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

15,966 ratings

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


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.


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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451 - 475 of 4,086 Reviews for Fundamentals of Graphic Design


Feb 18, 2020

It was very interesting and pretty cool as an introduction ! It was clear and simple, not quite easy but the fact that the instrutor tells us to practice any time, just for fun was so cool and not stressfull. Thank you for that !

By Teo M

Dec 8, 2016

Ha sido un curso especialmente interesante, sobre todo por la claridad en las explicaciones y la calidad de los trabajos prácticos. Recomiendo que las personas que sigan el curso realicen todos los trabajos opcionales propuestos.

By Paula H

Aug 14, 2022

I really liked this course. The classes are enjoyable and well explained, with examples. In addition, the practical exercises are very interesting and you learn a lot from them. 100% recommended to start in the world of design.

By Jayakeerthikha K R

Jul 22, 2021

Beginner-friendly. I understand the basic concepts in graphic design. I love the sample designs used to teach that helped me to understand the core. Any one wanting to take structured course for beginners I would recommend this.

By Mubashir Z

Dec 16, 2020

This course was well organized, I was already a graphic designer but I never knew the terminologies and technical parts.. this course really enlightened my mind it some kind of broadened my thinking about new creations... Thanks

By Jory H

Jul 9, 2020

I am quite happy with this course. It is very basic, but very necessary for the beginner. I enjoyed the exercises and felt that it was a good breakdown of the rules of graphic design and helped me in the way I design something.

By Juan J L M

May 12, 2020

Un curso que empieza desde abajo y con el que es posible aportar tu toque creativo. La idea de calificación "E2E" (student to student) es un método interactivo para poder ver el trabajo de tus compañeros. Encantado con el curso.

By Ellen T

Jan 7, 2019

Great course - intelligent and incisive instruction. Really do recommend this as a starter course or refresher. Throughly enjoyed it and learned a lot despite having already having studied art and design many years previously.

By Dulce A R W

Sep 28, 2016

I really liked this course, it was a great introduction to this world which is graphic design for me. I also appreciate very much the scholarship, without it, I would not be able to complete this first course session. Thank you!

By Eva M M

Nov 22, 2022

It was very helpful and I especially liked the way the concepts were conveyed. Clear and simple, so that anyone who likes to design or paint or whatever is related to art, feel again a connection with that facet. Thanks for it.

By Houssem E L

Sep 24, 2021

I learned a lot in this course, although it has 5 to 8 minutes in each video lesson but I guarantee you'll be mind blown at the end, I strongly recommend this course before you start learning anything else about graphic design

By Ajibola T

Oct 26, 2020

Every great idea and dream must be established within you and you alone. Awesome teaching, so impacting and inspiring, actually I wanna thank Coursera for building to this level of being a good graphic design. Thanks Coursera

By Abdullah N Q

Oct 13, 2020

Great course, the instructor is awesome. I got my fundamentals right on graphic design, how to think about typography, shapes, imagery, space and how to fit it all together with right proportions of content and visual context.

By Kinga S

Aug 9, 2016

To break rules and be unconventional one needs to know conventions and rules - and this course is just that! It gives you key vocabulary to name some things which you may consider easy, but never bothered to notice and name :)

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 Niamh F

Feb 21, 2016

Although this was a beginners class and a lot of the concepts were really simple, the instructor still found ways to make the class fun and get me thinking creatively. This class got me excited to learn even more about design!

By Priscila S C

Feb 5, 2016

A great course, I liked very much the way the teacher speaks, I could understand everything clearly, the activities were well made and even the optional ones had some deep meaning. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.

By Ho N

Dec 19, 2022

Good course covering quite a few fundamental design concepts. One suggestion is to change those optional assignments from optional to required, such that learners will have to do all of them and get more designing experience.

By Danielle C

Apr 28, 2020

Great course, highly recommend. I was skeptical at first, but came away with a better understanding of how form, color, space, repetition, typography, and other elements of graphic design fit into the big picture of a design.

By Piyaporn K

Apr 26, 2020

This course is very fun and eye-opening! You will not only learn about thr theory, but also get to through express your creativity through hands-on projects! Highly recommended to anyone who is interested in art and design :)

By sarwar a

Jan 1, 2017

this course is so full of information in a deep manner of details and give best knowledge, instructions, guideline and education of graphic design. I'm so inspire from this course and take have a so many education from there.

By Thushera D

Oct 2, 2022

i have learned so much about basic knowladge about graphic desing even some of these name that used in graphic designs were new to but still the way these lectures teach us really helps us understand well thank you again <3

By Vesela

Apr 4, 2022

This is a fantastic course for learning graphic design basics. The instructional videos explain perfectly the theory. The assignments are also very well written, simple, however, they still challenge you to think creatively.

By Serikbol B

Sep 18, 2021

I loved the course!! It really did teach the must needed fundaments of graph. design. The thing I liked the most is how the speaker used his own examples to explain stuff, which made the explanation way eaesier to understand

By Rohan T

Sep 13, 2021

Fruitful. The course is truly foundational which equips you with foundational graphic design knowledge and skills. All assignments, graded or optional, boost your confidence and help showing your understanding of the course.