Get in the know: 5 cheap ways to learn InDesign

This guide won't improve your baking, but it will help you master this piece of software Image via Flickr user Ricky Trickartt
This won’t improve your baking, but it will help you master this piece of software Image via Flickr user Ricky Trickartt

Want to quit your soulless jobs and launch your own magazine? Or start working for places like Grantland and GQ? Well if you want to see your design grace the web, you need to learn the right software. To start (or continue) your career as a web designer, you really should get a handle on InDesign. We know, learning is hard; you can try to learn on your own, but that takes a lot of trial and error; it’s commendable, but not really a good excuse when the rent is due. You need to master this and do it in a timely manner. Because we want you to succeed (and not ask to sleep on our couch), we can point you to a few places where you can learn InDesign and not worry about crawling back to that former place of employment. 

General Assembly
A good place to start would be looking for courses to take. I know being inside a classroom is nobody’s idea of a good time, but there is an advantage to having someone there who knows what they are talking about and can fluctuate depending on your available skill set. While General Assembly has a ton of full-time classes which will run you a couple thousand dollars to take, in this very specific instance, there’s a part time class  focused on learning InDesign, that will only run you about $150, much less than taking a full time course.

Let’s say you don’t have time to actually attend any in-person classes, or you’re just anti-social (don’t worry, we won’t judge). You still need to learn and it is every student’s dream to make their own days and hours on which they have to attend class. With a membership to Lynda, the cheapest being priced at $24.99 a month, you can see hundreds of video tutorials, with new courses being uploaded every week. You can watch videos ranging from beginner to expert and can even learn other skills as they have a vast library of tutorial videos in music, video, business and, of course, design.

Noble Desktop
Much like General Assembly, this place offers courses for various web services including photoshop and illustrator. The difference is that this place offers free seminars for beginners (i.e you), so you can get some of the basics down without shelling out a dollar in the process. If you catch a seminar and feel like you can really get a handle on InDesign there, they offer classes that range in the $300-$900 range. However, to keep your pockets from shrinking too much, they also offer premium seminar’s that will teach you how to make iPad portfolios (to impress those tech companies) and help you learn all the styles necessary to really up your InDesign skills, for only $50.

Yes, they place where your roommate bought that really cheap couch that smells like Cheetos is a decent place to find someone to teach you InDesign. Some people are upfront, saying they will charge you only $35 dollars for their services; others don’t spell out the price for you, but according to their ad, they have just as much experience as the people teaching at General Assembly and Noble Desktop. Hey, you never know, once you become a InDesign master, you can put your own ads on Craigslist, at least until your dream job comes calling.

The cheapest option there is. You may have to do some searching for the right ind of person you want to watch going through the steps. Terry White has a great beginner’s interview, as well as playlists of him going through other programs. The Good Creative Academy is a little more fast paced, for those who probably already have a good handle on the software and don’t need all the detail you’ll see in beginner videos. When you choose the right kind of person, going at the right pace, you can start learning without paying a dime for the service (especially if you’re using that always dependable coffee shop wi-fi).

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