Login / Register
Understanding Graphic Design will also expose you to opportunities to explore and apply more sophisticated tools, such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.
Join Other Email Learners
Follow the guide on landing page
About this Course
Welcome to Understanding 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.
What You Will Le4arn
Apply inspired design ideas to your own work.
Skills You Will Gain
- Graphic Design
4 hours to complete
Understanding Graphic Design: Getting Started
This week introduces you to the importance of recognizing good design as the starting place for creating professional, attractive work of your own. We will look to the ubiquitous world of graphic design to establish a vocabulary of successful design and to find inspiration for our own projects.
We will also discuss course prerequisites and review a basic digital design glossary that will help you navigate your chosen application.
12 videos (Total 32 min), 5 readings, 2 quizzes
8 hours to complete
Understanding Graphic Design: The Blank Canvas
This week will look at the blank canvas – the untouched rectangle that will become our design project. We’ll discuss the importance of working with a grid, understanding negative space, and using appropriate margins.
This week will also explore the palette of elements that, when chosen and used wisely, ensure that the finished design project is successful. We’ll cover type, color, images, and graphic elements such as borders, bars, and backgrounds.
15 videos (Total 65 min), 5 readings, 2 quizzes
10 hours to complete
Understanding Graphic Design: Tricks of the Trade
It’s time to start designing! This week, we’ll discuss the process of composition. We’ll use the palette items covered in week 2, and deploy common visual design “tricks” such as contrast, repetition, sublimation, tension, and more.
To help see both the effect and the universality of these design approaches, we’ll look at design examples from art history, film, and current media. We’ll also cover the strategy of composition. We’ll see that providing an obvious target, maintaining a natural visual flow, and prioritizing information are all critical to clear visual communication.
12 videos (Total 34 min), 4 readings, 1 quiz
7 hours to complete
Understanding Graphic Design: Revision and Distance
As we’ve said before, designers don’t work in a vacuum. Our work will be judged by others, and, as good designers, we will learn to take that judgment constructively and in stride. In this week we’ll talk about what it means to be confident, yet open to criticism. We’ll explore the importance of revision as an ongoing component of design, as well as the need to enlist feedback and maintain distance in assessing our own work.
4 videos (Total 14 min)