graphic design class registration begins now!

Today is the day … I’m so excited about this new class and finally get to share it with you!


After years of designing invitations, Christmas cards and artwork in sub-par design programs, I finally decided to learn Adobe Illustrator. I had heard it was the best program to use for graphic design and the only thing ‘real’ designers used, so I figured if I was going to take myself seriously as a graphic designer, I might as well use the correct tools. A little unsure and intimidated, I purchased a copy, installed it on my computer and opened it up.

It was even more complicated than I imagined.

I tried clicking on a few familiar looking tools, but ended up with criss-crossing lines and an oddly sized workspace.

After just a few minutes, I decided I was, in fact, not ready for the real deal.

For the next year or so, I stuck with my less-professional, but much less-intimidating programs to continue designing projects. Eventually, these programs were not giving me the results I wanted or the tools I needed and so out of necessity, I gave Illustrator another try. This time, a friend gave me a few pointers that helped immensely. Simple things like: here’s how to open a new document, and here’s what the pencil tool does. Little by little, I clicked around trying out different tools, read forum conversations when I was stuck, and most of all, practiced. What was once super intimidating became very comfortable to navigate and soon all my designing was done in this once foreign program with better results and an easier workflow than with those previous programs.

The real test came five years later when my best friend and I decided to take an Illustrator class at our local community college. I was a bit nervous that I was using everything incorrectly, missing major functions and tools and just hacking my way through a very powerful design software and thus totally insulting everyone who actually called themselves graphic designers.

As it turned out, I had actually taught myself quite well. There is still much about Illustrator that I do not know or use or even need, but what I’ve learned is that to be a ‘real’ graphic designer, you don’t need to be an expert in the ins & outs, every tool and shortcut and function of the program. You just need to practice, get comfortable with the different tools and develop your own style. It may mean you only use a fraction of what’s available within the program, but as long as you are enjoying the process and getting the results you are after, I say leave well enough alone.

Now it’s your turn to give graphic design a try. If you’ve ever wanted to make your own artwork, design your family’s holiday cards, create a personalized invitation, customize your blog with one-of-a-kind graphics or brand your small business, learning to use Illustrator will open up all of those doors for you. The best part is, you don’t have to figure it all out on your own.

Is this class an exhaustive look at Illustrator?

Not at all.

Partially because I am not equipped to offer that, but also because if you are anything like me, we don’t need an exhaustive look at Illustrator. We just need the basics. The essential tools. The best functions. The common shortcuts.

Simplified Graphic Design.

I hope you are excited and ready to begin.


Simplified Graphic Design is a course created for the beginner graphic designer who is new to Adobe Illustrator. Illustrator enables you to create professional vector artwork (images that can be scaled to any size without losing quality) for both print and web graphics. While the program can be intimidating upon first glance, this course will walk you through the most essential and helpful tools showing you how to create your own designs and leaving you with a comfortable understanding and confidence in working in Illustrator.

This is a great class for those who love graphic design and want to learn how to create their own graphics. Whether you have no experience in Illustrator or a basic knowledge of the program, you will finish the course a more proficient designer with a handful of shortcuts that will make the process simple and enjoyable. If you are well-acquainted with Illustrator, a professional graphic designer or looking for tips for creating a graphic design business, this course will not be a good fit for you.

Because most of us learn best by watching a task being done, this course is a series of eleven in-depth videos that cover all of the basic functions, most helpful tools and many tips and tricks in Adobe Illustrator useful for everyday designing. You can watch and re-watch to learn new techniques and then pause the video to practice on your own.

The course covers:

  • familiarizing ourselves with Adobe Illustrator
  • using the most common functions for every day designing
  • how to create, transform and design with text
  • using clipping masks and digital paper to create art
  • turning hand drawn doodles into vector graphics
  • altering images using the live trace & paint functions
  • how to create shapes, templates and tags
  • printing and saving your work
  • the work flow of a start-to-finish invitation
  • the work flow of a start-to-finish web graphic
  • resources for tools, design elements and inspiration

The course and all its content takes place online in a password protected classroom. Go at your own pace, moving from section to section as quickly or slowly as needed. You will have unlimited access to the class so you can always refer back to it as needed.

