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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


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.


Aug 21, 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

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1301 - 1325 of 1,501 Reviews for Fundamentals of Graphic Design

By sarakshi c

Feb 08, 2016

Course is pretty good as a starting point. Makes you start thinking on different lines and gives a good introduction about the various aspects involved. Getting reviews from other students also helped a lot.

So overall, i quite enjoyed the course. Thumbs Up!! :)

By Juliana Y

Jul 27, 2017

It's been fun! As the name suggest, it really is a fundamental course meant for beginners. I find the typography week to be most informative.

By Keith W

Jun 08, 2016

A very good introduction to this specialization, with fun and thought-provoking exercisees.

By Ana L T M

Mar 16, 2016

Es un buen curso, he aprendido en la primera semana más que en algunos de mis años en la carrera.

By Virginia E M

Mar 30, 2016

Good explanations and great tasks to accomplish. Really didactic.

By Rachel S

Sep 15, 2016

Overall great course. Some knowledge Adobe Illustrator and file formatting needed.

The Audio is out of sink from the video on many lessons.

By Lucy S

Mar 03, 2016

Information was very good and presented in a clear and intriguing manner. I do wish the professors or someone could give some oversight. Some students were nice, but some were very nasty to each other. Ironically, the people with the worst work were the nastiest.

By Matthew A

Nov 06, 2015

Great entry level course! Big thanks to Michael Worthington!

By Sergi S

Nov 21, 2015

Very good to understand the basics of graphic design

By Sarmishta S

Mar 31, 2016

A very precise and interesting overview into the world of design and graphics.

By Viorel-Daniel S

Sep 12, 2017

It was a well organized course, but it did not manage to get me very excited about graphic design.

By Deb S

Jan 27, 2017

Good basic introduction to the topic.

By Kareena

Jul 02, 2017

Informative and well taught.

By Iago J Á N

Feb 11, 2018

I love the way classes were teached and the content was smooth an clear.

By Yǜyǐng R

Feb 23, 2016

The strongest part of this course is that it prompts the learners to apply the designing skills.

By Alexandra

Jan 28, 2016

Although very basic the course helped my to discover the bases of graphic design. Willing for more!

By Oussama R

Oct 22, 2016

very important for both new designer, who want to enrich their knowledge, and experienced designers, as a refresher.

By Jennifer C

Oct 26, 2017

Great course but I find the instructions for the homework a bit confusing and there could have been more examples like in intro to image making. However, I think it's essential and even though it was boring causing me to not try hard I think I had to learn this content.

By Shawn G

Jun 27, 2017

Really good course. Only critique is it could have been a little longer to flesh out some more creative concepts, but it's a good, balanced intro course.

By kuanjung c

Mar 09, 2016

The course itself was great. The only thing lacking is that all the assignments were reviewed only by peers.

By Vibhuti B

Mar 22, 2018

As the name suggests, It is a very basic course in Graphic designing. You get to know the basic principles and technicalities of composition. The way of teaching is excellent.

By Volha F

May 29, 2017

This course gives a good overview on the basics of the graphic design and image making

By Claudio S

May 05, 2018

Well done!

By Vanessa I S

Dec 17, 2015

This course was very well designed and extremely suitable for peeps of all backgrounds. I suppose the only drawback was that I didn't find the course challenging enough. But I went to design school for a few semesters, so I was already pretty familiar with the concepts. Overall, very good practice and a nice refresher. Thanks, Michael!

By Perla G

Jan 26, 2016

I learn a lot about graphic design and I'm eager to learn more