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August 9, 2017

Perplexed by pantones? Confused by kerning?


If you’re working with a designer for the first time or are planning to, getting thrown into the world of graphic design can sometimes feel like learning a new language.

Kerning, tracking, warm colours, cool colours, CMYK, RGB, OMG. There are a lot of technical terms thrown around and it can get confusing at the best of times. But, if you’re finding yourself confused, never fear – this list of design terms and their meanings from an article on the Canva website is here to help you decipher your designer’s emails.

1. Typography

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

2. Body Copy

The main part of text in your design or publication – the written website content, the book contents, even this type you’re reading right now, it’s all body copy.

3. Display Type

Type that is designed with the objective of attracting attention. Think of movie titles on posters, article titles in magazines, newspaper headlines, etc.

4. Hierarchy

The visual arrangement of design elements in a way that signifies importance. For example, you might make a title big and bold to ensure it attracts more attention than a small, lightly coloured image caption.

5. Kerning

The adjustment of space between two characters in your type. Kerning usually aims to achieve a more proportional and pleasing balance of space between each character.

6. Sans Serif Typeface

A typeface without the small decorative serif strokes. Sans serifs tend to look more modern, stylish, and cleaner than their serif counterparts.

7. Pull Quote

A short quote or excerpt pulled from the main text and used as a visual element to help highlight important ideas and draw interest to the piece. Pull quotes are very common in magazine design.

These are just some of the typography terms that designers use every day. For a (much!) longer list that includes colour, branding and other design terms, with visuals, take a look at the original article here.

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