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Graphic Design Jargon

Today’s topic – Graphic Designer Jargon

Struggling to keep up with the ‘jargon’ being said by your design agency and worried your missing bits? Well not to worry we have created this article just or you. This article selects the 10 most common words used by designers. You should be able to use this article to decipher your designers next email.

Let’s begin:

01 Typography

The way type is arranged in a legible and appealing way. Typography usually concerns the design and use of various typefaces in a way that helps to better visually communicate ideas.

02 body copy

The main text on your website, book or publication. Any written content – even this is body copy.

03 Display type

Typography that is used to grab attention and break up text. Think of movies title posters, website headings and newspaper headlines.

04 Hierarchy

The visual arrangement of design elements that signify importance. Think of this like a newspaper – large bold heading at the top followed by subheadings and then body copy.

05 Kerning

The adjustment of space between two characters in a word. Kerning is s common design term and usually aims to achieve a more proportional and pleasing balance of space between each character.

06 Tracking

Tracking is the space between letters. When we track bodies of text, we are adjusting space between every letter in a word in order to change the density or appearance of a large block of words. Tracking shouldn’t be confused with kerning, which concerns the adjustment of space between individual pairs of letters.

07 Leading

Pronounced ‘ledding’, leading refers to the space between lines of type. Overly tight leading can cause tension and overlap, making the content unreadable, and too-loose leading can equally make the type appear disjointed, so we usually try to find a nice balance between the two.

08 Orphans and Widows

This refers to the words or short lines that appear by themselves at the top or bottom of a column of type. It’s always a good idea to check over your body copy before finishing up, and remove these when they appear.


CMYK or ‘Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key’, is a color model that is used for print purposes. CMYK is a subtractive color, this means that we begin with white and end up with black. So, as we add more color, the result turns darker.

RGB or ‘Red, Green, Blue’ is a color model that is used for on-screen purposes. RGB is an additive color, meaning that when mixing colors, we start with black and end up with white as more color is added.

10 Pantone

The ‘Pantone Matching System’ is a standardized system of colors for printing. Every Pantone shade is numbered, making it much easier for people to reference and identify exact shades of color.

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Rak Design (UK) Ltd is a creative graphic design & web design agency, based in Northamptonshire, delivering website design and development, digital marketing and corporate branding services that drive tangible and measurable results for your business.  If would like to see our portfolio and are interested please do not hesitate to call the team on 01933 678 522 or complete our online contact form and we’d be happy to help.

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