Designer Terminology: Fonts, Files, Acronyms and Layout Definitions

designer terminology

There’s quite a bit of terminology utilized when describing designs and this infographic from Pagemodo.

Like any relationship you cultivate, it’s important that both parties are speaking the same language from the start. In order to help you brush up on your design language, we sat down with professional designers and found out the terms they use most often with clients, and those that tend to trip the average person up a bit.

The infographic provides definitions and descriptions of common process terminology.

Design Process Terminology:

  • Wireframes – a basic layout that doesn’t yet have design elements.
  • Comps – after wireframes, the next creative step, usually when design goes digital.
  • Prototype – a later stage meant to give a close idea of the working product.

Graphic Design Terminology

  • Bleed – allowing a design to go beyond the edge of the page so there is no margin.
  • Grid – used in print and digital design to help align elements to create consistency.
  • White space – the area left empty to bring focus to other elements on the page.
  • Gradient – fading from one color into another or from opaque to transparent.
  • Padding – the space between the border and the object inside of it.
  • Margin – the space between the border and the object outside of it.

Typographic Design Terminology

  • Leading – how lines of text are spaced vertically, also known as line height.
  • Kerning – adjusting the spacing horizontally between characters in a word.
  • Typography – the art of arranging type elements in attractive ways.
  • Font – the collection of characters, punctuation marks, numbers, and symbols.

Web Design Terminology

  • Below the fold – the area of a page that the user must scroll to see.
  • Responsive – a web design that adjusts the layout for different size screens.
  • Resolution – the number of dots per inch; 72dpi for most screens, 300dpi for print.
  • Web colors – colors used on the web, represented by a 6-digit hexadecimal code.
  • Web safe fonts – fonts that most devices mostly have, like Arial, Georgia, or Times.

Graphic and Web Designer Vocabulary

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