Graphic Design Glossary

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  • Adobe Acrobat
    Adobe Acrobat is a software program used for PDF files. It helps to create and edit PDF files and users can also convert them to Microsoft Office files like Word, Excel or PowerPoint. Users can also combine several different files and make them into one PDF file without needing to move away from their browser.
  • Aliasing
    Aliasing is referred to as spatial aliasing. It is a process in which the edges of an image become craggy and jagged because of poor pixilation. This is why the perimeter of the picture appears to be uneven and rough.
  • Alley
    Alley is the empty line of space between the text columns of a page. It is different from gutter which is the empty space between two pages facing each other…
  • Alpha Channel
    Alpha Channel is a channel used in graphic designing for saving a selection. It is a mask that specifies how two colors are mixed when they are positioned on top of each other. A part of each pixel data is saved for transparency and there are four channels in 32 bit graphic systems.
  • Animated GIF
    Animated GIF is a graphic interchange format image which contains a series of images or frames in a single file. Such images include movement in them…
  • Animation
    Animation is defined as the drawing of successive images which creates an illusion of movement…
  • Anti-aliasing
    Anti-aliasing is a tool which reduces aliasing by smoothing out the rough curves and jaggy edges of the image. It does this by incorporating the pixel colors of the object outline and the space surrounding it. Even though it minimizes the roughness of the object, it also makes it look shaggy.
  • Aperture
    Aperture in typography is the enclosed area of a letter that is open from one end.
  • Apex
    Apex is the point in a character where two strokes meet. ‘X’ or in uppercase ‘A’ is an example of this.
  • Arm
    Arm is a horizontal, upward or diagonal stroke that is not connected to a stroke or stem from one or both ends. It is sometimes also referred as crossbar.
  • Ascender
    Ascender in typography is the part of the capital letters or some lower case letters which extends above the mean height.
  • Ascender line
    Ascender line in typography is an imaginary line which is present above the ascender marking its height.
  • Ascent line
    Ascent line is a line present above the baseline and at the top of the farthest glyph…
  • ASP (Active Server pages)
    ASP (Active Server pages) was the first software tool which was developed by Microsoft to create interactive web pages.
  • Axis
    Axis is an imaginary line present in a character and the stroke of a letter is made around it. It is used to indicate the stress on the stroke of a character…
  • Ball
    Ball terminal in typography is the small, circular end of a stroke.
  • Banner
    Banner is a space on the front page of a publication such as newspapers and magazines. It contains important information like the name of publication, volume and date. The headline is usually in larger font while all the other facts are in smaller font. However, in a newspaper, the banner headline is also present along […]
  • Baseline
    Baseline is the imaginary line on which the font settles. However, because there are various writing styles, there are a few like the rounded letters which sink below the baseline.
  • Beak
    Beak in typography is a sharp stroke present at the end of the arm of a character.
  • Bevel
    Bevel is an effect in graphic designing that shows an image in 3D dimension by highlighting its inner and outer space. The beveled edges of the picture give the effect that the object is raised up from its position.
  • Bilateral serifs
    Bilateral serifs are small lines attached to both sides of the main stroke of a character.
  • Bit-mapped
    Bit-mapped (mode) in image graphics is when a picture is made up of pixels. These pixels are usually represented in (on) black or (off) white. The bitmap color mode is often used when you have no vectors to work with.
  • Black (font)
    Black (font) is a font that has more mass than the bold version of a typeface belonging to the same type family.
  • Bleed
    Bleed is the term which is given to the process when an image stretches to the four corners of the page. To create this, the image is first printed on a larger paper and then it is cropped.
  • Block quote
    Block quote is a quotation of a few or more lines which are distinguished from the body of the written content because they start with indentation. This method helps in differentiating between the words that are written by the writer and the ones that he or she is quoting.
  • Body height
    Body height in typography is the complete space covered by a character.
  • Body type
    Body type is the typeface used for text on a page. It is used in newspapers, magazines, blogs and in other publications for the main passage or text.
  • Bowl
    Bowl in typography is a curved and enclosed part of a character. This curved part is attached with a stroke like in a ‘b’ or ‘d’ and sometimes it is also referred to as the fully circular characters or part of it such as in an ‘o’.
  • Bracket
    Bracket is a small part that joins the serif and stem of a character in some fonts. However, not every serif is connected by a bracket.
  • Browser
    Browser is the application software used to access web pages over the internet.
  • Byline
    Byline is used in books, magazines, newspapers, and other publications. It is a phrase or a few lines that specifies the author name.
  • Call out
    Call out is a text which has an arrow that tells the viewer about the part of the image. The description is based on the area where the pointer is directed.
  • Camera-ready
    Camera-ready copy is a publication that is ready to be printed without further alteration. This means that the copy is ready for a printing plate. A desktop publishing example of this is a computer file…
  • Cap height
    Cap height in typography is the distance of the capital letter from the baseline. So the height of the capital letter is greater than the other letters of that particular typeface.
  • Caption
    Caption is a concise and attention grabbing description about an image and it is mostly used in magazines to provide information.
  • Cast shadow
    Cast shadow is a shadow created for an object image so it appears in 3D…
  • Check box
