colour to duotone. Try the demo at the top of the tutorial to see how it works! Then you can learn the process of creating it, with both a screencast and written instructions to make it easy to understand.
The thing about what video-game designers call “UI assets” (and the rest of us call “buttons, icons and stuff”) is that, if they’re designed well, you probably don’t even notice them. But if they look clunky, they can ruin the gaming experience. This course teaches you how to design them well. Plus the aesthetic reminds me of playing The Secret of Monkey Island as a child. Remember Guybrush Threepwood, anyone?
If you want to get started as a web developer, this comprehensive course is the place to start. It takes you through the whole process of learning PHP, from setting up a development server on your computer and writing your first line of code right through to creating a working PHP application and interacting with a MySQL database.
Want to be the next Lana Del Rey or Justin Bieber? Or maybe you even have some more up-to-date cultural references. In any case, this tutorial will teach you everything you need to know to record professional vocals using just your computer and some simple equipment. Then you’ll be well on your way to YouTube stardom—all you need to do next is….
Even with the most professionally recorded vocals, some of your potential fans may be put off if your YouTube banner looks as if it was designed by a hyperactive child with unsupervised access to Microsoft Paint. This tutorial teaches you to put together a simple banner for a YouTube channel using stock images and basic tools in Adobe Photoshop.
Macabre? Perhaps. But what I like about this tutorial is that you can produce a great end result even if you have zero drawing skill (yes, that would be me!). Monika Zagrobelna breaks the whole process down into such simple steps that you really can’t go wrong. If you can draw lines and circles and have access to a pencil, you can draw a convincing human skull.
If you’ve even dabbled in web design, you’ve probably come across the “em” and “rem” units of measurement. But what are they? What’s the difference, and when might you want to use each one? This one-hour course will get you crystal clear.
Stumped by a ClassCastException? Tearing your hair out over a missing R.layout.main? Wondering who in Android-land thought that “Only the Original Thread That Created a View Hierarchy Can Touch Its Views” would be a helpful error message to give to human beings? This article demystifies 13 of the most common error messages to plague Android developers.
I’ve saved the best for last. While we may love to be able to draw, paint, create apps or become a YouTube star, I think a lot of us would settle for an empty email inbox. This tutorial will teach you how to reach the “You have no messages” promised land. You can also grab a free eBook for more detailed email mastery tips.
This post has just skimmed the surface of what Tuts+ has published recently, and in the full archives going back ten years, there’s even more. So if you don’t see what you’re looking for in this post, you can search the full Tuts+ library of more than 1,000 courses and 24,000 tutorials to find exactly what you need.