Graphic design has its own language and all too often you can find your commissioned designer failing to communicate clearly to you and your team. We can all be accused of using jargon from our own industry sector but when in front of clients it should be case of plain English at all times.

If you are a seasoned buyer then you may be familiar with most of this, however, here is our first 10 of the most widely used terms:

1. Kerning = the adjustment of space between letters so there are no awkward gaps.

2. Leading = the space between lines also known as linefeed

3. Cap height = the height of a capital letter

4. x height = the height of a lower case letter.

5. CMYK = Subtractive colour space. Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black. These are the colours used in the four colour process to print colour with. They are mixed to make almost any colour

6. RGB = Additive colour space. Red, Green, Blue. These are the colours used for on-screen. Again they are mixed to create any colour. There are more RGB colours available than CYMK this is why screen proofs don?t always look the same as printed proofs.




7. Spot or special colour = This is a special ink normally Pantone that is mixed precisely to make sure the colour is the same every time it is printed. Once, it was very popular to print your corporate colours as specials so that your stationery range always ?matched as the CYMK process is unreliable for reproducing exact colour matches every time.

8. Jpeg = the term “JPEG” is an acronym for the Joint Photographic Experts Group, which created the standard. In short it is a compressed image file, which takes up less memory space then a Tiff or EPS format.

9. Uppercase and Lowercase = Simply uppercase is capital letters and lowercase is small letters.

10. Ascenders and descenders = Ascenders are the tall parts of lower case letters or characters in the Latin alphabet. i.e. the upper part of the letter ?h?. In other words any part of a character that sits above the ?x? height. Descenders are the parts of lower case letters or characters that sit below the ?x? height. i.e. the lower part of the letter ?g? is considered to be the descenders.

Look out for our next 10 design terms.

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