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

4.8
stars
14,516 ratings
3,767 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

CS
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.

AR
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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76 - 100 of 3,738 Reviews for Fundamentals of Graphic Design

By Joseph W

Jan 7, 2016

I really liked this short course. Having not been exposed to any kind of arts classes before (not since elementary school anyway), I felt this instructor explained things in a way (and used examples as he explained) that I could understand. It got me to appreciate just how much you can do just by changing simple things like typeface and size. This class got me doing stuff that I hadn't done in a long time, like painting with water colors. It was not a complicated or challenging class, but it was a very good introduction, which is what I think it was intended to be. It was approachable and it inspires further exploration.

By Цибульняк К

Jun 10, 2016

I'm fully satisfied with all course.

I was able to systematize all existing knowledge about graphic design and also fill some "holes" in basics of creating graphics, especially I'm very gratefull for lesson about typography (it has always been my Achilles' heel :) ).

All assigments are very interesting, I got a lot of fun considering what I will do for each of them and also enjoyed whole process then.

This course is highly recomended for all, who wants to start in graphic design industry and for those, who already experienced in it, but also needs to put in order existing experience in appropriate form.

Thank you!

By Nicolle U

Feb 2, 2020

I loved the content. I loved that you get a lot of relevant info packed in short videos, the content doesn't make you feel overwhelmed. If you are an artist or designer sometimes you can feel like you "already know" some of the things your watching, I like to think that it is important not to skip the content, sometimes it can help you refresh some of the knowledge you have.

IMPORTANT: This is NOT a course to learn how to use any design program ( Illustrator, In design, Photoshop etc), they explain that at the beginning. This is a course to help you understand the essence of design and its creative process.

By SUVASISH M

Nov 24, 2021

LEARNING SOFTWARE IS NOT EQUAL TO LEARNING GRAPHIC DESIGN. LEARNING SOFTWARE PLAYS A MINOR ROLE IN THE PATH TO BECOME A GRAPHIC DESIGNER. LEARN DESIGN THEORY, LEARN RULES OF DESIGN, LEARN VISUAL COMMUNICATION AND INCREASE YOUR CREATIVITY. ALL OF THESE THINGS YOU WILL GET IN THIS COURSE.

THE COURSE IS NO DOUBT GREAT AND MORE SPECIFICALLY FOR THE BEGINNER GRAPHIC AND VISUAL DESIGNER. IT WILL CREATE YOUR STRONG FOUNDATIONAL SKILL & KNOWLEDGE ON THE TOPIC OF GRAPHIC / VISUAL DESIGN PROVIDED YOU HAVE TO COMPLETE ALL THE ASSIGNMENTS AUTHENTICALLY & HONESTLY MANY TIMES. THANK YOU VERY MUCH CAL ARTS !!

By Arestides P

Jun 6, 2020

Calarts Faculty, School of Art - Program in Graphic Design, Michael Worthington teach you the fundamentals of graphic design the theoretical side of it. He dissects the parts in easy to understand manner. The project assignment keeps you busy and of course the best way to learn is to get your ideas flowing and create something within the perspective of graphics design. I definitely recommend this course if you want to understand graphic design. By the way the instructors of this Graphic Specialization Course is all professional faculty member with years of experience both academe and corporate.

By Selin S

Nov 3, 2020

This course has been a starting point for me to understand how the design processes. I learnt about the usage of tools and creating an image for a given theme. There are no limits when it comes to creativity. The video lessons are not that long but helpful. There are mini quizzes at the end of each sections and for those who want to learn more further readings are available. The assignments felt real because if I would got to a studio to learn the basics of design I'd recieve many reviews on my work. Here in coursera it is also possible to have that community and people are really helpful.

By José R H

May 31, 2019

The course and the professor are excellent! If you are a beginner, like me; there is no better place to start your journey. My only gripe is the student reviews. Sometimes the commentaries are thoughtful and help you, and others, just a waste of time. The same goes for the works I reviewed. Some students put time and effort to complete an assignment, and others, they just put anything down to get it out of the way. The same as in life, I guess. You'll get out of this class as much as the effort you put in. Once again, the course and professor are outstanding! Many thanks to Cal Arts!

