Graphic Design

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Below are the top discussions from Reddit that mention this online Coursera specialization from California Institute of the Arts.

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.

Visual Communication Branding Communication Graphic Design Art History Typography Creativity Graphics Design Theory Color Theory Adobe Illustrator History Adobe Indesign

Accessible for free. Completion certificates are offered.

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Taught by
Michael Worthington
Faculty, Program in Graphic Design
and 4 more instructors

Offered by
California Institute of the Arts

This specialization includes these 5 courses.

Reddit Posts and Comments

1 posts • 35 mentions • top 20 shown below

r/design_critiques • comment
1 points • Swisst

I second the idea of looking at some Udemy courses. I've also recommended this Graphic Design Specialization on Coursera before. I don't have any experience with it, but it looks like a solid offering from professors at Calarts. I believe it's free to audit (and paid if you want to do peer-graded work and get a certificate).

While it's fun to dive into logos and infographics, you'll really benefit by digging into courses like these and learning the basics of visual design.

r/india • comment
1 points • Holypatchouli

r/design_critiques • comment
3 points • Swisst

Here are a couple suggestions:

  • Calarts offers a Graphic Design Specialization course through Coursera. It looks like a decent time commitment, but the content and teachers look great. It looks like—at the least—you can audit it for free.
  • ItCalarts also offers a UI/UX specialization course if you find this to be a good fit.
  • With your passion for UI work, I think Steve Schoger's RefactoringUI articles, videos, tips, and book could be huge for you. The book isn't free, but that might be something your internship is willing to buy for you or the company. It's worth asking when you settle in there.

There's a lot of worthless ones out there that aren't so much design as teaching you how to use software or are just "how to make a website" when you really dig into them. Make sure you find something with some design basics, typography, color theory, etc.

r/Design • comment
1 points • aleppe

May not be that much of a WIP, but I'm working on getting better at design. I'd like to know if anyone can recommend me something or simply point me in the right direction.

I already know how many things work (dropped out of Design after 1 year because what I wanted was animation), and have been using Adobe for years (After Effects is my right hand). What I'm looking for is getting better at color theory, compositing, shapes, etc, so that I can rely more on myself and less on an actual designer when it comes to designing a good "HUD for an animated explanation of how to use medical equipment", or "knowing which type to use that will help strengthen the video (like why not use a slab over a light)", or "using these colors will really help the viewers be more interested".

My only real option is Coursera's Design Specialization. Other than that I haven't found something better to try.


Thanks in advance

r/dubai • comment
1 points • mziyad

When it comes to these scenarios, assuming you have time, its best to learn those skills by your self. Try online courses thats available for free at the moment. I highly recommend that. Personally had ideas for creating video contents, knew on how to shoot videos, but was weak on post production(video editing). I dedicated around 1-2 hours of my daily routine to learn from youtube (online courses wernt free at that moment), and became expert enough to create content by myself. To get most out of your ideas, its best to become and expert in the field. Its worth it

Here's a link to few courses I found online. Youtube is also a big source. I hope this gets your idea running. Graphic Designing courses

r/Design • comment
1 points • studiointhehills

Glad you liked the tips! To be honest I don't have any firsthand experience with courses myself, but Coursera has a online graphic design specialisation by CalArts which seems to be a good starting point (link below). Alternately if there are specific technical things you want to learn, the best way is to learn while trying to create stuff.

r/graphic_design • post
1 points • dietboobies
How does this course for graphic design look?

I was doing Penn foster but there’s a lot of unneeded highschool classes interrupting actual learning of graphic design

r/graphic_design • post
1 points • asd0912
Thoughts on Coursera's "Make Compelling Design" specialization?

I'm looking to take the plunge and study graphic design on my own .

I would have taken the courses separately as audits, but most of them are not free.

Thought , opinions, suggestions as using this as my starting point in my education?

r/graphic_design • post
1 points • eugeniadav
How important is it to have a design-related degree?

