Design Glossary A – C


Acrobat: A product developed by Adobe systems to create PDF (Portable Document Format) files. Acrobat is an independent means of creating, viewing, and printing documents.

Airbrush: A propellant using compressed air that to spray a liquid, such as paint, and ink. Often used in used in illustration and photo retouching.

Alignment: The adjustment of arrangement or position in lines of a text or an image — left, right, centred, etc.

Alpha Channel: The process of incorporating an image with a background to create the appearance of partial transparency. Alpha channels are used to create masks that allow you to confine or protect parts of an image you want to apply colour, opacity, or make other changes.

Analog Proof (Prepress Proof): A proof that uses inkjet, toner, dyes, overlays, photographic, film, or other methods to give an idea of what the finished product should look like.

Anchor Point: Anchor points allow the user to manipulate a path’s shape or direction by clicking the point and moving it in a direction. They appear at the beginning of a path, at every curve, and at the end of a path. You can also add or subtract anchor points on a path.

Animated GIF: A small animation based on continuous GIF images, giving the impression of movement or action.

Animation: Generating movement by displaying a series of images using frames.

Art Director: The individual responsible for the selection, execution, production, so-on, of graphic art.

Asymmetrical: This is when graphics and/or text are not identical on both sides of a central line.


Bad Break: Refers to widows or orphans in text copy; any break that causes awkward reading.

Bar: The horizontal or vertical line drawn through graphene (unit of writing, such as a letter). Sometimes added to distinguish one grapheme from another.

Baseline: An imaginary line upon which letters sit and descenders extend below the baseline.

Bevel: A tool in design software for drawing angles or modifying the surface of your work to a certain inclination.

Bezier Curve: A parametric curve that represents a vector path in computer graphics. They are frequently drawn using a pen tool and by placing anchor points which can be controlled to form shapes or lines.

Bitmap: A series of bits that form a structure representing a graphic image. The colour of each pixel is individually defined.

Bleed: When a graphic object extends through another in an unwanted manner. It is then trimmed so there is no chance for a white line on the edges.

Body Type: The typeface used in the main text of a printed matter.

Border: The decorative design or edge of a surface, line, or area that forms its outer boundary.

Branding: The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers‘ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme.


Canvas Size: Allows you to change the complete size of the document without adjusting the contents of the document

Clipping Path: A tool or shape that’s used to cut out an image.

Cloning Pixels: A function that allows you to replicate pixels from one place to another.

CMYK: Stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key colour (aka — black); this colour model (also called process colour, four colour) is a subtractive colour model used in colour printing.

Colour Palette: A set of colours that make up the total range of colours used in graphics computers.

Comp (Comprehensive): Comps are made to see what the initial design project will look like before it’s printed, showing the layout of the text and illustrations.

Complementary Colours: The colours that are opposite of each other when viewed on the colour wheel.

Contrast: The difference in colour found between the light and dark parts of an image.

Copy: Refers to editorial text supplied for incorporation into a design or website.

Crop: A tool that removes portions of an image. It is usually used in digital photography.

Leave a Reply