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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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1401 - 1425 of 1,501 Reviews for Fundamentals of Graphic Design

By idil

Feb 07, 2016

Assignments could be more fun and hard but the course was very good.

By Srishti

Jan 29, 2016

Its taught very nicely and its an eye opener. :)

By Ignacio R G

Sep 04, 2017

Great course to learn some basics of graphic design.

By David V

Mar 15, 2016

Good course. Interesting clear lectures and interesting, enjoyable assignments.

By Petra P

Feb 22, 2016

The course was very interesting, hands on orientated and it offered me a lot of useful information. I have really enjoyed it! It was also a good motivation to practice graphic design more often, explore the realms of shapes, colours, typography etc.

I was really grateful for the peer reviews, but I missed a bit more professional approach sometimes, for instance comments like "I like it" or "It is not that bad" does not tell me much about my work. So in these cases some feedback from someone who already is a graphic designer and knows much more about it than us, students, starting with the graphic design, would be more than welcome.

I also missed advices on where to find out more on a particular topic.

Overall, taking this course was a very positive experience and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in graphic design.

By David L

Jun 14, 2016

It's described as "fundamentals" and that's it. Very basic. Everything is well explained. In my opinion, it could be a little more in depth.

By Ryan H

Jul 02, 2018

The course content is quite good. The feedback I'm getting from peers is not great. It's mostly stuff like "good job" or "Nice work." It's pretty much all very short sentences and nothing useful. You can read it in your system to see it yourself. I've taken a star off for this.

By Ahmed M

Apr 26, 2016

Awesome course

By Daniel P

Jan 08, 2016

Hey, that's pretty good.

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 James H

Mar 04, 2018

Engaging, well structured course content. Appropriate/accurate work load estimates. Instructive assignments which isolate and combine concepts in ways that really help them stick. (Peer assessment is a bit hit and miss but that is just the nature of things and not the fault of the course)

By Arshad S

Apr 30, 2017

Good for beginners. Do all assignments even if its optional.

By Viki K

Dec 04, 2015

Michael (the lecturer) did a wonderful job delivering the lessons in an easy to understand manner. The whole course was easy to follow. I don't recall any ambiguity in his teachings and his voice was clear. I also enjoy some of the assignments because I surprise myself by producing some great images. My main problem is the instructions of the assignments that causes a lot of students to be confused (there are many complaints expressed in the Discussion forum).

By Daria H

Feb 10, 2016

Great introduction course. I wish there were links to relevant literature on the topics. Some exercise formulations are not instantly clear.

By Nayari C

Sep 07, 2016


By Ruben S

Feb 09, 2016

It is a great course, simple yet complete. However, it would be nice if we had more contact with our lecturers, and if they graded our assignments instead of other classmates. They are not as experienced as our teachers are.

By Julian V

Jan 08, 2016

I'm really excited to complete this course and have a better understanding of graphic design!

By Rasa J

Mar 11, 2016

The material is really good for beginners. In order to make it more useful I think all the tasks should be mandatory, there shouldn't be any optional ones

By Camila L

Feb 18, 2016

I would like if there was some instructor feedback. That would be great! I loved the course, really useful.

By Carlise T

Mar 02, 2016

I enjoyed the course as a

By Gaston B

Mar 02, 2017

Very well conceived and useful! A great intro to Graphic Design.

By Ekaterina B

Jun 11, 2016

Its a good course for people who never look at design but its a lot surface. Of course if you want to know the main aspects of design very quikly it course for you.

By Omnya A M

Aug 09, 2017

it is very good for beginer