    Check box is a small box present on web pages or computer screens. When it is selected; it shows a special feature or records the response of the user. It is mostly used in online questionnaires…
  • Clip-art
    Clip-art is an image that is build before hand and is easily found in hardcopy and softcopy. As these are freely available, they are used widely for personal and professional purposes. However they are not photographed pictures but are solely made by hand or by the use of software.
  • CMYK
    CMYK is a color model used for color printing. Here, C stands for Cyan, M stands for Magenta, Y stands for yellow and K stands for Key, which is also referred to as black. This is because black is formed when the other three colors; Cyan, magenta and yellow are mixed together.
  • Color separation
    Color separation is a process where the color components; Cyan, magenta, yellow and black are separated for printing. Each color is applied to an individual printing plate and then combined on a paper, which produces a single colorful image.
  • Color spacing
    Color spacing is the addition of space between words that are very close together so that the publication appears enthralling and readable.
  • Column gutter
    Column gutter is the space between the text columns. It is another name for alley but shouldn’t be confused with the term ‘gutter’…
  • Comprehensive layout
    Comprehensive layout is a complete layout or blue print of the publication that specifies how the text will be written and positioned with the placement of graphics and illustrations in the copy.
  • Concept
    Concept is a general idea which is constructed in the mind and is inferred from distinct illustrations or occurrences.
  • Condensed font
    Condensed font is a typeface that is narrower than its actual typeface. It is used either to add more character to an area or to make the space look bigger.
  • Continuous
    Continuous tone is a type of artwork that produces variations in the shades of gray in an image. Black and white images such as photographs or those sketched with charcoal or pencil are some examples…
  • Cookie
    Cookie is a small piece of data sent from a website and stored in the web browser of the user. It stores the user record for a specific website and customizes the web page for the user according to the previous searches.
  • Counter
    Counter in typography is the closed area within a letterform; in numeric, uppercase and lowercase letters…
  • Creative brief
    Creative brief is a document made to give the designers an idea about what is required by the client. It contains all the necessary information regarding the design/product to be produced.
  • Crop marks
    Crop marks also called trim marks are lines on sheets of paper that helps the printer to identify the edges of an image or a copy. They are usually used for printing bleeds, which are the images stretched till the perimeter of the page and are printed on larger paper first and then cropped out.
  • Cropping
    Cropping is the process of trimming parts of an image that are not required by the individual who is using the picture. Cropping is now one of the most used tools in photo editing.
  • Cross stroke
    Cross stroke in typography is a horizontal line that passes through the stem of character like that in lowercase letters ‘f’ and ‘t’. This term is often interchanged with crossbar although that is different; it is a line that connects two strokes.
  • Crossbar
    Crossbar also known as ‘bar’ is a horizontal line that connects the two strokes of a character like that in uppercase ‘A’ and ‘H’.
  • Crotch
    Crotch in typography is the inside space of a character where two strokes meet and form an acute angle.
  • CSS
    CSS known as Cascading Style Sheet is the encoded language used for formatting documents and for making web pages on HTML and XHTML.
  • Cutline
    Cutline is known as photo caption. It is a few lines of explanation about the image. However, these two may be differentiated because only a few words are needed for the description.
  • Descender
    Descender in typography is the part of the lower case letters that sinks below the base line. descender can also be seen in a few of the upper case typefaces as well.
  • Descender line
    Descender line in typography is an imaginary line present below the baseline which marks the end point of a descender.
  • Descent line
    Descent line is a line present below the base line and at the bottom of the farthest glyph…
  • DHTML/Dynamic HTML
    DHTML/Dynamic HTML is also known as Dynamic Hypertext Markup Language. It is used to develop interactive websites with the help of HTML, JavaScript and CSS.
  • Diactric
    Diactric is a mark added to a character for the purpose of proper pronunciation. They are also called accent marks and are used in French, German and Spanish languages…
  • Diagonal stroke
    Diagonal stroke in typography is a stroke present in a character in an angled sloping position.
  • Dingbat typeface
    Dingbat typeface is a font that does not use alphabets but instead uses other figures such as ornaments, symbols and other different small designs.
  • Discretionary hyphen
    Discretionary hyphen is a type of hyphen which appears at the end of a line when a word needs to be divided into two. However to show that the word is continued to the next line. It is also called a soft hyphen.
  • Display type
    Display type is the type that is larger than the body type and is in bold because it is mostly used for headings or advertisements.
  • Dithering
    Dithering is a process where the colors of an image are reduced to show a third color which is also present. It makes the image look even and the effect is achieved by adding noise to the picture. Therefore the images seem blur or distort.
  • DNS/Domain Name System
    DNS/Domain Name System is a naming system that gives names to various domains. This naming is done by giving IP addresses to the domains.
  • Dot
    Dot in typography is a small mark present above the stem of character and can be seen in lowercase letters i and j. It is also called a tittle.
  • DPI (dots per inch)
    DPI (dots per inch) is used to measure the resolution of an image. It measures the dots per inch in a line. There are approximately 300 dpi in a common laser printer.
  • Draft
    Draft is a sketch or blueprint of an image or graphics that gives a rough idea about how the image will look like at the end. However, sometimes the sketch differs greatly from the final product.
