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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


May 9, 2018

An ok course for beginners. A bit too basic for someone who has already had experience in design, but is great anyway cause it breaks things back down to the simplest parts to help you remember roots.


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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626 - 650 of 4,127 Reviews for Fundamentals of Graphic Design

By Nicole F

Jun 1, 2020

I learned a lot about the fundamental things a designer should take into account when creating a composition. The exercises were fun to make and the videos were short and easy to understand.

By Karolina K

Feb 5, 2020

This course was really helpful, useful. Now I have totally different view to Graphic Design and really good start totally from fundamentals.

I was really enjoying and will continue to do it.

By Antonella N Y

May 5, 2022

10/10 I really enjoy learning graphic desigh. It was so fun and I learned so much about graphic desigh. And I learn a lot of new things. And i hope more people enjoy this course like I did.

By Muhammad N

Apr 26, 2020

A great course by CALARTS. I have learned some new concepts that I never know before. and this certificate may help me in my future and as well as in my life whenever I go to California :-)

By Ariana V E

Jul 22, 2017

A very complete beginner's course covering the basics in depth. The teacher is very engaging and makes the content enjoyable and accessible. Clear examples, widely illustrated explanations.

By Foofoo E

Nov 11, 2022

It's the best one, I was afraid I can't understand or I can't do the assignment. The teacher was amazing . Everything is clear and smooth. thanks for sure i will complete the others cours.

By Sadman S

Feb 20, 2022

This course is quite informative and good for the begginers. I am glad that I have completed this course. I would love to learn more and would love to get some practical training courses.

By Rinoj R N

Jul 4, 2021

Really understood the basics of Graphic designing. The simplistic approach to teaching taught me a lot. I never saw pictures or images the way that I see it after I have taken this course.

By Vaishali M

Dec 4, 2020

It was very helpful to understand the basics of graphic designing with some clear perspectives and real life examples. Practice and the assessments help add in confidence to the work done.

By Davide B

Aug 28, 2020

Ideal course for beginners and self taught designers, it makes you see what you can already know from a different and more aware direction; give you lexicon and strong basis to start from.

By Maisha M

Aug 7, 2020

I really enjoyed the classes and assignments here. I got so much to learn about typography, shapes, colors, patterns and compositions. It is really a very enjoyable and interesting course.

By Natalia M

Feb 24, 2017

I really enjoyed this course! It helped push me to think outside of the box with my creativity in order to create a sequence of images of a household object that I am still quite proud of.


Dec 22, 2022

This course was the best out of the whole specialisation. The peer reviews were acceptable and the theory was explained very well. The courses after this one were qualitatively less good.

By Lolah A

Nov 14, 2022

I am filled with joy and hope at the end of this course, as a new door opens for me.

I sincerely appreciate the teacher and the assistance I received.

willing to enroll in all five courses.

By Ronalynne S

Jan 27, 2022

The course was excellent. The assignments, whether optional or graded, were a big help in learning the fundamentals more. I am happy I found this course and complete it. Highly recommend.

By Anushka M

Oct 26, 2020

Had an exceptional experience learning about graphic designing. Very simple and exploratory course. Loved all the exercises and how they came together in the end as a part of the project.


Oct 24, 2020

Really helping to know the basic of graphic design and some principle of it. Clear explanation and instruction with the visual example to understand about the abstract principle and logic

By Angelica U

Sep 15, 2020

Un curso muy completo, saca la creatividad adelante y siempre destaca que no hay una sola técnica exacta o un patrón a seguir sino que los elementos se adapta a tu visión, me gustó mucho.

By Anastasia H

Mar 25, 2022

I`m very satisfied this course. I knew a lot of useful information about Graphic Design. I recommend the course to everyone who wants to improve their skills and learn more about design.

By Dorsa R

Dec 31, 2021

I loved everything about it. the studies were detailed. the classes were helpful and so was the grading system. I learned alot from this course and I look forward to more from CalArts :)

By Isabel M

Aug 15, 2021

After learning some fundamentals in this course, I remade my CV being careful with the typography and the hierarchy of the elements, after that I got a job. Thanks for all the teachings.

By Siddhant M

Aug 4, 2020

This course incorporate the best way of learning that is to get your hands dirty. The course enhances the learning process by practical approach rather than just one sided communication.

By Maria I F

Jun 28, 2020

I had a lot of fun creating in this course. I learned a lot about the fundamentals of design, and I believe this will help me a lot in the future. Thank you very much to the instructors.

By Sonali K S

Jun 1, 2020

Fundamentals of Graphic Design has helped me refresh my old school memories after 26 years. It's an amazing course for all beginners and people who wants to refresh their skills like me.

By Gashinskaia V

Apr 13, 2020

Very helpful course! Made me look at the design from a different angle! The way the lecturer delivers information and encourages you to CREATE is amazing! Thank you for this opportunity!