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  1. Bleed When a graphic object extends through another in an unwanted manned. It is then trimmed so there is no chance for a white line on the edges.
  2. CMYK stands for cyan, magenta, yellow, black
  3. Copy Copy refers to editorial text supplied for incorporation into a design or website.
  4. Grayscale Grayscale images consists of black, white, no color and up to 256 shades of gray.
  5. Grid Is a two-dimensional format made up of a set of horizontal and vertical axis used to structure
  6. JPEG (Joint Photographic Electronic Group) A common process for compressing digital images.
  7. Justify To make a line of type a certain length by spacing out the words and numbers.
  8. Kerning Modifying the horizontal space between letters.
  9. Leading Refers to the amount of added vertical spacing between lines of text.
  10. Low-Resolution Image A low-quality scan made from a photograph, or of the like.
  11. Offset Printing Printing method that transfers ink from a plate to a blanket to paper instead of directly from plate to paper.
  12. Pantone Matching System The Pantone matching system is used for defining and blending match colors. It accommodates designers with swatches of over 700 colors and gives printers the formulas for making those colors.
  13. PDF Stands for Portable Document Format. Developed by Adobe Systems in its software program Adobe Acrobat as a universal browser. Files can be downloaded over the Web and viewed page by page, provided the user’s computer has installed the important plug-in which can be downloaded from Adobe’s own Web site.
  14. Pica A unit of measurement for type. Commonly used for typewriters.
  15. Pixel The smallest picture content that can be individually assigned a color.
  16. Resolution The resolution of an image is an important factor in deciding the attainable output quality. The higher the resolution of an image, the less pixilated it will be and the curves of the image will appear smoother.
  17. RGB (Red, Green, Blue) RGB is the colour model used to project color on a computer monitor. By conbining these three colors, a large percentage of the visible color spectrum can be represented.
  18. Sans Serif A style of typeface that means without feet. Usual sans serif typefaces include Arial, Helvetica, AvantGarde and Verdana.
  19. Serif A style of typeface that means with feet. Usual sans serif typefaces include Times New Roman
  20. Spread (1) Two pages that face each other and are created as one visual or production unit. (2) Method of slightly enlarging the size of an image to make a hairline trap with another image. Also called fatty.

Graphic Design Terms

Accordion fold Folding paper by bending each fold in the opposite direction of the previous fold creating a pleated or accordion effect.

Aqueous Coating This clear coating is used to protect your printed pieces. It provides a high-gloss surface that deters dirt and fingerprints. Aqueous coating improves the durability of postcards as they go through the mail, and protects business cards as they ride around in people’s pockets. It also looks beautiful on brochures, catalog covers, and stand-alone flyers.

Ascender Any part of a lower case letter which rises above the main body of the letter such as in “d”, “b” and “h”.

Base line – Base line

Alignment is the adjustment of arrangement or position in lines of a text or an image; left, right, centered, etc.
Animation Generating movement by displaying a series of images using frames.

Art Director The individual responsible for the selection, execution, production, so on, of graphic art.

Asymmetrical This is when graphics and/or text are not identical on both sides of a central line.

Baseline An imaginary line upon which letters sit and descenders extend below the baseline.

Bevel a tool in design software for drawing angles or modifying the surface of work to a certain inclination.

Bezier Curve A parametric curve that represents a vector path in computer graphics. They are frequently drawn using a pen tool and by placing anchor points which can be controlled to form shapes or lines.

Bleed When a graphic object extends through another in an unwanted manned. It is then trimmed so there is no chance for a white line on the edges.

Body Type The typeface used in the main text of printed matter

Border The decorative design or edge of a surface or line or area that forms it’s outer boundary.

Body copy, body text, and sometimes just plain body or text refer to the main block of text that you read, as opposed to headlines, subheads, titles, etc. Body text is usually between 9 and 12 points in size.

CMYK stands for ‘cyan’, ‘magenta’, ‘yellow’, ‘k(black)’.

Color Palette A set of colors that make up the total range of colors used in graphic computers.

Comp (Comprehensive) Comps are made to see what the initial design project will look like before it’s printed, showing the layout of the text and illustrations.

Contrast The difference in color found between the light and dark parts of an image.

Copy Copy refers to editorial text supplied for incorporation into a design or website.

Crop A tool that removes portions of an image. It is usually used on digital photographs.

D

Descender The part of a lowercase letter that stretches below the body.

Die Cut Is a die that cut shapes or holes in a widerange of material.

Double Page Spread A double page spread is a layout that extends across two pages.

DPI (Dots Per Inch) A term to describe the measure of sharpness within an image.

Drop Shadow Is a visual effect added to an image to give the impression the image is raised above the image’s behind by duplicating the shadow.

Dummy This is a display of the final product.

Duotone A method of printing an image using two colors, usually black and a spot color.

Element Any distinct part of a layout, such as the logo, headline, images or borders.

Embedding Process of transfering all the data of a font or image into the file itself.

Emboss To give a three dimensional effect to a text or an image by using highlights and shadows on the sides of the illustration.

