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

4.8
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12,992 ratings
3,324 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

AR
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.

FS
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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76 - 100 of 3,276 Reviews for Fundamentals of Graphic Design

By María A O

Dec 3, 2015

Very practical and enjoyable introduction to graphic design. It condenses a lot of content in an approachable and diversified way so it's useful to learn a lot in little time.

It's also encouraging to put all the concepts taught into practice with various media, with its balance between technique and talent. I like the instructor's way to express the importance of relying on the idea over difficulty.

Among the MOOCs I've taken on art topics, this one stands out as one of the most clarifying and fulfilling.

By Deleted A

May 14, 2020

I want to give many thanks for being given this wholesome opportunity to spend my time meaningfully during this most difficult time! This course has taught me to broaden my perspectives and horizons in the fine arts, with graphic design also being the tip of an even bigger mountain to be scaled. A big heartfelt thank you to the main instructor (Michael Worthington) and many others who worked behind the scenes to create this engaging, colourful course which took me four days to complete. Worth it! ;-)

By Megan C

Mar 19, 2016

This was an amazing course with a very talented and engaging instructor. I suffer from a chronic illness and have recently had to put an unrelated university degree on hold. It honestly felt like my life was falling to pieces. If this course is any indication of what's to come, I have full hopes of being able to start a successful business from home, allowing me to work with my illness and not against it like I was doing before. Thank you Coursera for opening my life back up to possibilities again.

By Nandagopalan V

May 26, 2018

I guess this is one of the very few courses available online in graphic design from a reputed institute. It is a great course for a beginner to get started off with. The course content was optimum for a beginner and useful information was provided in all sections. It is definitely a good course to get you thinking in the direction of graphic design and help identify your areas of interest within the domain. I am grateful to Coursera, Calarts and Prof. Worthington for giving me this opportunity.

By Altemur B

Aug 16, 2020

I really like that course. Instructors were very good. I always heard good things about calarts. And know I understood that everything was true. Really good school, really good instructors and really good assignments for improving ourselves in a better way. As they said in the course, Graphic design is learned by design. And we made a lot of design assignments in that course. And we review our friends and get feedbacks from our friends, it was really helpful. I suggest calarts and their courses.

By Mrunal P S

Jan 17, 2019

The Course of Fundamentals of Graphic Design has been created in a precise way throwing light on the important topics of Basic Design elemental study, Color theory, Typography and Design composition, making it interesting and simple to understand by a layman.

Professor Worthington has done a marvelous job and has been able to translate the Graphic design understanding and terminology through his videos. This was my first course from Cousera and I feel privileged.

Thank You

Mrunal Sinha, India

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.

By Tran L P

Nov 15, 2016

Excellent course! I find this Fundamentals of Graphic Design very useful for everyone not just designer. It does not only provide me with very basic yet very useful knowledge of graphic design but also helped me greatly in practicing certain skills that I never thought I would have. The assignments and all peer-review sessions are quite challenging too though the video sessions with the teachers always sound very easy to understand. I love this challenge anyway. Strongly recommended.

By Beatriz A

Mar 28, 2019

I really like of this course, because I'm not from the Area of Design or take classes about it, but it is something that I always enjoy to work (most, in school works).

I learned, in general, the basics about the Design (terms, practical exercises),which gives me other perspective of my previous knowledge and confirms that this is something that will continue to work as a hobby or, perhaps, something more professional at the future.

Congratulations, Professor Michael Worthington :)

By Hannah C

Jan 5, 2021

It took me a little by surprise. I definitely had some expectations for what this course would be like, but I was taken in a different direction. I especially loved how they explained that the process for idea generation was more important than executing a specific idea perfectly the first time. And how you might stumble upon what works best by just continuing to experiment with ideas. The segments also went more in-depth than I anticipated. I learned far more than I expected to.

By Anano R

May 26, 2019

This Course Exceeded expectations, it is very comfortable to study online. this is my first experience to take online course, also what i like mostly is that every videos have subtitle it is realy owesom. also you can make your notes, also assigments is realy interesting to have a practise, when you check your classmate works it is also good experience too see what they do, and ask them recomendations, also they give you recomendations, it is realy comfortable and good course.

By Sarah N

Apr 28, 2016

A thoroughly inspiring, empowering, exciting, and enjoyable course.

During the course, I found myself wanting to rush on to the next part because I was delighted to find answers to questions I've had for years and other pearls of wisdom, but on the other hand I also wanted to linger and revel in the process of making.

I most heartily recommend this course to anyone looking to start out in graphic design, or who, like me, enjoys hobbies such as card making and creative embroidery.

By Елена Ю

Jan 23, 2021

Я уже проходила другие базовые курсы по графическому дизайну, но они были ориентированы на практику, а знание практики без знания фундаментальных понятий не дает возможности делать выразительные проекты.

