Chevron Left
Back to Fundamentals of Graphic Design

Learner Reviews & Feedback for Fundamentals of Graphic Design by California Institute of the Arts

14,326 ratings
3,713 reviews

About the Course

Graphic Design is all around us! Words and pictures—the building blocks of graphic design—are the elements that carry the majority of the content in both the digital world and the printed world. As graphic design becomes more visible and prevalent in our lives, graphic design as a practice becomes more important in our culture. Through visual examples, this course will teach you the fundamental principles of graphic design: imagemaking, typography, composition, working with color and shape... foundational skills that are common in all areas of graphic design practice. I don't just want you to watch a video of someone talking about design, I want you to MAKE design! If you want to be a designer you have to be a maker and a communicator, so this course will offer you lots of opportunities to get your hands dirty with exercises and with more practical projects. At the end of this course you will have learned how to explore and investigate visual representation through a range of image-making techniques; understand basic principles of working with shape, color and pattern; been exposed to the language and skills of typography; and understand and have applied the principles of composition and visual contrast. If you complete the course, along with its optional (but highly recommended) briefs, you will have a core set of graphic design skills that you can apply to your own projects, or to more deeply investigate a specialized area of graphic design. To succeed in this course you will need access to a computer. You can complete this course without one but it will be tougher. Access to, and a beginner's level knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite programs, such as Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign will help you, especially if you want to complete the optional briefs....

Top reviews

Aug 20, 2018

Very interesting, I liked the format. Easy to follow, nice excercises. It's actually good to cover the basics of design, even if you are not an absolute beginner, and especially if you are self taught

Jul 13, 2020

Excellent course to learn and refresh about fundamentals of design....It applies to all spheres of MULTIMEDIA..Highly recommended... As a suggestion course and notes should be available in PDF format.

Filter by:

3126 - 3150 of 3,686 Reviews for Fundamentals of Graphic Design

By Jose M R A

Sep 4, 2016

This is a great course for all-time beginners to learn about the most fundamental principles of design. It is not, however, so much a compelling course if you have any notion about design in general or color as it is as bare-bones as it can get. I have really liked the lectures though, and the projects, though they could have been a little bit more challenging, were good examples of a real-life practice.

By Kushal S

Dec 30, 2017

I am an under-grad (2015) in product design from Srishti Institute in Bangalore, India. Currently, a multi-disciplinary professional, I was seeking to clear my basics in graphic design; the course has definitely met this requirement of mine. I liked the simplicity of exercises - not demanding too much - allowing enough time to play around and develop good grip over each aspect of graphic design.

By Claudia J G

Sep 24, 2018

Great course! The professor was interesting to listen to, and I loved how hands-on it was. My only complaint, and this is probably more in regards to the system than the course itself, was that once you complete the required activity (Brief or Quiz) each week, you were automatically advanced to the next week, which made it difficult to watch and complete the "bonus" lessons.

By Lucas C

Jun 24, 2020

Good, quick intro to theory of graphic design. Clear and concise instruction. You should have some knowledge of drawing programs such as Adobe Illustrator. If you don't know it, prepare to spend some time on Youtube figuring out how to do some of the projects. This course would be much better if there were some instruction on how to create the images they ask you to create.

By Sabha S

May 20, 2021

I really enjoyed this course however it was not exactly as I had envisioned. Perhaps the issue was that I have taken few graphic design related classes before and this course is for absolute beginners. Therefore, if you have basic knowledge in graphic design and want to do more complex projects, I would recommend a much more advanced course. I still learned plenty though!

By Cameron G

Sep 27, 2021

You have to start somewhere. As someone who is pursing these certificates for resume purposes but has already done a substantial amount of Graphic Design I found this course to good to refresh some of the basic knowledge I already had but I wish the course dove a little bit deeper into more of the fundamentals. However, I did enjoy the typography week quite a bit.

By Hoang T B

Aug 25, 2021

Very basic, very fundamental. I learned some very basic knowledge in the course. They don't teach how we can use graphic software to quickly start the career but teach some basic and necessary things before we can make any product. If you want to learn systematically, this course is for you. If you want to be a designer immediately after few weeks, never buy this.

By Olea R

Jul 8, 2021

I loved the course, although a point of concern are the peer-reviewed assignments. I have personally experienced a couple of instances where I was judged wrongly by a reviewer because of his misunderstanding of what the assignment really required. If there could be a way to monitor the peer reviews, that would be great. Content and teaching were all amazing!

By Federica R

Mar 15, 2016

Very interesting and well done course. If I can suggest, we should have feedback from the professors on our assignments. If this is something impossible, considered the huge amount of persons applying for the course, he should at least check some work and give a feedback in order for us to understand if the works done are made in a correct way or not.

