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

15,031 ratings
3,898 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


Sep 5, 2021

I had a lot of fun in this course. I learnt some extra bits of information related to graphic design and I think it's a great start for beginners as well as good practice for intermediate and experts!


Jul 13, 2020

Excellent course to learn and refresh about fundamentals of design....It applies to all spheres of MULTIMEDIA..Highly recommended... As a suggestion course and notes should be available in PDF format.

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3726 - 3750 of 3,874 Reviews for Fundamentals of Graphic Design

By Joanna G

Jul 6, 2016

Enjoyed it.

By Maria M

Dec 17, 2020

very nice!

By Kanishka R

Apr 25, 2020


By Claudio S

May 5, 2018

Well done!

By Sandip R

Feb 21, 2021


By Vishnu R C 5

Feb 13, 2020


By 飞飞

Aug 16, 2016


By Mustafa R

Jun 23, 2020


By Dulce A

Mar 14, 2016


By April E

Mar 17, 2021


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Dec 2, 2020


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Jul 30, 2020


By Loga S G 1

Jun 6, 2020


By Richel F

Dec 12, 2018



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By Ayan M

Mar 4, 2021


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Sep 11, 2020



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May 20, 2020


By Invader

Jan 22, 2022


By Amir B

Feb 14, 2019


By Rebecca W

Feb 9, 2022

This was a great overview of the fundamentals, useful, interesting assignments and a lot of opportunity to practice. It was highly enjoyable and I like how the professor chose to explain things. Knocking off two stars for two reasons:

- The peer review system is broken. I rarely received useful feedback. In general, I think a paid course should have a professional give professional-grade feedback, but in the absence of that possibility, the least they could do is place a minimal word limit on the review sections so that people have to type more than one word to qualify as a review. In addition, people who don't pay attention to the rubric mark down your assignments and can screw with your grade as a result

- The quality of this course was not matched by the next in the specialization, which is Intro to Typography. So people who signed up for this course and then pursued a specialization based on the quality of this course will likely be let down by the very next course in the track. Intro to Typography is totally self-guided, is not at all dense with content (could be done in two weeks EASILY), and is almost completely grade reliant on peer reviewers, which as I pointed out, are of questionable quality. There is really no quality control for the work you complete in this course and it should be free as it currently exists.

By 翠花

Oct 5, 2016

The last assignment caused me CONFUSION. I mean, due to the unclear assignment requirements, we cannot review composition for composition's sake. For example, I did use two squares as the assignment asked, but I changed the transparency of them, so they form a new square when overlapping. And people think I used three squares and thus not following the instructions. And many people used a small circle and a large circle putting at the center vertically to form a scale composition, and you have to give them 3 points because they followed the instructions, but they actually did not do much in terms of composition. Though I got 3.5 scores by two people ( not very bad), I'm still frustrated, and I hope the assignment requirements could be clearer.

By Annie H

Aug 31, 2020

I really enjoyed this course. I learned a lot and there were plenty of opportunities to use my new skills immediately in projects.

My only complaint is that I would have liked to get real feedback from an instructor on at least one of the assignments. I understand why the system is peer-graded and that it would be an immense commitment to actually grade the assignments, but maybe it's not the right system for a design course.

I felt the class was valuable for dipping my toes into graphic design, but could never replace a real class with an active instructor. For this reason, I don't think I'll be continuing with the specialization as originally planned.

By Fatma M Z

Dec 10, 2019

The content of the course is good, but the real problem is the assignments that must be evaluated by others, It disables me a lot now I finished the videos and passed the exam, & submitted my assignments. Now taking my certificate that I will put in my CV depends on reviewing my work, now I can not apply for the job only after If I get the certificate of this course and this thing hurt me a lot.

Why have I been late getting the certificate because there are no people registered with me for this course at the same time? Or that no one has evaluated my work?

Please find a solution to this problem and keep this in mind.