Oct 31st 2016

Fundamentals of Graphic Design (Coursera)

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, 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 learnt how to explore and investigate visual representation through a range of image-making techniques; have 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.

While this is not a software course, in order to succeed in this course you will need to know your way around a computer. It's the tool where most graphic design ends up in one way or another. You can complete this course without one but it will be tougher. A beginner's level knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite programs, such as Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign will really help you, especially if you want to complete the optional briefs.


Week 1: Fundamentals of Image-making

Week 2: Fundamentals of Typography

Week 3: Fundamentals of Shape and Color

Week 4: Fundamentals of Composition

Fundamentals of Graphic Design is course 1 of 5 in the Graphic Design 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.