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

16,108 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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551 - 575 of 4,128 Reviews for Fundamentals of Graphic Design

By Simmy S

Apr 22, 2020

The assignments were apt and really interesting to work on, the instructor was amazing. He had so much knowledge on the subject in such depth. I am planning to take further courses in this specialization too!

By Carolina G

Apr 11, 2020

Art is a broad and complex subject, but in this program you will see the main ideas to start your path to design. Very specific, complete, clear and well organized. Meets expectations!!!!!! Thank you!!!! 100%

By Shion

Feb 25, 2020

very fun, I hope to do more courses, here in the future, I'm actually gonna complete the gd specialization by CalArts, and sorry for being so slow on completing it, I've had exams with my art academy, thanks!

By Paola O

Apr 21, 2018

I am just missing an experience designer feedback but I understand it is not possible.

I think is a perfect introduction and if you worked on the optional assignment you can really push yourself to learn more.

By Gail W

Mar 14, 2017

Very well designed and delivered course. Great fundamentals and fresh application exercises. Valued the realistic briefs, the creative practice and feedback giving/receiving in the course. Heartily recommend

By Miqdam S

Mar 16, 2021

One thing I really liked about this course that the student kept engaged with practice assignments as they go along the course. Very good learning experience... would definitely take the rest of the courses.

By Heylin L L

Aug 2, 2020

Un curso excelente, aprendí muchísimo, gracias a Coursera y al Instituto CALARTS por la oportunidad de estudio brindada y por supuesto gracias al profesor Michael Worthington por el conocimiento transmitido.

By Giselle A R A

Oct 30, 2019

Fue divertido y aprendí mucho experimentando cada semana, totalmente recomendado. En ocasiones creemos que sabemos cosas, pero cuando aprendes el por qué de esas cosas es cuando realmente sabemos sobre ellas

By Saleeha S

Jun 23, 2021

I thoroughly enjoyed exploring and completing this course. I learnt about being creative with my skills and techniques and discovered that it isnt always about perfection or at making your work look perfect

By Ar. S D

May 26, 2020

Waat a journey it was! Michael is a prolific teacher and educator. Amazingly explained, very clever and creative presentations. I enjoyed at its core. Thank you so much for making this course. Lots of Love.

By Efren A

Dec 27, 2018

This is a GREAT course, as simple as that. It is exactly the perfect first step into the world of graphic design, which is at least what I needed. Thank you so much for putting together such a great help!!!

By Arwa A

Jan 13, 2018

Everything is really amazing, from the first week to last. i wish i had more time to complete the optional assignments.

if there is one thing.. i think the last required assignment was too simple.

Thank you.

By Indra L V

Jan 5, 2017

Este curso me ha ayudado a desarrollar mis habilidades en diseño gráfico. La brecha del idioma no ha sido una limitante y me ayudó a descubrir que me encanta el diseño gráfico. Agradezco a los instructores.

By Jied 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 Becoming M w E

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.