Design Basics

Learn Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign with your very first design project. Get to know Adobe’s industry-standard software and see how to use it to express your ideas. Through video-recorded classes and practical assignments, you learn the software at your own pace. On-Demand course is for anyone who wants to learn the basics of design, and is a good first step on the path to other design studies.

Creative Project
Video Classes

Course Content

The course covers the core functionalities of Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. As you develop your skills and confidence, you’ll also gain better insight into their respective strengths, weaknesses, and characteristics.

You’ll develop better workflow habits by choosing the right tool for the job and discover how the different applications can work together harmoniously. The course challenges you with a series of video tutorials and practical exercises as you create your first own design project. You will not receive feedback on your work but you will get plenty of guidance to improve on your own.

This self-paced course builds your skills in:

  • Photoshop
  • InDesign
  • Illustrator

After the course, you have a basic knowledge that allows you to practice further on your own. Or you can push yourself and apply to other design courses at Berghs at a higher level, where basic software skills are a prerequisite. View your course progression options below.


  • When (and when not) to use Photoshop
  • Working with documents and getting your setup right
  • Technical basics (color space, resolution, file formats)
  • Working with confidence (saving, undoing, history, versioning)
  • Working with existing images (layers, transparency)
  • Working with channels with selections
  • Discover layer effects and Plugins
  • Transformation approaches
  • Shaping layers and vectors
  • Drawing and painting tools
  • Typography in Photoshop
  • How to import, export, and workflow artwork


  • When (and when not) to use Illustrator
  • Working with documents, artboards, and workspaces
  • Tech specs (colour space, resolution, file formats)
  • Working with confidence (saving, undoing, history, versioning)
  • Drawing and selection tools
  • Working with colour, fills and strokes
  • Keeping it neat (aligning and organising artwork)
  • Working smart with layers and symbols
  • Construction tools (pathfinder, compound and clipping paths)
  • How transparency works
  • Working with typography
  • How to import, export, and workflow artwork


  • When (and when not) to use InDesign
  • Working with documents (for digital and print)
  • Setting up workspaces for your project
  • Tech specs for print and digital (colour space, resolution, file formats)
  • Working with confidence (saving, undoing, history, versioning)
  • Working with pages and master pages
  • Time-saving typography tools and styles
  • Importing and using existing artwork
  • Working with frames, paths, and drawing
  • Working smart with grids
  • Creating interactive documents
  • Packaging and exporting projects

This self-paced online course is perfect for people who are brand new to the world of design. Anyone whose ideas and ambitions are bigger than their current software skills. It can work as a foundation or as a first step for those who wish to take design courses at Berghs at a higher level. This course brings your skills up to a level where you can get the ideas that you have in your head, or in your sketchbook, onto the screen. Please note that this course offers a foundation and is by no means exhaustive, mastering these programs fully may take many years of practice. To complete the course – and all its assignments – you need to have access to Adobe Creative Cloud (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign) 2020 or above. You can use Adobe's free 7-day demo to start with. You should also have access to pens and paper that you love so you can sketch your own ideas away from a computer.

  • 10 video-recorded classes and assignments
  • Language: English
  • 30 hours (estimated) to complete the course and all assignments
  • Self-paced; study and practice at your own speed
  • Checklists to verify your progress throughout the course
  • Course certificate upon completion
  • On-Demand, start whenever you want
  • Software license not included
  • Feedback on assignments not included
  • Credit card payment and instant enrollment
  • Price incl. vat: 5000 SEK
  • Price excl. vat: 4000 SEK

This course offers you basic software knowledge and it prepares you for a series of design courses at a higher level at Berghs School of Communication. Below is a list of possible courses to progress with - depending on your level of experience - and some fee reductions to help you do so.

FULL-TIME international courses taught in English

Apply after completing Design Basics, improve your chances to enroll and get your tuition fee reduced by 1000 SEK*  

FULL-TIME studies (YH) taught in Swedish

Apply after completing Design Basics and improve your chances to pass the selection. No fee reduction applies.

  SHORT COURSES - START LEVEL taught in Swedish 

Apply to one of the above after completing Design Basics and get your fee reduced by 1000 SEK* 


Apply after completing this software course (provided that you have the necessary experience) and get your fee reduced by 1000 SEK*

*Terms and Conditions

The discount can be claimed only after you have completed your automated software course and it applies only to the course you are progressing onto. Check out the terms and conditions here.

How good do I become?

Mastering the design software requires many years of practice. This course gives you an introduction and challenges you with practical exercises to understand the basic functions.

When can I start? 

The course is video recorded and self-paced. This means you can start when you want and progress at your own speed. It’s On-Demand. 

What platform do I learn on? 

The course runs on Canvas, Berghs’ learning platform, where all video classes, assignments, and checklists are provided. You access the course room on Canvas directly after payment and can start the course immediately. There is no need to install any client, all you need is a browser – and the design software, of course.

Is there any technical support along the way?

The course is fully automated. Should you need any assistance, Berghs offers technical support for troubleshooting during office hours on Central European Time.

Is there any feedback on assignments? 

The course is fully automated and does not include a feedback session.

After the course, am I guaranteed to get into other design courses at Berghs?

It depends on the level of the course you choose. This course does qualify you for a START-level design course at Berghs. It’s a good complement to your application to a PROFESSIONAL-level course, but you also need some work experience at that level. And finally, it does not qualify you for one of Berghs’ full-time programs  – where the selection process is complex – but it might give you the tools you need to work on your entry assignment. 

Do I get a discount if I enroll in another course after learning the software? 

That’s right. The software course is a starting point, and we encourage you to continue your design education at Berghs by offering you a fee reduction worth 1000 SEK. The discount applies if you enroll in one of the courses listed under “course progression options” within one year from the date in which you complete the software course. Check out the terms and conditions here.

Can I use free software trials for this course?

Yes! but they expire quickly. The software comes with different types of licenses and subscription options, you might want to learn the basics before you commit to one or the other. If you do not have any software license, just choose a free 7-day trial on adobe.com when you start the course. After that, you can choose your preferred subscription plan and complete the course at your own pace.

How many hours is this course?

The course consists of 10 video-recorded lessons, their length varies between approximately 15 to 45 minutes. Some lessons include assignments and are therefore more time consuming than others. We estimate that you can complete the course in approximately 30 hours, including initial tutorials, software setup, creative work, exercise submissions, checklists, etc. Please note that the course is self-paced, you decide how much time you want to invest in the course. The more you practice, the better you get. The quality of your work will reflect your level of ambition.

How long does it take to complete an automated software course? 

This is a self-paced course, you can complete it within a week or stretch it over months, as you prefer. Our recommendation is that you complete the course within 4 weeks, taking classes every few days and regularly practicing by doing assignments in between classes. 

Do I get a certificate?

Yes. Upon completion of the course, Berghs School of Communication issues a course certificate with your name. In order to obtain the certificate, you need to complete all quizzes and submit all assignments within the course.

Online self-paced

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Hours of study



5000 SEK incl VAT
4000 SEK excl VAT

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* By clicking here you'll be directed to payment and then to Canvas, where you can start the course. Before continuing, please read our terms and conditions.

Questions? We sort them out for you!

Milad Olad

Digital Training Producer