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

15,131 ratings
3,919 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


Sep 5, 2021

I had a lot of fun in this course. I learnt some extra bits of information related to graphic design and I think it's a great start for beginners as well as good practice for intermediate and experts!


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.

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551 - 575 of 3,902 Reviews for Fundamentals of Graphic Design

By Tim M

Oct 24, 2020

Very easy to follow along online while still feeling interactive through peer feedback. The assignments were engaging, great practice, and could aid in portfolio development for folks who need material.

By Jashtelle E

Aug 24, 2020

Really informative! I have gained so much insight into my field that I never knew about. I had an internship in graphic design years ago, so these things were never a part of my life. Thank you so much!

By Nakash

May 16, 2016

I like this course and Coursera .org. its giving opportunity to peoples for learning. guys if you want learn so please visit on Coursera .org

i learn many things from this course and i wish i learn alot

By Shirui P

Aug 7, 2020

This is my first graphic design course, and I really enjoy learning it! The syllabus is clear and well-organized, and the contents are worth really learning to build the foundations for future studies.

By Brandon J

Aug 3, 2020

For a fundamentals course, it does a great job of being approachable but still thorough. I came to this as a working professional looking to refresh some concepts, and still I found insightful tidbits.

By Lai C Y

Jan 6, 2020

A great breakdown and thorough explanation of what is graphic design. Mind opening to know the origins of fonts, typeface in typography. A must-have if you have an interest in pursuing graphics design!

By Dylan B

Nov 15, 2017

A wonderful course! I was able to learn the skills necessary to express my ideas in a way other people can understand. I highly recommend this to anyone considering graphic design for pleasure or work.

By ognjen r

May 1, 2017

Great! Teaches you how to begin thinking as a designer. Interesting concept, cool homework. More than happy to recommend. Will definitely continue with rest of courses in Graphic Design Specialization!

By Mohib B N

May 19, 2022

very good introductory course. i enjoyed the assignments, they are not overwhelming, easy to start, and the optional ones offer great opportunity to dig little deeper into graphic design fundamentals.

By Devdeep M

Nov 2, 2016

It's amazing how this course breaks down graphic design to fundamentals that we hardly even think of. It acquaints you with the building blocks, and creates a foundation that'll take you a long way!

By Caroline V

Dec 30, 2021

Um curso básico com raízes profundas! Tudo parece ter sido pensado e elaborado para nos fazer se sentir parte. Senti-me presente e senti a presença e o acolhimento do professor e colegas. Obrigada!

By Stephanie E

Aug 1, 2020

This course was informational, fun, in depth, and very interesting. The professor did a great job of giving comprehensible lessons and the assignments always helped enforce the course's main ideas.

By Tatjana M

Jul 9, 2020

I loved the course, well explained, entertaining assignments.

Have to be ready for hard work ( at least I had to work hard;-)).

It s more than worth it!

No hesitations, take your breath and dive in!

By Melanie B

Nov 10, 2015

Well structure, informative, and very accessible introduction to graphic design. Assignments were achievable and enjoyable, and supported the lesson very well. Great course! I hope you create more!

By Yiğit M

Sep 22, 2021

I​ highly recommend the course for people who are looking for a introductory course for graphic design like me. I really enjoyed during the course. Assignments are also well-thought and fun to do.

By Uzair A K

Apr 1, 2021

Great course for someone who wants to get into the roots of Graphic Design. Even if you are new or already have some skills in Graphic Design you'll definitely get some benefit out of this course.


Jun 25, 2020

It is a very useful course in which i learn typography

Image making virtual,single,multicontrasts

And what not it is a very good course i ever scene thanking course era for giving this oppurtinity


Apr 8, 2020

Carlart is the best institution I have ever experience, my experience studying here was so interesting, they have helped me to climb one step higher in graphic design in other to achieve my goals.

By Alicia B

Feb 13, 2020

This course gave me a great basic understanding of graphic design and further assured me of my decision to pursue a career in graphic design. The peer feedback was constructive and always helpful.

By Hope Z

Jan 3, 2020

Very great course to start designing. It helped me become bolder in creating contrasts in my work. Great for anyone interested in graphic design, or anything like bullet journalling, cooking, etc.

By Sahil M

Jan 1, 2020

The fundamental aspect of graphic design as written in the title itself is covered by the instructor in a fun and inciting way. The classes are interesting and one should definitely give it a try

By Emily G

Aug 18, 2021

Very informative for begginers, the course is easy to follow and a lot of necessery materials but they are broken down to make it easier for people who don't have a background in graphic design.

By Nicholas C

Jun 23, 2017

Hands on interraction would be nice with course instructor. Everything else including community feedback is great.

Access or feedback from mentors for graded assignments would make better impact.

By Foteini F

Dec 1, 2016

I thoroughly enjoyed the course and I definitely recommend it to anyone interested in learning or fine-tuning their understanding of the basics of design.

Very well structured and worth the time!

By keren k

Jan 3, 2016

great course for beginners in graphic design.

you get to know the basic and the tasks are simple so anyone can do them.

no previous experience is needed but its fun to try and make your own designs