Этот курс дал мне понимание фундаментальных вещей, которые кажутся простыми, только если не начать их осмыслять. Теперь те проекты, что были удачными и которые раньше я делала интутитивно, я могу проанализировать и повторить уже с более четким пониманием их сильных сторон.

By Emma M

Nov 3, 2016

I really enjoyed this class. The lectures were very well done and I learned a lot about design that I had not thought about before. I love the optional and required projects. I was inspired to be creative again, which was a nice surprise. I think the final project could have been a bit more challenging/creative similar to the first project. Maybe there could have been one more image, so 7 total, that could have been included and allowed us to be more creative and go crazy.

By natalie n

Dec 12, 2017

This is a great fist step for anyone who is looking to come into Graphic Design with no prior knowledge or perhaps for those who need a refresher to start thinking creatively. Micheal does a fabulous job of explaining thoroughly, clearly and communicates everything in a manner which is easy to understand for everyone but also makes the student start thinking creatively, like a designer. Highly recommended course as a foundation for anything in the creative industries.

By Stanislav K

Jan 19, 2018

I found the course very useful and enjoyed its creative "hands on" part a lot. The course is also remarkably well-conceived didactically: Michael has an ability to explain in a few minutes' video stuff that takes dozens of pages elsewhere. I also especially enjoyed his typographic excursion (to be honest, it gave me more that the whole course 2 about typography) and the additional video where he explains how you can expressively crop a photo. Thanks a lot, Michael!

By Juana C O

Apr 7, 2020

I really enjoyed the course, it has a good balance of conceptual input and practical exercises. I got a clear overview of design principles and enjoyed the practical exercises very much. I liked how the instructor emphasized the importance of the process rather than the output. That helped me build confidence in my progress. The peer feedback was positive although a bit short some times. Looking forward to continue with the other courses in the specialization

By Nicole O

Apr 9, 2020

I enjoyed my time in this course. Michael is a great instructor and he breaks down the concepts in the course effectively. Though it's an online course, I appreciate the fact that the faculty are always just a message away. Whenever I ran into issues and contacted them, they replied within a short time! I also enjoyed the peer-review aspect of some of the assignments as they helped me strengthen my critique skills and were an additional opportunity to learn.

By Sol

Aug 14, 2018

I loved this course! I have been a graphic designer for 2 and a half years but I felt like I'm not as creative as I used to be and even started to question if I should be a graphic designer. This course made me be excited about designing again and it was so useful to refresh my memory on basic rules of design. Hearing positive feedback from my peer students on my assignments was definitely a confidence boost. One of the best courses I have taken. Thank you!

By Abhishek I

Oct 19, 2019

Absolutely brilliant! I loved the way this course was conducted. The method through which the basics were explained and also the involvement of Alumni in the videos was brilliant. Each topic is precise, to the point, and helped me understand the concepts in a clear and concise manner.

Taking this course was one of the best decisions I made. I loved the assignments and it was really nice interacting with peers through the forums. A game-changer, this course.

By Kiseleva A I

May 12, 2020

Замечательный, познавательный курс! Приступая к курсу, я уже имела навыки работы с графическими редакторами и основами в композиции, использовании контрастов и шрифтах, но было много полезной информации, такой как строение шрифтов в типографике, основы Баухауса и создание портфолио на основе заданий после лекции.

Тренировка очень важна!

Большое спасибо за предоставленную возможность проходить данный курс он-лайн (особенно актуально в условиях самоизоляции).

By Michael W

Oct 12, 2020

Overall a great course. I already have an artistic background in Fine Arts so some of the Week 1 items were very rudimentary for myself. I found more benefit with each week progressing as I did not really have any kind of Graphic Design knowledge. If you are looking to learn more of graphic design I would not suggest this single course, but the entirety of the Specialization as it has individual courses for Typography and other major Design concepts.

By June W

Feb 25, 2019

I audited this course. I have been doing graphic design as a self-taught designer for years. While I didn't learn 'how' to do anything new in this course, I learned the correct terms for things I do, and the principals of design. I learned WHY things "just work" particular ways, and will be better able to explain design decisions to clients. All I could ever say was "it looks best that way". This has definitely take my skill level a notch higher.

By Julie H

Dec 11, 2019

I really enjoyed learning about many aspects of visual composition. The teacher has planned this course well and is able to help even those of us who are not great artists discover and begin to understand the elements of design. I'm grateful to the teacher for all the effort he put in to organizing the information in a wonderfully sequential learning experience. Thank you! I now appreciate art and graphic design in a way I never did before.

By Aljaz F

Feb 2, 2021

Great introduction to Graphic Design! The only thing is, even if it says you don't need any previous knowledge or design software... you do a little bit. to complete the assignments there is some basic skills required, a design software will also help a lot. I used Paint3D and photopea (without any previous knowledge) and it definitely made my course longer timewise, but gaining new knowledge while figuring out how to use the software was fun.