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

16,114 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


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.


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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3676 - 3700 of 4,132 Reviews for Fundamentals of Graphic Design

By Sandra P

Oct 26, 2020

great course, easy to understand. minus from me, because you don't get a feedback from teacher for your work. don't have communication with teacher

By Ayola B

Apr 12, 2020

Really great course for those wanting to understand the theory behind graphic design. A very hands-on and practical courses. Thoroughly enjoyed it!


Jan 20, 2020

I can boldly say i have gain the fundamental skills needed to be a good graphic designer and not a decorator. How to be the best critic of my job.

By Deleted A

Jan 7, 2016

this course taught me a lot about graphic design. i was so astonished about all the meanings from composition, shape and color. nice for beginners

By Kimem C

Feb 2, 2020

This course has helped me engage with my work more! It helps understand the what and why of design, I enjoyed every minute of my learning curves.

By Ali A M

Aug 9, 2020

The course is great but peer graded assignments are not so reliable, peers just want to finish the assignment so they do not give good feedback

By Tú Đ M

Sep 5, 2021

This course does exactly what its name suggests. I understood the foundation of graphic design, how to be creative. I really like this course!

By Sevval B

Jan 26, 2021

Liked it a lot! It was very interesting, it is useful for everyone that has interest in graphic design and would like to start from somewhere!


Apr 16, 2020

Coursera has not only helped me to understand the basics or fundamentals of Graphic Design, but also how to put them in practical application.

By Amit K

Sep 17, 2019

A very basic course on graphic designing. As a beginner I enjoyed the content and it was fun to complete the assignments before the dew dates.

By Abubakar I

Apr 28, 2020

The course is well organized and well demonstrated and it includes all the basics of graphic design for beginners. Really enjoyed this course

By Juliana Y

Jul 27, 2017

It's been fun! As the name suggest, it really is a fundamental course meant for beginners. I find the typography week to be most informative.

By Rachel S

Sep 14, 2016

Overall great course. Some knowledge Adobe Illustrator and file formatting needed.

The Audio is out of sink from the video on many lessons.

By David L

Jun 14, 2016

It's described as "fundamentals" and that's it. Very basic. Everything is well explained. In my opinion, it could be a little more in depth.

By Daria H

Feb 9, 2016

Great introduction course. I wish there were links to relevant literature on the topics. Some exercise formulations are not instantly clear.

By Micaela D G

Aug 17, 2020

Muy bueno! Las instancias de práctica me han resultado muy claras y me han permitido avanzar con el aprendizaje de la teoría. Recomendable!

By Naiara S

Sep 8, 2020

I really enjoyed the classes, but some assignments were not that challenging. Also the peer review is not as effective as I was expecting.

By Farah A

Jul 22, 2020

Its a great helped me to grow my passion for Graphic design. its totally a basic level course. its really helpful for beginners.

By Thomas d M

Oct 20, 2020

As they say, it's very the fundamentals, maybe not necessary if you already have quite some experience, but interesting for any beginner!


Jul 17, 2020

Thanks for this fantastic app which really was very beneficial for me. It is a best thing to do in this lockdown by learning more things.

By Muhamad B

Dec 28, 2022

Course is best for beginners it would have been even better if a specific software was taught too for graphic designing otherwise best!


Sep 25, 2021

Nice way to teach because some time we want to learn by video and other time with text and this a nice plateform to learn something new

By Magali G D

Aug 1, 2021

I would have enjoyed more if the teacher showed a bit of enthusiasm. Most of the time his voice sounded very dettached or uninterested.

By Kelsey H

Jan 30, 2021

I thought it was a great class the lectures were very informative but I thought some of the assignments could've been more exploratory.

By Joly F Z

May 29, 2018

A very good overview of graphic design - for someone just want an intro, can just take this course rather than the whole specification.