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

6,435 ratings
1,543 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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1276 - 1300 of 1,503 Reviews for Fundamentals of Graphic Design

By Michelle G

Sep 11, 2017

An enjoyable introduction to Graphic Design

By E. C C

Nov 19, 2016

Very basic introduction to the ground floor of Graphic Design. Get in, get it done, get out. I like how precise it was.

By Curbita

Sep 17, 2016

I didn't really liked the course of the first week but than I really came to enjoy a lot the course about pattern and forms in particular which was a completely new way of thinking how to create for me, very interesting and full of possibilities.

By Deborah M

Jan 23, 2017

I really loved this course, it really pushes you forward to create and it is a really good course for beginners. I would only love for the review part to be more

challenging in order to get better at your work in the future

By Teri L

May 24, 2018

Really easy-to-understand course, for people who would like to know the very basic things about graphic design. It teaches you he terminologies to build the base of a beginner designer and shows how it can affect different artworks. This course is encouraging you to simply "MAKE DESIGN!" and bring out your inner-creativity, especially through the somewhat open-ended assignments that only require something like Word, or even your pencils at home as the minimum. Definitely recommend it if you're only coming into the graphics design world :)

By Ashley H

Feb 03, 2017

I learned some stuff and this was one of the easier courses I have taken.

By Mayra S

Oct 04, 2017

Great, Simple and Dinamic

By GanaBear

Nov 06, 2017


By Kushal S

Dec 30, 2017

I am an under-grad (2015) in product design from Srishti Institute in Bangalore, India. Currently, a multi-disciplinary professional, I was seeking to clear my basics in graphic design; the course has definitely met this requirement of mine. I liked the simplicity of exercises - not demanding too much - allowing enough time to play around and develop good grip over each aspect of graphic design.

By Bruno C B M

Sep 20, 2017

Very Good for beginners!

By Nicole S

Mar 25, 2018

The teacher is compelling and the lessons are the perfect amount of time and info. The instructions for the assignments are sometimes a little unclear.

By Katrina F

Jan 08, 2018

Very informative class and I enjoyed the flexibility in weekly assignments. Unfortunately, some of my submissions lacked enough feedback for me to learn from other students since one student repeatedly gave a sing "good" to a couple of my assignments and therefore I lost out on informative criticism.

By José P

Mar 26, 2018

Some teacher reviews are much needed!

By Catharina M M K

Jan 24, 2018

I liked this course a lot - great basic information. The voice sometimes was a little too monotone and sometimes it was too slow (at least for me, everyone perceives it differently).

By Deleted A

Aug 23, 2017

Excellent. Loved every second!

By Collin F

Nov 04, 2017

The lecturer was inspiring and very well spoken. The assignments emphasized the need to create many different iterations which I feel is a valuable habit to understand from the very beginning. In general I felt that I took a lot away from the course that I could easily apply to my work as a game designer / product person.

By Sakina H J

Aug 21, 2016

Its a great course to start understanding the basics of design and know what graphic design is all about. the lectures are very well explained and the assignments are all very easy to complete.

Its a very well structured course.

By Gayathri C R

Oct 06, 2016

Good explanation and very basic

By Vipin P

May 11, 2017

Good Knowledgeable course.

By Janaina L V

Dec 04, 2017

student's support should be better, they take long time to answer our doubts.

By Mandella E

Dec 26, 2017

Even though this is a beginner course, I feel it could have been a bit more challenging.

By Vimal K

Jan 29, 2018

Good course to get knowledge about the basics of Graphic Design.

By patrick

Apr 12, 2018

very helpfull and instructive...

By Roger X M

Mar 16, 2018

Good way to start in Graphic Design's World

By Kimberley P

Apr 02, 2018

great intro to the fundamentals with enjoyable exercises