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5 bits of design jargon worth learning
Author: Creating Media Team

Here at Creating Media we know that the design world has its own share of jargon and specialised terms the same as any other industry. While most of it is put into plain terms when we talk with clients there are just some terms that are worth knowing if you are discussing design… Below we give you a 5-point roadmap to blagging your way through a conversation about design!

  1. Logo design vs branding
    Logo design is an aspect of branding, but not the entire process. Brand is everything that customers experience about your company, from the colours chosen, to your brand values, even down to the fonts used in emails and the language used when you communicate with clients. All of these things impact your customers brand experience. Different company types have different styles of brand – think of the different experiences and design style you get at a bank, fast food outlet and supermarket.
  2. Colour
    There are 3 basic ways to describe colour; RGB, CMYK and Pantone.RGB stand for ‘Red, Green, Blue’ and is the type of colour used on screen for websites, emails and anything else digital. It can be described either as an RGB code, where the levels of each colour are stated (for example 188, 43, 172) or a hexcode, where a standardised 6-digit alphanumeric code is used (for example #FF06C0).CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key (or black). CMYK is used in printing, as these are the four ink colours in most standard print presses. It is vital to make sure any artwork designed for print is designed in CMYK if you want accurate colour reproduction. CMYK colours are described as 4 sets of numbers, for example 27, 85, 10, 99.


    Pantone is an international standard of colour. Pantone colours are set rather than mixed on-site. There is not a pantone colour for every single shade, but if you want to have very good control over your brand colours it is worth choosing to design it to Pantone standards from the very start.

  3. Fonts
    Typography is a huge field in its own right, but it is worth knowing the basics. Serifs are the little kicks and tails on certain fonts. A sans-serif font is clean and doesn’t have these elements. There are a limited number of fonts which are ‘websafe’ – that is guaranteed to work when displayed on a website. There are ways around this, but not guaranteed across all browser types so it is generally best to stick to the list of websafe fonts for websites etc.
  4. Vector vs Raster
    Most images you come across, for example jpegs, bitmaps, gifs or pngs, are known as ‘raster’ images – in other words they are built from pixels. These have a set size, and if you try and make an image bigger than it is then it will looks fuzzy and lores.Vector images are built from simple shapes, lines and set points. These are scalable to any size, so are perfect for logos or signage. Popular vector filetypes are EPS and AI. Artwork saved as a PDF can be either raster or vector so it is worth checking.
  5. Image Resolution
    Slightly related to the raster vs vector point is image resolution. Obviously, a vector is the best image resolution you can get as it is scalable but they are somewhat limited in their ‘look’ as they have to be built from blocks and shapes. When a vector is not an option, for example when a photograph is needed, then resolution is very important to consider. For print a high resolution image of at least 300dpi is needed, and the image also needs to be at least the same height and width as you want it to appear on the finished product. This is often not a problem for business cards, but for larger brochures or even signage special care must be taken to ensure the images are big enough. For web use smaller images are OK – 72 dpi is the normal resolution for on-screen use. However, it is still important that the image is at least a tall and wide as you’d like it to appear on-screen. When an image is too small unfortunately very little can be done to make it bigger.

Of course there is a lot more to design than just these basics. If the Creating Media team can help you with any aspect of your branding, marketing or design then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on 01291 423 234 or

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