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University of Colorado Boulder

Basic Elements of Design: Design Principles and Software Overview

University of Colorado Boulder via Coursera


Designing for an organization, while requiring technical skill, is not just about knowing how to use a pagination program such as InDesign or manipulate photos using Photoshop. A designer is a visual storyteller, a person who pairs words with images and typography to best convey information to an audience. Good design evokes emotion and presents the news of the day with clarity and the proper tone. A business card, brochure, or website that has good design provides content that is more inviting, more easily comprehensible and is faster to process. Design isn’t about “making it look pretty,” it’s also about content, layout and audience analysis.


  • What is Graphic Design?
    • This module will cover the history of graphic design, uncover what graphic designers do and review the design process.
  • Elements of Design
    • This module will introduce the design principles of balance, alignment, proximity, space, repetition and contrast.
  • Basic Concepts of Design
    • This module will go over the expectations of projects in this specialization, how to apply the design principles to the projects, and software needed to product course projects.

Taught by

Lori Poole


5.0 rating, based on 1 Class Central review

4.7 rating at Coursera based on 919 ratings

Start your review of Basic Elements of Design: Design Principles and Software Overview

  • It is a very nice course to start design graphics. You can learn a brief history of desgn and fundamentals to start making a business card for instance.

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