By Silvia A C

Jun 24, 2021

I really liked it! Even though the course has very basic topics about graphic design, I think it's a great option for beginners or designers that want to refresh their essentials. As designers, we have to remember that these basic concepts are the basis for more complex and structured creations, we all need to know them and learn how to correctly master them. I recommend it if you would like to start learning about the fundamentals, or if you're like me: a designer that wants to specialize and switch careers (I'm a fashion designer). Thank you CalArts, Coursera, and Mr. Worthington!

By Kaveh V

Feb 14, 2016

This is a great course for getting into art in general. A lot of the course is very cursory and never goes too far into detail like some classes do, which can be overwhelming.

The structure of required vs optional assignments was great, allowing you to choose where you'd like to practice more or even just additionally be able to continue (whereas some people cannot).

I would highly recommend this course to everyone. I look forward to continuing the entire specialization when I have more time. Until a couple of months from now, CalArts - you have made me a happy student!

By Suzanne A V

Nov 8, 2020

This course is a perfect beginner's course about graphic design. It tackled and explained the basics in the simplest manner. It also provided exercises that made me understand the theories more. The videos and audio and visual aids are very clear, as well as the sample outputs. This course has definitely encouraged me to look closely on the fundamentals on graphic design, how they work as a single unit and how they can go together to make a pleasing and informative piece. My gratitude to Coursera, CalArts and Michael Worthington, the instructor, for this course.

By Jane L

Oct 22, 2021

M​uy buen curso , aprendí muy bien las bases de diseño gráfico , lo único que le recomiendo a los estudiantes de habla hispana es que tengan un traductor a la mano , algunos subtítulos tienen algunas palabras mal traducidas y las tareas se tienen que enviar en inglés. Mientras tengas conocimientos básicos de inglés y un traductor digital que te ayudé lo vas a pasar sin problemas.

E​so sí hay pocos videos que no tienen ninguna traducción , ten en cuenta eso , sí entiendes algo de inglés no se te hará complicado pero si no sabes nada de inglés si será un problema.

By Jennifer M C

Feb 15, 2016

The course was very cool. If you have already studied anything design-related, the content might be too basic and might look boarded in a rather shallow way. However, if you are new to the topic, I think the course is the perfect introduction to how the design process works and also, to the specialization (if you are interested in that). Additionally, the assignments offer a great chance to practice every concept reviewed in the videos, so that even a person who knows those things, but is a little rusty on the whole practice side, might benefit from the course.

By matthew

Jan 8, 2019

This is a really beneficial course to wrap your head around terminology. While some may be review or feel like "yeah, duh" ideas in terms of the uses of contrast and space, for any novices or amateurs looking to better their skills, or anybody exploring graphic design from its roots, it's a necessary jumping off point. The only thing I'd add is a module on software, both to explain what software is being used for the demo, and what options are out there for beginners, including open source software, to make the course as affordable and accessible as possible.

By Sambhavi B

May 21, 2021

What an amazing course! I've done many others related to Design, Typography, Illustration and this was by far the best. I learned so much and the assignment and optional briefs were incredibly helpful to really assimilate the theory. Michaels explanations were very clear and his approach is very beginner friendly and encouraging, he gets you making and learning with ease. The structure of the course is organised, systematic and gradually builds upon itself. The assignments are interrelated so you really feel you're growing. Thanks for creating this course!

By João C

May 28, 2019

Initially thanks to Coursera, CalArts and Professor Michael Worthington for the partnership. The course is excellent, are initial foundations that open the vision for the universe of graphic design. I believe this is a fundamental step towards building a good designer. I recommend.

Pt-Br

Inicialmente obrigado ao Coursera, CalArts e professor Michael Worthington pela parceria. O curso é excelente, são fundamentos iniciais que abrem a visão para o universo do design gráfico. Acredito que essa é etapa fundamental para a construção de um bom designer. Recomendo.

By Maureen O

Oct 2, 2019

Fundamentals of Graphic design was such a good heads start for me in design. I started designing 2 years ago but little did i know i was doing it the wrong way all the while. Taking this course, I've been exposed to right design thinking and the basics of design. The exercises, peer graded assignments and quizzes have all played major roles in fine tuning my design basic knowledge. I look forward to taking subsequent courses in the specialization as this has triggered my zeal to horn my creative abilities. Great teachers! Great team!

Thank you!

