:: Course Catalog :: Design Concepts

Design Concepts (D300) is currently looking for an instructor to teach this class. If you, or someone you know, is interested in teaching with please visit for more information.

Do you see yourself as a non-creative individual? Do you want to learn to effectively understand design? Do you want to learn how to see the world around you with new eyes and have the ability to create sharper and more successful websites and graphics from the ground up?

This course will teach you the basics of design and help get you on the road to creating, designing and implementing solid designs for the web! In this introductory course, basic design thinking, theory and practice will be explored in an easy to absorb, fun and relaxed environment.

Students will begin by understanding and implementing the foundations of design: the basic elements and principles of design. These elements and principles are applicable to all design mediums such as architecture, art, graphic design, photography, print and web design. Special emphasis will be given to the application of these principles and elements, along with color and typography, to the medium of web design.

For students who have not had formal training in design, this course will bring them up to speed with the fundamentals of design, while learning how to apply these concepts to web and graphic design. For students who have received previous design training, this course will offer new techniques, tips and tricks, and new ways of thinking of design fundamentals while applying these concepts to the electronic mediums of web design and graphics for the web.

Applicable Job Roles: web designers, graphic designers, and webmasters.

Week 1: Defining design, an introduction and history of design, and the first set of elements and principles of design
  • Defining design.
  • A brief introduction and history of design.
  • Principles and elements: Understanding the differences.
  • Understanding the first set of principles of design: unity/variety, hierarchy, proportion, and scale.
  • Understanding the first set of elements of design: shape, space/whitespace, line, and size
Week 2: The role of a designer, differences between web and print design, and second set of elements and principles of design.
  • Discussion: The role of a designer in the construction of functional website.
  • Discussions: Design is a process that has a clear beginning and end.
  • A brief synopsis of the differences between print and web design.
  • Understanding the second set of principles of design: balance, rhythm/repetition, proximity, and emphasis.
  • Understanding the second set of elements of design: color, texture/pattern, value, and typography.
Week 3: Exploring pattern and texture, classical rules of composition, and value.
  • Exploring and using texture and pattern.
  • Discovering the classical rules of composition Part I and Part II: (includes leading the viewer's eye, the use of grids in design, the use of a browser enhanced grid in design, proportions and the Golden Mean and the Rules of Third).
  • Understanding and implementing value.
Week 4: Creating and enhancing designs with color and typography.
  • Understanding the color models.
  • Exploring the technicalities of color.
  • Working with color creatively.
  • Typography Basics - Understanding typography and using it creatively.
Week 5: Solidifying a design concept, generating ideas, design tips and breaking the rules.
  • Brainstorming techniques.
  • Exploring and enhancing avenues of creativity.
  • Design tips for designs and graphics destined for the Web.
  • Learning how to break the rules of design.
Week 6: Finalizing the concept.
  • Putting the 5 weeks of work together by revising,polishing and presenting a final project, which consists of a design comp that utilizes the principles and elements of design, along with a cohesive color palette, typography, strong composition and creativity.
  • Peer evaluation.
Beginning knowledge of Photoshop, GIMP (the GNU Image Manipulation Program), Fireworks or Paint Shop Pro is recommended. We go through the actions of putting a site design together throughout the course of the class. The more familiar you are with your graphics program, the more success you will have in this course.
Software: Students will need access to a graphics program that can handle layers such as Photoshop (full version, Elements or LE), GIMP, Paint Shop Pro or Fireworks. Please make sure that any trial versions of software do not contain save, feature or time limitations that can impede in your completion of the course.

No Textbook Required

Additional information:

Your place in the course is confirmed by your payment. Introductory courses are intended for students with no experience in the subject matter and are seeking beginner level training.

Refund Policy: Please read our Terms and Refund Policy before registering for this course.

Additional Cost: Book and software might be required for the course. Read the Requirements and Book section for more information. Course fee does not include the book and software cost .

How eClasses Work:Instructors post lectures (text-based, no video or audio), reading selections, and hands-on assignments once a week in the online classroom. Students can discuss the assignments with the instructor and amongst themselves in the classroom area. This format has no set meeting time, which allows students to attend class at a time most convenient to them, yet still provides logically organized communication between class participants. Students can apply for the completion certificate after finishing the class.

Design Concepts
Price: $200.00
Item No.: D300
Instructor: Instructor Needed
Open Courses: No other sessions are scheduled for this course. You can add to your wish list and you will be notified when other sessions are scheduled.

Instructor's ProfileInstructor
We are looking for an instructor to teach this class. Please visit for more information.
Before you register for this class, please read the Outline, Prerequisites, Requirements, Books, and Refund Policy sections carefully.