  • Drop shadow
    Drop shadow is a graphical effect given to an image to show that there is a shadow being formed by the object in the picture.
  • Drop-down menu
    Drop-down menu is a list of elements which is present on a website or monitor that opens when the user clicks on the tab…
  • Duotone
    Duotone is a two color image. The most commonly used color is black but another shade is used along with it so it can bring the user’s focus to a few of the areas in the picture.
  • Ear
    Ear in typography is a small stroke at the top right side of the lowercase ‘g’. It is also present in some styles of lowercase letter ‘r’.
  • Egyptian type
    Egyptian type, which originated in the mid nineteenth century, is a typeface in which the serif has the same weight as the rest of the body of the character. Slab serif is the most widely used Egyptian type and it is a bold and thick typeface with heavy serifs…
  • Em space
    Em space is the space that is equal to the point size of a type. For example if the point size of a type is 12 then its em space will also be 12.
  • Emboss or embossing
    Emboss or embossing is a tool in graphics that makes a part of an image appears like it was added separately. It shows the picture in a way that one of its parts seems to be engraved over another.
  • En space
    En space is the space that is exactly half of the point size of a type. For example if the point size of a type is 12 then its en space will be 6.
  • Error 404
    Error 404 is a type of error that occurs when a server cannot find a specific web page.
  • Expanded font
    Expanded font in typeface is a font whose elements are broader than the actual and the standard type. The characters in an expanded font are stretched and wide.
  • Export
    Export is a process used by graphic designers where a file that is saved in one format can be used in other programs as well.
  • Extended typefaces
    Extended typefaces have a stretchy body as compared to the general font type. They are horizontally broadened but should not to be confused with the expanded fonts whose ‘characters’ are wide. For example Latin wide and Egyptian Expanded are two very different types of fonts.
  • Eye
    Eye in typography is referred to the enclosed space in lowercase letter ‘e’.
  • Facing pages
    Facing pages are two pages that are opposite to one another and face each other when a book, magazine or other publication is opened.
  • Feather
    Feather is the extra leading which is added between lines, paragraph and heading so that the baselines in the columns of a page appear equal.
  • Final file format
    Final file format is the format of final file which is sent to the client. There are various file formats such as: • AI and/or .CDR and/or .FH: Adobe Illustrator, CorelDraw, and Macromedia Freehand • EPS: Encapsulated Postscript • PDF: Portable Document File • PSD: Photoshop Document • JPG: Joint Photographic Experts Group • GIF: […]
  • Finial
    Finial in typography is a flat, thin, and curved end like that present in lowercase letters ‘c’ and ‘e’.
  • Flag
    Flag in typography is a small edgy line present on the top right side of the number five.
  • Flash
    Flash known as Adobe Flash is a multimedia and animation software that creates vector graphics, animations, games and other online applications which are viewed same on all browsers. Flash is used to add graphics and videos on the internet but its usage on websites is declining.
  • Flash logo
    Flash logo is a logo made with the ‘Flash’ software. These logos are usually animated or have some movements in them.
  • Flight check
    Flight check is a program that inspects format files or other application like Adobe illustrator or PDF for mistakes.
  • Folio
    Folio is the page number of a document which is usually set along with headers or footers.
  • Font
    Font is a set of characters that have a specific size, design and style. Each font belongs to a family font and has shared attributes with others in the family.
  • Form
    Form is present on a web page and it is used to collect data entered by the users. It is usually known as web form or HTML form.
  • Four color process
    Four color process is the process through which colorful images are produced with the help of the CMYK colors; cyan, magenta, yellow and black. Depending on the shades required, these colors are printed close or on top of each other in the form of small dots.
  • Frame
    Frame in graphic designing is an image that has many successive images within itself…
  • Galley
    A galley is the term given to the type that is set in columns. With the help of a page assembly program in desktop publishing, they can be printed out for proofreading or copy fitting.
  • GIF
    GIF (Graphic Interchange Format) file is a compressed computer file that creates bit mapped images. It is the most widely used format on the internet for graphics because these files are small in size and can use up to 256 colors…
  • Glow
    Glow is a soft or dark highlight present around an image…
  • Glyph
    Glyph in typography is the representation of a character with the help of symbol such as 2, H, k, R,?,). For each character in a typeface, various glyphs are present which are also called the alternates…
  • Gradient
    Gradient is a tool in graphics that gradually changes the saturation of color in an image. This change follows a directed path, like from darker to lighter or from one shade to another.
  • Graphic design
    Graphic design is the art of creating an image with the help of typography, colors and images. It creates a visual effect of a concept. Web designing, logo designing and designing of marketing collaterals like brochures, pamphlets, posters and other such things are created under the wing of graphic designing…
  • Grayscale images
    Grayscale images also called Black and white images are made specifically with shades of gray. They are bitmap images made up of dots with dark areas containing larger dots and light areas consisting of smaller dots…
  • Greeked text
    Greeked text is used to determine the appearance of a page layout, without the use of the actual content. The most commonly used text in this regard is ‘lorem ipsum’; the nonsense text, which has no meaning but helps in displaying the layout appropriately.
  • GUI/ Graphical User Interface
