10 Design Terms to Know

Feb 13, 2017 | Web Services

Our graphic designers understand that it can be overwhelming when dipping your toe into the world of design, so to help out here are a few terms you should know.

Graphic DesignPixel

You maybe heard of this one but it’s good to go over the classics. Pixels refers to the smallest controllable element of a picture represented on the screen depicted in dots or squares that all come together to make that cute picture of a cat playing tennis with a turtle while a goldfish keeps score.

Rule of Thirds

The Rule of Thirds is a theory that if you divide your image with two vertical and two horizontal lines, the areas your lines intersect will become the focal point of your design. This is important to keep in mind when putting together ad material as you don’t want to lose your message against “dead space,” you want to be able to capture your audience’s attention entirely.


In graphic design, this refers to the visual arrangement of design elements that in a way that signifies importance. Much like the Rule of Thirds, this is important when conveying your message to customers.


Allowing a design to go beyond the edge of the page, so there is no margin. This gives the printer a small amount of space to account for the movement of the paper and design inconsistencies.

White Space

This is the area left empty to bring focus to other elements on the page.


Fading from one color to another or from opaque to transparent.


A basic layout that doesn’t yet have design elements. This will help you visualize the basic structure of your piece.

UX and UI

UI refers to the User Interface or the actual appearance of the design. UX refers to the User Experience or the flow and behavior of the design.


DPI (Dots Per Inch) is a measurement of a printer’s resolution. PPI (Pixels Per Inch) refers to the number of pixels contained within one inch of an image displayed on a computer monitor.


You may already be familiar with RGB (Red Green Blue), but CMYK is essential to know as well. CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key (Black) and is the color model used for printing purposes.

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