Glossary of graphic design, logo design and web
page design terms
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Java is a programming language, created by Sun
Microsystems, which allows small applications
to be downloaded into your computer for playback.
Java can be used for such simple applications
as animation to more complex applications such
as a calculator.
animated and dynamic in terms of graphics and
effects is called a mouseover,
Abbreviation for Joint Photographic
Experts Group. File format for full-color
and black-and-white graphic images. JPEG images
allow for more colors than GIF images and are
usually smaller in size.
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| F | G
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| J | K
| L | M
N | O
| P | Q
| R | S
| T | U
| V | WXYZ
Ascender- The part of a lowercase letter that falls
above the body (x-height) of the letter. "b",
"d", "f", "h", "k"
and "l" are all examples of letters with
ascenders.Animation- The process of combining images
to give the illusion of movement.
Anti-Aliasing- Smoothing or blending the transition
of pixels in an image. Anti-aliasing the edges on
a graphic image makes the edges appear smooth, not
Bitmap- A bitmap is a graphic file that is made up
of square dots (pixels). Scaling these images to larger
sizes result in these pixels becoming larger which
can make the image look blocky with jagged edges..
Bleed- Method used in print to have ink printed right
up to the edge of a page. The way this is done is
by having the document printed on a larger page. Then
the printer prints 1/8th (usually) of an inch beyond
the document size on each side, and is then cut to
CMYK- The initials of the four process colors. They
are cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. K is used for
black to not confuse people into thinking blue.
Compression- A method used in graphics programs to
shrink the size of image files. Jpegs use compression
to shrink down file sizes, and TIFs have the option
to compress using LZW for example.
Cropping- This involves removing the outside edges
of a photograph to remove excessive or irrelevant
background content of a photo. This technique is often
used to create interesting framing for images. Note
that this is not the same as resizing, which keeps
the image intact.
Descender- The part of a lowercase letter that falls
below the body (baseline) of the letter. "g",
"j", "p", "q" and "y"
are all examples of letters with descenders.
Dithering- This is a process used in making an image
(like in a GIF file that has 256 colors or less) appear
to have more colors than it really does. This is done
by blending pixels using patterns that approximate
the colors it is trying to produce. Up close, this
dithering looks quite dotty and speckled, but at a
normal viewing distance, the effect of more colors
and cleaner transitions can be obtained.
Dots Per Inch- (or dpi) This specifies the resolution
of an output device, like a printer or printer press.
This print resolution varies depending on what kind
of output is required.
Duotone- This is a technique which mixes two colors
(Duo) which can provide richer toned image than a
monotone graphic. The sum can be greater than its
parts and give the impression of more colors than
just the two. This can be an effective way of designing
with a limited color output budget.
Export- The process of saving a graphics file to a
format that can be opened in another program. These
formats are usually not the native format of the program
you are exporting from.
FlightCheck- This is a prepress program that reads
a disk (or other media) and checks for and identifies
missing fonts, embedded graphics, bad traps, and many
other potential problems.
Font- This is the letters, punctuation, numbers and
symbols that make up a single typeface. An example
of a font is Eras Light ITC. Another font is Eras
Bold ITC. The typeface in this instance is Eras. It
is the variations of this typeface that are fonts.
GIF- (Graphics Interchange Format)- This is a widely
used graphics format for the Internet that allows
transparency and animation. The limitation of this
format is that it the maximum number of colors is
256. GIFs are often dithered, which can give the illusion
of more colors.
Gradient- This is a gradual transition of two or more
Greyscale- This is a color mode where there are no
colors in use. There is just black, white, and various
shades in between. In the print world, a greyscale
image is actually made up of just black ink. The value
of the grey depends on the density and size of the
black dots printed. In photographs, halftones are
produced to simulate various shades.
GUI- (Graphical User Interface) This is a user interface
based on graphics (icons and pictures and menus) instead
of text. When designing a website, it is important
to design the GUI effectively.
Halftone- Process used in print for Photographs, paintings,
and drawings. Because most printing presses cannot
produce continuous tones, images are converted to
halftones to simulate continuous tones. Using fine
dots of varying size and spacing, halftones can reproduce
the shades and textures of the original image.
HTML- (Hypertext Markup Language) This is THE standard
format for the Internet. Html pages can include text,
images, animation, video, sound, and more.
Hue- This is another term for color.
Interlace- This is a web graphic technique used to
have an image appear in steps (with a rough image
appearing first, and then progressively getting more
detail), rather than waiting for the full source image
to appear. This is getting less and less used as broadband
Internet picks up steam.
Italics- This is the slanting forward of serif fonts.
the Internet that html coding often cannot.
