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

6,430 ratings
1,541 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 1,499 Reviews for Fundamentals of Graphic Design

By Meg F

Mar 05, 2018

engaging and interesting!!

By Beatrice B

Mar 15, 2016

Thanks a lot! Great introduction course with interesting lectures and very good professors.

I loved the assignments! :)

By Alexandra R

Jun 04, 2017


By Gregg W

Nov 01, 2015

Like the format and the presentation of this course. Each topic builds on the next and then finally you are shown how to mix the fundamentals. Enjoyed this course.

By Adam

Jan 05, 2017

Really great remedial start of graphic design. Knowing very little going into it, I loved the pace and assignments.

By Leticia C R

Jul 17, 2016

Good activities , nice complete course

By Daniel D

Feb 13, 2016

Realmente um ótimo curso. Eu agradeço a Coursera e Calarts pela oportunidade!!

By Ausi S

Sep 05, 2016

This course teach me a lot about graphic design in a whole. For those who wanted to learn more about graphic design and has no knowledge about this, I recommend to try this course.


Sep 14, 2016

Great intro to the fundamentals.

By Nathaniel M Z

May 10, 2016

This is my first formal instruction to Graphic Design this course made my appreciate my work and instilled interest on my part to pursue and improve in my craft

By João R P

Jan 30, 2016

I've barely started this course and it's already been a great artistic breakthrough for me. It certainly has opened my mind to the variety and depthness that graphic design can have.

By Nikita K

Feb 06, 2016

It's great that the course has a lot of practical assignments! Also it is very important to get feedback on your work from other people that have interest in this field. It's good to learn what works and what doesn't and why. Very useful for me! Thank you!

By Maike G

Oct 04, 2016

Great course, well thought out, well presented and lovely lecturer. After having done all 4 publicly available courses in this specialisation, this really was the most fundamental and gave a great summary of what Graphic design is about and which disciplines it involves. 5 stars!

By Jane

Feb 10, 2016

I love this course! It is fundemental and interesting .

By Natalia

Jan 17, 2016

Thanks California Institute of the Arts for this course! It gives me opportunity to study graphic design

By Yu X

Dec 06, 2015

This is a cool course, and helps me a lot! Thank you!

By Akash S

Jun 14, 2016

Amazing course !!!


Mar 08, 2017

Excellent for learning the basics!

By Николай К

Nov 27, 2016

Really useful and totally inspiring course! Highly recommended the novice you or

By Chris B

Dec 21, 2015

Really a lot of fun. It would be great if discussions were more active, but overall a good introductory graphic design course.

By Rossy G

Dec 29, 2015

Love the course and the teacher was awesome, I am college graduate in Advertising and Graphic Design and happy to say I learned new things, as well as new ways to see composition and every other aspect of graphic design. Thank you a lot for this and keep them coming!

By Marina D P

Aug 20, 2016

Ha sido un curso fantástico para la introducción al diseño gráfico. El temario estaba dividido adecuadamente para la progresión del aprendizaje y la admisión de conocimientos.

By Sandy Y

Feb 29, 2016


By Bianca d P P B

Dec 10, 2015


By maricela a b

Jan 04, 2016

Awesome!!! i really enjoy the course