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Learner Reviews & Feedback for The Language of Design: Form and Meaning by California Institute of the Arts

600 ratings

About the Course

In this course, critique is defined as a detailed, objective analysis of a work of graphic design and its effectiveness. Critique is an integral part of the making process for designers: it’s not just how we determine if a work of design is or is not successful, it’s how we move our work forward. Critique is also where other voices and opinions can be brought into the design process. This course will introduce a lexicon (or vocabulary) in order for you to demonstrate clearer and more considered ways of talking about graphic design in the context of critique. Through this lexicon and a provided Critique Framework, we will model and then practice objectively describing how well a work of design functions based on specific, clearly articulated criteria. By refining this skill, you will enhance your ability to communicate about design with peers, colleagues, and clients. This course is essential to anyone looking to develop and refine a critical vocabulary around talking about art and design, such as: - practicing graphic designers at all levels - future and current students of art or design programs - teachers teaching visual art, design, or related subjects - any stakeholder in a design project that needs to communicate effectively with designers on their team. This course is recommended to learners enrolled in either the Graphic Design Specialization or UI/UX Design Specialization on Coursera to further develop their skills in graphic design. You may take this course before, during, or after completing either Specialization. Note this is not an art appreciation course for a general audience. While no prior experience is required to begin, the knowledge and skills taught in this course is useful only if you have some relationship to design in a professional context, i.e., practicing, studying, or teaching design, or working directly with designers. No specific software or tools are required to complete this course....

Top reviews


May 19, 2022

It was well structured and every video, quiz and peer review helped the concepts and teachings really sink in. With that being said, I'm definitely going to take the course again and again and again


Jul 5, 2020

Short course that gives a good introduction to analyzing design elements. This will give you the framework and vocabulary to clearly convey points in your analysis,

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151 - 175 of 176 Reviews for The Language of Design: Form and Meaning

By Mahika M

Jul 1, 2020

It is a good course to build your critiquing skills and be properly able to understand the intention behind certain design decisions, if a bit simplistic.

By Piyathida C

May 13, 2020

I have zero knowledge about design but I want to learn it by myself through this course. Thank you for sharing such an amazing course like this! :)

By Ana B

Jun 7, 2020

This course is great to learn the fundamentals of design's language. It's general enough to learn how to evaluate design and easy to follow.

By Patrick O

May 4, 2020

Bit more theoretical than I thought. I expected more insight on design patterns but still, it was enjoyable and illuminating nonetheless.

By yegrett

Jul 5, 2020

I had a wonderful experience while doing this course. got to learn visual designing ideas.


Jun 23, 2020

excellent course,thanks,it help me a lot to improve my communication design work!!

By Abrar F C

Apr 27, 2020

It's not a starter course. But helped me a lot in understanding Design language.

By Simran

Jul 11, 2020

It's good to have this course it will help you learn design in a better way

By Mahmoud A

May 3, 2020

I gained a lot of experience in this training

so, Thank you very much

By Mariam I

Aug 6, 2020

Interesting course. definitely not for the beginners.

By Vaidehi

Jul 1, 2020

i enjoyed doing the course. it very interesting.

By Loveleen G

May 7, 2020

good. it will really help me in future

By Vaibhavi_ A

Nov 17, 2020

its awasum


Jun 8, 2021

the course was very useful and informative, also the teachers were very clear, however the examples given to us were all posters so it would be lovely if the final exam was the same because it was all about rebranding and visual identity, or at least if we had some example about the same subject so that we avoid the confusing.

By Amirhossinhaghy

Nov 2, 2021

So theoritical and unskillfull. I think its a bad idea to show something like design like somthing like language because I think design is higher than language; its like learning language like math. I hope you get it.

By Seoyun L

Sep 7, 2020

The information was useful but the presentation was quite 'read' - you could literally see the instructors reading off a prompter of sorts. This made it difficult to concentrate and not that engaging.

By Janice F B

Mar 25, 2022

The videos, reading lexicon, and practice lessons were easy to follow and was clear, especially with the examples provided.

By Ella G

May 9, 2020

Tries so hard to be objective in the very subjective topic of design. Videos are often unbearable to watch.

By Kaylyn V

Jun 5, 2020

It simply was not what I was looking for, and it might be what someone else is looking for.

By Livilla L

Aug 11, 2021

a​ bit boring

By Jack W

Oct 9, 2019

Even though the course discusses form and meaning in general, it discusses it primarily through the lens of post-modernist art. Form and meaning have existed since primitive art (perhaps in an even more pure form than today. For example, hieroglyphs existed as the union of symbol and meaning/language) but they do not include this at all. Furthermore, they believe that social hierarchies are outdated phenomena, which is completely false. Although the lines of upper and lower class are blurred and the classes are a more abstract concept than "king vs peasant", there is still a clear distinction between upper class and lower class individuals, though it may be harder to grasp exactly what that distinction is.

By Henry Z

Aug 25, 2020

I can tell the teachers are experts in their field.

But the material, the way the content is given, is void. This is two persons reading a text, there is no material here for future quick references or something. It is boring, and slow.

You are better off reading yourself than listening to them.

By REG-128 G H A K

Jun 21, 2020

simple and clean easy and quick shoud be there

By Dikshita J

Jul 28, 2020

I didn't find the course interesting and i was soon bored by the videos. It didn't seem to keep me attentive and even the syllabus is quite great.

By Tori J

Apr 29, 2020

The changes to the user interface have made this course very difficult to navigate.