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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Graphic Design by University of Colorado Boulder

2,908 ratings

About the Course

Welcome to Graphic Design, the second course in the Effective Communications Specialization. Over 70 different companies have provided this specialization to their employees as a resource for internal professional development. Why? Because employers know that effective visual communication is the key to attracting an audience, building a relationship, and closing the sale. This practical course gives you the tools to create professional looking PowerPoints, reports, resumes, and presentations. Using a set of best practices refined through years of experience, you’ll: • make your work look fresh and inspired. • apply simple design “tricks” to begin any project with confidence and professionalism. • receive and respond to criticism and revise your project from good to great. "This course is fantastic. It teaches a great amount of starter graphic design information but it is broken down into easily understood videos and quizzes. The quality was top notch and the interaction was as good as you would get in a brick and mortar school. I did not feel like I was missing anything by taking it online." - a recent Graphic Design student All of the course assignments can be completed with basic presentation software such as Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Slides, or Apple Keynote. You’ll also have opportunities to explore and apply more sophisticated tools, such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. This course can be taken for academic credit as part of CU Boulder’s Master of Science in Data Science (MS-DS) degree offered on the Coursera platform. The MS-DS is an interdisciplinary degree that brings together faculty from CU Boulder’s departments of Applied Mathematics, Computer Science, Information Science, and others. With performance-based admissions and no application process, the MS-DS is ideal for individuals with a broad range of undergraduate education and/or professional experience in computer science, information science, mathematics, and statistics. Learn more about the MS-DS program at

Top reviews


Feb 25, 2023

I am truly grateful and appreciative of the faculty members at the University of Colorado Boulder, as well as Coursera, for giving me the opportunity to study and hone my skills.

Thank you so much!


Jul 2, 2020

I had some knowledge of Graphic Design so I didn't expected to take so much from this course, It really helped and made me more conscious of the things that I was doing. It was a very enjoyable course

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1 - 25 of 706 Reviews for Graphic Design

By Frank B

Aug 27, 2017

My opinion is divided about this part of the course. I have worked as an editor for 20 years and I was dealing with print design for a decade. Therefor, I am not new to the topic of graphic design.

On the one hand, I have learned a lot about graphic design in this course. I wish I had seen David's explanations at the beginning of my apprenticeship. My worked would have been improved significantly.

Especially, as I haven't usually done the design of the newspapers I have worked for myself. After finishing David's course, I see the faults of "professional" designers. They have build the grid and developed the design of many papers I wrote for and that I did the typesetting for. And they sometimes did a very bad job (somebody should have told them to "design, don't decorate" a couple of times).

On the other hand, even having worked in the business, some parts of the course have been too detailed in my opinion (e.g. different families of typefaces).

Moreover, the introduction is pure ex-cathedra teaching.

After that you dive deep into design and layout. I picture myself being new to the matter, having to learn about the software you need, the usage of photos, colours, negative space etc.

If you are able to see this course as an opportunity to get a lot of information and pick some insights of it yourself, it's worth participating. But if you try to fulfil the tasks in good or excellent quality, it's quite a challenge.

Non the less, I have enjoyed (and finished) the course and learned a lot.

By Robecca C

May 13, 2020

I think that the discussions would be more useful if students had detailed instructions on how to create the images in Microsoft Word or PowerPoint and then take a screenshot to make a jpeg image.

By Alerik E R

Oct 30, 2020

Great course to learn about graphic designs for advertisements, posters, and presentations. Now I know how to make a presentation that effectively and aesthetically shows my message and goals.

By Devarpan C

Apr 11, 2020

I loved it its not on photoshop or any application but on the practicality on how to use everything is any design related work or medium

got to learn on maybe new minute things I used to ignore

By Vasily P

Jan 13, 2017

I'm not a graphical designer and will apply the new knowledge in perspective of IT solutions design and presentation. The course perfectly fits my needs.

This introductory course provides the fundamental principles and general design tricks in condensed and very clear form.

Major ideas are defined in several best practices supported by relevant examples and engaging exercises.

I like the idea to deliver graphical design, writing, and presentation courses together with references between related topics. Such holistic approach gives us the better view on real "design of everything."

Great job David!

Thank you

By Jeanine

May 30, 2019

I've been dabbling in graphic design for years, and this Coursera course was the first set up in a way that made sense to me: rules to work by and projects galore. Thank you, David, for putting this together. 👏🏻

I loved how the beginning emphasized to design where you are with what you have. Too often I find myself waiting until I'm at my computer with Photoshop or Sketch, instead of getting ideas out on paper or in a powerpoint. Great rules; thank you for the review of your rules at the end of the course. Be sure to get involved with the forums and post your work to get the most out of your learning. Highly recommended!

By Natalia S

Oct 23, 2016

i will definitely recommend this course not only to those interested in graphic design but also to those who have to make simple power point presentations. you will find the tips very useful!

By Norb M

Jun 25, 2017

I love this course. It showed me the basics and fundamentals for graphic design. The professor is great, he knows how to explain each concept. Great experience overall. Thank you!

By Michael P

Oct 1, 2017

Amazing course! Dave put a lot of thought into creating a strong structure for the material and it showed. I feel like I have concrete methods to apply when I approach design challenges.

