You’ve outsourced your logo design to a professional, but cannot understand a word of what he’s saying? Or, maybe you’re simply stuck in the middle of an endless bickering session between your graphic designer friends. Perhaps you’re just eager to learn more about this exciting, colorful world.
Whatever the case, graphic design has a language of its own, and we’re happy to explain a couple of beginner terms. Sooner or later, they might come in handy.
1. White Space
So, let’s begin with an easy one. Since minimalism continues to lead graphic design trends, white spaces literally lurk from every corner. The term is interchangeable with “negative space,” and both refer to an empty area of design.
Just like minimalist design in general, this element declutters the space and keeps it nice and tidy, while simultaneously emphasizing what’s important. Instead of feeling overwhelmed with content, a viewer can easily absorb information and enjoy the smooth, clean look of design.
2. Palettes and Color Schemes
Though thepalette is neither a jargon nor a technical term, this well-known word comes with a myriad of meanings that non-designers are not familiar with. Essentially, it’s a selection of colors used for a specific design project. To build one, you have to pick a color scheme as well, and those can be a bit confusing.
- Monochrome: a single color with a full range of its tones, from lighter to darker nuances.
- Analogous: three colors from the color wheel that stands next to each other, for example red, orange and yellow.
- Complementary: two colors from the color wheel that stand opposite from each other, for example, yellow and blue.
- Triadic: Three colors from the color wheel, whichare equally separated from each other, for example, red, yellow and blue.
While on the topic of colors, CMYK is another frequent graphic design term that non-specialists cannot seem to decipher. By definition, it is a standard colormode that includes cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black). Whichever kind of documents your graphic design company prints, CMYK is an indispensable part of the process.
A grid is a series of horizontal (rows) and vertical lines (columns) that intersect each other. In creative graphic design, grids are used as a structuring method – they help artists organize and compose content. It may seem complicated; however, it’s anything but. In fact, the grid is a framework for a better, aesthetically pleasing, cleverly arranged, and more consistent design.
Typography is not only a huge part of thegraphicdesign but also a study in its own right. Though it referrers to a fairly simple concept,the practice of arranging type – typography is so full of details and intricacies that most graphic designers consider it a special form of art.
Its normative side dictates rules for designing and arranging various typefaces, but the practice at large leaves plenty of room for creativity. Typography has a vocabulary of its own, with innumerable technical terms that you might also enjoy.
6. Resolution: DPI and PPI
In graphic design, the term “resolution” means the same thing as when applied to your favorite type of TV screen – a number of details within an image. The digital world is measured in pixels per inch, and this kind of resolution is called PPI. DPI (dots per inch), on the other hand, applies exclusively to printed images. Both resolution types have the same rule: the higher they are, the better. This term is applicable only to raster graphic, so read on to learn more!
7. Raster Images and Vector Images
Since raster images are created with a limited number of pixels, their size can be enhanced only to a certain extent. This is why your photos end up pixelated and blurry when you try to make them bigger than they actually are. Unlike those, vector files are created with points. Their coordinates allow you to change the image size at will and manipulate your artwork’s dimensions without any loss in quality.
Are you feeling smarter already? You should! Graphic design may be complex, but it’s certainly worth learning. Hopefully, our explanations were enough to satisfy your curiosity and inspire you to find out more about this field of art.
Erica Martin is an experienced writer and marketing consultant. Her expertise lies in Graphic Designing, marketing, and advertising. She helps small & medium enterprises to grow their business and overall ROI. You can follow Erica on Twitter.