All questions can be asked in the comment section of each topic. This will act as our forum and helpful troubleshooting for all students.

Adobe Illustrator (free 30-day trial – sign-up here)
Internet access


Due to the digital nature of the course, registration is non-refundable.



61 Responses to graphic design class registration begins now!

  1. Nicole April 9, 2014 at 1:36 pm #

    Hi Emily – I’ve been designing invites/cards as a hobby for several years; faking and struggling my way through it by using Microsoft Word. Your online class is exactly what I’m looking for to take my “craft” to the next level! I’m so excited for your next sign-up! Question though, where do you advise getting things printed? I own an inkjet and a laser printer, neither of which give that true professional look. And the only places I know of are Kinkos, and they don’t do the best job (at least the one by me!) Thanks!

  2. Aja @ sevenelles.com March 27, 2014 at 7:12 pm #

    I just made my first print. I watched all the videos prior to even attempting illustrator. However I can’t remember my login info for the class…but since you taught it so well, I was able to retain a few things that help me. I like it!

  3. Althea March 21, 2014 at 7:38 am #

    I am SO BUMMED that I didn’t know about this class!! Excuse me while I go find a corner and cry until the next offering…

    • emily March 21, 2014 at 10:08 am #

      Don’t worry … the next one is coming soon!

  4. Debbie Howard March 20, 2014 at 8:36 am #

    please add me to your list for the next class! I missed out this time.

  5. Amanda March 19, 2014 at 12:46 pm #

    Hi, Emily!
    Thank you so much for offering this. I ran across your site while working at AWeber, and have actually just left my job there to go back to school for graphic design. I’m currently teaching myself Illustrator and in the same boat you originally found yourself in. I can’t wait until you offer the next session!

  6. Gwen, The Makerista March 18, 2014 at 9:48 pm #

    So glad to hear it was so successful! Congrats, lady!

  7. Angela March 18, 2014 at 3:40 pm #

    Sounds good! I can’t wait to think of myself as one. I wish you could do another one also closer to Christmas showing us how to do Christmas stationery, and or maybe you can do one where you just teach tricks of the trade for stationery designers… I’m just sayin’ :-)

    I really do love it a lot and really like you too! So happy for you :-) and us!

  8. Carol March 18, 2014 at 2:35 pm #

    This class sounds wonderful. Do you ever plan on offering a Photoshop Elements Class? I have been looking for a good online class for a couple of years and can’t seem to find a great one.

  9. Jenn March 18, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

    SO glad you’ll be offering the class again. I just hopped on to register. :(

    • emily March 19, 2014 at 11:30 am #

      We’ll run another class in just a few weeks.

  10. Jillian Kieschnick March 18, 2014 at 10:19 am #

    Wow, this is such a great idea and I wanted to take the class!
    I’m so bummed that it’s sold out! Hopefully I’ll catch it next time! :) have fun ladies/gents (those of you who are taking it)

  11. Appy Mikel March 18, 2014 at 8:47 am #

    When will this class be offered again? By the time I got around to signing up, it was full :(

  12. Kathyn Hager March 18, 2014 at 8:32 am #

    I am so sad! I didn’t get on yesterday and I missed it! It’s sold out :(

    This is seriously an answered prayer. Is there anyway I can get a heads up when the next class will be available?! I for sure want to sign up!

  13. Aja@sevenelles.com March 18, 2014 at 8:21 am #

    Emily! This class is amazing!!! Very very very easy!

    • emily March 18, 2014 at 9:26 am #

      I’m so glad you’re loving it!

  14. Ashlyn March 18, 2014 at 8:10 am #

    I am very excited for you that the class sold out in one day! Not as excited for me as I didn’t get a chance to register. As soon as you have the “Round 2” dates (along with when registration is open) PLEASE let us know so I can make sure to register in plenty of time :)
    Thanks again for offering these classes!

  15. jodi March 18, 2014 at 7:55 am #

    I am bummed, I totally forgot to register yesterday! If there are any spots that open up, I would love to jump right in!!!

    Thank you so much for offering this!


  16. Emily March 18, 2014 at 7:33 am #

    This is so great, exactly what I have been looking for!! I am so bummed I missed the first round of registration! If any spots open up or any thing I would love to be able to take the class now. I can’t wait!! You are awesome, Emily to do this for people. Thank You!

