20 Graphic Design Terms You Should Know

20 Graphic Design Terms You Should Know

Like any other profession, graphic designing also has a long list of industry-specific terms and jargon that only designers can understand.  

If you are starting with graphic designing, knowing these terms will help you understand what your seniors speaking and what is being discussed in your meetings. 

1. Apex 

In typography, Apex is the top point where two strokes are joined together. 

2. Arm 

Arm is the diagonal or horizontal stroke that is not connected at one or both ends

3. Ascenders 

Ascenders are the parts of lower-case letters that extend above the x-height of a font. For example – b, d, f, h, k, and l are ascenders. 

4. Aspect ratio 

Aspect ratio is the width to height of an image. They are nothing but two numbers, expressed with a colon separating them. I.e., 1:1, 16:9, etc. 

5. Brand Identity 

Brand identity refers to everything related to brands such as logos, fonts, color palettes, websites, and marketing materials. 

6. Calligraphy 

Calligraphy is an art of writing letters with a very specific tool. E.g., broad nib pen, brush pen, etc. 

7. CMYK 

CYMK is a color mode for print. It is made up of four colors, Cyan, Yellow, Magenta, and Black. 

8. Font Weight 

Font weight refers to the thickness of a font. 

9. Greyscale 

Greyscale is a colour palette that only uses black, white and different shades of grey.   

10. Kerning 

Kern is the space between the two characters and kerning is the process of adjusting that space. 

11. Masthead 

Nothing fancy, Masthead is just a title design for the name of a publication, usually found on the front cover of a magazine. 

12. Monospaced 

A monospaced is a kind of typeface that has characters with the same width, I.e., all the characters occupy the same amount of horizontal space. 

13. Moodboard 

A moodboard is a way for designers to collect together lots of design inspirations for a new design project—these can be photos, images or typography. 

14. Raster 

Raster (also called a bitmap) is an image made up of a certain number of pixels. 

15. Serif 

A serif is a small line that appears on the end of a letter in some typefaces and these typefaces are known as Serif Fonts. 

16. Swash 

Swash is a process of adding a decorative stroke in typography. 

17. Thumbnail 

A thumbnail is a small, rough sketches of how a designer wants their design to look. 

18. Typesetting 

It is a process of laying out large amounts of text (e.g., a book, a magazine, etc.) and making sure it is readable. 

19. Vector 

A vector is a type of image that is made with mathematical equations. It is simply a collection of 2D points connected by lines and curves to form shapes. 

20. Widows 

In typesetting process, widows are the lines of text that are separated from the main body of paragraph. 


You should now know all these graphic design terms to be able to comprehend your senior’s feedback or ask your junior for exactly what you need. 

If you think I have missed any terms, please share them with us in the comment section below and share this article with your designer friends. 

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