Do you speak 'graphic design'?

When working with people it's helpful to speak the same language. When you 'don't speak graphic design' it can be a little embarrassing and awkward. Being able to communicate with a professional, and look professional, can be tricky.


However, even designers, such as myself, don't know certain terminology, and you know what? There is no shame in 'googling'!


Here are a list of common terms you may come across when working with graphic designers or printing companies, to help you learn the lingo.


4-COLOUR PROCESS

The process of combining four basic colours (CMYK : cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) to create full colour pictures or colours composed from these basic four colours

ARTWORK

All content, excluding text material, like illustration and photography

BINDING

To fasten sheets or signatures with wire, thread, glue, or by other methods

BLEED

Printing that goes to the edge of the sheet after trimming

BODY

The main text of a work not including headlines

COPYRIGHT

Copyright gives protection to the creator of material to prevent others using the content without express permission or acknowledgement of the creator

COPY

The text part of a design

DPI

Dots Per Inch : The measurement of resolution for page printers and graphics screens. Eg. 300dpi is suitable for print and 72dpi is more appropriate for website/online use

DROP CAP

A large initial letter at the start of the text that drops into the line or lines of text below

EMBOSSING

Pressing a design into paper so that it will create a raised relief

FLUSH LEFT

Text aligned along the left margin

FLUSH RIGHT

Text aligned along the right margin

FOAMCORE

A lightweight mounting material consisting of a layer of stiff foam sandwiched between thin card (see MOUNT below)

FONT

A font is a set of printable or displayable text characters in a specific style and size

GIF

Graphics Interchange Format : An image that's been encoded with multiple frames into a single image file so a web browser or other software will play those images back in animated sequence automatically

GRAPHIC DESIGN

The art or profession of using design elements (such as typography and images) to convey information

GREYSCALE

A range of luminance values for evaluating shading through white to black. To me and you 'black and white'

ILLUSTRATION

A picture, diagram, or chart serving to clarify, explain, or decorate

INFOGRAPHICS

Graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present information quickly and clearly

JPEG

Joint Photographic Experts Group : JPG format is a lossy compressed file format. (See LOSSLESS + LOSSY) This makes it useful for storing photographs at a smaller size. For storing line drawings, text, and iconic graphics at a smaller file size, GIF or PNG are better choices because they are lossless

JUSTIFY

The alignment of text along a margin or both margins. This is achieved by adjusting the spacing between the words and characters as necessary so that each line of text finishes at the same point

KERNING

The spacing between letters or characters in a piece of text to be printed

LAMINATE

To cover with film, or to bond or glue one surface to another.

LEADING

The vertical distance between two lines of text

LOSSLESS + LOSSY

These are terms that describe whether or not, in the compression of a file, all original data can be recovered when the file is uncompressed. Lossy compression reduces a file by permanently eliminating certain information, especially redundant information. Lossless format can reduce a file's size without any loss of the original quality. However, audio and image files compressed using lossless compression, will tend to be larger in size than that of lossy

MARGINS

The non-printing areas of a page

MOUNT

To attach materials to a support for display

PMS

Pantone Colour Matching System. A registered name for an ink colour matching system. By standardising the colours, different manufacturers in different locations can all refer to the Pantone system to make sure colours match without direct contact with one another

PAGE COUNT

The total number of pages in a book including blank pages

PERFECT BINDING

A common method of binding paperback books. After the printed sections have been collated, the spines will be ground off and the cover glued on

PREPRESS

The preparation of digital files for printing

RGB

Red, Green, and Blue : Refers to a system for representing the colours to be used on a computer display. Red, green, and blue can be combined in various proportions to obtain any colour in the visible spectrum

RASTER GRAPHICS

Most images you see on your computer screen are raster graphics. Pictures online and photos imported from a digital camera are raster graphics. They are made up of a grid of pixels, commonly known as a bitmap. Raster graphics can typically be scaled down with no loss of quality, however, enlarging a bitmap image causes pixelation and is considered to be lossy (see LOSSLESS + LOSSY)

REVERSE TYPE

In commercial printing, when the type is reversed out of a background, the background is printed in a dark colour while the type is not printed at all—it is the colour of the paper

SADDLE STITCHING

A method of binding where the folded pages are stitched through the spine from the outside using wire staples

SANS SERIF

A typeface that has no serifs (See SERIF)

SCORE

A crease put into paper to help it fold better


SERIF

In typography, a small cross stroke at the end of the main stroke of a letter

SMALL CAPS

A set of capital letters which are smaller than standard and are equal in size to the lower case letters for that typeface

SPINE

The binding edge of a book or publication

SPOT VARNISH

Varnish used to highlight a specific part of the printed sheet

TIFF

Tagged Image File Format : A common raster file format, generally associated with greyscale or bitmap data

TEXT

The written or printed material which forms the main body of a publication

TYPOGRAPHY

The style, arrangement, or appearance of a typeset

VECTOR GRAPHICS

A vector graphic is made up of points, lines and curves related to one another using mathematical formulas. Vector files are small because they contain a lot less data than raster files and are more flexible than raster graphics because they can be easily scaled up and down without any loss to the quality of the image. Vector files such as AI and EPS can remain editable so you can reopen them in Illustrator and edit any elements within the graphic. With raster images that contain text and formatted as a JPG, PNG or GIF, you would not be able to reopen and edit the text




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