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

4.8
stars
13,390 ratings
3,444 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

AR
Apr 17, 2016

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.

FS
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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126 - 150 of 3,393 Reviews for Fundamentals of Graphic Design

By Trinity C

Apr 1, 2017

Fantastic course, gives a concise yet specific survey of all the basic graphic design skills you will need, presented in such an interesting and fun manner and at the perfect pace for beginners and more skilled designers alike. Thank you to Dr. Worthington and CalArts for creating this course and making it available to students worldwide who aren't able to relocate to Southern California just yet.

By Viktoria H

Jun 21, 2020

Loved the course - informative and thoughtful. It was quite evident that a lot of effort was put into making this course accessible and understandable by everyone, regardless of previous experience. However, I would have wished for more hands-on assignments to be compulsory/required - I believe every graphic designer-to-be should have more practical activities and get encouraged to complete them.

By Kamila

Apr 18, 2021

The course was really interesting and gave me a lot of knowledge about a variety of graphic design aspects. A good basics course for a start, to organize your theoretical knowledge, but also a lot of practical assignments that make you immediately use the knowledge in practice. I recommend the course and I recommend to take part in all the assignments, even (or especially) the optional ones.

By Charmayne J B

May 25, 2020

This class is amazing! It's very easy to follow for people like me who have absolutely no experience with Graphic Design. I like how they break it down into small segments and then go through it until it makes sense and comes together. I plan on taking the entire Specialization because i'm so excited to learn all there is to learn about Graphic Design and really use this for a career change.

By Rehema K

Oct 5, 2016

I am a Communications professional based in Nairobi, Kenya and have repeatedly seen the importance of the role of graphic design within my department at work. This, coupled with an interest in design, led me to sign up for the course. Getting an introduction to some of the theoretical aspects in this course was extremely worthwhile. I look forward to completing the specialisation. Thank you!

By Ann O

Jul 29, 2017

I really appreciated the hands-on nature of this course, I think it helped me to learn the material better. The assignments in this course were very challenging, and great opportunities for putting everything we learned in the lectures into practice. The lectures had a lot of concrete examples to clearly demonstrate the ideas being presented, and ideas for how to complete the assignments.

By Swati S

Mar 28, 2016

The lessons are very well planned, small and compact yet informational. The design of the videos is superb. It encourages you to focus on the narrative and never distracts from it. I enjoyed taking it and plan to follow up with the other courses in this specialization. I do wish I could do the last project as well, even if I couldn't submit it for grading as I have taken the free course.

By Jhanan

Nov 10, 2015

The class It's really clear and simple.

Every week you can put the information to work on the assignments, that in my case made me put my creativity out there, have fun, discover my abilities and create really cool stuff.

I learned with the recommendations of my classmates and I also learned by review them. I feel I learned a lot on a few weeks.

I really loved this class, very, very much!

By Ellen C

Jun 29, 2020

Great basic overview for anyone new to the field and keen to learn. Perhaps a bit easy if you have prior design experience - this course was fantastic for beginners. The marked and optional assignments gave a good practical experience to learn how to use design programs, while the informative videos explained the history and background theory of what works. Really enjoyed this course!

By Alice C

Jan 11, 2016

This class takes you through all the basics of graphic design (type, shapes, colour, composition), perfect for beginners! All the assignments help you to understand the concepts as "you can get better at graphic design only by making graphic design" :) I hope there will be a specialization with advanced levels as well as I would very much like to learn more! Thank you for this class!

By Mohd. U Y

Jun 24, 2018

Consider me a person without any knowledge of designing. In the midway of this course, I started observing with multiple perspectives. I started visualizing things in a way i can use them in designs. I really love this course as it has changed my ability of processing images in my brain. I feel confident of making simple designs but with precision. Highly recommend it to everyone.

By Valentina D

Mar 13, 2018

Very helpful and inspiring! For a deeper and joyful experience, I recommend to do both graduated and optional assignments. I was very pleased with one idea that seems to me very important - do not be afraid and experiment, because the fear of failure fetters and prevents us from learning and creating! Thank you Michael Worthington and all the course's creators from all my heart!