  17. Heather March 18, 2014 at 2:21 am #

    Please let me know if you have an opening. I am very interested. Thank you.

  18. cynthia March 17, 2014 at 6:26 pm #

    Hi emily, i’m your huge fan and always excited when your email pop up into mine. I am interested with your course but before i sign in, i want to make sure that i’m able to follow it.

    I have 12 hours different time with your time because i live in Jakarta-Indonesia (most of people know indonesia only from Bali). I use laptop with windows7 and later i will download the adobe illustrator.

    With those condition, am i still able to follow your course?

    Thanks, xoxo cynthia

    • emily March 17, 2014 at 9:08 pm #

      Yes! You’ll be just fine because the class is all online and you can access it whenever it is convenient for you.

  19. Robyn Regan March 17, 2014 at 5:21 pm #

    Yaaay I signed up too!!! I can’t wait to learn this. I have paid and now do you email us to join? I am so excited! Thank you for offering this….and a huge thank you for the little tester on your previous email….and all of the great free font links!!!


  20. Stacy McGinnis March 17, 2014 at 4:54 pm #

    Hi Emily, I was researching Adobe Illustrator before I sign up for the class and I’m a bit confused. Will this class work with Adobe Illustrator CS6 or do we need to have the monthly subscription plan in Creative Cloud? Any thoughts on why one would be better than the other?
    Thank you!

    • emily March 17, 2014 at 9:09 pm #

      You can use any version of illustrator if you already have it, you can purchase an older version, or sign up for the creative cloud membership from Adobe. As long as you have a working version of Illustrator, you’ll be set.

  21. Suzanne D March 17, 2014 at 3:53 pm #

    I registered by 10:15am EST and was excited that I was able too. I am techie and I’m tired of dealing with the boring stuff of hardware and software issues. So I am excited to do something creative with technology. #cantwait #imready

  22. Janet March 17, 2014 at 2:27 pm #

    I want to take the class and have the CS4 suite on my Mac … will I be able to use Adobe Illustrator CS4 for the class (and beyond) or have there been so many changes that it wouldn’t make sense? Yes, it has been that long and I have never learned any of the Adobe programs.


  23. Andrea March 17, 2014 at 2:10 pm #

    Signed up too!
    Super excited and ready to be creative!

  24. Kathleen March 17, 2014 at 12:57 pm #

    I have signed up. Can’t wait to start! I am going to put the class info on my blog too. Hope that’s ok??

  25. Heidi @ Decor & More March 17, 2014 at 12:30 pm #

    I have been wanting something like this for SO long, Emily!! Super excited — just signed up! Thanks so much!!
    xo Heidi

  26. Ashley March 17, 2014 at 11:48 am #

    Yay!! I just signed up {actually, I signed up before even reading the entire post… I just scrolled right down to the end and clicked register}! This course is EXACTLY what I’ve been needing, and after learning so much through The Blog Class, it was a no-brainer. I can’t wait to begin tomorrow!! :)

    • Jamie March 17, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

      Ha! I did the same thing ;-)

  27. Candy March 17, 2014 at 10:38 am #

    So beyond excited that I got a spot!! Woohoo! I have been wanting to learn some basics for a long time and just didn’t know where to begin! Now I do ;). Just to clarify, we will have access to the videos for a long time right, like years? Or just a few months? Just wanna make sure I get it all down before it disappears :) Thanks so much for your efforts and time!

  28. gillian March 17, 2014 at 10:28 am #

    Thanks for your 5 favorite illustrator tips yesterday! I was watching it while sitting next to my husband, and I kept saying, “this is blowing my mind” and “oh gosh, this just changed my life.” Loooove the tips. I’m enrolled in an illustrator class right now, but would love to take your’s when you offer it again and am wondering how long the course is? Maybe I missed that info. :-)

  29. Rosanne March 17, 2014 at 10:15 am #

    This looks like so. much. fun!!! I’ve wished to dabble in graphic design but had no clue where to start. I hope to sign up in the future…as a teacher, summer would work best for me.

  30. Dita March 17, 2014 at 10:03 am #

    This sounds awesome! I will have to save up some money so I can take this! Oh quick question though, will we receive your feedback?