Export To save a file in a format usable by other programs.

Feathering A tool used in graphic design software that makes the edges of an image appear softer.

Fill A tool used to fill selected parts of an image with a selected color.

Flyer A single sheet of paper handed out or posted on a wall to advertise or announce something.

Foil Stamp The procedure of pressing a heated die on top of a sheet of foil, which fress the foil from its backing and attachs itself to a surface.

Font A complete combination of characters created in a specific type of one style and size. The set of characters in a font entail the letter set, the number set, and all of the special characters and marks you get when pressing the shift key or other command keys on your keyboard.

Four-Color Process A printing technique that creates colors by combining, cyan, magenta, yellow and black.

Gatefold A type of fold in which the paper is folded inward to form four or more panels.

Gradient A function in graphic software that permits the user to fill an object or image with a smooth transition of colors.

Graphics Visual presentations that feature printed messages more clear or appealing.

Grayscale Grayscale images consists of black, white, no color and up to 256 shades of gray.

Grid Is a two-dimensional format made up of a set of horizontal and vertical axis used to structure content.

Gutter Refers to book production. The white space formed by the inner margins of a spread near the books spine.

Hard Copy The permanent reproduction of the output of a computer or printer. For example: teleprinter pages, continuous printed tapes, computer printouts, etc.

Header The text which appears at the top of a printed page

Headline A large text illustrating the opening statement used in a layout.

Highlights Lightest part of a photograph or halftone, as opposed to mid tones and shadows.

High-Resolution Image An image with an extreme level of sharpness/clarity.

Hue One of the three primary attributes of color. A hue is a variety of color, such as, red, blue green or yellow.

Imposition A layout of pages on mechanicals or flats so they will appear in proper order after press sheets are folded and bound.

Indents A set in or back from the margin.

Initial Cap Big, capital letters which are found at the beginning of paragraphs or chapters.

Inkjet Printer A printer which tiny ink droplets are spray electrostatically onto paper.

Invert Inversion of the tonal values or colors of an image. On an inverted image, black becomes white, blue becomes orange, etc.

Italic The style of letters that usually slope to the right. Used for emphasis within text.

JPEG (Joint Photographic Electronic Group) A common process for compressing digital images.

Justify To make a line of type a certain length by spacing out the words and numbers.

 

Kerning Modifying the horizontal space between letters.

Layers A tool within graphic software that permits the user to gather, organize and re-edit their artwork.

Leading Refers to the amount of added vertical spacing between lines of text.

Letterpress A technique of printing from raised surfaces, either a type of metal or plates whose surfaces have been carved away from image areas. Also called block printing.

Lower Case The smaller form of letter used in type.

Low-Resolution Image A low-quality scan made from a photograph, or of the like.

Margins Guidelines in page layout software to show the user the body copy areas. It also allows the user to indicate the dimensions. Margins do not print.

Master Page A property found in page layout software that allows the user to create a constant page layout. Repeating elements like page numbers are created once on a master. This permits the user to stay clear of adding the numbers to each page manually.

Matte Finish Non-glossy finish on photographic paper or coated printing paper.

Mock Up A recreation of the original printed material and possibly containing instructions or direction.

Multimedia Offering the use of various communications, such as, text,sound, still or moving images.

News Print Paper used in printing newspapers. Not very high quality paper.

Noise Noise is a term used to describe the development of pixels that contain random colors.

Oblique A Roman typeface which slants to the right. Often confused with italics.

Offset Printing Printing method that transfers ink from a plate to a blanket to paper instead of directly from plate to paper.

Opacity The degree of a color or tonal value. The opacity of an image or object can range from transparent (0% opacity) to opaque (100% opacity). The ability to edit the opacity of specific objects allows the designer to create images that seem to flow into and through one another.

OpenType New font format created by Adobe and Microsoft. Open Type font can include a set of glyphs defined as True Type or Type 1 curves.

Orphan Line The first line of a paragraph appearing on its own at the bottom on a page with the remaining part of the paragraph appearing on the next page.

Outline This can refer to the outside edge of a font or to the outer edge of a vector graphic image, drawn in a package such as Illustrator or Freehand.

Overlay Layer of material taped to a mechanical, photo or proof. Acetate overlays are used to divide colors by having some type or art on them instead of on the mounting board. Tissue overlays are used to carry instructions about the underlying copy and to protect the base art.

Overprint To print additional material or another color over a previously printed image.

Over Run Additional printed material beyond order. Overage policy differs in the printing industry, usually within 10% of the original quantity run.

Page Layout Deals with the setup and style of content on a page. An example of a page layout is the pages in magazines or brochures.

Page Size A setting that allows the user to define the size of the page they are creating their artwork on.

Pantone Matching System The Pantone matching system is used for defining and blending match colors. It accommodates designers with swatches of over 700 colors and gives printers the formulas for making those colors.

PDF Stands for Portable Document Format. Developed by Adobe Systems in its software program Adobe Acrobat as a universal browser. Files can be downloaded over the Web and viewed page by page, provided the user’s computer has installed the important plug-in which can be downloaded from Adobe’s own Web site.