By connor c

Sep 24, 2020

Great introduction into the topic. Makes you start to conceptualize and develop and create right away to get used to the habit of being creative as well as teaching the foundation.

The only negative side is there isn't any instructor feedback on assignments, which I know is to be expected but guidance on some of the briefs from an authority in the field would be very beneficial.

By Dominik S

May 8, 2019

This course is a pretty good starting point to get in touch with many aspects of the creation and reception of graphic design. Very good mixture of theorical and practical elements.

Dieser Kurs ist ein wirklich guter Ausgangspunkt für eine Annäherung an zahlreiche Aspekte der Erschaffung und Wahrnehmung von Grafikdesign. Sehr gute Mischung theoretischer und praktischer Elemente.

By Asier

Nov 24, 2015

Based only on the preview, I believe this course approach to design is excellent. Starts from the very basic building blocks that apply to many visual branches. The originality and variety of the included examples perfectly support the explained subject. I can also appreciate the connection from this view/approach to arts.

I miss the possible motivations behind design and arts.

By Lý M T

Sep 10, 2020

The course has helped me learn and improve the knowledge that I still do not know much, such as week 2 about Typography, I have never known how to choose a typeface to match the nature I want to describe. This is such a wonderful experience I have. Many thank the teacher of the California Institute of the Arts and so do classmates who help me through review my assignments.

By Diogo M

Apr 3, 2018

The lessons are very well done and build the content in a nice sequential way. The peer reviewed work are excellent for they encourage communication and constructive criticism between students.

It may seem too simple at first but the fundamental insights you gain in this course become very noticeable when you start looking at simple design pieces around you with new eyes.

By Giselle D P

Apr 25, 2016

The learning process is a complete experience, full of knowledge, good videos and excellent teachers. I think is a 5 stars quality course, because of the amount of tools teachers give. Each one special and necessary.

Graphic Design is about making our soul, heart and brain work together. I believe this course is a great way to get this team to complete our expectations.

By Ketan S P

Apr 28, 2020

It was a very helpful course. I've never had a professional education in this field except for the immense passion towards it. This course has definitely taught the fundamentals really well and in an organized manner. The teaching was very clear and easily understandable. I'm really confident about my fundamentals now. Looking forward to many more courses from CalArts.

By Ellen H

Apr 19, 2020

I learned a lot about the basics of graphic design. In undergrad, I never took a graphic design course but now as a graphic designer for 5 years, I was hoping to learn the academic side of graphic design that I never got. This course was a great back-to-basics class that taught me valuable approaches and information about the different components of successful design.

By Adeeb A

Jun 14, 2020

It's really a great initiative on behalf of both COURSERA and CALART. Thanks a ton for facilitating such a wonderful learning opportunity for us!

About Required assignments to be evaluated by peers, my suggestion is there should be a system for appeal by the CALART moderators in case some peers unjustly or out of ignorance give a poor grade to his or her fellow peers.

By Igor L

Apr 26, 2016

Ive really enjoyed this course, in fact ive never painted before. So i glad i start, i was a little bit shy to post my work for classmates review, but i understood that its only begin of Graphic Design, so i will learn a lot of interesting things and i have to work hard for that. Thanks to teachers, wish you all the best.

Want continue my graphic design education.

By Attilio P

Mar 16, 2021

Very interesting course indeed. I needed it as a prerequisite for the UI/UX specialization. It might not have been fundamental for it, but I am definitely glad that I decided to go through this graphic design course and complete it. It gave me lots of hints and understanding behind image composition, that I could reuse many underlying ideas also for photography.

By SALLY Y Y L

Jan 19, 2016

I love this course so much, and I have learnt a lot of skills, techniques and knowledge about Graphic Design. Though some of the assignments are optional, I guess is to reduce the workload of the learners, I strongly emphasize learners to try all of them since the results won't affect the overall performance. It is a good introduction course for Graphic Design.

By Mia H

May 4, 2021

A great overview of information. Well presented and easy to understand. You get out of the assignments, what you put into them. I would suggest completing all of them, even if they're not required. You learn a lot by "doing". This is a great course for people new to Graphic Design and also for those who just want refresh their basic skills. Highly recommended.