    GUI/ Graphical User Interface help users interact with the computer by displaying graphics like icons, windows, menus etc. This makes it easier for the user to communicate with the computer.
  • Gutter
    Gutter is the empty space between two facing pages. Ideally, this space should be wide enough so that the binding of the document can be accommodated.
  • Hairline
    Hairline in typography is the thinnest stroke found in a character which has more strokes in it with varying widths.
  • Halftone
    Halftone is a continuous tone image produced by a screen. It consists of small dots of different sizes. The denser areas of the picture have larger dots and the lighter region has smaller dots.
  • Halftone screen
    Halftone screen is a screen in publishing that produces an image by the use of dots. The more the dots at every inch, the clearer the image will be. The dense areas of the picture have larger dots while the lighter regions have smaller dots.
  • Hang indent alignment
    Hang indent alignment is the one in which the first line is aligned with the left margin and all the other lines are indented towards right with equal spacing. It is used when the text is needed in the form of a list.
  • Hard hyphen
    Hard hyphen is a hyphen used in a hyphenated word that should not be fragmented apart. It is continuous and is different from soft hyphen where the word is continued to the next line due to word wrapping.
  • Hard return
    A hard return is the ending of a paragraph, also called a paragraph break and is made by pressing the enter key. It is denoted with by a pilcrow; which is P in reverse.
  • Head
    Head is a small phrase or lines of text that are larger than the other body text. This head gives an idea to the reader about the copy.
  • Hexadecimal
    Hexadecimal is a number system that consists of 16 numbers and it is used in modern computers for binary numbering.
  • Hook
    Hook in typography is a curved or bent part of a stroke present in a character such as in a lowercase ‘f’.
  • HTML
    HTML known as Hypertext Markup Language is a coded language used by developers to create web pages.
  • Hue
    Hue is another term used for color. It is referred to as the variations in a particular color…
  • Hyperlink
    Hyperlink is a text or image that links one web page or document to another.
  • Hypertext
    Hypertext is a text that allows documents and web pages to be linked with others.
  • Hyphenation zone
    Hyphenation zone is the region beside the right margin that allows hyphenation in ragged right alignment. Discretionary hyphen is also used for long words so they do not leave an empty space in that area.
  • Illustration
    Illustration is the portrayal of an art done by artists. Some of these include photographs, drawings, paintings and sketches. Illustration makes the overall image interesting and appealing. These illustrations are made with graphical tools so they have superior impact wherever they are used.
  • Image map
    Image map is a single image that has many hyperlinked images.
  • Interlace
    Interlace is a method in which a rough image is refined gradually over a series of stages.
  • Italic
    Italic in typography is a writing form where all the characters are in slightly slanting position towards right. It is a hand written transcript of the family which it belongs to and uses shapes and curves which gives it a different look as compared to the normal font…
  • JavaScript
    JavaScript is a programming language used to develop graphics, icons, images and other such elements to be used on a web page.
  • JPEG
    JPEG (Joint Photographic Electronic group) is a computer file format that is used to save photographic digital images in compressed form. It uses mathematical algorithm for compression and removes the less important information of the image…
  • Kern
    Kern is defined as the compressing of the space between characters so that the white space between them can be reduced. This is done because the wider space between characters is noticeable and makes the appearance of the text look unprofessional…
  • Keyline
    Keyline is the outer line that is used to indicate the size, shape and position of a printed or completed image.
  • Kicker
    Kicker is a short phrase or line with which the narrative begins. It is set in a smaller font than the main heading but is usually larger than the rest of the text…
  • Knockout
    Knockout is a term used in printing when parts of an image with different colors are printed together and they overlap. The top overlapping colored part is printed and the lower colored part of the image is knocked out or is not printed. This is done so that the color of the image remains same […]
  • Landscape (orientation)
    Landscape (orientation) is a type of page layout in which the page is wider than the overall length; this is the opposite of a portrait orientation.
  • Lap register
    Lap register is the term used in color printing in which colors are slightly overlapped to make sure that no white space is present between them.
  • Leader
    Leader is a dotted line that leads a reader to the next page of a publication.
  • Leading
    Leading is the space between two lines of text. It is the distance from one baseline to another.
  • Leg
    Leg in typography is a titled stroke present in letters like in a K or R.
  • Letterform
    Letterform in typography is the different shapes which are given to the characters that add beauty to them…
  • Ligature
    Ligature is defined as the two double characters in a type that are combined together as one.
  • Light (font)
    Light (font) is that font which is lighter than the normal, regular, roman, plain and book typeface but is heavier or bolder than extra-light, ultra-light, thin and hairline.
  • Line – art
    Line – art is an artwork which consists of two colors; black and white, which are used to create an image. The picture is without gradation in shades and is usually made on a plain background. Pen and ink drawings along with desktop publishing graphics are also called line art…
  • Link
    Link in typography is a part in lowercase letter ‘g’ that connects the upper part of the character with the loop.
  • Logotype
    Logotype abbreviated as logo is a symbol, mark, name or character that serves as an identification tool for the public…
  • Loop
    Loop in typography is the enclosed part of lowercase double story ‘g’ that lies below the baseline.
