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

15,306 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


Aug 20, 2018

Very interesting, I liked the format. Easy to follow, nice excercises. It's actually good to cover the basics of design, even if you are not an absolute beginner, and especially if you are self taught


May 18, 2022

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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701 - 725 of 3,941 Reviews for Fundamentals of Graphic Design

By Rubens A d S F

Jul 6, 2021

Excelent course! I recommend it to everyone interested in learning more about graphic design that does not know anything or just a little. The teacher is clear and didactic.

By Sadie B

Jun 13, 2020

I've been doing design work for several years, all self taught. Taking this class allowed me to gain knowledge on the basics and in turn, made me a better artist. Thank you!

By Bharath R

Oct 3, 2019

Amazing course!!!. Never thought i can be a graphic designer and I have never came across this kind of course. Also, will definitely recommend this course to all my friends.

By Ethan

Jan 3, 2017

Fantastic overview of Graphic Design theory. Essential to underpin technical knowledge and inform design decisions while using the myriad apps and solutions available today!

By Salome M S

Sep 5, 2020

I found this course extremely useful as I am very much interested in graphic design. And I'm sure I'll put them into practice in my academics being an architecture student.

By Rajan G

Apr 21, 2020

First I fell bore and really did not match up with the course but later after the 1st course, I found it interesting and learned many things. It was a wonderful experience.


Feb 9, 2020

A very good introduction course into the world of design. It might be important to take up other courses in the specialization to get a better understanding of the subject.

By Anastasia S

Dec 19, 2016

I Like this course! I have had some knowledge about colors and composition before, but this course helped me to organize them. Also, I got some new skills about typography.

By Yang Z

Nov 13, 2015

very interesting course with detailed teaching of the concepts and its application. recommend to anyone who is interested in graphic design, would be a good starting point!

By Samantha B

Jul 20, 2022

​definitely the fundamentals! If you have taken a design class before then most info will be repeated but its a great review. Excited for the next course within this class

By Cayl C

May 12, 2021

It thought me new things as a full-time Graphic Designer and I'm really shocked on how much I've learned with just this beginner course. Time to proceed with the next one.

By Anna M

Apr 9, 2021

It was one of the best Ideas to join this course. It gave me a new perspective. I learned how to create simple designs and not to overthink them. It was a nice experience.

By Thairine M

Feb 11, 2021

That was my first time taking classes online, and from another country, and it was amazing! I really enjoyed every learning, thank you a lot for making it possible for us!

By Rachael P

Oct 4, 2020

I got so much insight to typography. I'm so glad I took this journey, now my scope of design is very broadened. I'll waste no time in completing the other sepcializations.

By Thaddeus S

May 4, 2020

The course was very informative and laid a great theoretical and historical background as a launching pad to a more expansive understanding and skillset of graphic design.

By Amanda V

Mar 18, 2020

I enjoyed this course so far. I had limited design software and manage to do all the projects so far. The instructions were clear and easy to navigate. I am continuing....

By Diane M W

Jan 19, 2016

This is an excellent introduction to graphic design. Time is not spent on learning the technology, but rather on producing the examples of art and typography. Thank you.

By Jody C

Jan 5, 2022

liked all the projects we got to do. videos were very explanatory - went deeper into the origins of the concepts/terms which gave me deeper understanding of the material.

By B M

Apr 24, 2021

Great course, I have taken many graphic courses but what makes this unique the academic background and application. I have applied some concepts in real ife work. Thanks.

By Verasha N

Jan 13, 2021

This course has helped me get a better understanding of the basics of graphic design and given me building blocks of skills which I can use in a career of graphic design.


Sep 18, 2020

This course was nice and usefull. I do lettering but I'm not a designer and this course help me to do a better work with lettering and understand basic elements of design

By Jairo A A F

Jul 17, 2020

The methodology of the course seems very successful to me and the contents of the course were also very explained and developed through dynamic and interesting exercises.

By Radwiya B A

Jul 16, 2020

This course was highly informative and useful for me. Great course indeed! I would recommend this course to anyone trying to get started on Graphics Designing. Thank You!

By Salimatou D

Jun 11, 2020

The course has helped me to understand the fundamentals of Graphic design, I'm able now to convey my message by using different techniques of design taught by the course.

By Balaji A

Mar 19, 2018

I did learn a lot about the traditional way of thinking about design. This course helped me to go back a do experiment in Analog rather than digital. Very helpful course.