    • Dita March 17, 2014 at 10:03 am #

      I mean on the projects that we do in the class

    • emily March 17, 2014 at 9:16 pm #

      I am always happy to take a look at what you have created, but it is not necessarily a feature of the class.

  31. Jessica March 17, 2014 at 8:51 am #

    Just signed up!! Can’t wait for nap time! ;)

  32. Robyn March 17, 2014 at 8:45 am #

    SUPER excited for this class, just enrolled. Loved all that you shared last week. Need to get my 30 day trial and I am ready to learn!!!
    Thanks for sharing your talents.
    See you in class-

  33. kristen March 17, 2014 at 8:35 am #

    Super intrigued! To be clear, this is a move at your own pace, on your own time sort of class, correct?
    thanks, Emily!

    • emily March 17, 2014 at 8:57 am #

      yes … move at your own pace whenever is convenient for you :)

  34. Estela March 17, 2014 at 8:23 am #

    Would Adobe Acrobat Pro 9 work for this course? Obviously I don’t know much about Adobe either just the reader.

  35. Aja@sevenelles.com March 17, 2014 at 8:22 am #

    Just got it! I have been waiting and waiting for this class! Y’all are great teachers. I have a hard time learning due to ADHD so I’m excited about it being a basic class. I tried to take it in college but it was too slow paced. I’m not a computer person and I lost interest very fast. We are actually leaving our franchise and starting our own company with our own logo. This will help me a lot with branding our new company!

  36. Jessica March 17, 2014 at 8:05 am #

    If we can’t do it right now, will you be offering the course again?

    • emily March 17, 2014 at 8:07 am #

      Yes … the class will be offered again – no dates are set yet, but I’m thinking late April/early may

      • Jessica March 17, 2014 at 8:21 am #

        Great thanks! :)

      • Liz March 17, 2014 at 8:48 am #

        Great! I will be part of the second wave of “illustrators”!

      • Jamie March 17, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

        Emily, do you still offer the blog class?

        • emily March 17, 2014 at 9:10 pm #

          We do! You are welcome to see more details and sign up here: http://www.theblogclass.com BUT please know that we are making several big updates to the class and it may be better to wait just a little bit for the new version to come out. Hopefully very soon!

          • Aja@sevenelles.com March 18, 2014 at 6:35 pm #

            Do we as old alumni get those updates?

          • emily March 18, 2014 at 8:29 pm #

            Of course!

  37. Jamie March 17, 2014 at 7:31 am #

    Hehe, I’m in! Pretty excited…

    • emily March 17, 2014 at 7:35 am #

      yea! So glad to have you!

  38. Missy March 17, 2014 at 7:26 am #

    Hi Emily!

    So happy to “meet” you! I had been receiving your e-mails in my inbox for a few months because I first signed up to access the freebie archives (I fell in love with your seasonal “Essentials” illustrations :), which in turn subscribed me to your e-mails. Every single time I saw the subject of the e-mail, I felt a little nudge to read it because something inside of me has been wanting to create, and all of your topics just so happened to be the answers to all the questions I had! But still, I didn’t take a look. When I saw this posted in your last e-mail, I just felt it was God telling me to go for it! If it’s His will, maybe this will be the start of something really great. I got into the class and I can’t contain my excitement! I’m sure this will be such a blessing because I’ve been wanting to learn Illustrator for quite some time now. Thank you so much for offering this course and for being a huge inspiration for so many of us.


    Missy :)

    • emily March 17, 2014 at 8:08 am #

      Yay! So exciting for you. I hope you LOVE learning and that it will open up new doors for you!

  39. Angela Ambroise March 17, 2014 at 7:23 am #

    Just finished signing up! I’m headed in :-)

    • emily March 17, 2014 at 7:35 am #

      Thanks Angela!

  40. char lynn oconnell March 17, 2014 at 7:05 am #

    Yeah!!! just signed up-and we have a snow day!!! can’t wait thanks so much for putting this all together for us:))

  41. Lauren March 17, 2014 at 7:02 am #

    I’m excited to take the course next session! Have to plan for it – 6-8 weeks, right?? :) Looks like a blast :)

Leave a Reply