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

15,969 ratings

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


May 9, 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.


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

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3576 - 3600 of 4,086 Reviews for Fundamentals of Graphic Design

By Thais G d S

Feb 9, 2022

This course is nice for who is starting in this field. For those who have some experience it can be a little slow and repetitive. Even so, may be good to take a step back and remember the fundamentals.

By Raquel B

Nov 20, 2020

El curso en sí esta bien pero para mi gusto se hace un poco aburrido. Entiendo que es como una introducción pero podrían haber puesto ejemplo mucho más visuales y no tanto todo en una pizarra blanca

By Sandrine C

Jan 7, 2016

The fundamentals, like the title says. Very well explaineI wish there was more info on what software to use for the assignments for those of us more used to traditional mediums rather than digital.

By Stephanie M

May 2, 2021

The course, concepts and everything were very well conveyed and assignments helpful. I did expect there would be one 'instructor graded' assignment at the end vs relying totally on peer reviews.

By Danielle E

Sep 13, 2020

I think this course is fun to learn the fundamentals of design and how to apply it in Graphic Design. It is good for those who are new or want to refresh on the basics and have extra practice.

By Mariia A

Aug 16, 2018

It would be great if you also include some Adobe Illustrator basics into the curriculum, rather than that I had lots of fun learning with you and acquiring new skills in design and typography.

By Festa I

Jun 3, 2019

In terms of lectures, it was a great course. I undoubtedly learned a lot and enjoyed it. The last star is missing since I wish there was a bit more interaction among people taking the course.

By Dilara

Oct 11, 2021

It helped me a lot in understanding the basics of graphic design. Thanks to the course, I learned how to combine design elements. I also learned to look at the whole picture while designing.

By Shashaank

Jun 4, 2021

The course was a great introduction to the fundamental principles of graphic design. Suitable for any new comer. I only wish the assignments were a tad more demanding as they felt too easy.

By M Z

Mar 17, 2019

This is a very fundamental and inspiring courser for those who are new to the area of graphic design. It is not just about technical skills but instead, it focuses on explore and experiment.

By Aniruddha M

Jun 3, 2020

Quite in-depth course on the Fundamentals of Graphic Design, beautifully broken down into small components. Perfect for beginners and students interested to start learning Graphic Design.

By Lara L

Jan 19, 2020

Gave me an okay, very basic understanding of basic concepts. I feel like a good chunk was missing though as I've been going through a separate free course which was much more in depth.

By Brittany H

Mar 23, 2021

A good brief overview of graphic design concepts. The optional and required assignments were fun and interesting. A fun way to get started in understanding elements of graphic design.

By Michelle L

Oct 30, 2016

Great overview of graphic design for someone who does not have any experience in this area. Encourages creativity and new ways of thinking about every day objects and representations.

By Catharina M M K

Jan 24, 2018

I liked this course a lot - great basic information. The voice sometimes was a little too monotone and sometimes it was too slow (at least for me, everyone perceives it differently).

By Mrudula

Oct 24, 2020

This course really helped me cover up the basics that I could not learn in my college and let me understand what graphic design is based on. It expanded my knowledge on the subject.

By Anandita R

Sep 14, 2020

Fundamentals of Graphic Design is the right path for anyone looking forward to entering the graphic design arena. The course is well-structured and the assignments are very helpful.

By Maria V

Apr 10, 2017

I loved the course, it really help me a lot to understand Graphic Design and to find inspiration in the things that surround us, which mostly are composed of basic geometric shapes.

By Влад С

May 11, 2021

In general its good for people, who haven't heard anything about Graphic Design but if you already have at least some knowledge in this sphere, you could possibly skip this course.

By samara k

Aug 4, 2019

I really enjoyed learning the basics of graphic design and image-making. I definitely see myself utilizing and applying this knowledge in my further endeavours with graphic design.

By Nicole V

Mar 7, 2016

Great introduction of the fundementals of graphic design! I recommend it - the videos and instructor are clear and concise. I look forward to the next course in the specialization.


Jun 8, 2020

Wish you should add giving some live examples to the works. Over all this course was one of the greatest courses I ever attended. I was able to study many things from this course.

By Teja H

Aug 20, 2020

I really enjoyed this course! Love that they are graded assignments and deadlines. Feeling accomplished that I've completed. 1 down 4 more to go to complete my specialization!

By prishita b

Mar 17, 2020

Amazing Course. Everything has been taught from scratch and it makes one think and look at an image from different angles and perspectives. In all a great learning experience.

By Vibhuti B

Mar 22, 2018

As the name suggests, It is a very basic course in Graphic designing. You get to know the basic principles and technicalities of composition. The way of teaching is excellent.