Design Tips

Glossary of Design Terms

Ascender
When part of a lowercase letter exceeds the x-height. For example the higher parts of the letters "b", "d", "f", "h", "k", "l", and "t".

Bitmap
A graphic made up of pixels which makes it resolution dependant. This means resized may effect the quality of the graphic.

Bleed
When the image stretches farther than crop marks to ensure the ink is printed right up to the edge of the page leaving no room for error when cropped.

CMYK
Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and black. These are the colours used in the four colour process. K is used for black it is not confused for blue.

Deboss
When a graphic image is pressed lower than the stock to give the image dimension.

Decender
When part of a lowercase letter falls below the baseline. For example the lower parts of the letters "g", "j", "p", "q", and "y".

DPI
(Dots Per Inch) Refers to the resolution of an output device, like a printer or printer press.

Duotone
When an image uses two colours and can provide richer toned image than a monotone graphic.

Emboss
When a graphic image is raised higher than the stock to give the image dimension.

Export
Files saved to a different file format that can be opened in another program.

4 Colour Process
The printing method used by mixing cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. (CYMK)

GIF
(Graphics Interchange Format) A graphic format for the internet that allows for animation.

Halftone
A image made up of fine dots of different size and spacing to reproduce the shades and textures of the original image. This is done because most printing presses cannot print continuous tones. Used to print photos , paintings, and drawings.

HTML
(Hypertext Markup Language) This is the standard format for the internet.

Hue
Another word for colour.

JPEG
(Joint Photographic Experts Group) Main format used for photographic and continuous toned images and can often obtain much smaller file sizes and still maintain photographic quality.

Justified
When text is aligned on the left and right margins.

Kerning
Adjusting the spacing between letters to improve the overall appearance.

Leading
The spacing between lines of text.

Ligature
When letters in a word touch.

Lossless Compression
A graphic file compressed to reduce file size, without losing image quality. Gifs for example

Lossy Compression
A graphic file compressed to reduce the file size, but with loss of image quality. Jpegs for example

PDF
(Portable Document Format) Format that keeps the exact fonts, format, and layout of a document and is ready to print.

Pica
Unit of measure used in graphic design. Size picas equals roughly one inch.

PPI
(Pixels Per Inch) Refers to the resolution of input devices such as monitors and scanners.

Postscript
Language used by printers to convert documents so they can be printed.

RGB
Red, Green, Blue are the colours used by a computer monitor. These 3 colours have a wider colour spectrum than CMYK.

San Serif Type
Type without details on ends of strokes of letterforms.

Serif Type
Type with details on ends of strokes of letterforms.

Spot Colour
Colours that do not go through the 4 colour process. These colours are created using the exact colour, without mixing the 4 colours.

Vector Graphic
A graphic made up of mathematical curves allowing it to be resolution dependant. Which means it can be resized and quality will not suffer.

Widow
A single word paragraph on its own line of text that is left on the top of a page or column that was continued from a previous page.

X-height
The height of a typeface that is measured from the baseline to the top of lowercase letters without ascenders. For example the height of the letters a, c, e, m, n, s, and so on.