Jpeg- (Joint Photographic Experts Group). This is
the main format used on the Internet (and elsewhere)
for photographic/continuous toned images. Because
the Jpeg format uses compression, you can often obtain
much smaller file sizes and still maintain photographic
Justified- This is when text is aligned vertically
on the left AND right margins.
Kerning- This is the process of selectively adjusting
the spacing between letters pairs to improve the overall
appearance. The letter pairs that most often need
some kind of kerning treatment are AV, AY, PA, and
AT. These letter pairs often look awkward together,
and need to either be moved closer together, or further
Keyline -This is an image placer in layout that represents
where an image is to go when it is printed. This placeholder
doesn't print, but it fits the position and size of
the image that will b e printed in that spot. This
Keyline often is a rectangle with an x through it.
Kilobyte (kb)- This is 1,024 bytes of digital information.
Landscape- The orientation of a document that is to
display a page length wise instead of up and down.
A brochure will often be a landscape document, where
the width is wider than the height.
Leading- This is the distance between the baseline
of one line of text to the next baseline of text.
Ligature- This is when letters in a word touch.
Lossless Compression- This is a way of saving a graphic
file in a compressed format to reduce the file size
without any loss of image quality. The PNG format
useless this kind of lossless compression for example.
Lossy Compression- This is a way of saving a graphic
file in a compressed format to reduce the file size,
but at the cost of image quality. Jpegs can be saved
at various levels of compression. The higher the compression,
the smaller the file size, and the more image quality
LPI: (Lines Per Inch)
Mouse-over- A technique used on the Internet where
an image changes to another image when the mouse pointer
moves over the image. An example of this is a button
where it looks like it is being pressed down when
you move the mouse pointer over it.
PDF- (Portable Document Format) This format developed
by Adobe makes it possible to keep the exact fonts,
format, and layout of a document across any platform.
These files can be created in Adobe Acrobat, or any
program that can output to PDF. An Adobe Acrobat Reader
is needed to view these files.
Pica-Pica is a unit of measure commonly used in graphic
design. Six picas equals roughly one inch (precisely,
six picas equals .9957 inches). Most graphic design
programs round off picas so that six picas exactly
equals one inch.
PNG- (Portable Network Graphics format) This is a
lossless compression format that is used on the Internet
to display high color graphics like photographs. You
can also have transparency with PNGs, but the file
sizes can be larger.
Portrait- The orientation of a document that displays
the longest sides of the document vertically. An example
of this is an 8.5X11 paper viewed normally.
Postscript- This is a language used by postscript
printers to convert documents so they can be printed.
PPI-(Points Per Inch) This is the resolution of an
input device. Examples include digital cameras, scanners,
Process Color- Colors that are made up of the CMYK.
By using halftones, you can obtain photographic full
color images using just CMYK. Also known as Full Color.
Quick Time- The video format developed by Apple that
is used on the Internet and other desktop applications.
RGB- Red, Green, Blue. This is the common color space
used on computers. Website graphics are saved as RGB,
as well as other output that involves a monitor. Colors
are determined by mixing these 3 colors together with
values ranging from 0 to 255. Black has an RGB value
of R=0, G=0, B=0. A light purple could be a value
of is R=180, G=0, B=255.
Revert- This is a command found in many computer applications
that returns the document to it's last saved state.
Resolution- This determines the detail of an image
based on the amount of pixels. More pixels means higher
resolution. The higher the resolution, the better
the printed output. San Serif- This is type that lacks
the strokes on the end of letters that can be found
on a Serif Typeface. An example of a typeface that
is San Serif is Arial.
Serif- These are the exaggerated strokes at the ends
of letters. Type that has these markings are known
as Serif type. An example of a typeface that has serifs
is Times New Roman.
Spot Color- This refers to a color that does not go
through the CMYK process to obtain color values. Instead,
each color in a document is created using that exact
color, not a mixture of CMYK halftone values. Spot
colors are used most often in limited color jobs where
the cost of ink is too high for 4 color CMYK printing,
or where a particular color (say for a logo) used
must be exact.
Vector Graphic- A graphics format that uses shapes
and lines, called paths. Vector graphics are resolution
independent graphics that appear smooth and crisp
regardless of how magnified the image is on screen.
They also can be enlarged as big as you want them
without having jagged edges. This format is best for
line art and logos that don't require complicated
coloring or textures.
X-height- This is the vertical height of a typeface
that is measured from the baseline to the top of lowercase
letters without ascenders. X is a letter that can
be measured this way (hence the name), as well as
a, c, e, m, n, s, and so on.
Widow- This is a single word or line of text that
is left on the top of a page or column that was
continued from a previous page or column. This is
a no no in page layout.
WYSIWYG- (What you see is what you get) This is
a term used for applications that show how a graphic/layout
will look while you are editing it.