  • Low resolution image
    Low resolution image is the one that is not well detailed and may appear distorted. This is because the image may consist of low pixels, with low spatial, spectral or temporal resolution depending on the format used by the picture…
  • LPI
    LPI stands for Lines per Inch.
  • Majuscule
    Majuscule in typography is the upper case or capital letter.
  • Masthead
    Masthead is a list present in a publication with its label as a head. It includes the names of all the authors, designers, photographers, sponsors and other creative heads. Along with this it also contains the contact, subscription and other necessary information of the publication.
  • Measure
    Measure in typography is the length of a line in Picas. The line will either have characters or not, or it may be a partial line. However if the text of a line is set in columns it is called a column measure.
  • Meta tag
    Meta tag is an HTML tag present on a web page that briefly describes the content present in it. It also uses keywords to optimize the search engine of the website.
  • Mezzotint
    Mezzotint is a special screen which is used for halftones that produces image without dots. It saturates the dots and forms a dusty image. These pictures also have a retro touch and are therefore mostly in black and white or sepia.
  • Miniscule
    Miniscule in typography is the lower case or small letter.
  • Moiré pattern
    Moiré pattern is an improper layout of lines that appears when the size of a bit map image is changed. This change occurs when the picture is enlarged or reduced.
  • Monospace type
    Monospace type is also known as the typewriter typeface. It is a typeface in which each character has an equal amount of horizontal space in between them…
  • Mouse over
    Mouse over is the movement of the cursor on icons and menus.
  • Negative space
    Negative space is the space around the subject image. When used properly, this space forms an abstract image around the main image and gives it an artistic touch. The design then carries two images; the actual image and the abstract image, which is formed by the negative space. The image is mostly in black and […]
  • Neon glow
    Neon glow is the highlighting of an image or text with neon colors.
  • Nested stories
    Nested stories are the stories in magazines and newspapers which are present in different layouts in various columns and in many different sizes.
  • Objected oriented (mode)
    Objected oriented (mode) is a graphic mode in which a set of different algorithms describe an image in geometric terms. The picture is a result of basic geometric concepts like curves, lines or patterned regions.
  • Oblique type
    Oblique type is the normal type in which the characters are slightly slanted towards right. It is different form Italic type where each family font uses different shapes and curves for each character…
  • Offset printing
    Offset printing also known as web offset printing is a three stage printing method. Here, the inked image on a metal plate is transferred (offset) to a rubber blanket and a paper passes between the blanket and the impression cylinder. A picture is than imprinted on the page.
  • Open counter
    Open counter is the enclosed area of a character that is open from one end.
  • Orphan
    Orphan is the first or last line of a paragraph that appears at the beginning or ending of a page. This line is separated from the rest of the paragraph because it is continued to the next page…
  • Pantone Matching System
    Pantone Matching System (PMS) is a color matching system used for printing spot colors. This system specifies numbers for each color, which is called the pantone number, so that only the desired color is used for printing.
  • Paste-up
    Paste-up is an approach used in desktop publishing that allows a copied or cut text from one program to be pasted somewhere else electronically. It also involves pasting of graphics and copy on a single board.
  • Pica
    Pica in typography is a measurement scale used on a page lay-out to measure the columns’ width and other spaces of the page. Each Pica contains 12 point units to measure.
  • Point
    Point is a measurement unit used in typography. It measures the type size, spaces and other specifications present on a page layout. It is roughly about 1/72 of an inch…
  • Portable Network Graphics (PNG)
    A portable Network Graphics (PNG) format is an image file format that supports lossless compression. It is the most widely used format on the internet and was created as a replacement for GIF (Graphics Interchange Format).
  • Posterization
    Posterization is the reduction of the tones of an image in an abrupt manner from one shade to another.
  • Printer Font
    Printer font is defined as the high resolution bitmaps or font outline masters that stamp or imprint the characters on a printer paper.
  • Process color separation
    Process color separation is a method used for the re- creation of color photographs. Process colors; cyan, magenta, yellow and black are implemented on the image and this creates various kinds of hues…
  • Proportionally spaced type
    Proportionally spaced type is a typeface in which the space between characters is not equal but is dependent on the shape and style of an individual character.
  • Pull quote
    Pull quote is a quote or an extraction from the article that is set separately from the text in a box or a space that is highlighted, enlarged or bold. It is a phrase from within the text and is used to emphasize and add interest to the content…
  • Punctuation block
    Punctuation block refers to the lines of text in right justified alignment that end with punctuation and makes the right margin appear craggy and uneven…
  • Quaint
    Quaint in typography is a connecting stroke between two characters. It adds beauty to the text because it looks like an old or antique font style.
  • QuarkXPress
    QuarkXPress is software used for printing and publishing purposes.
  • QuickTime
    QuickTime Video is software developed by Apple that supports various audio and video formats.
  • Ragged right alignment
    Ragged right alignment is that type in which a line starts from the left. The text is left aligned and so the extra white space appears at right margin. This is why the document seems uneven, craggy and ragged…
  • Raster
