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design terms you need to know

Design terms can often get complicated due to the breadth of the field, its constant evolution, inherent subjectivity, and the different experiences and backgrounds of designers, for example:

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Design is a broad field: Design is a very broad field that encompasses many disciplines and sub-disciplines. For example, there is graphic design, interior design, product design, user experience design, service design, among others. Each of these areas has its own set of specific terms and concepts.

Design is constantly evolving: Design is a field that is constantly evolving as technologies, trends, and user needs change. This means that new terms and concepts are developed as the field advances.

Design is subjective: Design is a subjective field in which there are multiple ways to approach a problem and multiple possible solutions. This means that designers can use different terms and concepts to describe the same process or idea.

Designers have different backgrounds and experiences: Designers have different backgrounds and experiences, which can influence the terms and concepts they use. For example, a product designer might use different terms than a graphic designer.

But let's simplify some...
landscape with satellite dish with lightning in vector illustration and color splash also icons of illustrator tools AS Media Solutions

01 Logomark

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A Logomark (also known as a brand symbol or brand emblem) is a type of logo that uses an icon or symbol to represent a brand or company rather than using a full brand name logo. A Logomark can be an image, graphic, or symbol used to identify and distinguish a brand from other brands in the marketplace.

Logomarks are often used in combination with a brand logo, but they can also be used on their own as an abbreviated or simplified way to represent a brand or company. Some examples of well-known Logomarks include the apple symbol for Apple, the blue bird for Twitter, and the check mark for Nike.

Logomarks are especially useful for brands that want to be recognized quickly and have a high level of brand recognition in the marketplace. By using a Logomark, companies can create an instant connection with their customers and increase their brand visibility in the marketplace.

02 Logotype

coca cola logo above the full moon AS Media Solutions

A logo is a graphic symbol or set of characters used to represent a brand, company, product, service, or organization. It is a form of visual identification that helps consumers identify and remember a particular brand.

Logos can take many shapes and styles, from simple text to a more elaborate design that includes graphics, shapes, and symbols.

Logos are often designed to reflect a brand's personality and values, and can be created in a wide variety of colors, fonts, and styles. A good logo should be simple, memorable, distinctive, and easy to recognize. It must also be scalable, which means that it can be adjusted to different sizes without losing quality or readability.

Logos are used on a variety of marketing materials, from business cards and letterhead to websites and advertising, and can be an essential part of a company's brand identity.

03 Bitmap

astronaut with splash of colors and a piece of cardboard written with the word mars and the pixelated logo of AS Media Solutions

Bitmap is an image file format used to represent digital images. Also known as a "bitmap" or "bitmap image." In a bitmap image, each pixel (image point) in the image is stored as a grid of colored dots, where each dot represents a specific color value.

The resolution of a bitmap image is measured in pixels per inch (PPI) or dots per inch (DPI) and determines the clarity and quality of the image.

Bitmap images are commonly used in digital graphics and photography, and can be created and edited in image-editing programs such as Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, or Microsoft Paint. However, one of the main disadvantages of bitmap images is that they are not scalable without losing quality. If a bitmap image is enlarged, individual pixels can be seen and the image quality is reduced.

On the other hand, vector images (for example, SVG files) use mathematical formulas to represent images instead of pixel grids, which allows them to be scaled without loss of quality.

04 Vector

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Vector is a type of graphic or digital image that is created using mathematical formulas instead of pixels. In a vector image, shapes and lines are created from mathematical vectors, allowing the image to be scalable to any size without losing quality.

Instead of storing information about each pixel in an image, vector images contain information about the location, size, shape, and color of the lines and shapes that make up the image. This allows vector images to be easily scaled to any size without losing quality, making them ideal for graphics such as logos, engineering graphics, sign design, illustrations, and animation.

Vector files can be edited and modified in graphic design programs such as Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW, Inkscape, and Sketch. In addition, vectors are used for the creation of animations and dynamic graphics on web platforms such as SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics), WebGL and HTML5 Canvas.

Some of the benefits of vector graphics include greater flexibility in terms of scalability, the ability to easily edit and modify shapes and lines, and the ability to work with separate objects and layers for greater organization. However, vector images may not be suitable for representing complex images or photos, as these types of images are easier to create and edit in bitmap formats (such as JPEG or PNG).

05 PPI

spacex satellite with splash of colors and some grids

PPI stands for "pixels per inch" and is a measurement used to describe the resolution of a digital image, especially in relation to printing. Refers to the number of pixels found in one linear inch of an image, and affects the clarity and quality of an image.

The higher the number of pixels per inch, the clearer and more detailed the image will be. Therefore, images that are printed in high resolution need a higher amount of PPI to look sharp and accurate.

For example, a high-quality magazine print image often requires a resolution of 300 PPI or higher to produce a sharp image. However, digital images viewed on a computer screen generally don't need as high a resolution, as screens typically have a lower pixel-per-inch density than print.

It's important to note that image size is also a big factor in resolution. An image with a resolution of 72 PPI may look good on a screen, but it will look pixelated if printed large. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the image resolution is adequate for its intended use and that it has enough pixels to look good at the required size.

06 DPI

astronaut floating with splash of colors and some gray circles

DPI stands for "dots per inch" and is used to describe the print resolution of an image.

Refers to the number of individual ink dots that a printer can place on one square inch of paper during printing.

The higher the number of dots per inch, the higher the print resolution and the sharper the resulting image.

