Although individual lessons can be taken out of order, I recommend following the Graphic Design Basics course and these lessons on the elements of design sequentially to get the full benefit.
1.1 Building Blocks of Design
The first class describes the 5 elements of design: lines, shapes, mass, texture, and color. Also describes other elements sometimes included as basic building blocks.
1.1 An Introduction to the Elements of Design (with brief lessons for each of the 5 elements)
Everyone knows what a line is, right? Look more closely at the great variety of lines, straight, curved, thick, thin, solid, and not-solid.
Squares (and rectangles), triangles, and circles are the three basic shapes. Examine their role in design including the psychology of shapes in logo design. Class also touches on freeform shapes.
How big is it? Take a look at mass or visual weight of graphic and text elements. This class includes a large section on size and measurements for type and paper and images.
In addition to the actual texture of the paper we print on, look at the textures we create through techniques such as embossing and the visual texture created with certain graphics techniques.
What is the meaning of red? Which colors go well together? Color symbolism and association is the primary focus of this class. It also touches briefly on the mechanics of color reproduction on the Web and in print.