graphic design terms

35 Useful Design Terms For Business Owners

At one point or another a business owner will have to deal with investing their time and money on creating marketing assets. These marketing assets include but are not limited to logos, web page designs, online banner ads, email designs, business cards, and brochures.

You will be communicating your ideas and input with graphic designers. In order to facilitate that communication we’ve gathered a list of useful design terms you want to get acquainted with.


Asymmetrical: This occurs when images and text are not identical on both sides of a central line.


Bind: The way a multi-page asset such as a catalog is put together, usually by mean wire, glue,or stitching.


CMYK Color Model: This stands for cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. It is the industry standard for printing. Whenever you want to order professional printing assets make sure your designer is using this color mode.

Color Schemes: A color scheme is the combination of two more colors.

CSS: Code that is used to create the look and feel of a webpage, that is separate form the content.


Dodge: When an part of an image is lightened or reduced by shading.

Drop Shadow: An effect gives the impression that there I a shadow behind a design element.

Dummy: No, this isn’t an insult. This is a product that is hand made by a designer to show how the finished design will look, most commonly used for print designs. It is also called a mock up.


Element: Any specific part of a design project such as the logo, text, and images. 


Feathering: This is a design technique that is used in order to smooth out edges or features.

Font: A specific style and size for text.


GIF: An image file format that is best suited for small files with few colors and simple design. One bonus feature of Gif’s is that they can be animated.

Gradient: A technique that enables the designer to create elements featuring a smooth transition of colors.

Grayscale: An image that consists of black, white, no color, and about 256 shades of gray.


HTML: The computer language that is used to display elements on a webpage such as text, images, and links. 

Hue: Another word for color.


 Invert Inversion: This occurs when the value of colors in an image is inverted. For examples on an inverted image, black becomes white, and blue becomes orange. 


JPEG: The most common file format for compressing images. There is little of quality. Usually this is the best file that should be used for photographs.

Justify: To make a line of text a certain length by spacing out the words and numbers.


Kerning: The space between individual letters.


Noise: This occurs when an area of pixels contain random colors. Usually this is unwanted.


Opacity: Adjusting the opacity in an image or deign element will make it transparent.

Outline: This refers to the outside edge of a font or the outer edge of a vector image. In order to replicate a specific font on a printing asset such as a business card, make sure to let your designer outline the text before they hand in their files to you.


Pixel: A dot made by a computer, scanner or other digital device, which also is the smallest possible element on a computer screen.

PNG: A compressed image file. This format displays images without jagged edges and also keeps the file size small. Great for websites and anything web related.

PDF: This is a file format that is best used to present documents and presentations.


 Resolution: This is an important factor of how an image will look. The higher the resolution of an image, the less pixilated it will look.

RGB: This stands for red, green, and blue. This is the color model that televisions screens and computer monitors use. If your designer is in RGB mode and you need to order printing, make sure to ask that the files are converted to CMYK.


Saturation: The intensity of a color.


Thumbnail: A considerably smaller version of an image.

Text Warp: Text wrap is the way that text can be shaped around the edge of an image. 

Typeface: This is a collection of characters such as numbers, letters, and punctuations.


Vector Graphic: A vector graphic or vector image allows the designer to shrink or enlarge the graphic, without any loss quality to the image. 


Watermark: This is something identifiable, such as a company’s logo, that is placed on top of photos. If you’re worried that someone will steal your images you can ask your graphic designer to add a watermark to your images.

White Space: This is the empty space that surrounds a design element. Too much white space will may make your design piece empty, not enough of it will make your design cluttered.

Day2Day Printing Branding

Day2Day Printing Branding: A Visual Journey

Earlier this week, we launched our newly redesigned Day2Day As an online printing company, Day2Day Printing came rather late into the competitive market. There have been other online printing companies such as Uprinting, PrintRunner, and PS Print that have predated the existence of Day2Day Printing by many years.