In general, high-quality printers have a higher print resolution, which allows them to produce sharper, more detailed images. It is important to note that DPI refers specifically to print resolution and not to the resolution of the digital image. For example, a digital image with a resolution of 300 pixels per inch (PPI) can be printed at a resolution of 300 DPI to produce a high-quality image on paper.

It is important to adjust the image resolution to match the required print resolution for the best print quality. If the image resolution is too low for the desired print resolution, the printed image may appear blurry or pixelated. On the other hand, if the image resolution is too high, it can increase the file size and slow down the printing process.

07 HUE

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Hue is one of the main components of color and refers to the position of the color in the visible spectrum of light. It is what allows us to distinguish between different colors, such as red, blue or green. The color wheel is a common tool used to display the different shades of the color spectrum, allowing designers to select harmonious color combinations.

Different shades of the same color spectrum can be created by changing the amount of red, green, and blue in a color, known as the RGB color model.


astronaut floating with colored splash and boxes of different colors

Color refers to the visual perception of light reflected from an object and is made up of three main components: hue, saturation, and brightness. Hue is the aspect of light that allows us to distinguish between different shades of color, such as red or green. Saturation refers to the purity of a color, that is, how deep or pale the color is. Gloss refers to the amount of light reflected from an object and is determined by the amount of white or black present in the color.

09 tone

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Hue refers to the lightness or darkness of a color and relates to the amount of light present in the color. A lighter shade will have more white in the mix, while a darker shade will have more black in the mix. Hue can influence color perception, especially in combination with saturation. For example, a very saturated, light-toned color may appear vibrant and attractive, while a highly saturated, dark-toned color may appear dull and less attractive.


astronaut with splash of colors and a piece of cardboard written with the word mars and boxes of different colors

The word tint refers to the addition of white to a color to make it lighter. Lighter and pastel shades can be created by mixing one color with different amounts of white. Designers can use different tints to create variations of the same color for special effects. For example, a designer can create a gradient effect of a color in a design by adding different tints of that color. Tints can also be used to create contrast between different elements of a design.

11 Typography

astronaut with splash of colors and a piece of cardboard written with the word mars and a red grid with letters

Typography refers to the art and technique of selecting and using typefaces (letters and characters) effectively in a design. Typography is a fundamental part of graphic design and is essential to convey information clearly and effectively. In graphic design, typography is used to create visual hierarchies, convey tone and personality, and improve a design's readability.

In the world of typography, designers use terms like kerning, tracking, and leading to refer to different aspects of the typeface and its arrangement. Kerning refers to the amount of space between individual letters, tracking refers to the spacing between all letters in a word or a block of text, and leading refers to the vertical spacing between lines in a block of text. Designers must also consider a font's size, style, weight, and readability when selecting it for a design.

12 Font

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In graphic design, font refers to a specific set of characters in a particular typeface. The font includes a set of alphanumeric characters, punctuation marks, and symbols that are designed to be used together consistently. The font can vary in style, size, weight, width, and other characteristics to create different visual effects and convey different tones.

There are a plethora of fonts available for use in graphic design, from classic fonts like Times New Roman and Helvetica, to more modern, custom fonts. The choice of a font can significantly affect the readability and effectiveness of a design, and designers must consider the function of the design and the intended audience when selecting a font. Additionally, it is important to ensure that the fonts used in a design are available for use on different platforms and devices, and that they are used consistently throughout the design.

13 Kerning

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Kerning is a term used in typography to describe the spacing between letters. Kerning refers to the way the space between two specific letters is adjusted to improve readability and the visual appearance of a block of text. In some cases, the shape of the letters can make the two-letter combination appear too spaced or too tight.

Kerning is a subtle but important technique in graphic design. Good kerning can make the difference between a design that looks professional and attractive, and one that looks messy and hard to read. Designers can adjust kerning manually or use software tools to adjust kerning automatically. It's important to note that kerning should be consistent throughout the layout and that different fonts may require different kerning settings.

14 Tracking:

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Tracking is another term used in typography that refers to the spacing between all the letters in a block of text. Unlike kerning, which focuses on the spacing between two specific letters, tracking refers to the space between all the letters in a block of text.

Tracking is used to adjust the readability and visual appearance of text in a layout, and is especially important in long-text layouts, such as books or magazines.

As with kerning, tracking can be adjusted manually or using software tools. Tracking can be adjusted to create different visual effects, such as making the text look tighter or more open. However, it is important to note that excessive tracking can negatively affect the readability and visual appearance of the text. Designers must carefully consider the target audience and design function when adjusting tracking.

15 Blank space

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White space refers to the portion of a page or layout that is empty, with no content or graphical elements. In graphic design and typography, white space is often used to create visual contrast and improve the readability of a text or image. White space can also be used to visually separate elements on a page or layout, creating a clear hierarchy of information.

For example, a bold headline can be separated from the body text by white space to visually stand out. In printing, white space can also refer to the margins of a page, which are left blank to prevent content from running too close to the edges of the paper and to improve readability.

16 negative space

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Negative space is the space that is created between design elements, such as images, text, and shapes. Negative space is also known as negative white space or active white space. Unlike white space, which refers to empty areas on a page, negative space is intentionally created to improve composition and visual balance.

Negative space can be used to create a sense of separation and clarity between design elements, helping to guide the viewer's eye and improve readability. For example, negative space can be used to separate an important design element, such as an image or logo, from the rest of the content on a web page or print ad. In graphic design, negative space is often used as a technique to create a balanced and attractive composition, helping to direct the viewer's attention to key design elements.

"Learn, feed your mind with the wisdom of words and you will succeed."



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