By Max

Nov 21, 2018

Great course. The basics are amazing. The videos are explained wonderfully and at a very easy pace. The exercises are perfect. Only thing is you can't send your homework at first because you didn't pay for it. I didn't get any recognition or diploma... :( NOTHING, and that's a little bit sad. Anyhow, the course is wonderful and I learned a lot!!!

By Barna D

Apr 3, 2021

This is an amazing course for beginners. This course help you to get a brief knowledge on what is graphic design and the basic element of graphic design . I had no idea about graphic design and designing but now I have it and I'm confident enough that I can be a graphic designer. This course also boosted up my confidence . A must taking course.

By Carol F

Jun 19, 2020

I thought this was a great introduction to Graphic Design. The instructor was clear and gave lots of examples. The cases were fun yet challenging your creativity. The only thing I wish could be better is to get feedback on the assignments from the instructor rather than just the students, although their feedback was usually very helpful.

By Vanessa I S

Dec 17, 2015

This course was very well designed and extremely suitable for peeps of all backgrounds. I suppose the only drawback was that I didn't find the course challenging enough. But I went to design school for a few semesters, so I was already pretty familiar with the concepts. Overall, very good practice and a nice refresher. Thanks, Michael!

By Nisa R

Sep 2, 2020

My only criticism about the class is that no actual feedback is given by the instructor or an expert. A lot of the times the peers that reviewed my assignments gave Yes/No answers without any feedback. I wish I could be evaluated even by a mentor at least, even if the class instructor himself is unable to look at the projects.

By Deleted A

Mar 20, 2016

This is a great intro course for anybody new to the subject. I look forward to expanding my knowledge with the base of information provided here. I also really loved the assignments and the deadlines; I've been trying to learn the fundamentals on my own, but having the structure of this class really helped me to make progress.

By Paulo C V d S

Aug 9, 2020

Really nice and comprehensible course, with examples that clarify the concepts. Some peer-reviewed assignments are a bit ambiguous and take some extra time to understand, but in overall they are great. The course is not meant to teach in-depth details on how to make great design, but nicely paves the way for further learning.

By Emily F

Apr 22, 2020

I thought the course content was very rudimentary- I would have preferred a bit more in depth material. I was also hoping to learn which programs graphic designers frequently work in. I liked all of the required assignments, but which there were more of them, and that they were graded by the instructor instead of classmates.

By Collin F

Nov 4, 2017

The lecturer was inspiring and very well spoken. The assignments emphasized the need to create many different iterations which I feel is a valuable habit to understand from the very beginning. In general I felt that I took a lot away from the course that I could easily apply to my work as a game designer / product person.

By Ilya Z

Nov 30, 2015

The course introduces you to the vital basics of graphic design. Sometimes the information provided is not enough for me as a practicing designer, but I guess it would be OK for beginners. Maybe the main thing about the course is that it constantly encourages students to do a lot of design, and it's definitely inspiring.

By Melissa C

Apr 10, 2021

This course will teach you the basic skills of graphic design perfectly. It was insightful to see all the different techniques which I was able to use at my current employment straight away. I recommend you take this course because after each lesson, you will be able to use what you've learned quickly and effectively.


Apr 15, 2020

I think the course is good, although I think some concepts are not clear, it is not easy to understand when your mother tongue is not English, outside of that, it is a very general context. I mean the explanations of the tasks and exercises, the rules were not clear to me, what was requested, how it was evaluated.

By Mariam T E H

Aug 19, 2020

I loved the course very much. As a beginner, I found it very clear and interesting as it covered all the basics! The only thing I struggled with is understanding some of the assignments! I would recommend adding a visual example of what is to be expected with instructions to be creative and think outside the box.

By Daphne K W

Jul 11, 2016

A lot of the material given in the lecture was intuitive, but I thought it was extremely valuable to see all of the different examples the instructor showed, and the peer review process was also helpful (not only to get feedback on your own work, but to see the way all your classmates approached the same prompt)

By Dileep K B

Aug 20, 2019

Excellent teaching methodology in course every video have one creative thing please don't skip

mainly the faculty Michael Worthington he an extraordinary creative skills, I didn't get this type of interaction with students in my college.

Don't stop with this course go on do specialization in graphic designing

By Kassie S

Oct 6, 2020

It was a good course! I found I already knew much of this (I am graduating with a BFA in studio art this spring). I think it covered a lot, but I was disappointed in the feedback I got from peers, often only "good" or "good work" even in sections where it asked for them to give me something to work on.