About this Course
4.7
475 ratings
129 reviews
100% online

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Students should be somewhat fluent in the use of basic composition-friendly software. PowerPoint, Keynote, and InDesign are all ideal.

Hours to complete

Approx. 8 hours to complete

Suggested: 2 hours per week...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English, Italian

Skills you will gain

GraphicsTypographyPresentationGraphic Design
100% online

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Students should be somewhat fluent in the use of basic composition-friendly software. PowerPoint, Keynote, and InDesign are all ideal.

Hours to complete

Approx. 8 hours to complete

Suggested: 2 hours per week...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English, Italian

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Week
1
Hours to complete
4 hours to complete

Module 1: Getting Started

This module 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. ...
Reading
12 videos (Total 32 min), 4 readings, 2 quizzes
Video12 videos
(Optional) What's So Great About The Capstone? (For New Learners)3m
(Optional) From Writing to Design; the Handoff2m
(Optional) The Importance of Designing Well1m
Course Overview2m
Course Prerequisites2m
Glossary of Design Terms5m
Professionalism in Design2m
Designing with a Critical Eye1m
Developing a Design Vocabulary1m
The Importance of Inspiration1m
Unexpected Places Yield Unexpected Results4m
Reading4 readings
A Few Important Points About This Course10m
A Glossary of Design Terms15m
Developing a Design Vocabulary10m
Why Designers Use Templates10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Glossary Quiz20m
Week
2
Hours to complete
8 hours to complete

Module 2: The Blank Canvas

This module 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 module will also explore the palette of elements which, 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....
Reading
15 videos (Total 65 min), 4 readings, 2 quizzes
Video15 videos
Introducing the Grid4m
The Grid and Audience Perception4m
The Power of Negative Space2m
Introducing the Palette1m
Type Is the Message6m
Type Anatomy5m
Type Families7m
Type Formatting9m
Creating with Type3m
Color and Its Meaning3m
Color and the Natural World3m
Image Treatment2m
Creative Cropping4m
Graphic Elements2m
Reading4 readings
Practicing Building Grids30m
Practicing Negative Space30m
Practicing Templates10m
Practicing Cropping10m
Quiz2 practice exercises
Typeface Quiz20m
Seeing Design 'Tricks' in Action12m
Week
3
Hours to complete
10 hours to complete

Module 3: Tricks of the Trade

It's time to start designing! In this module, we'll discuss the process of composition. We'll use the palette items covered in Module 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. ...
Reading
12 videos (Total 34 min), 4 readings, 1 quiz
Video12 videos
Designing with a Closed Set of Elements: The Clarity Guitars Adm
Contrast4m
White Space3m
Repetition in writing, design, and presentation1m
Rhythm or Repetition2m
Sublimation2m
Interlocking Elements2m
Introduction to Tension5m
Tension and Movement4m
Targets and Portals3m
Establishing Priorities2m
Reading4 readings
Using the Closed Set10m
Practicing Contrast 2m
Practicing Tension45m
Practicing Logos45m
Week
4
Hours to complete
7 hours to complete

Module 4: 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 judgement constructively and in stride. In this module 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....
Reading
4 videos (Total 14 min), 3 quizzes
Video4 videos
You Are Your Own Worst Critic3m
Looking Back at Best Practices4m
Moving Forward: Public Speaking1m
Quiz2 practice exercises
Rubric Training Quiz 145m
Rubric Training Quiz 245m
4.7
129 ReviewsChevron Right
Career direction

50%

started a new career after completing these courses
Career Benefit

83%

got a tangible career benefit from this course

Top Reviews

By NSOct 23rd 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 COJan 16th 2018

There were a lot of design elements thought were irrelevant, now i know better. This course made graphic design limitless. It also show me how to do more and appreciate everything visible

Instructor

Avatar

David Underwood

Design and Media Teaching Consultant
PhET Interactive Simulations, Department of Physics, University of Colorado Boulder

About University of Colorado Boulder

CU-Boulder is a dynamic community of scholars and learners on one of the most spectacular college campuses in the country. As one of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU), we have a proud tradition of academic excellence, with five Nobel laureates and more than 50 members of prestigious academic academies....

About the Effective Communication: Writing, Design, and Presentation Specialization

Over seventy companies and tens of thousands of students worldwide have used Effective Communication to deliver ideas powerfully in the workplace. By taking Business Writing, Graphic Design, and Successful Presentation, you’ll hone your written, visual, and verbal business presentation skills. You'll learn to write well-organized, clear business documents; to design elegant presentation slides, reports, and posters; and to present and speak with confidence and power. In the final Capstone Project, you'll develop a portfolio of work—including a memo, a slide deck, and a presentation—to showcase your communication skills and represent your personal brand. The Effective Communication Specialization takes you on a journey of self realization. You’ll learn that excellence in communication involves the ability to express who you are—your best self—in everything you do. What our students say: "A life-changing specialization." "Simple yet powerful rules." "Essential for everyone."...
Effective Communication: Writing, Design, and Presentation

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you enroll in the course, you get access to all of the courses in the Specialization, and you earn a certificate when you complete the work. Your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

  • Learners need some familiarity and access to presentation software like Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Slides, and Apple Keynote. Although it is not required, design students may also use programs like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.