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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


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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401 - 425 of 4,087 Reviews for Fundamentals of Graphic Design

By Jana K

Nov 28, 2016

It was a great course. I have learned a lot. I don't consider myself specially talented in art or aesthetic feeling, but I think I improved after passing this course. And I have got a different view on many things connected with graphic design.

By Drew O

Apr 4, 2016

I'm taking this as a refresher. I find the videos to be very helpful and the peer reviews super rewarding in terms of both contributing and receiving. I've managed to relearn a few things as well as pick up some new approaches to my daily work.


Aug 16, 2021

Cumplió con todas mis expectativas. Aprendí bastante en estas cuatro semanas, y las tareas realmente fueron de mucha ayuda para comprender mejor las actividades. Estoy segura que voy a utilizar todo lo aprendido para mi carrera profesional. (:

By Mohamed A

Jul 27, 2020

I am very grateful to this site and to this institution, which gave me time and effort to be one of its students. I thank Mr. Michael Worthington for the time and knowledge he gave to students to be specialized graphic designers. Thank you all

By Anna M

Mar 31, 2020

Really well put together course, short videos and readings to break it down, if you're not working on it full time it's easy to fit it around other responsibilities. Nice projects that get you thinking in a different way, simple and effective.

By Sahara Z F

Aug 24, 2020

A very well explained course. If you are interested in graphic design you might want to give this course a goal. The course comes with several lectures, examples, and works that will allow you to understand and experiment with graphic design.

By valiullah

Sep 10, 2017

An absolutely wonderful course for beginner as well as experienced graphic designers and illustrators. The fundamentals are extremely important in any field and this course does a brilliant job at making sure that they are crisp clear to you.

By Dina M

Feb 18, 2021

I found the course really valuable for anyone who's interested in graphic design. It really sparked my interest and I am determined to continue with other courses, included in Graphic Design Specialization. Thank you so much for this course.

By Vineeta K

Jan 6, 2021

As a beginner , this course improved my insight and actual thinking regarding design. because anyone can learn how to use software but without design thinking its useless. i am very thankful for teachers to presents such a well made program.


Jul 13, 2020

Really a great course, a great place for learning and developing your skills and interests. I am a architecture student and i really found this course helpful for conveying ideas, composing sheets, readability, etc... Thankyou for the course

By William S d O

May 18, 2020

Excelente curso para tanto para iniciantes quanto para quem já tem mais experiência e gostaria de revisar e ver uma nova perspectiva sobre os fundamentos do design gráfico. Excelente curva de aprendizagem através das quatro semanas de curso.

By Danyella S

Oct 12, 2020

Excellent oportunity of learning and growth! The clear explanations and descriptions of the concepts were fundamental for my learning. And receiving constructive criticism from my peers made me more self-conscious about my creative process.

By Joshua C

May 31, 2020

Professor Worthington does a great job of breaking down complex concepts into easy to understand lessons. Very glad to have taken the course and will continue with the Cal Arts Graphic Design courses as a result. Thanks for the great class!

By Andraea Z

May 29, 2020

This was an excellent course that gave me an insight into graphic design. I'm so glad I found this. I worked super hard, and as a result, I enjoyed it immensely. Thank you, Michael, for leading the class, and making such interesting videos.

By Yassin T

Jan 7, 2023

the course was very rich in terms of informations and visual assets which made it easy to understand especially for people who English isn't their native language , and it gave me a really good understanding of graphic design fundamentals

By Rosa L B

Nov 14, 2021

Este curso ha sido increíble para mí, he comprendido de manera sencilla conceptos básicos y necesarios que todo diseñador debe conocer, el profesor es un capo y estoy emocionada por seguir llevando el resto de cursos de la especialización.

By Ezee k

Jan 19, 2021

A wonderful overview of the process of graphic design. I thoroughly enjoyed this course and am inspired to continue my journey of design. I highly recommend if your looking to build a base or are curious about design principles. Enjoy!

By Juliette C

Nov 26, 2020

Learned a lot of theory and it was very interesting to go back to the basics and understand how crucial they are in making a design. I also really enjoyed the briefs we had to submit, as it gave me a way to apply the theory I had learned.

By Irene A

Oct 5, 2020

I found this course excellent for review or learn the basic concepts that are used in Graphic Design, but that are also used in other disciplines such as the Visual Arts, so it's a knowledge that can be apply to other activities as well.

By Carolina Q

Jun 15, 2016

Very good visual material accompanied by excellent written supplement that allowed us to follow the recorded portion of the course. Interesting exercises and great methodology that allow students to review and provide feedback to others.

By Miranda J

Mar 22, 2016

Great course! This is the first course I've taken through Coursera and I am so impressed, both with the content and the delivery.

It really influenced the way I look at design. I am really looking forward to completing this specialization.

By Katia C

Feb 3, 2021

I discovered and learned so many tools and techniques. The route is easy to follow and the explanations are clear. The instructor helps with videos and also teaches very well. I recommend this course to anyoninterested in Graphic Design

By Muhammad W A

Nov 19, 2020

The specialization is great. I have learned many new things here. My experience was very good and really enjoyed this course. The teachers and trainers are very well experienced. Thanks, God. Thanks my institution, Coursera, and CalArts.

By Gerasimova E A

May 31, 2020

I liked this course. It the first one that I`ve completed on Coursera. It has interesting videos with theoretical data and it has practical part. I hope the received expirience in this are helps me grow in my career as a graphic designer