    Raster is a type of image format that is also called a bitmap. It is a dot matrix structure which has rectangular grid of pixels and is therefore heavy. Raster images also get distorted when enlarged so they are stored separately in image files of different formats. They are also known as contones in the […]
  • Recto
    Recto is a right side page with an even number in an open document or publication; where two pages face one another…
  • Redrawing
    Redrawing is re-sketching of an image with improvements and modifications. Put simply, the image is drawn again differently with a few revisions.
  • Resolution
    Resolution is the detail and clarity that a picture has. It is measured in dot per inch (dpi), which is also known as pixels. The more small dots an image has, the clearer its resolution…
  • Reverse
    Reverse is a term used for light colored images on a dark background or the use of white on a dark color.
  • Revision
    Revision is a method of identifying the mistakes or making improvements and modifications in image or graphics.
  • RGB
    RGB is a color model that uses the three colors Red, Green and Blue to produce other various different colors on a screen. This model produces many shades by mixing the three colors in different percentages…
  • Right justified alignment
    Right justified alignment is the type of alignment where extra space is added between the words so that the text appears even and regular from both the ends.
  • Rivers
    Rivers in typography are created because of the white space between words of a body text. These spaces between words create an irregular line of white space within the text…
  • Roman type
    Roman type is the most widely used font and it is also one of the three major western types. Appearance wise it is upright and has serifs in its body but sometimes, sans serifs are also present…
  • Rough
    Rough is a type of blue print but it is a proper sketch of the image or publication. It is provided to the client and has a detailed design with original size of the final output to be made…
  • Rule (ruling line)
    Rule (ruling line) is a geometric line that helps in the assembly of the page. It is different than ‘line’.
  • Run in heading
    Run in heading is the heading of a copy placed in the same line of the text and is mostly present in bold or italic font.
  • Run-around
    Run-around type text is encircled or set around a picture, illustration or a photograph…
  • Running heads/feet
    Running heads/feet are the title of the publication present at the top or bottom of the page. They are present on every page of the document and usually with a page number.
  • Sans serif
    Sans serif in typography is a typeface that does not have extended lines attached to them. Helvetica is an example of such a typeface.
  • Scaling
    Scaling is to enlarge or squeeze an artwork in size. In desktop publishing, scaling is used to avoid or reduce moiré patterns.
  • Screen (tint)
    Screen (tint) in graphic art is a pattern that has dots of the same size and so it has the same color hue.
  • Screen font
    Screen font is the font that appears on a display screen. This font is usually bit-mapped and so has a low resolution.
  • Script
    Script in typography is one of the typefaces which are inspired from handwriting. It is usually inclined and has smooth strokes.
  • Serif
    Serif in typography is a small extended line attached to a letter. One of the most commonly used serif typeface is Times New Roman.
  • Shoulder
    Shoulder in typography is a semi-circle style stroke connected to the stem in a character. It is usually present in lowercase letters m and n.
  • Sidebar
    Sidebar is present in a newspaper or magazine. It is a short story that is usually present along with the main article, which it is related to. It is mostly boxed…
  • Small caps
    Small caps in typeface are when the capital letters settle at the mean or x-height of the font.
  • Solarization
    Solarization in photography is an image produced that is reversed in nature. The dark areas of the image appear light and vice versa. However, in black and white images the white areas also appear dark and only mid tones are light…
  • Solid
    Solid is a type of line spacing with no gap between the lines. However, the acenders are close to the descenders and make it difficult for the reader to move from one line to another.
  • Spine
    Spine in typography is the curved stroke present in the center of the letter ‘s’. It is present in both lowercase and uppercase ‘s’.
  • Spot color separation
    Spot color separation is used for offset printing. The separation of solid colors occurs during this process and each shade uses separate ink. They are excellent for highlighting text but are not good for producing full color images.
  • Spread
    Spread is known as the pages of a two sided publication which are made as one set and face one another when the document is opened…
  • Spur
    Spur in typography is a slightly small edge that extends from the curved part of a letter.
  • Standing
    Standing elements are those components of a page layout that are repeated on every page of a publication with same positioning. Headers and footers are the most common examples of this as they are present on each page of the document…
  • Standoff
    Standoff is defined as the space between the text and graphic. It also refers to the space between two text bodies…
  • Stationery designing
    Stationery designing is the designing in which the company’s logo along with other necessary information is printed on business cards, letterheads and envelopes. It is also a method used for advertising.
  • Stem
    Stem is a vertica, the straight stroke of a character.
  • Stress
    Stress is the emphasis on the stroke of a letter which is made around an imaginary axis. It can either be vertical or diagonal (oblique)…
  • Stroke weight
    Stroke weight is the mass of a single stroke. There is always a contrast between the thick and thin strokes of a letter…
  • Style sheet
    Style sheet are used to include titles, headings, tables, lists and other attributes of text in a document. They are efficient and a fast way to keep the layout even.
  • Subhead
    Subhead is a line or phrase below the main heading with a font that is larger in size than the body text but smaller than the main head. This line is secondary in its importance as compared to the headline.
  • Subscript
