Graphic Design Specialization

Starts Oct 17

Graphic Design Specialization

Make Compelling Design. Learn and apply the principles of graphic design towards a comprehensive branding project.

About This Specialization

Graphic design is all around us, in a myriad of forms, both on screen and in print, yet it is always made up of images and words to create a communication goal. This four-course sequence exposes students to the fundamental skills required to make sophisticated graphic design: process, historical context, and communication through image-making and typography. The sequence is completed by a capstone project that applies the skills of each course and peer feedback in a finished branding project suitable for a professional portfolio. The goal of this specialization is to equip learners with a set of transferable formal and conceptual tools for “making and communicating” in the field of graphic design. This core skill set will equip learners for formal studies in graphic design, and a starting point for further work in interface design, motion graphics, and editorial design.

Created by:

5 courses

Follow the suggested order or choose your own.


Designed to help you practice and apply the skills you learn.


Highlight your new skills on your resume or LinkedIn.

Beginner Specialization.
No prior experience required.
  1. COURSE 1

    Fundamentals of Graphic Design

    4 weeks of study, 5-8 hours/week

    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 prevalen
  2. COURSE 2

    Introduction to Typography

    4 weeks of study, 1-3 hours/week

    About the Course

    Typography is the art of manipulating the visual form of language to enrich and control its meaning. It’s an essential area of skill and knowledge for graphic designers. Typography predates modern graphic design by around 500 years; it is rich i
  3. COURSE 3

    Introduction to Imagemaking

    4 weeks of study, 2-4 hours/week

    About the Course

    This course for serious makers, and for students new to imagemaking. Imagemaking is a fluid and exciting area of graphic design that comes out of practice and process: experimenting fearlessly, showing and sharing ideas, and giving and r
  4. COURSE 4

    Ideas from the History of Graphic Design

    4 weeks of study, 2-3 hours/week
    English, Serbian

    About the Course

    This condensed survey course focuses on four key periods or themes from the history of design. Together we’ll trace the emergence of design as a recognized practice, why things look the way they do, and how designers approached specific design pro
  5. COURSE 5

    Brand New Brand

    Current session: Oct 15
    6 weeks of study, 3-5 hours per week

    About the Capstone Project

    This course is the culmination of the Graphic Design Specialization and gives you an opportunity to tie together your knowledge and skills into a single project: a brand development guide for a company you will invent. This course takes you thr


  • California Institute of the Arts

    CalArts' Graphic Design program is one of the premier programs for the study of graphic and print arts in the U.S.

    CalArts has earned an international reputation as the leading college of the visual and performing arts in the United States. Offering rigorous undergraduate and graduate degree programs through six schools—Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater—CalArts has championed creative excellence, critical reflection, and the development of new forms and expressions.

  • Anther Kiley

    Anther Kiley

    Faculty, Program in Graphic Design
  • Michael Worthington

    Michael Worthington

    Faculty, Program in Graphic Design
  • Gail Swanlund

    Gail Swanlund

    Faculty in Graphic Design
  • Lorraine Wild

    Lorraine Wild

    Faculty, Program in Graphic Design
  • Louise Sandhaus

    Louise Sandhaus

    Faculty, Program in Graphic Design