About this Course

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Flexible deadlines

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Beginner Level

Approx. 8 hours to complete

English

Subtitles: English

What you will learn

  • Recall and explain a lexicon of key terms relating to form, meaning, and audience, and apply them successfully within an appraisal of graphic design

  • Establish and articulate criteria for successful outcomes in a design project that are not limited by personal taste.

  • Employ various ways of talking about visual form, meaning, and context for a given work of design in an objective way. 

  • Develop an ability to engage with a work of design in an objective way.

Skills you will gain

Visual CommunicationGraphic Design

Shareable Certificate

Earn a Certificate upon completion

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.

Beginner Level

Approx. 8 hours to complete

English

Subtitles: English

Offered by

California Institute of the Arts logo

California Institute of the Arts

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

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Week
1

Week 1

25 minutes to complete

Week 1: Course Orientation and Overview

25 minutes to complete
4 videos (Total 9 min), 7 readings
4 videos
Defining Critique2m
Using the Lexicon and the Critique Framework2m
Who this course is for1m
7 readings
About the Critique Framework2m
How to Pass This Course5m
Instructor Presence and Staff Support 1m
Forum Guidelines2m
Requesting Peer Reviews2m
Academic Integrity2m
About CalArts and the Program in Graphic Design2m
2 hours to complete

Week 1: Audience/Context/Culture

2 hours to complete
5 videos (Total 29 min), 2 readings, 2 quizzes
5 videos
Thinking Through Making Form6m
Audience5m
Visual Language & Cultural Hierarchy10m
Agenda and function4m
2 readings
Lexicon and Bibliography: Audience/Context/Culture2m
Instructor Critique: Audience/Culture/Context5m
1 practice exercise
Audience / Context / Culture15m
Week
2

Week 2

2 hours to complete

Week 2: Basics of Form

2 hours to complete
11 videos (Total 72 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
11 videos
Introduction: Basics of Visual Form3m
Visual Contrast: Scale, Shape, Color, and Value5m
Visual Contrast: Line, Texture, Direction, and Movement6m
Contrast and Visual Hierarchy13m
Legibility and Readability4m
Sharpening and Leveling14m
Composition: Figure/Ground (from Introduction to Imagemaking)2m
Case Study/Demonstration Critique 1: April Greiman poster8m
Case Study/Demonstration Critique 2: Raymond Scott Poster6m
Case Study/Demonstration Critique 3: Superbad poster6m
2 readings
Lexicon and Bibliography: Basics of Form2m
Case Study/Demonstration Critiques: Introduction2m
1 practice exercise
Basics of Form15m
Week
3

Week 3

2 hours to complete

Week 3: Meaning and Concept

2 hours to complete
5 videos (Total 28 min), 2 readings, 2 quizzes
5 videos
Denotation and Connotation3m
Visual Icons, Similes, Symbolism, Metaphors, and Themes5m
Cliche, Pastiche, Appropriation, Parody, and Satire6m
Narrative / Sequence / Storytelling10m
2 readings
Lexicon and Bibliography: Meaning and Concept2m
Instructor Critique: Narrative/Sequence5m
1 practice exercise
Meaning and Concept30m
Week
4

Week 4

2 hours to complete

Week 4: Synthesis: Critique and Effective Design

2 hours to complete
7 videos (Total 25 min)
7 videos
Agenda and Authorship6m
Why does design look contemporary?4m
Synthesizing the Lexicon, Part 11m
Synthesizing the Lexicon, Part 24m
Synthesizing the Lexicon, Part 32m
Synthesizing the Lexicon, Part 43m
1 practice exercise
Synthesis20m

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

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  • You will be eligible for a full refund until two weeks after your payment date, or (for courses that have just launched) until two weeks after the first session of the course begins, whichever is later. You cannot receive a refund once you’ve earned a Course Certificate, even if you complete the course within the two-week refund period. See our full refund policy.

  • Yes, Coursera provides financial aid to learners who cannot afford the fee. Apply for it by clicking on the Financial Aid link beneath the "Enroll" button on the left. You’ll be prompted to complete an application and will be notified if you are approved. Learn more.

  • Besides a computer or mobile device and access to the internet, no specific software or tools are required to complete this course.

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