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

6,086 ratings
1,472 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.


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.

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126 - 150 of 1,431 Reviews for Fundamentals of Graphic Design

By Tran L P

Nov 15, 2016

Excellent course! I find this Fundamentals of Graphic Design very useful for everyone not just designer. It does not only provide me with very basic yet very useful knowledge of graphic design but also helped me greatly in practicing certain skills that I never thought I would have. The assignments and all peer-review sessions are quite challenging too though the video sessions with the teachers always sound very easy to understand. I love this challenge anyway. Strongly recommended.

By Elsa P

Nov 25, 2017

This is a great introductory course on the foundamentals in Graphic Design.

By Víctor L G R

May 30, 2017

This valuable course gave me tools for creation and the most important for me: to value and discern in the vast field of design.

By Elena L

Apr 24, 2017

Excellent! Thank you.

By Nina R

Apr 06, 2017

It was really good for beginners like me.

By Andrey T

Jan 10, 2017

This course helps to look at things, at design and instruments of design deeper and wider. It encourages to create!

By Mridul V

Jan 05, 2018

Eye opening course.

Must for a beginner!

By yogesh v

Dec 19, 2016

Excellent !!! really amazing. i learn a lot. waiting for new courses.

By Indra L V

Jan 05, 2017

Este curso me ha ayudado a desarrollar mis habilidades en diseño gráfico. La brecha del idioma no ha sido una limitante y me ayudó a descubrir que me encanta el diseño gráfico. Agradezco a los instructores.

By Selby C

Jan 24, 2017

This course really demystified graphic design, and taught me some basics so I feel like I'm not completely lost anymore when I make or design things. The videos are really well produced and easy to follow, and I learned a lot from the assignments and projects.

By Patricia A

Jan 11, 2017

Amazing Course! I loved every minute of it. The videos are well done, helpful to understand the process and a big part of understanding each element. The practice exercises are a great way to apply what I learned. Leaving Feedback on my peer's work was also very helpful. It forced my mind to analyze the design in ways I was not used to. I've am excited to keep on learning.

I would recommend this course to everyone!

By Benjamin H

Aug 11, 2017

Clear and engaging videos and instruction to get one started and engaged in learning the rudiments of graphic design.

By Andy M

Oct 03, 2016

Excellent course for providing the basic elements of graphic design. It's helped me launch my graphic design career! I can't say anything bad about it!

By Бричеев И А

Oct 02, 2016

Thank you for the course!I refreshed something I had learned by myself before, learned some absolutely new stuff and learned some more about things I only heard about before. Videos are very nice and the text is super easy to understand and the teacher's voice is very appealing. There are two things that I want to notice. First of all, I would like this course to be more informative. All weekly videos and tasks can be watched and done in one day now. Give us more videos, more information, let's go deeper! The second thing is that peer reviews seemed ineffective to me. Yeah, on the one hand, that's a real feedback from real people who are not your parents or friends so you can be judged objectively. On the other hand, I'd want to know teacher's opinion, I mean, feedback from someone who has a great experience in design. Personally, I didn't get anything but good marks and good words from my peers, though I believe there are things to improve, I just need someone who can point at them.

By Ana S B

Mar 14, 2017

El curso me ha parecido fascinante, he aprendido las bases sobre el diseño y con estas clases he logrado descubrir mi pasión por el diseño y buscaré adentrarme más en el tema. Muchas gracias.

By Gohar

Jun 16, 2017

The course was productive, interesting and professional. The only thing which I would like to be added next the cooperation between peers and the course leader, and how then we can develop our skills.

Best Regards.

By Amy T

Jan 03, 2018

Awesome tutorials! Learned so much more about graphic design theory. Great class with fantastic explanations.

By Joyce A R

Mar 31, 2017

The best foundation for a graphic designing course.

By Ayesha B

May 05, 2017

Concrete. Simple.

By Denny L M P

Feb 21, 2018

I have learned do much in this course. Thank you very much! Now doing my 2nd course. Thank you CalArts and Coursera for making this possible.

By william

Jun 16, 2016

really cool

By Geraldine D

Apr 19, 2017

Nice introduction that is useful in the following courses

By George

Feb 28, 2017

Challenging one!

By Antonio P A

Sep 24, 2016

Very good basic course on graphic design. I've learned a lot about typography, composition, image making and shapes and colours. The course is very well structured with good videos and practical examples. It's a must do course for everyone that is wanting to learn more about design,

By Matthew B

Sep 21, 2016

Perfect for beginning and intermediate graphic designers. The explanations of concepts and exercises are quite useful and makes the foundations of graphic design clear and accessible. Highly recommended.