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

15,031 ratings
3,898 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 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!


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.

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526 - 550 of 3,874 Reviews for Fundamentals of Graphic Design

By Balajied S

Jan 24, 2016

This course will open your mind to graphic design to a whole new level. It will make you "think design'. Highly recommend it. The assignments are well thought out too. You will learn-if thats what you want.

By Alpna P

Jun 28, 2021

I really love the technique how the mentor explain all the topics and also the assignment and quiz process this process is really help me to improve my skill. thankyou so much coursera for this strategies.

By Floor L

Jan 17, 2021

This was a great course! It's very nice to see the images and hear the Mr. Worthington's voice-over. The subjects are interesting and not too hard for people who know nothing about graphic design, like me.

By It’s E

Oct 5, 2020

A really useful course! I learn so much knowledge from this course, most important is that this course build a entire graphic design system for me. Really recommend for people who want go to design field.

By Philbertha A

Aug 9, 2020

This course opened my eyes to the graphic design world as an inexperienced person in design. I would really recommend this course to my friends who want to study a brief introduction to the graphic design.

By L. C

Nov 18, 2019

Great basic course! Information is presented systematically and tightly. There is no superfluous information and empty talk, all about the case. The materials are clear, interesting. Thanks to the mentors!

By Isaac B

Jun 9, 2017

Loved this course. It's so well structured and as a filmmaker I found this a really good primer to quickly getting up to speed on graphic design concepts that can be easily applied to multiple disciplines.

By Gideon I

Feb 9, 2016

I am enjoying the course as a beginner in graphic design, i am also taking practical classes on PS, Corel draw and In design. i believe strongly that this specialization will give me the much needed edge.

By Witenberg S R S

Feb 7, 2016

I really did enjoy the lessons, the assignments on different views of an object and last one on single contrasts indeed contributed to my creativity practicing. The lecture about patterns was impressive!

By simone f

Mar 25, 2022

Well explained and put together. The complexity of the essential elements in graphic design was taught in such a careful manner that it seemed to be a fairly simple subject. What I expected was delivered!

By Constanza V B

Mar 1, 2021

Excellent course!! Specially if you are a beginner but even if not you are still going to learn a lot of new things. Optional briefs are really helpful, and you will most likely make an enormous progress.

By Lasya G

Jun 5, 2020

The fundamentals of design that are essential for a beginner have been explained very well. However, further courses may be required for more details about their application in different fields of design.

By Matthew B

Sep 21, 2016

Perfect for beginning and intermediate graphic designers. The explanations of concepts and exercises are quite useful and makes the foundations of graphic design clear and accessible. Highly recommended.

By Luis D S M

Sep 9, 2021

This course helped me to understand the basic element of graphic desing. I'm impress how well structure is this program, I totally recommended and doing the excercises will enhance a better way to learn.

By Rebecca A

May 31, 2020

It teaches you the basics and the fundaments of graphic design, for those who don't know and want to start learning it's a good way to begin with and even those who know and want to go back and remember.

By Andie L

Aug 15, 2018

Great introduction into what Graphic Design is all about. It breaks down the complexity into bite size, tangible pieces of information that you can apply to your graphic design mindset. Highly recommend!

By Tianyin L

Feb 8, 2018

I feel that this course suits me, a complete novice to graphic design, very well. It covers the basics and key themes in graphic design, and the examples shown are very stimulating and thought provoking.

By Марта В

Aug 11, 2021

I​ love this course. It has great videos with very accurate explanations and great practical assignments. I would recommend this course for everyone who wants to begin their journey with graphic design.

By Tim M

Oct 24, 2020

Very easy to follow along online while still feeling interactive through peer feedback. The assignments were engaging, great practice, and could aid in portfolio development for folks who need material.

By Jashtelle E

Aug 24, 2020

Really informative! I have gained so much insight into my field that I never knew about. I had an internship in graphic design years ago, so these things were never a part of my life. Thank you so much!

By Nakash

May 16, 2016

I like this course and Coursera .org. its giving opportunity to peoples for learning. guys if you want learn so please visit on Coursera .org

i learn many things from this course and i wish i learn alot

By Shirui P

Aug 7, 2020

This is my first graphic design course, and I really enjoy learning it! The syllabus is clear and well-organized, and the contents are worth really learning to build the foundations for future studies.

By Brandon J

Aug 3, 2020

For a fundamentals course, it does a great job of being approachable but still thorough. I came to this as a working professional looking to refresh some concepts, and still I found insightful tidbits.

By Lai C Y

Jan 6, 2020

A great breakdown and thorough explanation of what is graphic design. Mind opening to know the origins of fonts, typeface in typography. A must-have if you have an interest in pursuing graphics design!

By Dylan B

Nov 15, 2017

A wonderful course! I was able to learn the skills necessary to express my ideas in a way other people can understand. I highly recommend this to anyone considering graphic design for pleasure or work.