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

14,043 ratings
3,643 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 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.

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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401 - 425 of 3,614 Reviews for Fundamentals of Graphic Design

By Ana C F

Aug 19, 2020

I loved this online course! It was my first contact with Graphic Design and I've learned a lot. I really appreciated the fact that we had to fulfil tasks and not only listen to videos. For sure, I want to keep learning more!

By Yue D

Feb 18, 2020

It is a very basic course of graphic design, which is very suitable for those who do not have a basic knowledge of graphic design, but generally it involves less knowledge, especially the interpretation of some proper nouns.

By Alberto A

Feb 12, 2020

For me, a non professional in design, but a lover, it was an exciting experience. Now I have more clarity with the main concepts, so I am grateful for the simplicity and enriching course. I also had much fun with the briefs!

By Eusebio T S

Sep 23, 2019

This course was a great introduction to design that I can take and share with my students. I think it is great for beginners as it is easy to understand and well thought out. The activities are meaningful and worth the time.

By Charlie R

Apr 9, 2018

Greetings from Saipan, Northern Mariana Island. I am graphic designer by profession and I want to continue improving my skills. This is online course surely help me attained that goal. I intend to finish the rest of courses.

By Tatyana S

Dec 2, 2015

This is a great course to start learning graphic design. Though I expected to find a bit more profound information, I still recommend it to those who has never had any experience (or conscious experience) designing something

By Zhanna D

Nov 13, 2015

I like this course. It is great.

It is not the easiest course ever, but it gives a lot of important information.

I do like it has theoretical and practical assignments. So you will have Fun and Challenge :)

Highly recommended.


Apr 16, 2020

The course was greatly structured. I had great fun watching the videos and doing all the assignments. I think this is an amazing course for beginners. The strongest point of this course, in my opinion, were the assignments.

By Leonel I C

Jul 16, 2021

Es un excelente curso, pero lamentablemente no es para mí (Me interesa más la rama del IT) Sin embargo, no niego qué aprendí muchas cosas nuevas qué desconocía totalmente y me motivó a aprender más sobre el Graphic Design!

By Emanuel A

May 17, 2020

The course was a watershed in my career, because I didn't have design techniques in my head and of course practice outside the computer. This has improved the quality of my work and I am more motivated to create new things

By Akshid R

Dec 12, 2016

Great instructor and lessons. I love the organisation of the course and it really provides a great basis for looking deeper into aspects of graphic design! Looking forward to doing the other courses in this specialisation.

By Wejdan A

Mar 8, 2021

I like the quality of the information. I like the tasks and I should participate even in the optional tasks. I like the instructor approach on emphasizing information. This a very needed course to begin in graphic design.

By Regine A

Oct 18, 2020

Thankful to have at least a month of taking a graphic design course in our homes, this course helped me improve my knowledge in making designs. Looking forward to more in-depth learning on other aspects of graphic design.

By Dung N

Nov 8, 2019

As the name of the course prompted, this course is very hardcore & fundamental. This is a stepping stone for those who are looking to dive deep into the field of arts or graphic design. Highly recommended it for everyone.

By Erica M

Apr 21, 2016

Great course on graphic design. Explain graphic design in more detail than most college classes I have taken. Would recommend this class to others wanting to understand or explore graphic design as a possible career move.

By Liezl S

Jul 9, 2021

I learned a lot from this online course and the chat support was very responsive. Thank you a million folds Coursera more power. You helped a lot of students by providing them the tools needed for improving their career.

By Eleonora D L

Jun 11, 2020

Great course, it gave me a lot of inspiration and it made me reflect. Also, amazing teacher. Sometimes I forget why I love this field, but this teacher was able to remind me what made me fall in love with graphic design.


Feb 7, 2020

A special thanks to the coursera who given me opportunity to learn a new skill by granting me aid for this course. The skill i earned in this course will definitely gonna help me to reach my future goals.

Thousand Thanks.

By Prakriti G

Jul 22, 2018

With the brilliant optional assignments and research prompts told in every video, this course lets you experience actual graphic design by many hands-on activities and make you to love graphic design! Love the course!!!!

By Anastasia A

Nov 27, 2017

Fundamentals of Graphic Design is very interesting course. I really enjoy the education time. It was full of theory and useful practical part. Do not doubt if you would like to begin study. Just start! You will love it!

By Diana S

Jul 10, 2016

I have been working in the field for a couple of years now, but this course gave me some key fundamental bits of knowledge. Recommended for those who are self-taught or simply those who want to brush up on some concepts.

By Ana C

Jan 28, 2017

I'm a journalism student and some knowledge of design is a requirement for most internships, and honestly this coursed helped me a lot with undestanding basic concepts. It's very interesting, fun and easy to understand.

By Pablo G O

Oct 26, 2020

Good course. Concepts are well explained, however it gets a little boring sometimes. It's easy enough for anyone to understand and it gives you new insights if you have never studied anything related to Graphic Design.

By Tania P T A

Feb 27, 2019

Perfect course to learn the basic and fundamental things of graphic design. The course is easy to understand and it allows you to start working in designing small things using the elements you learn through the course.

By Sharon K H

Apr 2, 2016

There was just the right balance of instruction and hands-on assignments that let me explore my creative side. The only problem is that if you are paying for this class, your grade depends on reviews by other students.