Design and Marketing Terms & Definitions

Aspect Ratio

An aspect ratio is the proportional relationship between the width and height of a rectangle (a rectangle is used because the vast majority of screens are wider than they are tall). An aspect ratio is defined via a mathematical ratio, with two numbers separated by a colon. width:height This means that 4 inches wide by 3 inches high would be a ratio of 4:3

Bleed

A bleed is when a design actually extends past its printed edge so there’s no chance of white borders when it’s trimmed down after printing.

CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black)

CMYK is a color model that is used for print purposes. CMYK colors begin as white and then get darker as more colors are combined.

Color Palette

A color palette comprises of colors that can be utilized for any illustration or design work that represents your brand. The chosen colors should be designed to work harmoniously with each other.

Complimentary Colors

Colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel are considered to be complementary colors (example: red and green).

Contrast

Contrast occurs when two elements on a page are different. For example, it could be different colors between the text and the background color or dark vs. light colors.

Cool Colors

Cool colors such as blue, green and light purple have the ability to calm and soothe.

Crop

When you crop an image, you’re cutting away and discarding the unnecessary portions of the image. Cropping allows you to change the emphasis or direction of an image.

Font

A set of printable or displayable typography or text characters in a specific style and size. Font styles are used in both print and digital text.

Gradient

A gradient is a gradual change of colors (such as green turning gradually into blue) or a color fading into transparency. There are two common types of gradients: radial and linear.

HEX Color

A hex is a six-digit number used in HTML, CSS, and design software applications to represent colors.

Icons

Icons are images used to represent an action or an object. For example, a pen icon could represent someone writing (action) or simply a pen (object). When using, icons think carefully about what you want to signify and how clear it is to your audience.

Kerning

Kerning refers to the space between two specific letters (or other characters: numbers, punctuation, etc.) and the process of adjusting that space improves legibility.

Knolling

An aspect ratio is the proportional relationship between the width and height of a rectangle (a rectangle is used because the vast majority of screens are wider than they are tall). An aspect ratio is defined via a mathematical ratio, with two numbers separated by a colon. width:height This means that 4 inches wide by 3 inches high would be a ratio of 4:3

Leading

Leading determines how text is spaced vertically in lines. Leading is used when content that has multiple lines of readable text and ensures the distance from the bottom of the words above to the top of the words below has appropriate spacing to make them legible.

Mock Up

A mock-up is a real or digital model used to test early design ideas and see how they could look in the real world.

Monochrome

Monochrome is used to describe design or photographs in one color or different shades of the single color. Black and white are considered the prominent examples.

Pantone Colors

The Pantone Matching System (PMS) is a standardized color reproduction system. Every hue is given a number, making it easy for people to reference and reproduce the same colors.

Pixel

A pixel is a minuscule area of a screen (the word comes from “picture element”). Pixels are the smallest basic unit of programmable color on a computer and images are made up of many individual pixels.

Point Size

Point size is the size of text. There are approximately 72 (72.272) points in one inch.

QR Code

A QR Code (Quick Response Code) is a type of matrix barcode or two-dimensional barcode. QR codes often contain data for a locator, identifier, or tracker that points to a website or app. QR Codes are designed to be scanned using a camera, such as those found on your smartphone. QR Code scanning is built into many camera apps for Android and iOS.

Resolution

The resolution of an image determines the quality. As a rule of thumb, the higher the resolution, the higher the quality. A high-resolution image will be clear and crisp whereas a low-resolution image will feel a little pixelated and blurry.

RGB (Red, Green, Blue)

RGB color is a model in which red, green, and blue light are added together in various ways to reproduce a broad array of colors. RGB tends to be used for on-screen purposes.

Sans-Serif Fonts

“Sans” literally means “without”, and a sans serif font does not include any extra stroke at the ends of the letters.

Saturation

Saturation refers to the intensity or purity of a color. The more saturated a color is, the more vivid or brighter it appears. Whereas desaturated colors, appear a little duller.

Script Fonts

Script typefaces are fonts or type based upon historical or modern handwriting styles and are more fluid than traditional typefaces. Think "cursive writing".

SEO

SEO is an acronym that stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s a strategy used by website owners to get more traffic by ranking higher in search engines.

Serif Fonts

A serif is the little extra stroke or curves, at the ends of letters.

Stock Photo

Stock photos and art are licensed images created by a third party. Using stock images saves on the cost of a having a professional photo shoot.

Trim

Trim size is the final size of a printed piece after it has been trimmed from its page. Trimming is executed along crop marks that show where to cut.

Vector

Vector images a made up of points, lines, and curves. All of the shapes within a vector are calculated using a mathematical equation which means the image can scale in size without losing any quality. Unlike rasters, vectors won’t get blurry when scaled.

Warm Colors

Warm colors are made with red, orange yellow and various combinations of these colors. They give a friendly, happy, cozy vibe.

White Space

Whitespace, often known as negative space, refers to the area of a design left blank. It’s the space between graphic elements, images, copy, and anything else on the page. Even though it’s known as white space, it can be any color. An excellent example of white space is the Google homepage. It’s almost filled with whitespace to encourage users to focus on the search bar: