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

6,107 ratings
1,477 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.


Aug 21, 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

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251 - 275 of 1,436 Reviews for Fundamentals of Graphic Design

By Shivansh S

Mar 30, 2016

A great course with a simple approach for the beginners. It was the class to not only learn, but enjoy with whatever is being done.

By fernando V S

Mar 20, 2016

What an Excellent Way to Re-Cap!!!!

Thanks Cal Arts....

Thanks Coursera....

By K M M H

Sep 07, 2017

awesome course

By Marli M

Mar 04, 2017

Very well organized course, with interesting topics and assignments. I took it as a free course and was very grateful for all the good information and practice was available. Many of the other students were very talented and it was fun to see their work during Peer Review. The 2 only criticisms are that (1) I wish they had recommended good, free software for completing the assignments. I ended up doing the 2 required assignments in an outdated version of MSWord, but managed to make that work, though it was time consuming. And (2), I never figured out how to request reviews of my work except as a "reply" to another post.

By Adriana D L S

Jan 19, 2016

Very good course for begginers.

By Marta M

Jul 12, 2017

Excelent one

By Tia C

Feb 29, 2016

Professor Worthington is very thorough and the information in this course is not only interesting and accurate, it is useful! I absolutely loved the course and was extremely excited upon receiving my Certificate!

By Mariana M

Dec 26, 2015

I really enjoyed the classes and the explanations were clear, precise and professional. thank you very much for preparing this classes. The exercises and references were very useful.

By Sergei T

Feb 24, 2016

Absolutely awesome course! Very informative, great examples, every lesson is logically structured and really inspiring. The whole course is helping to acquire a basic knowledge and understanding of a graphic design principles.

By Simona J

Mar 15, 2018

I like the course, not knowing anything I've learned a lot. Learning that objects and letters can trigger emotions and feelings, learning the typefaces, the colouring, the playing with shapes, was very educative and interesting for me. I have never worked in Photoshop or any other photo editor so I had to learn part of that as well. This course was A+ and I thing that with the basics now I can start exploring for more and also now I see things and surrounding with second pair of eyes.


Jan 19, 2016

I love this course so much, and I have learnt a lot of skills, techniques and knowledge about Graphic Design. Though some of the assignments are optional, I guess is to reduce the workload of the learners, I strongly emphasize learners to try all of them since the results won't affect the overall performance. It is a good introduction course for Graphic Design.

By Foteini F

Dec 01, 2016

I thoroughly enjoyed the course and I definitely recommend it to anyone interested in learning or fine-tuning their understanding of the basics of design.

Very well structured and worth the time!

By vishnu r

Feb 05, 2016

A really good course for beginners. Lets you know the basics of graphics design.

By Eugenia S

Aug 30, 2017

Great and helpful course! Thank you!

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



Dec 28, 2015

I enjoyed Fundamentals of Graphic Design. The course in such a small time makes you understand the thinking that goes behind any creative work.

Thank you.


By Persefoni L

Nov 13, 2015

I learned a lot from this course and it was very flexible, interactive and easy to follow.

By Ajit N

Mar 23, 2017

Thing I liked the most about this course was that there were so many practice assignments. It had me practicing and designing every day which improved my skills