By Jay M

Jul 28, 2020

I have greatly enjoyed learning from our teacher Michael Worthington who has a very simple yet succinct way of explaining the fundamentals of graphic designing that I felt I already knew about and oh boy was I wrong! I had been a painting student and though Bauhaus did apply the same fundamentals on all craetive strains yet the Graphic play viz-a-vis painting still felt somehow different. And it felt like fun. I loved every single minute of it. Looking forward to doing a few assignments left in week 4.

Thank you Coursera and Thank you CalArts :)

By Faisel K

Oct 2, 2020

The best Learning experience and the best Mentor I have ever seen. This course provides more than what one can expect. I have been doing graphic related jobs for the last 10 years but things which I have learned here change my perception all together towards making an aesthetical and functional piece of Graphic Design. I would recommend this course to anyone who likes to make his/her carrier in the design industry. I'm really thankful to the Coursera Team and faculty of CalArts for making such an incredible and excellent course. Thanks.

By Anna E T

Nov 7, 2016

I really enjoyed this course as it made me stop and take the time to not only make art but to have fun with it. This course made me think about different ways to blend art and text the different elements within a typeface and font. I learned a lot of new and important things to consider regarding graphic design and I really enjoyed the instructors way of teaching. Thank you for taking the time to make courses like this so easily available to individuals like me who do not have the time or funds for traveling to a formal college.

By Pratima P

Sep 1, 2020

WONDERFUL LEARNING ,SIMPLE ANY EASY WAY TO LEARN, PRACTICAL ASSIGNMENTS HELPED IN PRACTICAL SKILL DEVELOPMENT FOR THE COURSE,PEER GRADING HELPED IN UNDERSTANDING DIFFERENT IDEAS OF STUDENTS AND THEIR THOUGHT PROCESS,INDEED A BEAUTIFUL COURSE ,THANK YOU VERY MUCH SIR MICHAEL WORTHINGTON ,YOUR GUIDANCE AND TEACHING HELPED ME TO LEARN FUNDAMENTALS OF GRAPHIC DESIGN IN AN EASY WAY.THANK YOU COURSERA COURSE AND BOMBAY TEACHER'S TRAINING COLLEGE FOR GIVING ME THE OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN AND DEVELOP MY SKILLS ,DIVINE GRATITUDE TO ALL.

By Mateusz G

Jun 9, 2019

This is my first (and for sure not last) course in this website. I always thought that online courses this is a big crap and nothing serious. I was wrong. I learnt a lot in this time with "fndamentals of graphic design" course. I am really surprised about another students - they were evaluating with being honest and pointing what was to improve in homeworks from tasks which we got. Also I got a lot of inspirations from another points of view on simple tasks:)

Best regards for creator of this course, my journey just began.

By Angela M

Sep 20, 2020

I just want to say thanks to Coursera for allowing me to take the course.

Thank you for offering financial assistance.

Thanks to the California Institute of the Arts for offering the course.

Thanks to Professor Michael Worthington, for teaching the classes and giving of his time and knowledge to learn about the fundamentals of graphic design.

Thank you all the colleagues who review the tasks and are part of the fact that we can give feedback, and be able to finish our activities.

Delighted with the course!

Many blessings!

By Kỳ D

Dec 26, 2021

This course of CALArt extremely inspire me to become a better version ! the lessons from Mr. Michael Worthington were very explicit to understand and could be use these precious experiences to expand more and more knowledges about graphic design ! I am so honored to be here and thanks to all of my peers who taking time to contribute for my projects ! And I really appreciate the kindness of Coursera to give me chance and support financial aid for me to begin my journey in graphic design ! Thank you very much !

By María A O

Dec 3, 2015

Very practical and enjoyable introduction to graphic design. It condenses a lot of content in an approachable and diversified way so it's useful to learn a lot in little time.

It's also encouraging to put all the concepts taught into practice with various media, with its balance between technique and talent. I like the instructor's way to express the importance of relying on the idea over difficulty.

Among the MOOCs I've taken on art topics, this one stands out as one of the most clarifying and fulfilling.

By Deleted A

May 14, 2020

I want to give many thanks for being given this wholesome opportunity to spend my time meaningfully during this most difficult time! This course has taught me to broaden my perspectives and horizons in the fine arts, with graphic design also being the tip of an even bigger mountain to be scaled. A big heartfelt thank you to the main instructor (Michael Worthington) and many others who worked behind the scenes to create this engaging, colourful course which took me four days to complete. Worth it! ;-)