Designers have a vocabulary all their own which it might sounds alien for common people or people who still new in design world. Sometimes, when we’re still new in the design world, it’s hard to communicate with other designer. We might know what we wanted to ask, but don’t know what its name. In this post, I will try to explain the terminology that every designer should know. And knowing the right terminology, I hope that it will help you communicate with one another (designer and market) and get the results you envision in an easier way.
Take a look at these design terms. Study them. Commit them to memory. L.O.L …That’s too much work hahaha. Just bookmark this page and use it as your design word cheat sheet.
- Golden ratio
The golden ratio occurs with two objects which, once you divide the larger by the smaller, result in the number 1.6180 (or thereabouts). The most famous golden ratio is the golden rectangle, which can be split into a perfect square and a rectangle the same aspect ratio as the original rectangle. You might see this in image composition or website design and grid layout.
By using the golden ratio you can ensure your images are eye-catching and beautifully formatted.
- Composition and layout
Composition is the arrangement of design elements that form a whole image. A successful composition attracts the viewer and guides their eye across the design. In visual art, you might hear this referred to as “form.” In graphic design, it’s often called layout. Composition is made up of a number of different visual design elements, including balance, proximity, alignment, repetition, contrast and white space.
This isn’t your ability to walk a straight line after three beers. In design, balance involves the placement of elements on the page so that the text and graphic elements are evenly distributed. There are three ways to achieve balance: symmetrically, asymmetrically and radially.
Symmetry is achieved when all design elements are equal on both sides of a central line
When graphics and text are not equal on both sides of a central line, a design is said to be asymmetrical. In the example above, there is still balance, but there are graphics on one side and text on the other
A radial design is one in which elements radiate from a central point, creating balance.
- Rule of thirds
You can apply the rule of thirds by imagining a 3×3 grid lying on top of your image and then aligning the subject of the image with the guide lines and their intersection points (e.g. placing the horizon on the top or bottom line) or allowing the elements of the picture to easily flow from section to section.
Once you have your grid in place, the spots where the lines intersect each other indicate the prime focal areas within your design:
In design, hierarchy is the organization of elements by level of importance. Newspapers, magazine spreads and movie posters are good examples of the use of design hierarchy. Headlines (also called display type) are usually placed at the top, while subheads and body copy fall underneath.
In design, scale refers to the size of an object in relationship to another object. Two elements of the same size can be seen as being equal. Whereas elements with a clear variation in size tend to be seen as different.
When putting together a design, think about how you can utilize scale to help you illustrate the meaning behind your image. Take the below example; the larger circle appears to be more influential and important that the smaller one. You could even say the smaller circle may be a little timid or shy.
- Thumbnail sketch
When conceptualizing, a designer will often create small, rough drawings—thumbnail sketches—to explore many ideas.
A mock-up is a real or digital model used to test early design ideas and see how they could look in the real world.
9 . Aspect ratio
An aspect ratio is the proportional relationship between the width and height of a rectangle (a rectangle is used because the vast majority of screens are wider than they are tall). An aspect ratio is defined via a mathematical ratio, with two numbers separated by a colon.
- This means that 4 inches wide by 3 inches high would be a ratio of 4:3
A texture is defined as the surface characteristics of your image. In design, you can utilize textures such as cloth and brickwork to mirror the visual appearance of the actual texture.
- . Knolling
Knolling is the act of arranging different objects so that they are at 90-degree angles from each other, then photographing them from above. This technique creates a very symmetrical look that feels pleasing to the eye. Images that feature knolling tend to be set against a contrasting solid background.
- White space
Whitespace, often known as negative space, refers to the area of a design left blank. It’s the space between graphic elements, images, copy, and anything else on the page. Even though it’s known as white space, it can be any color.
An excellent example of white space is the Google homepage. It’s almost filled with whitespace to encourage users to focus on the search bar:
The resolution of an image determines the quality. As a rule of thumb, the higher the resolution, the higher the quality. A high-resolution image will be clear and crisp whereas a low-resolution image will feel a little pixelated and blurry.
Contrast occurs when two elements on a page are different. For example, it could be different colors between the text and the background color or dark vs. light colors.
One of the main reasons to use contrast in your designs is to grab attention. For example, the infamous iPod silhouette adverts were so memorable because there is a huge contrast between the white iPod and earphones and the bright background and silhouette.
Saturation refers to the intensity or purity of a color. The more saturated a color is, the more vivid or brighter it appears. Whereas desaturated colors, appear a little duller.
Highly saturated images tend to stand out and draw attention, therefore giving the appearance of carrying more weight than less saturated images. If you’re adding a text layer over a picture and would like it to stand out, using a less saturated background can be a great way to do so.
Blur makes images more unclear or less distinct. Using a blur can be a great way to make text stand out when overlaid onto an image. When you put text over an image, the two elements can form a somewhat competitive relationship (example on the left below), a little blur can make the text stand out more and appear much more readable (on the right below).
When you crop an image, you’re cutting away and discarding the unnecessary portions of the image. Cropping allows you to change the emphasis or direction of an image.
A pixel is a minuscule area of a screen (the word comes from “picture element”). Pixels are the smallest basic unit of programmable color on a computer and images are made up of many individual pixels.
Skeuomorphism is when a digital element is designed to look like a replica of the physical work. For example, think iPhone’s calculator or Apple’s newsstand where the bookshelf and magazines look and feel like they do in real life.
Flat design is a minimalistic approach that focuses on simplicity and usability (almost the opposite of Skeuomorphism). It tends to feature plenty of open space, crisp edges, bright colors and two-dimensional illustrations.
Raster images are made up of a set grid of pixels. This means when you change the size of stretch a raster image it can get a little blurry and lose some clarity.
Vector images a made up of points, lines, and curves. All of the shapes within a vector are calculated using a mathematical equation which means the image can scale in size without losing any quality. Unlike rasters, vectors won’t get blurry when scaled.
After you read about this, I hope know you know more about design terms. I’m sure, if you memorize these terms, alien words on graphic design will exist no more in your vocabulary hahahaha. okay, good luck! Adios fellas. And don’t forget to bookmark this site ha ha ha…