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

6,101 ratings
1,475 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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1401 - 1425 of 1,433 Reviews for Fundamentals of Graphic Design

By Lulu

Feb 11, 2016

lecturer could be more personal

By Antonio C C

Mar 07, 2017

Si deseas conocer los conceptos básicos del diseño gráfico de una manera amena este es tu curso. Es prácticamente autogestivo pero con un diseño instruccional de alta calidad.

By Nataliya

Dec 29, 2015

It is good for beginners only

By Ludivine S

Feb 20, 2017

A bit basic, but I guess that's what should be expected of an "Introduction"

It would be nice to get a more advanced alternative course

By Natalie W

Sep 07, 2018

Having a background in Art & Graphic Design already I felt the Fundamentals course didn't really push me or help me learn anything incredibly helpful. However, it did push me to start using Illustrator (Which I had never used before) and I am enjoying the process of learning about a new digital programme.

By 翠花

Oct 05, 2016

The last assignment caused me CONFUSION. I mean, due to the unclear assignment requirements, we cannot review composition for composition's sake. For example, I did use two squares as the assignment asked, but I changed the transparency of them, so they form a new square when overlapping. And people think I used three squares and thus not following the instructions. And many people used a small circle and a large circle putting at the center vertically to form a scale composition, and you have to give them 3 points because they followed the instructions, but they actually did not do much in terms of composition. Though I got 3.5 scores by two people ( not very bad), I'm still frustrated, and I hope the assignment requirements could be clearer.

By MHD.Fettah

Jan 13, 2018

very basic .... like a really basic ... I will commend this course to a robot start his AI training .

By Angel A A D

Nov 26, 2015

Very basic, but some things are useful, the course is worth it if you are a total newbie

By Remington C

Dec 07, 2015

Bit too simple for my liking.

By Jane

Jan 23, 2016

This was a great introductory course to graphic design. It made me think of many ways to represent the same image. I

By aman g

Mar 29, 2016

Nice course to understand the basics of graphic design

By Susan F

Jan 03, 2016

For what it was, it was a decent course. For some reason I thought it would be a little more advanced. This was a very basic class. Wording of the last assignment limited creativity as it was hard to tell if you had to limit your pictures to 2 shapes,(as in one circle and one square), or 2 shapes(as in as many circles as needed and as many triangles as you needed, but don't add any squares). Reviewing these assignments, because they were so basic, made it hard to offer much in the way of constructive criticism.

By Mona E

Nov 27, 2016

It's very very basic, I know it's considered an introductory course but I expected more. It was very interesting and informative though.

By Mahek S

Aug 14, 2016

Instead of reading blogs and books on graphic design and then following that up with consequent practice I decided to take up this course which would help me do both more efficiently and so far I'm not regretting my decision.

By Guinivere P

Feb 26, 2017

I really enjoyed the content and learned a lot but, there were far too many videos that were not functional. In some the video froze, in some the sound went off, in others there were a problem with bot visual and sound. It became increasingly hard to follow the ideas as I had no visuals to support the text.

By Hugo E

Jun 19, 2016

Thats a good course for beginers.

In my opinion should be more illustrative with more real and nice examples.

By Aydin A

Jun 28, 2016

Interesting and exploratory but not much was really explained; he just kinda showed examples and said see what I mean. That's great but you're not really learning why and thus in my opinion I don't feel like I learned much about graphic design

By Dongqi L

May 30, 2019

too fundamental

By Jordan

Jun 01, 2019

Could use a few updated changes.

By Radhvi K

Jun 24, 2019

simply.. Wow.!

By Lukas F

Aug 28, 2019

Often feels a bit too superficial and basic

By Priscila A d S

Jan 15, 2019

Não gostei muito que meus exercícios são avaliados por colegas.

By Jude

Sep 13, 2016

This is a very basic course, not at all college level.

By Sarah F

Feb 03, 2016

"Let's try and draw a very basic, simple apple." I had to stop watching this course there. Sorry, but this is less than "fundamentals". I'm trying a new course on graphic design now...

By Azeem A

Jan 12, 2016

I joined to learn outstanding experience but ... disappointed