Design Theory Blitz: Quickly Understand GREAT Design
4.2 (930 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
16,515 students enrolled

Design Theory Blitz: Quickly Understand GREAT Design

Learn what makes some designs look better than others, and how to implement those design fundamentals in your own work.
4.2 (930 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
16,515 students enrolled
Created by Derrick Mitchell
Last updated 5/2019
English [Auto], Spanish [Auto]
Current price: $11.99 Original price: $19.99 Discount: 40% off
2 days left at this price!
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This course includes
  • 1 hour on-demand video
  • 2 articles
  • 9 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • A solid understanding of the foundations and principles of graphic design.
  • How to find and use the abundant amount of resources and freebies out there to help guide your design journey.
  • The confidence to create compelling designs with any software. *NOTE: no software will be taught in this course; you will understand HOW to structure your designs no matter what software you use.
  • Nothing; just have a desire to learn the basics about design theory and the "hows" and "whys" that make good design "good."

This course serves as a bird's-eye-view of Design Theory, including industry standards for alignment, contrast, and color in print and web design. Universities and colleges spend entire semesters teaching this single topic, and the goal of this course is NOT to condense every design theory out there into a quick course - that would be impossible. The goal of this course IS, however, to provide students with a solid baseline so that they can begin designing with confidence, and so that they have the tools and resources necessary to continue learning the theories and principles of graphic design on into the future. 

At its core, graphic design is an art form, and art is always evolving. Design rules are often made to be broken, but a broad understanding of what actually makes a design pleasing to the eye is key to developing relevant, eye-catching, and on-trend design pieces. 

As an added bonus, we have a private Facebook group with over 5600 students and counting, which is an awesome resource for you to take advantage of while you go through the course. The group is an excellent place to post projects, get insightful critiques, and network with other like-minded students and working professionals all over the world.

What Students Are Saying About This Course:

  • It was very very good. The resources were awesome. - Nikhil G.

  • I had just used Papyrus within minutes of starting the course. :) I went back and changed it to a free Google font, and it actually suits what I was doing so much better. Instant payoff. - Justin Gramm

  • I started this course with little experience and thankfully I have learnt a lot throughout this course. - Jimmy Clark

*NOTE: This is an ever-expanding course, and new videos will be added based on student feedback, since my goal is for everything in this course to be 100% pertinent to what my students really want to learn about. So feel free to weigh in on what you want to see added!

I look forward to guiding you through this course, and to giving you the tools necessary to continue learning design principles as your skills grow.


Who this course is for:
  • Beginners that have no idea what design theory is.
  • Intermediate students that want to better understand the principles and elements of design.
  • Anyone that wants to better understand the theory and "rules" behind great graphic design pieces.
Course content
Expand all 11 lectures 55:52
+ Introduction to the course
1 lecture 01:17

Welcome aboard! I look forward to walking you through a few of the foundational principles of design theory in this course. Be sure to join our private class Facebook group (the link was provided in the welcome message you received after enrolling) and to let me know if you have any questions!

Preview 01:17
+ The Elements of Design
3 lectures 29:20

In this lecture, we'll explore the connotations of color, as well as how to sample colors and use them in any application. Then I'll show you a quick example of how I use color in my workflow. Be sure to check out the resources linked to this lecture too! 

**Be sure to check out the practice assignments and images in the resources section of this lecture!

Preview 12:12

In this lecture, we'll take a look at why texture is important in your design workflow and how to use it. I'll also show you some great resources to find textures for your next design project. Then I'll show you a quick example of how I work with texture images and texture brushes inside Photoshop, but you could take these principles and use them with just about any design software you use. Let's dive in! 


In this lecture, we'll review typography as it applies to the overall feel of a design, and we will also discuss how to pair fonts with confidence. I will share tips and tricks I use in my own design process, so that you will have a solid baseline for your own workflow as well. 

+ The Principles of Design
4 lectures 16:29

In this lecture, we'll look at the importance of a properly-aligned design, and will discuss why some things are pleasing to the eye while others are definitely not. I will walk you through my personal process for determining alignment and object positioning as well.


In this lecture, we will talk briefly about the importance of contrast, and how it can be used as a tool for calling out the most important pieces of your design, such as a logo or a tagline.  


In this lecture, get a quick overview of the basic types of balance: Symmetrical, Asymmetrical, and Radial. 

+ Additional Resources
3 lectures 08:46

grid system is a set of guides a graphic designer can use to align and size objects within the given layout. Although there are a few different categories of grid systems, there are no strict rules on what can or cannot be a grid. It's up to you. Any guides that help you shape the final design is okay.

The Grid

This reading list will constantly be updated as I run across books and articles that I feel are relevant and helpful to the course objectives. As mentioned in my introduction to the course, it is impossible to squeeze every bit of design theory into a blitz course, and it is not my intention to attempt that feat. The goal of this course is to give you a solid foundation that you can then build on by reading and studying as long as you are a designer, since learning and art are both lifelong, evolving things. 

Reading List
Websites you have to check out