  • "This class will get you up to speed with the fundamentals of design. Applicable to just about any graphic/web design pursuit, this class will keep your designs balanced, fresh and aesthetically pleasing." - Philip Napora

  • "I learned a lot in this class. The online lectures and links to pages were really helpful for designing web pages. I especially liked learning the latest trends in web design. I feel my design skills really improved from this class. I highly recommend it." - Sharon Ebner

  • "Astrid's review comments on my assignments were extremely helpful. The assignments and required readings helped me understand why I liked or disliked many designs I have seen on the web." - Wally Merrin

  • "This was my first eClass. Astrid did a great job of putting together the curriculum and focusing on the principals of design. She also provided links to a wealth of information about design that I never knew about. All in all, it was a great class. Very challenging but not so much that the work was intimidating." - James Kenny

  • "Astrid is now my all-time favorite instructor. She responded to my efforts with encouragement and gentle guidance. She literally opened my eyes to design and art -- and not must on the web, but in life. " - Jan Timmons

  • "Astrid creates a sense of positive energy in lectures and in feedback to her students. This course is fun and challenging at the same time, which is what anyone should expect from a course like Design Concepts. Students are given an upbeat and frank review of their work. The comments are upbeat and are geared to create a sense of momentum to create more and more creative designs and to believe in one's ability to deliver a creative solution to challenges." - David Meadows

  • "This introduction to the principles of design was well-organized and provided links to key resources. The instructor, Atrid Garcia, was well-prepared, prompt at viewing assignments and helpful in her comments. Great teacher = great course." - Richard Oliver

  • "This class has been awesome! Well thought out, with tons of information and a totally encouraging instructor. The peer interaction has also been very helpful. A great course that I have no hesitation in recommending." - Lyn Tuckwell

  • "Astrid is an excellent teacher. I really do not know how she can keep up with all she does so promptly. I actually got a lot more than I anticipated out of this class. " - Patricia Zahradnik

  • "Great course! Great teacher! All round good job!" - Paul Millichip

  • "Another great class with Astrid! She is always challenging her students to be their very best! I love her classes and because I know I am going to come out with more than a basic understanding of the course material. After this class I feel prepared to take on more responsibilities at work and try new things." - Vicki Siwak

  • "Overall I found the course very rewarding and helpful. This was my first online course so I was unsure what to expect. Obviously you don't/can't get the hands on stimulation you would get from a physical class, but what you do get is a class you can take at your own lesuire. That is priceless for many who have a full time job and families. " - Daniel Riefstahl

  • "The instructor is wery professional and helpful and supportive in every way." - Asgeir Reynisson

  • "This course was very hard work, but very worth while, as it covered quite a lot of territory in 6 weeks. The instructor was excellent." - Patsy James

  • "This was my first experience of an online course of this type. I found the concepts covered helpful but by its nature (given that it only covered 6 weeks) a bit brief. The book was good and very necessary to make the course worthwhile. Astrid was very helpful in her appraisals of my work, and I feel that the experience I have gained has helped me become more professional when I start a new project. I am considering doing another course, so thanks to all concerned." - David Millard

  • "Very helpful, especially for a novice designer with little confidence." - Megan Lilly

  • "This class was everything I thought it would be and more... The instructor is extremely knowledgeable, intuitive, and helpful. I would highly recommend this class!" - Debra Harp

  • "Design 300 was challenging and informative - I've learnt more than I ever expected, and Astrid Garcia is a wonderful teacher. " - Rhonda Laking

  • "The Design Concepts class is outstanding in content, quality and delivery. There are many online classes out there, but this one is truly a gem. I thoroughly enjoyed the pace and intensity of the learning. I appreciated the copious amount of additional references on design and other related topics. They were mentally stimulating and inspiring. The instructor, Astrid, was excellent. " - Teresa Cheong

  • "Of all the classes I've taken here, Design Concepts with Astrid Garcia is easily the best class ever! The class is challenging, but in a very good way. Astrid really helped me view websites differently and to make better design choices. Her lectures were wonderful, and the resources she provided in terms of other links were extremely valuable. I wish the class could have continued!" - Jennifer Johns

  • "Astrid is an incredible teacher. She is thoughtful, and really looks at what you do and she does that for every student. This woman's energy is infectious. Great fantastic class.
    Thank you!" - Dominique Clawson

  • "Astrid is a superb teacher and design doctor. I don't think she left a stone unturned. The lectures and off-site links are a treasure. After printing the lectures and a good sampling of the required reading, I've about filled a 3-inch thick binder. It'll be a timeless on-shelf reference book for me for many years to come. Astrid is able to accurately diagnose design problems and point the way to solving them. Her criticisms are always constructive and she is unfailingly supportive. It was a wonderful class." - Diane Neufeldt

  • "Design Concepts is a great class. Astrid Garcia is one of the best instructors I have had for eClasses online classes. She responds promptly to questions and evaluates assignments in a timely manner. Her evaluations are positive and helpful. Astrid's list of classroom resources is exceptional. " - Marilyn Miller