In order to set ourselves apart we knew that we needed to offer different products and services as well as a distinguish ourselves visually . We collected as much data as possible, and our goal was  to create a website that fit the psychographic of our customers.

We were no longer pleased with the dry and industrial look of our previous website. Design is constantly changing and we wanted to launch something that was at the forefront of modern design. Not only did we want a great looking website and a recognizable brand, we wanted to model our brand based on the site preferences that the majority of our customers were comfortable interacting with.

Everything from our logo, typography, colors, and print collateral had to match the target we were trying to attract, and the values we were representing. No design decision was arbitrary, everything was based off of careful research, and our observation of design trends.

Only time will tell if our branding is successful, but we are very optimistic in the direction that Day2Day Printing is heading.

Standard Logo


Logo Variations




Grey Scale Logo


Logo Inspiration


How The Symbol Was Built


Text Grid




Corporate Colors


Print Process






Images Sourced from

20 Awesome Facebook Timeline Covers

Facebook launched the Timeline on 22 Sept 2011. Timeline is a new design of the user profiles on Facebook. The first design element that will draw your eye is the Facebook Timeline Cover. Whether you love it or hate it, you can’t deny that there have been some clever people out there who have showcased their creativity with the Facebook Timeline Cover.

I have searched the internet to bring you 20 awesome Facebook Timeline Covers. After looking at some of these awesome covers I can’t help but feel the urge to change my own personal cover. Lets begin shall we.

Richard Kastrom 

Ahhh… a time line cover within a time line cover. Pretty clever use of the the Facebook interface no doubt.

Nagaraj Vijayarangan 

This ia a pretty neat cover. There is always a bigger fish out there.

Gabriel Masliah 

I like the playfulness of this concept.

guy  facebook timeline cover

 Krister Nieslen

I love how Krister is posed inside the profile picture frame. I am also digging the awesome vintage robot.

facebook timeline

Graziano Vincini 

I give this guy credit for clever use of head shots, and for the Futurama reference.

facebook cover

Ekkapong Techawongthaworn 

A simplistic Facebook timeline cover. It works rather well.

facebook covers

 Aly Moffatt 

A humorous cover.

Giuseppe Draicchio 

A Facebook timeline cover featuring everyone’s favorite extraterrestrial.

et facebook cover

Oliver Alexander

The yellow immediately catches your attention.  I wonder if anyone has actually taken him up on the offer.

facebook timeline cover

Whiteboard Doodle 

A very whimsical Facebook timeline cover.

doodle facebook timeline cover

Jeremy Isshin Bardou 

I don’t want to be unoriginal but part of me wants to recreate this Facebook timeline cover using CD covers instead. Anyone else agree that Jeremy has great taste in video games?

video game facebook timeline cover

Leo Lee

You get to know much about Leo by just looking at his timeline cover.  This is definitely another idea I might try for my own Facebook timeline cover.

geeky facebook timeline cover

Sudipto Mahato 

Clean and simplistic.
cat facebook timeline cover

Louis Lundberg

Great way to show off your different range of emotions.

hot chick facebook timeline cover

Amber Saenz 

I wonder how many links her site has to rank for the keyword awesome.

Enri Pedernera 

This is a great example of cashing on a popular fad and being relevant. I can’t wait to see what other Facebook covers he will create down the road.

angry birds facebook timeline

Krizel Corpuz 

A collage of pictures creates Krizel’s timeline cover.

facebook covers

Mohammad L. Azzam 

The whimsical interaction between Mohammad is fun.

foolish facebook timeline cover

Ori Hasson 

Another video game related Facebook timeline cover. I love how Ori, incorporated the Doom user interface into his timeline cover.

doom facebook timeline cover

Matthew Inman

As a fan of illustration, I had to include this timeline cover.

cool facebook timeline cover

Do you have a cool Facebook Timeline Cover? If so send us your link and I will add another posts featuring Facebook Timelines Covers from our readers!