    Subscript is a character that is smaller than the other characters and lies below the baseline. It is mainly used in chemical formulas and mathematical equations.
  • Superscript
    Superscript is a character that is smaller than the other characters and is present above the baseline. It is mostly used in mathematical equations or for footnotes.
  • Swash
    Swash in typography is an extended serif with a line.
  • Tabloid sized page
    Tabloid sized page measures 17 x 11 inches. This tabloid paper is used for portrait layout or for a newspaper, but they are officially only found in USA and Canada because these two countries do not follow the ISO paper standards…
  • Tag line
    Tag line is a catchy expression that is added with the logo of a company or with its product and is often used as a slogan as well.
  • Tags
    Tags are used in style sheet and are the coded characters in the text. They are applied to the paragraphs like hard return and hang indent alignment and show a specific function.
  • Tail
    Tail in typography is a sloped descending stroke of a character which is usually added to make the letter decorative. This is present in uppercase Q or R. The curved descending parts of lowercase letters g, j, p are also called tail.
  • Teardrop terminal
    Teardrop terminal in typography is a drop like stroke end that does not have serif.
  • Template
    Template is a file used as a base for making other files. The new file includes the features present in the template along with some edits. It is a master file; used for producing same designs.
  • Terminal
    Terminal in typography is the stroke end that does not have any serif.
  • Text wrap
    Text wrap is a feature in word processing in which the text surrounds and encircles the image or graphic. This encirclement around the graphic can be rectangular, regular or even irregular.
  • Thumbnails
    Thumbnails are the images that are reduced in size and are used by graphic designers to have a quick view of their concept on a paper or screen.
  • TIFF
    TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) is a graphic file that stores raster images and can be used on IBM computers and Macintosh. This format is supported by image manipulation, publishing, word processing and other such applications as well…
  • Tiling (tile)
    Tiling (tile) is a method in printing in which an image is not printed on a single page but it is rather printed in sections with overlapping edges. This is done so that the pieces can be pasted together…
  • Tittle
    Tittle in typography is also known as dot. It is the small mark present in lowercase letters i and j.
  • Tombstoning
    Tombstoning is the presence of two or more headings on the same horizontal position of a page. It occurs when two or more stories are documented in columns on a single page.
  • Track
    Track is defined as the uniform reduction of space between all the characters present in a line. It is not similar to kern, which is the reduction of space between specific characters.
  • Trade marking logo
    Trade marking logo is a method of getting your logo registered as an exclusive and unique property so it can be protected from being copied or illegally used by others. In such a case, if someone copies the logo or design then legal action can be taken against them.
  • Type alignment
    Type alignment is the adjustment of the space occupied by the text and the presence of the white space within the same line. Text can be aligned as right, left, centered or right justified.
  • Type family
    Type family is defined as a group of typefaces that share similar elements but contain different variations like size and width. For example; Verdana Regular, Verdana Regular Italic, Verdana Bold and Verdana Bold Italic all are part of one family namely Verdana.
  • Typeface
    Typeface, which is also known as font family is a class of characters which include letters, alphabets and other special symbols in different sizes, style and design. These are basically the elements which makeup the design of a type.
  • U&lc
    U&lc is the abbreviated form of upper and lower case letters.
  • Unit
    Unit in typography is the division of space used for inserting gap between the letterforms. Desktop publishing and other type setting software use different units but the most commonly used are 8, 16, 32 and 64.
  • Vector
    Vector graphics are based on vectors. Vector images are made on x and y axis with the help of geometrical concepts like lines, curves, shapes etc. This format uses grid of pixel unlike other type of image formats like Jpeg and GIF etc. These images can be enlarged without being distorted or blurred.
  • Verso
    Verso is a left side page with an odd number in an open document or publication. Verso is only present when two pages face one another…
  • Vertex
    Vertex in typography is an exterior point of a character and it is usually pointed. It is the point where two strokes meet.
  • Weight
    Weight is the thickness of the stroke of a letter. It can be light, medium, bold or black.
  • White space
    White space in designing is the area that doesn’t have any design or character. However, though it is called white space, sometimes the designs are evident against a differently colored background. It is also referred to as negative space or empty space.
  • Widow
    Widow is the beginning of the paragraph that appears at the end of a page or the ending of paragraph that continues to the next page. It is same as orphan but orphan is distinguished as a word or part of it that appears at the end of a paragraph.
  • Width
    Set width in typography is the horizontal space occupied by the characters. It depends on the shape of the individual character and other glyphs surrounding it. Different typefaces have different set widths.
  • Word wrap
    Word wrap is a feature in word processing and text editor which helps in breaking a word and makes it continue from the next line where the right margin is present. The purpose of word wrap is so that the whole text fits into the specified space within the margins.
    WYSIWYG (What- You- See- Is- What- You- Get) is a computer system used for editing, in which the display shown on screen is very closely related to the image or graphic that will be printed afterwards.
  • X-height
    X-height is also called mean or body height in typography. It is the distance from the base line, in between where all the low case letters reside excluding the capital letter.