I am self-taught graphic designer specialising in brand identity creation and print design. I learned everything by myself and think I am doing well. I quit my full time job a couple of months ago to pursue freelancing and being my own boss.

While I really enjoy doing freelancing, I may want to seek full time positions as a designer in some agencies or companies. But I am wondering how important by design background/knowledge will be.

My education background is in sociology (BA) and Business Management (MSc). I am considering taking up a course on Coursera, for example (link: to have some kind of specialisation but I don't know if this is a viable investment or not. Is it worth it?

would appreciate your feedback! Thanks!

r/design_critiques • comment
2 points • Swisst

I'm not sure where you're at in your education, but I recently found this when looking into things for someone who asked a similar question: Looks like some really great content from some great professors. Although, since you're in school there's a chance it might be retreading what you're already learning.

Volunteering is a great way to get some experience, and a good place to start when you're in school! I would encourage you to seek out an internship at a local studio or company you admire if possible. It can be quite a different experience and caliber from a non-profit organization.

r/design_critiques • comment
1 points • Swisst

X Day Logo Challenges will not help you. At best, they're a good way to learn the programs you use, but I would argue you could do that far better by going through Adobe's official tutorials.

Logo challenges encourage you to do really quick-turn work and you end up outputting a ton of really mediocre logos as a result. I can always tell when I get a portfolio of someone who has done one of these challenges. The other downside is that you will also find that you have barely any process to show, and many of them will be really shallow and not speak to a larger brand.

If you're diving into design, I would recommend checking out this design specialization course from CalArts on Coursera. You can audit it for free (which can be tricky to find, but it's there) or pay to get the added bonus of peer-reviewed projects and an official certificate at the end. That will run you through intro to design, typography, design history, image manipulation, and branding. I guarantee you will be far better off working hard at this and Illustrator tutorials than doing a two month-long "logo challenge."

r/design_critiques • comment
1 points • Swisst

This is pretty rough, but you're still brand new at this! The logo itself isn't super memorable, doesn't work cohesively (it feels like there's three separate voices here) and the colors are pretty low-energy and muddy.

Since you're new to both branding and Illustrator, I would recommend going through Adobe's Illustrator tutorials. There's both beginner and expert. Don't worry about jumping into branding yet. You gotta walk before you can run!

After that I would (depending on where you're at in your education) suggest something like the CalArts design specialization on Coursera. It's free to audit (which can be a little tricky to find, but the option is there) and will walk you through a lot of design basics before ending on a course specifically about branding.

r/homeschool • comment
1 points • HildaMarin

Sure of course you can do it at home. You can freestyle all you want or take online courses. Depending on his age. If he's very small and you're much older then you could take some courses and then share what you learn with him.

Let's say you're doing graphic design. Well there's this:

If he's younger than middle school I'd not do the online stuff yet, other than Khan Academy for math. And speaking of Khan Academy in general, for middle or high school there's a lot of art history and such there:

r/design_critiques • comment
2 points • Swisst

First off, good job putting yourself out there and being willing to get feedback on your work!

As others have said, what's here is really low-level. The logos dont' really work as solid brands, the Cultural Crawl work looks pretty amateurish, and the posters and brochures are pretty flat and lifeless. In all honesty, if this portfolio came across my desk I would pretty quickly move on. But take heart! There's a path forward.

What kind of positions have you been looking for? I would suggest trying to land a gig as a production designer somewhere. It's a good entry-level position doing some grunt work, but it'll get you around a larger design staff that you can learn from. I would get up to speed on Photoshop/Illustrator/InDesign since a production designer is usually doing stuff like layout comps or photo editing and touch-ups. If you need some help there Adobe has an excellent batch of tutorials to get you up to speed.

I would also suggest signing up for an account on someplace like Dribbble or Instagram and making it a point to visit daily and just soak up design. Spend some time browsing around and looking at solid examples or branding, layout, type, etc.

