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

6,197 ratings
1,493 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


May 10, 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 18, 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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1176 - 1200 of 1,451 Reviews for Fundamentals of Graphic Design

By Maureen O

Oct 02, 2019

Fundamentals of Graphic design was such a good heads start for me in design. I started designing 2 years ago but little did i know i was doing it the wrong way all the while. Taking this course, I've been exposed to right design thinking and the basics of design. The exercises, peer graded assignments and quizzes have all played major roles in fine tuning my design basic knowledge. I look forward to taking subsequent courses in the specialization as this has triggered my zeal to horn my creative abilities. Great teachers! Great team!

Thank you!

By Bharath R

Oct 03, 2019

Amazing course!!!. Never thought i can be a graphic designer and I have never came across this kind of course. Also, will definitely recommend this course to all my friends.

By Lynda R

Oct 04, 2019

The instructor has a nice, clean, uncomplicated delivery. All the assignments were fun and thought-provoking. Glad I took it.

By Margaret B

Oct 06, 2019

I very much enjoyed this introductory course and will continue on in the specialization!

By Mak Y K A

Oct 07, 2019

It a good entry course for non-design background students to learn graphic design. It's happy to keep trying different graphic designs.

By Muhammad A S

Oct 07, 2019


By straighttttt

Oct 10, 2019

Great fundamental course

By Joanna C

Oct 12, 2019

I really enjoyed this course. I can definitely see that I have learned something. The assignments were challenging and fun. Thank you!

By Paola C

Oct 11, 2019

Very interesting, it helped me to discover new skills and improving the existing ones!

By Ivan Z

Dec 22, 2018

Good course overall

By Kurt L

Dec 23, 2018

Helpful, even interesting. it covers broad area of graphic design in somewhat meaningful depth, and yet it's still intriguing enough to make people try

By Richel F

Dec 13, 2018


By Boula N S

Feb 02, 2019

It is a great course to start your journey if being a designer.

By Ismail A

Feb 04, 2019

great introductory course!

By Chic C

Nov 22, 2018

Great course. The basics are amazing. The videos are explained wonderfully and at a very easy pace. The exercises are perfect. Only thing is you can't send your homework at first because you didn't pay for it. I didn't get any recognition or diploma... :( NOTHING, and that's a little bit sad. Anyhow, the course is wonderful and I learned a lot!!!

By Parul N

Nov 26, 2018

I have learned a lot during these four weeks. I have been able to understand the use of graphic design and how I can develop my skill further. I think if we could get in touch with the instructors as well for doubts as well as our assignments , we can learn a lot more.

By Ritesh K

Jan 07, 2019

One of the Best Course, I have done lot on courser, Thanks for this one...!!

By Kit C

Jan 09, 2019

The lessons were clear and full of examples, very easy to comprehend. The assignments were perfect for beginners and were really helpful for improvement.

By Hari G

Feb 13, 2019

I wish the examples and the projects were a bit more fun/engaging. I understand that this was a fundamentals course, but I found it a little dry. Some of the examples were also "ok." Did not really inspire me to create as much as I would have liked.

By Tina L O Z

Feb 12, 2019

Rigorous if you take the time to do the optional work which has a lot of depth and value.

By Amir B

Feb 14, 2019


By Leon B

Feb 26, 2019

The course gives a good introduction to graphic design. My only concern is that the only reviews are peer reviews, but given the scale and cost this in completely understandable.

I definitely recommend this course for anyone with an interest in design who has not had any previous training.

By Heather C

Feb 26, 2019

I like this course. However, I would like to work more with color. I also think having the option to collaborate with other students would inspire people more perhaps, maybe just one group project that can be completed either in the group or also alone but the project is required, if that makes sense?! Students could just choose if they wanted to do it alone or with a partner. I found myself wanting to reach out to fellow students and didn't really have the opportunity so if there was some incentive to do so, that would be neat. But overall great course! And the professors accent made it really easy to want to watch his videos and follow along!

By Alexandra K M

Mar 01, 2019

I liked the fundamentals of graphic design very much.