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The Importance of Color Theory

Color theory plays a crucial role in various fields, such as design, photography, marketing, and even psychology. Understanding how colors interact and evoke different emotions can greatly enhance the effectiveness of visual communication. Whether you are a professional looking to expand your knowledge or a beginner seeking a solid foundation, taking an online course or certification in color theory can be a valuable investment. In this article, we will explore the ten best color theory courses and certifications available online.

1. Interaction Design Foundation

The Interaction Design Foundation offers an extensive range of design-related courses, including a comprehensive color theory course. Their “Colors for Designers” course covers the essentials of color theory, color harmonies, and how to effectively use color in design. The course is self-paced, allowing you to learn at your own speed, and is taught by experienced professionals in the field.

2. Coursera

Coursera, a well-known online learning platform, provides an excellent color theory course offered by the California Institute of the Arts. This course, “Fundamentals of Graphic Design,” covers various aspects of design, with a particular focus on color theory. It explores color schemes, color psychology, and practical applications of color in design projects. Completion of this course results in a verified certificate from CalArts.

3. Udemy

Udemy offers a wide range of online courses, and their color theory courses are no exception. Two popular options include “Color Theory for Artists and Designers” and “The Complete Color Harmony Workbook.” These courses provide a comprehensive understanding of color theory, color schemes, and color psychology. Furthermore, they include practical exercises that allow you to apply the concepts learned, ensuring a hands-on learning experience.

4. Skillshare

Skillshare hosts numerous art and design courses, and their color theory classes are highly recommended. “Color Theory for Artists, Designers, and Creatives” is a beginner-friendly course that covers the basics of color theory and its application in different mediums. “Palette Perfect: Color Theory for Designers” is more focused on digital design and explores color harmonies, contrast, and using color effectively in various design projects.

5. LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com) offers a variety of courses suitable for professionals looking to expand their skill set. Their color theory course, “Color for Design and Art,” covers the fundamentals of colors and how they impact visual design. This course also delves into important topics such as color psychology, color symbolism, and color in branding. Completion of the course results in a certificate of completion that can be shared on your LinkedIn profile.

6. Domestika

Domestika specializes in creative and design courses, and their color theory courses are highly regarded. “Color for Illustration: Exploring Color Palette” offers an in-depth exploration of color theory as it relates to illustration. This course covers color theory fundamentals, color mixing, and creating harmonious color palettes. Taught by professional illustrators, this course provides valuable insights for those interested in illustration and design.

7. Teachable

Teachable is a platform that allows individual instructors to create and sell their online courses. There are several color theory courses available on Teachable, each with its own unique approach. “Color Theory for Beginners: A Comprehensive Introduction” is a highly-rated course that covers the basics of color theory, color mixing, and color interaction. With practical exercises and downloadable resources, this course is perfect for beginners.

8. DesignMantic

DesignMantic, known for its design tools and resources, also offers a color theory course. “The Power of Colors” provides a detailed understanding of color theory and its impact on branding and marketing. This course explains how to choose the right colors for your brand, create color schemes, and effectively use colors across various marketing platforms. The engaging video lessons and practical exercises make it an interactive learning experience.

9. Udacity

Udacity focuses on providing technical courses and Nanodegree programs, and their “Intro to Programming Nanodegree” includes a section on color theory. While primarily aimed at programming, this course provides a solid foundation in color theory for digital design and user interface development. Topics covered include color spaces, color models, and color management.

10. Skill Success

For those seeking a more affordable option, Skill Success offers a comprehensive color theory course at a budget-friendly price. This course covers the basics, such as color mixing and color schemes, as well as more advanced topics like color psychology and color symbolism. With lifetime access to the course material, you can revisit the lessons whenever you need to brush up on your color theory knowledge.


Investing your time and effort into learning color theory can greatly enhance your creative endeavors, whether you are a designer, photographer, marketer, or simply interested in understanding the power of colors. The online courses and certifications mentioned above offer a range of options to suit different skill levels and purposes. By expanding your knowledge of color theory, you will be equipped with the tools to effectively communicate and evoke emotions through your work. Choose a course that aligns with your goals and embark on a colorful journey of learning and growth.