If you really want to dive in to more learning, one thing I recommend to people is this Coursera course from Calarts: If you sign up for each course individually you can audit them for free. It looks like it gives you a pretty solid overview on design, history, typography, layout, and brand.

r/design_critiques • comment
1 points • Swisst

One thing I've recommended to people before (although I should note I don't have any experience with it myself) is that Coursera has a Design Specialization course from CalArts. It looks like it gives a great overview of design. You can pay to do peer-reviewed work and get a certificate at the end, but it's also free to audit the course if you don't want those things.

It's a 6-month thing at 4 hours a week. You're still young and can totally do something like this. If you have a good grasp of the programs I think this would be an excellent next step. It looks like it walks you through design basics, and gives you a foundation in typography, image-making, branding, as well as introducing you to the history of graphic design. Even though it might be tempting, do not skip the history of graphic design.

It might also be worth noting that CalArts also offers a UI/UX course as well.

r/algeria • comment
1 points • amine23

I would rather teach myself online, there are tons of (free) resources out there. Just as an example, you can take the courses in this specialization for free:

r/web_design • comment
6 points • KeuriseuDotCom

The Elements of User Experience by Jesse James Garrett is really good for given a structured, foundational understanding of UX. You can download the second chapter for free on his website.

The Design of Everyday Things by Donald Norman is basically an industry standard now when it comes to user-centered design. This is a broader conception of design, but it's applicable to UI/UX.

Don't Make Me Think, Revisited by Steve Krug is another in the essential reading category. If you just apply the title itself, you'll eliminate tons of frustration.

For graphic design, you can read The Non-Designer's Design Book by Robin Williams and Graphic Design: The New Basics by Ellen Lupton. There are of course tons of other decent books in the field if you search Amazon.

Calarts offers a specialization on Coursera for UI/UX Design and Graphic Design. I've completed several courses in the Graphic Design one. It's decent. And these can all be completed for free. (Look for the "course only" or "audit only" options as Coursera likes to make them hard to find sometimes.)

And don't over look your library or as a potential resource. A lot of the books mentioned are either offered as physical books or they can be checked out online as ebooks.

r/design_critiques • comment
1 points • Swisst

There are kind of two issues here: designing a logo and learning illustrator. Logo challenges like this can be a good way to learn and practice tools like Illustrator, but in my opinion they're a really poor way to learn logo design.


  • What else was included in the briefs? If the brief was simply "design a logo for a hot air balloon company called Lift Balloon Rides" that's not helpful to teaching you design, nor is it anywhere close to what you'd experience on a real client project.
  • You started to do some good design thinking when you tried to steer this logo towards an adventuring feel. Those are the type of ideas/questions you should have in a process. If the brief didn't give that to you from the get-go, dump that mailing list like a hot rock. For example, there's a big difference between a hot air balloon company that focuses on giving rides over pony farms to little kids for their birthday and a company that specializes in floating down canyons for the adventure crowd…or maybe the company offers both. Do you already sense how much that could change how the logo looks and feels? That's the type of information you need from a brief as a designer.
  • One strong option could be this Coursera course from CalArts. You can take the course for free (paid if you want to peer-review projects and get a certificate). This will run you through a lot of intro to design and dive into things like branding and typography that will make you a logo-designing monster someday.


  • I would really suggest unsubscribing from that email newsletter and finding some solid Illustrator tutorials to go through.
  • Adobe has a great collection or tutorials that start off for beginners and grows from there. I know you hate Illustrator, and it might be super slow to start at the beginnings, but if you really nail the basics of Ai you'll thank yourself in the future.
  • These might be a little advanced, but look like they're really steer you towards a quality output.
  • Learn to love Illustrator, or at least use Affinity Designer. If you can't/won't design with vectors, you'll be almost completely crippled as a brand designer.

r/graphic_design • comment
2 points • artnerdsociety

Be sure to do your research before you commit. Understand the difference between degree types and curriculum.

