Design Theory: The basics of visual design

Learn about the elements and principles that create good visual design
Free tutorial
Rating: 3.9 out of 5 (58 ratings)
1,812 students
43min of on-demand video

What design theory is and the relationship between art and design
The basic elements of visual design
Principles for good visual design (a necessity for graphic design, logo design, UI, UX, web, t-shirt design, print and more)


  • There are no requirements, a suitable device to take the course is all that is needed.


Course updates

  • July 2021: Added a 100+ page companion PDF

In this course, we will explore the basics of visual design theory, why it’s needed and how to apply it to your visual design projects as well as the difference between art and design. You should take this course if you're starting out in design, need a quick refresher, or want a basic understanding of visual design theory. Also, taking this course and understanding the design principles used when working with design elements will give you the creative confidence that will enable you to explain your design decisions and design confidently.

As a self-taught graphic, UI, UX and visual designer with more than 10 years of experience (designing for companies both big and small and individuals), I’ve condensed the knowledge that will demystify many of the design terms you will come across in the design industry. This has helped me in my career as a designer and I will present it simply and casually, making design theory easy to grasp for beginners. Also, included is 100+ page companion PDF packed with the visual design fundamentals every designer should know.

Along with your lifetime access to this course, you'll also receive lifetime updates.

Who this course is for:

  • Beginner visual/graphic designers looking to improve the quality of their work
  • Front-End Developers that need to understand design theory


Certified UX Designer and Adobe Creative Educator
Robin Louw
  • 3.8 Instructor Rating
  • 188 Reviews
  • 6,297 Students
  • 4 Courses

I’m Rob Louw, a certified UX, visual designer, and Adobe Creative Educator from Cape Town. As a (mostly) self-taught designer with more than a decade of experience, I am excited to share my knowledge as an online instructor and make learning more fun with my casual approach to professional development.

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