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

15,987 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


Aug 20, 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


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!

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501 - 525 of 4,090 Reviews for Fundamentals of Graphic Design

By Abdulrahman A

Dec 18, 2022

very academic and sufficient , informative and precise .

I enjoyed the course so much, easy to grasp the concepts .

big thanks for the remarkable teacher Michael Worthington, and for the staff who are fast and accurate.


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 Marius B

Jun 27, 2022

Can't wait for more courses from CalArts. I'm very happy with the course, I like the structure, the peer-review approach, I feel like I've grown a bit and I want to learn more. I recommend this class to every beginner.

By Aimee Z

Jun 10, 2022

Such a helpful course! It provides a great introduction to graphic design, and the way this course is structured is fantastic and engaging. Could not recommend it more highly to those looking to start creating content.

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.

By Enikő M

Feb 18, 2021

I really liked the course. The theory part is easy to understand and there's a great selections of assignments that help you to improve your skills. I think it's a good start a good start to become a graphic desginer!


Jun 3, 2020

This course really helps a person to build a fundamental idea on how to work and think to become a graphic designer.The course instructor took the exact amount of time needed not more nor less with a good flow on time

By Peggy L

Jan 2, 2023

I found the lectures to be clear, concise and informative. Relevant examples were shown throughout and after completing this course, I find myself much more aware of all the contrasts and elements in graphic design.

By Deleted A

Jan 2, 2022

I love learning new things and upgrade myself with several skills. This course provided all the contents for beginner, which helped me to improve my image making idea. I enjoyed thoroughly while learning. Thank you .

By Matias B

Sep 17, 2021

Sinceramente no crei en pode hacerlo de manera gratuita (obteniendo la Beca que brinda la pagina). Muy buen curso, personas que saben muchisimo. Es un curso interesante que abre la cabeza a nuevas formas de trabajar.

By Rose R

Nov 23, 2020

I took a graphic design course a decade ago, and found this an excellent review that caught me back up! I would highly recommend it to anyone who needs a review or is just starting. Very accessible and well laid out.

By Yi X P

Aug 12, 2020

This course is chill and interesting. It is practical for the learner to gain basic knowledge of graphic design. And it really embarks my desire to learn more about graphic design even though I am a business student.

By Luca B

Jun 17, 2020

Great course to learn about art and first graphic composition, a good way for who is looking for a starting course in this field. If you are looking for a Course that help you with Adobe programs this is not for you.

By Juan C I

Apr 30, 2020

Excelent 101 course. If you go through all the optional tasks, you have really good chances to practice all the theory and have nice peers' feedback. Videos are straightforward and have a perfect length. Nice course!

By Marina C d R

Sep 21, 2019

I've enjoyed a lot to do this course because the teaching is very clear and the assignments are feasible just like the description of the course has enumerated. I've learned new ways to to and, mostly, to see things.

By Sherisse M A S

Jun 23, 2020

Taking this course further enhanced my appreciation and understanding towards graphic design. Learning the fundamentals helped fortify my skills in promoting products or events through the use of information design.

By Letícia S

Feb 13, 2020

Despite it is a fundamentals course, it is very complete and very didactic. It teaches you the basic things inside image making and design, although it is necessary to have basic knowledge on adobe suites. Loved it!

By Alma Y A O

Mar 7, 2019

It's a very comprehensive course on the fundamentals of Graphic Design such as composition, image making, etc. It has very interesting exercises, the videos are well recorded, dynamic and full of useful information.

By Felippe L N

Jan 23, 2017

That was a very good introductory course for someone with no background as me. Its a 5-star rating course, however, I would like to see some more practical classes as for example, doing a project for a firm.


By Gerard

Feb 8, 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.


Nov 16, 2021

This was a very interesting class especially for non designers, who wish to enter the graphic design world. I would definitely recommend it to everyone who works in Marketing and want to become a graphic designer.

By Lilia M N

Oct 6, 2016

In my opinion, this course help me to see regular items in different ways. Also, it open for me "world of design" it is something new for me.

I liked this course because it is simple, i can learn in different time.

By Naufal Z

Jun 15, 2020

A worthwhile course to pick up as it teaches you the very basics of what captures the human eye. Would recommend this for those with pure interest and even for those who wants to delve further into graphic design.