  1. BFA = roughly 2/3 studio classes 1/3 general requirements.
  2. BA = 1/3 studio and 2/3 general requirements
  3. Associates can vary depending on whether it is transfer track or not. There are associate degrees out there that are just studio classes.

There is some solid advice in this thread but be sure to research the faculty and type of work being done by both students and faculty at various places. It is not all equal, even in BFA programs.

A good place to start research -


In terms of value, it is important to understand the difference between design degree and design education. Design education is hugely important and has little to do with learning computer programs or even specialized skillsets. Design degrees (the credential you get from paying for and completing a degree path) are less and less important and decreasing in value every day. There are more and more ways to get a solid design education (including critique) without going to a specialized BFA program. This will only increase over the next 5-10 years.

Do not go into too much debt for the degree. The school I previously worked for (Pratt) now costs $50,000 per year tuition plus 20-25k living expenses per year (mid-range for AICAD schools). Debt crushes career options and hits really fast after graduation.


Some useful resources to take a look at.

Best of luck.

r/webdev • comment
1 points • AgentXTree

>good eye for website design

Let me save you from this idea. Design is not about aesthetics. Design is about problem-solving.

Web designers place too much emphasis on aesthetics. They play a fairly diminished role overall. That's not to say that problems are never solved by aesthetics (e.g., luxury brands), but most of the time they're simply not that important beyond "good enough" (i.e., simple, clean, and stays out of the way of the user completing tasks).

That said, here are some resources.

Design Disciplines

  • BOOK: The Elements of User Experience by Jesse James Garrett. This particular books provides an excellent framework for thinking about websites. It specifically focuses on UX Design. It's one of the most important books that I've read.
  • BOOK: Graphic Design Thinking by Ellen Lupton and Jennifer Cole Phillips. This teaches you Design Thinking and Graphic Design concurrently.
  • BOOK: Graphic Design: The New Basics by Ellen Eupton and Jennifer Cole Phillips. By the duo above, a basic introduction to graphic design.
  • BOOK: The Non-Designer's Design Book by Robin Williams. This is great book on basic Graphic Design.
  • BOOK: Design: A Very Short Introduction by John Heskett. A good introduction to Design as a broader discipline. It's good for helping understanding that design is much more than aesthetics.
  • BOOK: Typography Workbook by Timothy Samara. One of the best books on typography that I've come across.
  • BOOK: The Design of Everyday Things by Donald Norman. Considered by many to be one of the key texts for designers, across all disciplines, to read. It promotes a user-centered design approach.
  • COURSE: Graphic Design Specialization on Coursera.
  • COURSE: Interaction Design Specialization on Coursera.
  • COURSE: UI/UX Design Specialization on Coursera.
  • WEBSITE: Smashing Magazine. Great resources on web design in general.
  • WEBSITE: A List Apart. While I don't see it recommended much anymore, they were the one who popularized responsive design.
  • WEBSITE: Nielsen-Norman Group. They place a strong emphasis on user-centered design. The Norman in the name is Donald Norman from above.

Communication (Soft Skills)

  • BOOK: Writing for Multimedia and the Web by Timothy Garrand. Writing is one of the most important tools we can developed. That's because communication is so fundamental to everything we do.

Business (Soft Skills)

  • BOOK: Value-Based Fees by Alan Weiss. This is primarily about how to price services based on value rather than time and other approaches. You'll find that value is a fundamental concept in business, so it's helpful to be business savvy even if you're not on the business side of things.
  • BOOK: Jobs to Be Done by Stephen Wunker and Jessica Wattman. This book is focused on marketing, particularly knowing your customers, but the jobs-to-be-done concept is actually quite helpful in a design context (e.g., What are your users trying to get done on your website?).
  • COURSE: Digital Marketing Specialization on Coursera.