Dave is also a very warm instructor. I always looked forward to class as Dave had both tremendous knowledge about and love for his subject matter. This was contagious and made it fun to be part of the course.

By Lisa A C

Nov 20, 2017

I used to believe that being a graphic designer was hard. However with the principles i've learnt in this course, I now know for a fact that it's doable and very much achievable. Thank you very much Dave for your pointers, i see design in a different and easier light now. I have gained more confidence in my work, and that is truly what i was after.

By Niki S

May 21, 2020

This course shows the basics of graphic design and the way you should think about the design process. It's helpful, gives you a new aspect. For professionals it might be too basic but for beginners it's great.

I would suggest to spend more time on typography, studying it through one video is not effective for someone who has never heard about it.

The instructor, David delivers lessons clearly and shows great examples. I would have appreciated if he or a proffessional had given feedback to my work; the peer grading system is not effective at all.

To sum up, I recommend this course to anyone who wants to study (maybe) new perspective about graphic design.

By Michail S

Oct 13, 2017

This course is very good for learning the basics of graphic design. It is very valuable for those who need to know and identify good design as part of their day to day work. I am a brand manager and I don't need to design any artworks. However, it is very important in my job to be able to brief design projects and give constructive feedback to designers for their work. This course is perfect for this purpose and I highly recommend it to all those who want to learn the basics of good graphic design.

By Iman A

Aug 17, 2017

This course is one of a kind. It's well- structured and nicely-presented. I learned a lot out of it and started to understand the world of design, which is not as complicated as I thought. It's really simple when you learn the basic rules and tricks. I can say I've moved from 0 to 6 with this short, but rich, course. Thanks to Dr. David and his team. I owe you a lot.

By Kseniia T

Oct 10, 2016

I really would recommend this course to everyone interested in graphic design and willing to work on their skills. The course is oriented to designing with digital software, and is very hands-on and practical. It gives certain approaches and tips to avoid clumsy and unattractive designs, gives useful vocabulary and practical skills.

By Michelle P

Aug 27, 2018

Great basic info for anyone wanting to learn more about graphic design, even beginners. I like that you can choose to do special assignments or just the basic course. I have some graphic design experience, but the world of design changes so much, I decided to take another class in design to update my skills. Through Coursera, I can watch videos and do assignments on my lunch hour - can't say that about even our local colleges! Thanks University of Colorado - Boulder

By Tim A

Jun 16, 2018

I was't sure that I would benefit from this course but I found the antithesis to be true. The course has given me a great understanding of design, not just in concept, but in practical ways that I can apply immediately. All ready I am seeing what I have learned instruct and direct my presentation media. Thanks for a great course, I would recommend this to anyone who is involved in any communication activity (hint....... that is everyone).

By Fruit o J

Nov 10, 2020

This course is a very practical guide to budding designers. I learned what, how and why some designs look good and professional. I learned also a lot from design critique. I am my own worst critic so that topic helps me to be objective in judging my works and works of others. I will apply the principles I learned not only in graphics design but also in video editing and blogging. I love this course.

By Md. A R

Jul 28, 2020

I am grateful to them. I have completed this course and now I know the basic fundamentals of Graphic Design which are highly important for a successful professional life in Graphic Design.

By Deborah H

Oct 9, 2017

This course is exactly what I was looking for as a beginner. Focuses on design principles and best practices with clear examples and useful project work. Dave is a great teacher. He knows how to drive the point home. I find myself looking at design around me with a more informed and critical eye. Now I feel confident enough to go master some software that will give me options for more polished work.

By Lisa M

Sep 30, 2020

This was a great introduction course. The course was well laid out and the material was easy to understand and follow. I love that the lecturer added examples as we went along. The practical approach ensured that you understood what was being taught and got a chance to practice. I would highly recommend this if you are a beginner and wanting to get your feet wet in the design world.

By Pratik S

Jun 17, 2020

The course sticks to the basic principles of design and doesn't have any pre-requisites. The instructor is really creative and gives amazing insights to improve your design. I suggest this course if you want to improve your designing skills in any type of document. By the end of the course, you'll start to notice the impact of this course on every graphic you design or see.

By Shiang Y C

Jul 12, 2021

Highly engaging and stimulating course. I enjoyed putting the practices taught in the lessons in the assignments. The design principles are simple to grasp, practical and effective. Thank you!

By Daniel W

Feb 16, 2022

Not enough quizzes

By Vishvendra S T

Mar 30, 2018

This is an exceptional course, if you are looking for basics of design. Even if you are not a professional designer or don't want to be one then also, you should learn this course. This course can guide you in making & delivering better presentations. Power Point tool is all you need to explore this course. I'd recommend this course to anyone who wants to present himself/herself in a very erudite & professional manner.

Love from India!

By Thomas B

Jan 24, 2019

The course was very inspirational and teached me a lot about the scaffolding of presentations. I already achieved some accomplishments at work while using what I have learned. I also appreciated the recommendation to use different programs like adobe photoshop. I had no experience with it, but got quite comfortable during the process creating the different posters. Keep up with the great work - I enjoyed it a lot!