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

6,430 ratings
1,541 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


Apr 18, 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.


May 10, 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.

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226 - 250 of 1,499 Reviews for Fundamentals of Graphic Design

By sandee

Jun 11, 2016

this course is amazing! very good choice for entry-level designers

By Ethan

Jan 03, 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 Levente S

Aug 22, 2016

amazingly practical

By Gustavo P

Mar 10, 2016

Great course and tutor.

By Gerard

Feb 09, 2016

Excellent course! As a graphic designer with over 10 years of experience this course took me back to the basics and re-ignited my passion for Graphic Design. Truly great and well put together course, very inspiring.

By Magdalena P F

Dec 30, 2015

This course is very helpful to understand why some designers present certain information or things in a certain way.

By Prahlad G

Mar 07, 2016

Clear and Organised.

By wu s

Feb 11, 2017


By Kimberly C N

Aug 10, 2016

Really awesome course. I like that it has all the theory and a lot of hands-on projects to practice and learn the how-tos of design. I totally recommend it.

By Anastasia R

Aug 21, 2016

Briiliant course! It gives you very solid fundamentals for all other courses of the Graphic design specialization. The teacher is very passionate, loves his subject and can make all ideas very understandable. The course helps to believe in inner strenght and creativity. I loved it so much! Thanks for this amazing 4 weeks!

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 Thaís B G

Jan 30, 2016

Great not only for the beginners, but also for professional graphic designers who whant to revisit the basics. The typography classes are excellent!

By Dee M

Sep 14, 2016

Great, great course. Really comprehensive overview of the fundamentals of graphic design

By Thomas G

Feb 11, 2016

Excellent introduction to graphic design, I really enjoyed the lectures and learned a lot.

By Filipe C V H

Mar 21, 2016


By Zaira P M

May 29, 2018

Muy buen curso

By Ida B D J

Jan 11, 2016

Great course.

By khadiga e b

Feb 10, 2016

wonderful course, very helpful with basic knowledge of graphic design usage of elements and forms and terminologies. Thank you, the videos were very helpful and very insightful and easy to follow. I'd so love to carry on taking more courses that can help broaden my knowledge

By Christopher G

Feb 28, 2017

Provided a solid and comprehensive introduction to graphic design

By Isabelle M

Feb 12, 2016


By Fabian M

Nov 28, 2016

This is one of those courses that for me open a door to a whole new world, that was right there in front of me the whole time (design is all around in society) but I had been to blind to notice. The course has lifted that veil for me.

By Victoria A

Apr 10, 2016

Great overview of Graphic Design! Thank you for so much for the basics. I would definitely recommend this free, 4-week course to friends.

By Marisol V

Dec 25, 2015

Keep on doing these kind of courses! Thank you so much!

By Sonia C

Feb 08, 2016

Excellent course. Thoughtful introductions and good briefs. Enjoyed and learned lots

By Nina M

Dec 03, 2017

Great content !