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

15,310 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


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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751 - 775 of 3,941 Reviews for Fundamentals of Graphic Design

By Aura M C

Apr 14, 2019

I really enjoyed every bit of this course!

Awesome content and teacher. It was also nice to get feedback on my work from peers as well to view the work of others! :)

By Kara K

Feb 14, 2016

This course does an awesome job of integrating beginner's knowledge with practical graphic design projects. I'm enjoying it tremendously. I'd highly recommend it! :)

By Maria M

Nov 11, 2015

Up until now this course is really practical, well explained and a "happy" place to be! I love it and wish my University lessons were as fun and informative as this!

By Matthew C M

Feb 5, 2021

Fundamentals of Graphic Design from Calarts was a fantastic course. I recommend it to anyone looking to try out their visual image making skills in Graphic Design.

By Taraneh D

Sep 24, 2020

This focuses on simple, yet very important factors in design. I found it very helpful and it helped me to gain a more creative perspective towards graphical design.

By Vishwa P

Jun 1, 2020

Thank u sir for nicely explaining this course and being so encouraging. I have gained lots of confidence with this and I would love to study further in this course.

By Regina K

Sep 1, 2018

A great way to get your feet wet with graphic design, and see what it's about. I didn't even know what all was included in "Graphic Design" until I took this course

By Adrien G

Sep 6, 2017

Touches fundamental concepts you can apply to any type of graphic related work. The class goes straight to the point with a perfect touch of stretching assignments.

By Alejandro P

Jul 23, 2017

It's a pretty good and complete introduction to the graphic design career. I really enjoyed it, the videos were easy to watch and I didn't get bored at any point :)

By Rachael B

Jun 15, 2017

Love this course! I am not a designer and I am not going to be a designer, but I work in creative industries as a Producer and it was really beneficial for my work.

By Reynaldo C A

May 4, 2022

Excelente curso, aprendí muchas cosas con respecto al diseño gráfico y las clases fueron muy claras con respecto a los temas que trataron, felicitaciones Coursera.

By Ishu K

Jan 13, 2021

Thank you for providing me financial aid.Very useful course for beginners.Videos are very clear,explaining every aspect.Assignments help us in building our skills.

By Sonali S

Sep 29, 2020

It was very helpful and the teaching is up to the point with every example and I really appreciate the efforts. It was pleasure learning from CalArts and Coursera.

By Luis E A R

Sep 16, 2018

Muy informativo, realmente esta básico para gene que tiene 0 conocimientos al respecto, o también bastante complementario para gente que ya estudio algo de diseño.

By Gregg W

Nov 1, 2015

Like the format and the presentation of this course. Each topic builds on the next and then finally you are shown how to mix the fundamentals. Enjoyed this course.

By Dee

Oct 25, 2021

Great starting point for the new graphic designers as well as experienced designers who wants to recap the fundamentals of Graphic Design!!! Highly recommended!!!

By Riya A

May 10, 2021

A very nice course teaching the basics of Graphic Design! All the assignments are very fun. Lecture videos are up to the mark and understandable. Overall, nice :)

By Camila D

Dec 18, 2020

me encantó el curso, bastante ompleto minucioso en sus secciones y detallado, el feedback entre compañeros funciona bien y se logra el objetivo de grupo.

un agrado

By Camille R

Apr 14, 2020

Honestly excellent! I have tried a few online Graphic design courses but this one REALLY has a University Standard approach! I am highly recommending this course!

By Lidya S

Jun 27, 2019

An amazing course for people who really wants to learn graphic design. The exercises are simple (and a lot) yet very effectively calls out your inner creativity:)

By Camila R

Jan 10, 2019

It gave me another perspective of the graphic design using just simple elements. It did me experiment in a creative way, without prejudices. A really good course!

By Fletcher T

Oct 26, 2018

I've learning much in this course in the whole Specialized, Michael made me know much about how to catch the feel of making good image, I like this course most.

By María F C A

Dec 13, 2015

Excellent course, videos are short and effective , the activities and content were also great . I would love more courses about desing like this one in Coursera

By Juan C (

May 6, 2022

Estuvo buenísmo, me encantó aprendí muchísimo en cada semana y fui mejorando de a poco, me pareción interesante y no dude en hacer este curso, estuvo fantástico.


Sep 25, 2021

This course is really helpful to learn more about creative. I was enjoying the whole session by learning more interesting things and doing all those assignments.