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

14,320 ratings
3,711 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

Sep 2, 2021

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.

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.

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401 - 425 of 3,682 Reviews for Fundamentals of Graphic Design

By Jory H

Jul 9, 2020

I am quite happy with this course. It is very basic, but very necessary for the beginner. I enjoyed the exercises and felt that it was a good breakdown of the rules of graphic design and helped me in the way I design something.

By Juan J L M

May 12, 2020

Un curso que empieza desde abajo y con el que es posible aportar tu toque creativo. La idea de calificación "E2E" (student to student) es un método interactivo para poder ver el trabajo de tus compañeros. Encantado con el curso.

By Ellen T

Jan 7, 2019

Great course - intelligent and incisive instruction. Really do recommend this as a starter course or refresher. Throughly enjoyed it and learned a lot despite having already having studied art and design many years previously.

By Dulce A R W

Sep 28, 2016

I really liked this course, it was a great introduction to this world which is graphic design for me. I also appreciate very much the scholarship, without it, I would not be able to complete this first course session. Thank you!

By Houssem E L

Sep 24, 2021

I learned a lot in this course, although it has 5 to 8 minutes in each video lesson but I guarantee you'll be mind blown at the end, I strongly recommend this course before you start learning anything else about graphic design

By Ajibola T

Oct 26, 2020

Every great idea and dream must be established within you and you alone. Awesome teaching, so impacting and inspiring, actually I wanna thank Coursera for building to this level of being a good graphic design. Thanks Coursera

By Abdullah N Q

Oct 13, 2020

Great course, the instructor is awesome. I got my fundamentals right on graphic design, how to think about typography, shapes, imagery, space and how to fit it all together with right proportions of content and visual context.

By Kinga S

Aug 9, 2016

To break rules and be unconventional one needs to know conventions and rules - and this course is just that! It gives you key vocabulary to name some things which you may consider easy, but never bothered to notice and name :)

By Sergei T

Feb 24, 2016

Absolutely awesome course! Very informative, great examples, every lesson is logically structured and really inspiring. The whole course is helping to acquire a basic knowledge and understanding of a graphic design principles.

By Niamh F

Feb 21, 2016

Although this was a beginners class and a lot of the concepts were really simple, the instructor still found ways to make the class fun and get me thinking creatively. This class got me excited to learn even more about design!

By Priscila S C

Feb 5, 2016

A great course, I liked very much the way the teacher speaks, I could understand everything clearly, the activities were well made and even the optional ones had some deep meaning. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.

By Danielle C

Apr 28, 2020

Great course, highly recommend. I was skeptical at first, but came away with a better understanding of how form, color, space, repetition, typography, and other elements of graphic design fit into the big picture of a design.

By Piyaporn K

Apr 26, 2020

This course is very fun and eye-opening! You will not only learn about thr theory, but also get to through express your creativity through hands-on projects! Highly recommended to anyone who is interested in art and design :)

By sarwar a

Jan 1, 2017

this course is so full of information in a deep manner of details and give best knowledge, instructions, guideline and education of graphic design. I'm so inspire from this course and take have a so many education from there.

By Serikbol B

Sep 18, 2021

I loved the course!! It really did teach the must needed fundaments of graph. design. The thing I liked the most is how the speaker used his own examples to explain stuff, which made the explanation way eaesier to understand

By Rohan T

Sep 13, 2021

Fruitful. The course is truly foundational which equips you with foundational graphic design knowledge and skills. All assignments, graded or optional, boost your confidence and help showing your understanding of the course.

By Ilva A

Mar 4, 2021

I really enjoyed this course. Thank you for this interesting journey for myself. I enjoyed every week! What I would like to add - professional mentor commentaries and evaluation would be nice to see after assignments aswell.

By Ana C F

Aug 19, 2020

I loved this online course! It was my first contact with Graphic Design and I've learned a lot. I really appreciated the fact that we had to fulfil tasks and not only listen to videos. For sure, I want to keep learning more!

By Yue D

Feb 18, 2020

It is a very basic course of graphic design, which is very suitable for those who do not have a basic knowledge of graphic design, but generally it involves less knowledge, especially the interpretation of some proper nouns.

By Alberto A

Feb 12, 2020

For me, a non professional in design, but a lover, it was an exciting experience. Now I have more clarity with the main concepts, so I am grateful for the simplicity and enriching course. I also had much fun with the briefs!

By Eusebio T S

Sep 23, 2019

This course was a great introduction to design that I can take and share with my students. I think it is great for beginners as it is easy to understand and well thought out. The activities are meaningful and worth the time.

By Charlie R

Apr 9, 2018

Greetings from Saipan, Northern Mariana Island. I am graphic designer by profession and I want to continue improving my skills. This is online course surely help me attained that goal. I intend to finish the rest of courses.

By Tatyana S

Dec 2, 2015

This is a great course to start learning graphic design. Though I expected to find a bit more profound information, I still recommend it to those who has never had any experience (or conscious experience) designing something

By Zhanna D

Nov 13, 2015

I like this course. It is great.

It is not the easiest course ever, but it gives a lot of important information.

I do like it has theoretical and practical assignments. So you will have Fun and Challenge :)

Highly recommended.


Apr 16, 2020

The course was greatly structured. I had great fun watching the videos and doing all the assignments. I think this is an amazing course for beginners. The strongest point of this course, in my opinion, were the assignments.