Do you know all the words related to graphic design? There are hundreds of graphic design terms that designers and/or clients need to familiarize themselves with in order to work efficiently in this industry. Without the right words, it becomes hard to give instructions or work in groups. Our list of graphic design terminologies is how you can learn words and phrases that are used in this industry.

Why Learn Graphic Design Words?

Keep this graphic design glossary handy for whenever you need to use a specific design jargon. If you can, try to memorize a few important words that are mostly used by graphic design professionals. This way, it will become easier for you to communicate your design specifications.

How to Learn Graphic Design Terms?

To learn these graphic design words, pick the ones that belong to your industry. For example, if you are from the web designing industry, then you need to know what responsive design is. The trick is to select terms that are from one design field, and use them frequently so that they engrave in your mind.

Many words don’t belong to a specific industry, but are words from a design software, or are words that are generally used while designing branding and marketing items for a business. To memorize such words, you need to see our graphic design dictionary and identify which are the most relevant to you and learn them as you continue with work.

Upgrade Skills with Design Ebooks

Do you want to learn something new? Do you want to improve your skills? Do you want a polished design sensibility? Do you want to know how some famous brands hit the pinnacle? Whether it’s design, programming, brand insights, or trends, there are tons of free graphic design eBooks here to help you get started on your journey.

Graphic Design Terms Learning Tricks

There are a number of tricks to help you memorize design terms from this glossary.

    • Pick 3 to 5 words each day

    • Don’t simply read the definition, look at a picture that describes it

    • Try to use the design term in your communication or work

Keep Learning!