Web Design
Web Design

New to Web Design? Here are Some Commonly Used Terms Explained

If you are just starting out in the web design world, it can be quite confusing to really understand what someone is saying. There are plenty of terms that we use and by the time you figure them out, there will be ten more that you have to learn. We are going to break down some of the more complicated terms so you can understand them:

Analogous: Color scheme build around three colors adjacent to each other on the color wheel.

Ascender: When part of a lowercase letter extends above the x-height; typically, b, d, f, h, k, l.

Body Copy: The main part of your design or publication; typically, text.

Color Theory: Study of how colors make people respond and feel about certain things.

Complementary: Color scheme build around two colors opposite on the color wheel.

Cool Colors: Colors associated with calmness and cold: blues, greens, and purples.

Cyan Magenta, Yellow, Key (CMYK): The color model for most printers adding or taking away the colors changes the result.

Descenders: When part of a lowercase letter extends below the x-height; typically, g, j, p, q, y.

Gradient: A subtle change from one color or tone to another.

Display Type: Design that has a goal of attracting attention – can be visual or text (more common).

Hierarchy: The different levels of a design that signify importance.

Kerning: Space between two characters in type.

Leading: Space between lines of type.

Lorem Ipsum: Dummy copy to fill area where the text is not ready.

Monochrome: A color scheme of different shades of one color.

Opacity: The degree of transparency in a design, picture, or text box. The lower the number, the more transparent the item.

Orphan: A word that appears by itself at the top or bottom of a column.

Palette: The colors used within a design.

Pantone: Standardized system for matching colors to their print shade.

Pull Quote: A short quote or except from the main text that attracts attention.

Red, Blue, Green (RGB): Color model for on-screen visual design.

Resolution: The amount of detail in an image. The higher, the better.

Sans Serif Typeface: Type without small serif strokes.

Saturation: The vividness of an image – the higher the number, the more vivid.

Script Typeface: Typeface that looks like cursive handwriting.

Serif Typeface: Decorative twists found at the end of lines.

Slab Serif Typeface: Type with thick serifs; typically used in headlines.

Typography: Artistic Arrangement of words and type in a readable, appealing way.

Triadic: Color scheme built around three evenly spaced out colors on the color wheel.

Warm Colors: Colors associated with coziness and heat: reds, yellows, oranges.

White Space: Parts of the design without content.

Widow: A word that appears by itself at the top or bottom of a column.

X-Height: The average height of lowercase letters, can be adjusted for kerning, leading, or display type.

Of course there are hundreds of other words that we use, but these are some of the most commonly used ones that people won’t think to explain to you when you are just starting out.