I like to occasionally test my graphic design knowledge with online quizzes. They’re fun and there are a lot of different types of quizzes on various design or design related topics. I’m quite good with a practical graphic design quiz; like where you’re asked to choose the correct kerning for type, or eyeing if something is properly aligned.
However, I’m not quite as skilled with the theory based quizzes, just because it’s been so long since design school and my design theory knowledge is a bit rusty; at least the stuff I don’t use in my day-to-day.
For this reason, I wanted to find a graphic design quiz that focused more on the theory based parts of design.
In order to find the graphic design quiz I wanted to take, I simply Googled ‘graphic design quiz’. It turns out there are actually a lot of graphic design quizzes online; some of which are better than others. Some are actually quite challenging while others seem to be pulled directly from a first year design school syllabus. I suppose that works.
For this post in particular I’m going to share my experience taking three different theory based graphic design quizzes that are free and don’t require a log-in.
Twenty Questions on QuizGriz
The first graphic design quiz I found was on QuizGriz and was called “Graphic Design Trivia: Do You Have What it Takes To Make it in This Creative Field?” The quiz is only 20 questions long. In other words, it’s not really going to accurately determine if graphic design is a career you should choose, despite the title. Though it’s likely there isn’t a perfect online test for that at all. What this quiz will test you on is just basic design knowledge.
The first question in this quiz is ‘What does CMYK stand for?” which is a pretty basic design question that most people outside of design might not know. The next question, however, dramatically increases the difficulty level by asking who designed the Great Seal of the United States. Maybe this is something American designers are taught, but I wasn’t. I guessed correctly though.
This short design quiz covers lots more things like knowing the difference between vector and raster images, knowing the date the ‘I Love NY’ logo was created, knowing the basic principles of design, being able to identify the DreamWorks logo, some basic colour theory concepts and terms, the design process, design and type terms, some backstory on the Nike logo, design history, and compositional terms.
Overall, it was actually a pretty well rounded quiz that was definitely geared to students who had completed at least one year of design school and had a good grasp of design concepts, design history, and terminology.
Howstuffworks – Certificate Exam
The next graphic design quiz I found was a bit longer, at 35 questions, and tested users on a bunch of design principles and theory topics. It’s called Can You Pass a Graphic Design Certificate Exam? Let’s find out if I can.
In this one, some of the questions were worded in odd ways and asked things that I either never learned or had forgotten since design school. One question asked to identity which out of four options (orientation, analysis, design, and feedback) was not a phase of design. I put orientation. I mean, orientation a part of the design process, but none of the other options really fit. Apparently, feedback was actually the correct answer. I disagree with this one. Design is an iterative process and feedback is a crucial part of the design process. Does the term ‘phases of design’ mean something different to the authors of this quiz?
Another question asked what your mockup resolution should be. Honestly, I need a bit more context for this question, but I still answered 150 ppi, which was apparently correct. Though, if you’re producing printed mock-ups, they should be at 300 dpi… because they are meant to represent the final, finished design in a rough form, right?
Some of the questions are weird in this quiz and really need to give more information or some visuals along with the questions. Others are worded so strangely that the answers just don’t seem to fit the questions.
One question suggests that size, width, and weight are all aspects of proportion, which is correct, but they are also aspects of contract, which is not marked as a correct answer. In a design, contrast can be shown in many ways, some of those ways are by having contrasting sizes, widths, or weights.
Another question asks about the type of graphic design that an infographic is, giving you options of marketing, publication, user interface, or packaging. The most obvious answers here would be either marketing or publication, but this would really depend on the infographic itself. Generally, infographics are their own design category, and are used in a variety of ways. The quiz says marketing is the correct answer, which is far too general to be correct. The quiz gives the most ridiculous reason for why marketing is the answer.
“Marketing and advertising is a branch of graphic design that implements infographics into their logos and images. This branch also utilizes banners and social media ads.”
I’m sorry… what?
Now that this quiz has lost all credibility with me, I’m just going to finish it up real quick and leave with my passing grade. Then on to the next quiz.
ProProfs Quizzes Quiz
I found another graphic design quiz on ProProfs Quizzes that felt similar to the first quiz, but with 36 questions. It asked general design information and theory questions, though they are a bit open ended. One question asks what program would be used to create spiraling text. There are a few different design programs that can do that, though the best two options the quiz gives you are Photoshop or Illustrator. Flash is also an option, and now I’m wondering how old this quiz is. Regardless, both Photoshop and Illustrator can create spiraling text, but the one you use would be determined by what type of project you’re working on. According to this quiz, Photoshop is incorrect. A photo might be helpful to go along with this question.
Another question asks what the major difference between graphic designers and graphic artists is. We pretty much use both terms interchangeably, but I suppose graphic artists would do more imagemaking and designers would do more layout and composition? In reality, we do both most of the time. But according to this quiz, graphic designers are advertisers. Sure, why not.
The rest of the quiz is pretty decent, though the constant mentions of Flash are concerning. One question does suggest that .psd files should never be given to the client, which not entirely accurate. The files you give a client are dependent on their specific needs. They might require an editable .psd file and that is something that should be covered in the contract. These days many non-designers use Photoshop, so giving a client a .psd file is fine if that’s something they need.
Then there’s a question about the Bauhaus. It asks what the holy trinity of colours for graphic design from The Bauhaus is. It’s common knowledge for designers that The Bauhaus colours are red, blue, and yellow; the primary colours. A little while back I did a video on the creation of a Bauhaus inspired poster design. I used red, blue, and yellow because those are the Bauhaus colours.
But according to this quiz, that’s incorrect. Red, black, and white are correct? Did I miss something?
Taking An Online Graphic Design Quiz – In Summary
What I found in all three of these design quizzes is that a lot of the questions are based on the same topics. Colour theory terminology, specific design history knowledge, and the principles and elements of design are all basic design school knowledge that you really do need to know, but some context is missing. Too many of these questions are asking things that are too general and worded to short. Fortunately, they’re still fun to take and test yourself on some graphic design theory.
One thing I did learn from taking these quizzes is that there doesn’t seem to be a lot of free, high-quality, theory-based graphic design quizzes online. Maybe that’s because people just aren’t really that interested in being tested on their design theory knowledge in a non academic setting. Maybe I should create a quiz…
Other Fun Graphic Design Quizzes:
If you’re interested in taking some more practical graphic design quizzes, check out these sites:
Supremo – Designer’s Eye – A challenging quiz from Supremo.co.uk tests your eye for center alignments.
Cantunsee.space – This is a fun design quiz that focuses on the actual practice of design and user interface; similar to Uxcel.
Have you taken any of the quizzes above? Did you find some of the questions to be a bit odd or needing more context? Is there another graphic design quiz that should be added to this page? Let me know in the comments below 🙂
Photo by Aleksander Vlad on Unsplash