Graphic Design Glossary

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

As a follow up to the Web Design Glossary that I posted last week, here’s a handy guide to the most commonly used terms in the design world. This glossary is a handy guide and introduction to print production & graphic design, useful for both beginner designers and those looking to embark on a new project and need to learn some lingo!

Adobe Maker of the biggest industry-standard software applications. The Adobe Creative Suite. Here at Jeanius!, I use the latest full Adobe Creative Cloud.
Bleed Usually an extra 3mm on trimmable edges around a document. This means when the document is cut, there is no chance of ‘missing the line’ and creating white edges.
CMYK A four-colour method used in printing. Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (Key).
Column Gutter The size of the gap in between columns.
Copy The text to be used within a document.
DPI Dots per inch. Items for print are always designed at 300dpi.
Facing Pages In a publication, facing pages are the two pages of a double spread open at the same time.
GIF Graphics Interchange Format. Used for web work and support transparency. Can also be animated.
Illustrator An Adobe programme used to create logos and vector illustrations.
InDesign An Adobe programme used to design layouts and documents.
Italic Text usually slanted to the right. Generally used for emphasis or quotes.
JPEG Joint Photographic Experts Group. Most common image file type – does not support transparency.
Kerning The process of reducing or increasing the white space in between letters.
Lamination Plastic film (matt, gloss etc) applied to printed sheet. For example, matt laminated business cards.
Orphan The last word of a paragraph left which is on a line of its own or that covers less than 1 third of a column width. Generally considered untidy.
Pantone A colour matching system used between designers and printers to produce a more accurate colour representation.
PDF Portable Document Format. Often a format used to send items to print. Used to easily send files over email and combine reports into an easily read document.
PNG Portable Network Graphics. The best image for web use as they can be higher quality and support transparency.
Photoshop A powerful Adobe programme used to draw and manipulate images.
Proof A copy of document to be produced. Given in the final stages to check for typos or errors.
RGB Red, Green, Blue. Used for on-screen graphics as the 3 main components of light, making up all colours.
Sans Serif “Without Serif”. Applies to fonts without tails/lines crossing the ends of letters. For example: This font is Sans Serif.
Serif Fonts with lines/tails crossing ends of letters. For example: This is a Serif font.
Subscript Small text beneath the main line of text. For example the 2 in H2O
Superscript Small text above the main line. For example the TM of Jeanius!TM
Typography The art of proper text formatting, placement, styling and typeface specification.
Vector A scale-able graphic. Can be small or large format with no change in quality.

Jeanius! is a small, dedicated graphic and web design studio, run by Jean Dunn-Bardo at the foot of the Malvern Hills, Worcestershire. I specialise in website design and development, logo and brand creation & printed material design for businesses of all sizes and budgets. Please email Jean at hello@jeanius-design.co.uk with your ideas & requirements for a friendly, no-obligation chat. I'd love to hear from you and help bring your ideas to life!

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Graphic & Web Design: Malvern, Worcestershire.