Pica A unit of measurement for type. Commonly used for typewriters.

Pixel The smallest picture content that can be individually assigned a color.

Plate A Piece of paper, metal, plastic or rubber carrying an image to be duplicated using a printing press.

PPI Pixels Per Inch. A measurement of the resolution of a computer display.

Primary Colors The primary colors are put together to produce the full range of other colors (non-primary colors), within a color model. The primary colors for the additive color model is; Red, Green and Blue. The primary colors for the subtractive color model is; Cyan, Magenta and Yellow.

Ragged The imbalanced alignment of text lines. Ragged is the opposite of flush. A text block may be formatted to be evenly flush (align) right and unevenly aligned (ragged) on the left.

Rasterize An image is said to be rasterized when transformed from vector image to a bitmapped image. When opening a vector image in a bitmap-based editing program, you are generally presented with a dialog box of options for rasterizing the image.

Resolution The resolution of an image is an important factor in deciding the attainable output quality. The higher the resolution of an image, the less pixilated it will be and the curves of the image will appear smoother.

RGB (Red, Green, Blue) RGB is the colour model used to project color on a computer monitor. By conbining these three colors, a large percentage of the visible color spectrum can be represented.

Right Justified Type aligned with its right margin. Also known as “flush right.”

Rivers A river is a typographic term for the ugly white gaps that can appear in justified columns of type, when there is too much space between words on concurrent lines of text. Rivers are particularly common in narrow columns of text, where the type size is relatively large.

Royalty-Free Photos Intellectual property like photos and graphic images that are sold for a single standard fee. These can be used repeatedly by the purchaser only, but the company that sold the images usually still owns all the rights to it.

Sans Serif A style of typeface that means without feet. Usual sans serif typefaces include Arial, Helvetica, AvantGarde and Verdana.

Saturation The Intensity of hue. The quality of difference from a gray of the same lightness or brightness

Scale A design or program is said to scale if it is relevantly efficient and reasonable when applied to larger situations

Screen Printing Technique of printing by using a squeegee to force ink through an assembly of mesh fabric and a stencil.

Serif A style of typeface that means with feet. Usual sans serif typefaces include Times New Roman

.Small Caps Capital letters that are about the same height as the tvpeface’s x-height. Some software programs automatically create their own small caps, but true small caps are often only found in expert typefaces.

Spread (1) Two pages that face each other and are created as one visual or production unit. (2) Method of slightly enlarging the size of an image to make a hairline trap with another image. Also called fatty.

Subtractive Color A term defining the three subtractive primary colors; Cyan, Magenta and Yellow. As opposed to the three additive colors; Red, Blue and Green.

Template Refers to a printing project’s basic details in concernto its dimensions. A general layout.

Text Wrap A term used in page layout software, specifically to the way text can be shaped around the edges of images.

Thumbnail A thumbnail is a reduced-size version of the original image.

TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) A graphic file format used for storing images . TIFF is a commonly used file format for high colour depth images.

Tint A color is made lighter by adding white, this is called a tint.

Tone Tones can be redistributed during the scanning or image editing process. To lighten dark images or to darken light images.

Trim Size The size of the printed material in its finished stage.

Typeface A typeface consists of a series of fonts and a full range of characters, such as, numbers, letters, marks and punctuations.

Uncoated Paper This is paper that hasn’t had a coating applied to it for smoothness.

Unsharp Mask A method used to heighten the sharpness or focus of images by selecting and increasing the contrast of pixels alongside the edges of images.

Uppercase Also known as capital letters, they are the larger characters in a typeface.

UV Coating A glossy coating applied to the paper surface and dried using ultraviolet light. It is glossy and adds a certain level of protection to the printed material.

Value This refers to the degree of lightness or darkness of a color.

Varnish This is a liquid coating applied to a surface for protectiong and for a glossy effect.

Vector Graphic Vector graphics allows the designer to expand or reduce the vector graphic in size without any loss in quality using curves, points, lines and polygons.

Watermark Translucent design impressed on paper created during manufacture, it is visible when held to light.

Web-Safe Colors A color table containing only 216 out of a possible 256 colors, used to accurately match the colors of graphics and pictures in cross-platform Web browsers.

Weight The range of a stroke’s width. Also knows as demibold, light, and bold. Some typeface families have many weights like ultra-bold and extra-light. Associated to the heaviness of the stroke for a specific font, such as Light, Regular, Book, Demi, Heavy, Black, and Extra Bold.

White space is the space on a page that is not occupied by any text or graphics. Beginners tend to be afraid of white space. Professional designers use lots of it.

Widow A single line of a paragraph at the bottom of a page or column.

Word Processing Program A software application package that assists in creating, editing, and printing

Work and Turn This is when you print on one side of a sheet of paper, then you turn the sheet over from left to right and print the other side. The same gripper and plate are used for this process.

WYSIWYG What You See Is What You Get. This is an approximate screen representation of what the final printed image will look like.

Yellow One of the subtractive primary colors of CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) that is used in four-color process inks.