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

14,316 ratings
3,710 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

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.

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!

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3176 - 3200 of 3,682 Reviews for Fundamentals of Graphic Design

By Jean T

Nov 18, 2020

I found this course very interesting, but I needed to be able to use a wider range of software. And I needed to have it at my fingertips - which I didn't. As a result, I was unable to complete the optional projects which I felt would have been important for me.

By sarakshi c

Feb 8, 2016

Course is pretty good as a starting point. Makes you start thinking on different lines and gives a good introduction about the various aspects involved. Getting reviews from other students also helped a lot.

So overall, i quite enjoyed the course. Thumbs Up!! :)

By Minaketan O

Jul 5, 2020

I really loved this course. As someone who knows the know-how from the practical side, I really wanted to enrich my theory skills. This has been a great course and everything has been so helpful and simple. I recommend anyone looking to start design theory.

By Sue D

Jan 23, 2016

Really good course. I would have given it 5 stars but it could use a little improvement. Too many optional assignments perhaps. They should have been required. The class just didn't engage you enough. That being said I've signed up for the next ones.

By Christine

Jun 12, 2016

Excellent introduction to graphic design. The instructor is engaging and interesting and the topics are broken down into easy to understand segments with excellent examples. Assignments are interesting and really helped me work with the different topics.

By Aashish P

Sep 28, 2021

The course content and exercises were quite interesting and helpful. Enjoyed working through every part of the course. I only wish there was formal instructor feedback instead of peer-to-peer feedback. Otherwise, this course was a great place to start

By Hari G

Feb 12, 2019

I wish the examples and the projects were a bit more fun/engaging. I understand that this was a fundamentals course, but I found it a little dry. Some of the examples were also "ok." Did not really inspire me to create as much as I would have liked.

By Sarah K

Apr 21, 2020

It was a very useful course that made me think about letters, configurations and pictures with a different perspective from what I was thinking previously ... made me discover new things and train more. It opened the way for me to be more creative.

By Hari H S R

Aug 5, 2019

This course is arguably the best starter for getting started with communication design as a practice. It was an insightful and productive experience. I would recommend Fundamentals of Graphic Design to anyone with aspiration for design in general.

By Curbita

Sep 17, 2016

I didn't really liked the course of the first week but than I really came to enjoy a lot the course about pattern and forms in particular which was a completely new way of thinking how to create for me, very interesting and full of possibilities.

By the m

Sep 25, 2021

this was an amazing course I thoroughly enjoyed the explanation and examples, this course taught me about a different way to look at designing and showing me importance of simple stuff that I probably saw and ignored before, thank you very much

By 2020MEB113 P

Sep 13, 2021

This course is amazing for beginner in the field of graphic designing .It gives you the fundamental knowledge in this field as its name shows. Loved the course and the way it was explained. Looking forward to take more courses and learn more.

By Soledad R

Feb 24, 2016

Explanations are simple but covers many aspects. The assignments are also simple but quite useful to practice what it is explained in the video lesson. I really enjoy with this course and creating the composition suggested in the assignments.

By Kara A R

Oct 19, 2020

I found no issue with the course in terms of content, materials and assignments. However, I do wish there was a way to balance the peer-reviewed work as I've people who've misunderstood the brief multiple times. One even graded incorrectly.

By Vivek m

Jun 30, 2021

I really loved the journey through this course. This course and educators of this both are awesome , they helped me a lot to learn about graphic design and I also got financial aid to complete this course. Thank you CALART and coursera.

By Jessica D

Feb 11, 2021

It's a good starting place for very beginners. I enjoyed the teacher for this! The peer review of assignments is lacking greatly. Being Cal Arts, I thought it would be a bit more challenging but like I said, it's good for a beginner.

By Ranjit R

May 29, 2020

This course is great to learn about the fundamentals of graphic design. I learned about the basics of typography and how to work with shapes and patterns. If you are about to start to learn graphic design then this course is for you.

By Michele P M

Nov 29, 2020

I liked this course a lot I had a lot of fun and learned a lot of new things. However as I submited my last task Icould go back to the course eventhought there was still some lections I had to finish. Is there a way I can finish it?

By Claudia N M S

Jul 24, 2020

the material from the Calarts are great, the lecturer also teach us very well. a little concern is with the fellow student. i sometime get a peer review that don't really help me to point out my strength and weakness in my work.

By Sakina H J

Aug 21, 2016

Its a great course to start understanding the basics of design and know what graphic design is all about. the lectures are very well explained and the assignments are all very easy to complete.

Its a very well structured course.

By Solange C

Apr 29, 2021

I love it! The videos and the tips were really helpful to develop my creativity and my way to see things. I learn to describe images and compositions just by looking at the shape, form, texture, and more. I love graphic design!

By Kleio C

Apr 16, 2021

Pretty thorough introductory course to get a handle on the basics, presented well. I felt that all the assignments should be mandatory and there should be more tutor oversight of grading (this seems to be true of all courses).

By Ruben S

Feb 9, 2016

It is a great course, simple yet complete. However, it would be nice if we had more contact with our lecturers, and if they graded our assignments instead of other classmates. They are not as experienced as our teachers are.

By Deborah M

Jan 23, 2017

I really loved this course, it really pushes you forward to create and it is a really good course for beginners. I would only love for the review part to be more

challenging in order to get better at your work in the future

By Laura B

Mar 6, 2016

I loved the course, although I think the instructions for various briefs should be more precise and/or someone should be available to clarify the instructions and answer any questions from students (regarding the briefs).