Krishna Solanki Designs

A Guide for Non-Designers on Terms Used in the Design Industry : PART 2

Krishna SolankiComment

The purpose of these articles is to help non-designers, clients, founders, entrepreneurs, or small business owners understand some of design jargon that gets thrown around in conversation.

In case you missed it, part 1 can be found here:
A Guide for Non-Designers on Terms Used in the Design Industry.

A Guide for Non-Designers on Terms Used in the Design Industry : Part 2


This is a printing term that refers to the artwork/print work going beyond the edge of the paper. 


A brand identity is a logo, fonts, colour palette, icons, and any visual element, that communicates your startups/small businesses mission and vision. It can also encompass your business’s characteristics in terms of the tone of voice. Branding is putting your brand identity to use. 

Brand board:

A brand board is a mini styleguide.  It is a simple overview of your brand elements and includes your primary logo, logo variations, submark, patterns, fonts and colours.  A brand board is often used as a quick reference guide to ensure consistency.

Crop marks:

Printed lines on the edge of a paper that indicates where the paper should be cut to produce the correct page size.


When you remove the outer-parts of an image, to resize the image.

Design mockup:

This is a representation of what the design will look like. So, for example, a website design mockup will typically be a JPG of the design created.

Flat design:

This is a style of design which is minimalistic and emphasises usability.  Due to the lack of depth in terms of drop shadows and gradients the crisp edges and simple lines make this style clean and two-dimensional.


A gradient is a gradual change of one colour to another colour.

HEX code:

A hex code is a colour reference which is specifically used in HTML, CSS, and some design software - most commonly in Adobe Photoshop.  It usually appears after the "#" symbol and is 6 characters long.


A typography term which references the adjustment of space between two characters.


Although spelt "leading", it is pronounced as "ledding" and references the space between lines of type.  It is a typography term and is often used in web design as well as graphic design.

Lorem ipsum:

This is a form of placeholder text which is commonly used in design to demonstrate how much or little text will be placed in a specific area.  It's also known as "dummy copy" or "dummy text”. 


A web design term used in CSS.  Margins are the spaces outside the border, between the border and the other elements next to this object.


A moodboard summarises your brand aesthetics.  It includes various images which depict the future style of your brand.  


This is the level of transparency an element has. 100% transparent means the element it 100% "see-through”.


A web design term used in CSS.  It is the space inside the border, between the border and the actual image.  Not to be confused with margins.


This is related to the amount of detail an image has.  As images are created with pixels (we covered what pixels are last week, so check that out here if you missed it), generally speaking, the more pixels the crisper the image, and also the higher the resolution.


A typography term which relates to adjusting  the space between every letter in a word in order to change the appearance.  This is not to be confused with kerning! 


This is another vector file format used for Adobe Illustrator.  This file type is ideal for logos.


Stands for Encapsulated PostScript.  This is a vector file format and so the quality of the file allows remains intact when resizing the file.


GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format. These are usually simple graphics.  They can contain some level of animation, which could be used on web banners or email design.


JPG stands for Join Photographic Experts Group.  A JPG is a common image format, mostly used for images.


A file format best used to represent documents and presentations.


PNG stands for Portable Network Graphic.  It is another common image format and allows for transparency.


An Adobe PhotoShop file format.  Often used for website designs and other digital graphics, such as social media images.  Usually, the files are left layered for editable reasons.


SWF stands for  Small Web Format.  It is most commonly used for displaying animation and is created in Adobe Flash.  The .swf file is an uneditable execution of a .fla file.

What did you think of this list? Are there any terms I have missed? Let me know...