Chevron Left
Back to Fundamentals of Graphic Design

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

6,465 ratings
1,550 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 21, 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


May 10, 2018

An ok course for beginners. A bit too basic for someone who has already had experience in design, but is great anyway cause it breaks things back down to the simplest parts to help you remember roots.

Filter by:

176 - 200 of 1,509 Reviews for Fundamentals of Graphic Design

By Meg F

Mar 05, 2018

engaging and interesting!!

By Beatrice B

Mar 15, 2016

Thanks a lot! Great introduction course with interesting lectures and very good professors.

I loved the assignments! :)

By Gregg W

Nov 01, 2015

Like the format and the presentation of this course. Each topic builds on the next and then finally you are shown how to mix the fundamentals. Enjoyed this course.

By Adam

Jan 05, 2017

Really great remedial start of graphic design. Knowing very little going into it, I loved the pace and assignments.

By Leticia C R

Jul 17, 2016

Good activities , nice complete course

By Daniel D

Feb 13, 2016

Realmente um ótimo curso. Eu agradeço a Coursera e Calarts pela oportunidade!!

By Ausi S

Sep 05, 2016

This course teach me a lot about graphic design in a whole. For those who wanted to learn more about graphic design and has no knowledge about this, I recommend to try this course.

By Nathaniel M Z

May 10, 2016

This is my first formal instruction to Graphic Design this course made my appreciate my work and instilled interest on my part to pursue and improve in my craft

By João R P

Jan 30, 2016

I've barely started this course and it's already been a great artistic breakthrough for me. It certainly has opened my mind to the variety and depthness that graphic design can have.

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 Iris D

May 24, 2016

It's really interesting, well paced, engaging... A really nice course, for sure!

By Shirlena R

Apr 17, 2016

I loved it so. I'm an art maniac so I found it dea

By Alexandra

Nov 12, 2015

Just watched the first week and I am already excited about it! Please, I BEG YOU, make the Graphic design specialization! :)

By Cecilia P

Apr 28, 2016

Great introduction for a broad theme!

By Kolya K

Feb 08, 2018

Basic but super strong. Love it!

By Jesus B

Mar 10, 2016

Good course

By Juachi O

Aug 03, 2017

I have an Architecture background and have done Graphic Design work on the side. It was nice to properly learn about the concepts I use intuitively and learn to apply them intentionally.

This is a really well paced program and I enjoyed the assignments as well.

By Erhan D

Feb 14, 2016

If you want to be designer, get your hands dirty on the job! I really liked this course. It really showed a new perspective for making designs and I have learned new terms and concepts during the course. I would like to continue different graphic design courses in following days in Coursera. Really appreciated it. Thanks for all :)

By Abdulaziz

Mar 07, 2016

great design course for beginners

By David U

Mar 07, 2016

I had a great time doing this course. Professor Worthington covers the theory in an interesting and useful way. The lectures are short and sweet. The best part of the course is the 9 creative assignments (2 compulsory and 7 optional, but recommended) that really force you to expand your technical skill set and get out of your comfort zone.

By Dirk J

Mar 11, 2017

Good stuff. I've got out of it what I've expected and some more.

By Christopher G

Jan 03, 2016

Concepts were all clearly presented and discussed, and seeing others' work was very helpful in broadening my understanding of the possibilities.

By Babita N

Feb 22, 2018

Excellent course for beginners or people who are just experimenting with Graphic Design. The instructor is clear and concise and the assignments are interesting.

In peer-assignments same person might evaluate all of your assignments which kind of defeats the point which, I think, is variety of opinions. That can also get irritating/discouraging if the reviewer does not care to leave useful feedback.

By Shivansh S

Mar 30, 2016

A great course with a simple approach for the beginners. It was the class to not only learn, but enjoy with whatever is being done.

By Marli M

Mar 04, 2017

Very well organized course, with interesting topics and assignments. I took it as a free course and was very grateful for all the good information and practice was available. Many of the other students were very talented and it was fun to see their work during Peer Review. The 2 only criticisms are that (1) I wish they had recommended good, free software for completing the assignments. I ended up doing the 2 required assignments in an outdated version of MSWord, but managed to make that work, though it was time consuming. And (2), I never figured out how to request reviews of my work except as a "reply" to another post.