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The technical terms of graphic design are something that anyone interested in this profession wants to learn. Understanding the terms will help you a lot in the learning and working process. The following is a summary of the list of the most commonly used majors in the graphic design industry that Malu Design summarizes.

Article table of contents

1. Basic graphic design terminology

These are the most basic graphic design words that any student should understand right from the start.

Major word Vietnamese name Meaning
Graphic design Graphic design
Comp Comprehensive layout Sketch version of the design can be with a stylus or on software
Mock-up Model Actual description of what the design will look like, a model or full size of the design board.
Mood board Mood board The board presents ideas or reference works for the design process. Detailed images of the finished project will not be shown here, but the board plays a role in helping to shed light on the mood and emotions we expect from the product.
Body Copy Content Body Copy is the main text in a graphic design product.
Aspect ratio Aspect Ratio
Typography Font style, font pattern
Display Display screen

2. Specialized words for graphic design: About images

Graphic design works mainly on software and images, so the specialized words about images must be understood. These specialized graphic design terms  will often appear in your working process.

Major word Vietnamese name Meaning
Vector image Vector image Designers will use vector graphic design software to create vector images. Vector images can be re-edited with specialized software. Vector images allow designers to enlarge images infinitely without changing the image quality.
Raster image Raster image Also designed from software but raster images have fixed size, suitable for single use or no need to resize.
DPI Dots-per-inch resolution DPI (Dots Per Inch) is used to measure the amount of ink sprayed on 1 inch of the surface, the higher the DPI, the sharper the image.
EPS Vector image format EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) is a graphics file format used in vector-based images in AI.
PSD Raster image format PSD (Photoshop Document) is an image file saved as an original file consisting of layers exported from Adobe Photoshop software.
RAW Raw image format Unprocessed raw image format – digital camera format.
Texture Surface part of a design Texture is a concept related to surface characteristics of an object, including size, shape, density, proportion, and arrangement of object components.
TIFF Tagged image file format TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) is a format that uses lossless compression, much larger than the JPEG format.

3. Specialized words for graphic design: About layout

Here are the terms used in Layout  to help you better understand the concepts and design rules. You can see them in client requests.

Major word Vietnamese name Meaning
Alignment Align This is the foundation for creating beautiful, attractive designs. Alignment is the alignment that arranges design elements in their right place.
Balance Balance The distribution of images in the design. A balanced design can be visually appealing, but an unbalanced photo can help direct the viewer to the most important information.
Negative Space Negative space Space around words and images in your design. Some designers choose to use negative space to create a distinctive feature.
Radial According to the centripetal A design in which the elements radiate from the center and radiate outwards.
Rule of thirds Rule of thirds This refers to dividing the image into two vertical and two horizontal lines that help designers define focus and balance the composition.
Scale Ratio The size of an object with other elements.
Skeuomorphism Skepticism Design style that creates a digital imitation of a physical object. For example, the button found in the calculator app on your phone is the same as the button on an external calculator.
White space Space This is a design area with no images or text.

4. Specialized words for graphic design: About color

Color is an influential element in any graphic work. Mastering color-specific terms will help you gain insight into how color is used. This will be one of the bases for you to promote your creative design abilities.

Major word Vietnamese name Meaning
Analogous colors Similar color Color combinations are created from shades that are close together on the color wheel.
CMYK Four-color process CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key, which refers to the color black. This is a color model that refers to the four inks used in color printing.
Grayscale Grayscale This term refers to a palette that uses only black, white, and shades of gray in between. Black and white film is an easy to understand example of grayscale in action.
Hex code hex code A six-digit code representing a specific color, commonly used in computer design programs.
Hue Tones The purest form of the original colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple
Monochrome Monochrome The palette is created from different shades of just one color.
RGB Additional color model Abbreviation for red, green and blue. It is the color mode for all images displayed on an electronic screen, such as a computer or television.
Saturation Saturation The intensity of the colors in the image. Increasing saturation makes colors appear more pure or washed out.
Shade Shadows The shading is the result of a pure color with black added.
Tint Color shades Made by mixing a pure color with white such as pastel pink or light blue.
Tone Tones How bold or light a design element is. The tone can be changed by increasing the neutral gray level.
Triadic Trio color scheme The color wheel will consist of three equally dispersed colors, in designs this often creates division. In which there is a main color, a secondary supporting color and an accent color.
Pantone Matching system Is a standardized numerical classification of accurate color recognition for printing, making it easier for designers to refer to more accurate color shades.
Pixel Image unit The smallest unit of a digital image or graphic that can be displayed on a digital device.

5. Graphic Design Words: About Typography

In terms of typefaces and fonts in graphic design are very diverse, if you know how to combine them, you will create unique and personal designs. Here are  the  most commonly encountered typography terms :

Major word Vietnamese name Meaning
Typography Matching letters A compound word of Typo and Graphic that describes the arrangement and combination of letters in the design.
Typeface Font Typeface, also known as Font family, is a set of letters that have the same design in common, a definition that covers the concept of font.
Font Font A complete set of characters in the same format and size.
Baseline Baseline The invisible line on which the letters rest and align with each other.
Hierarchy Hierarchy The system groups text based on the order of importance of the content so that readers can easily navigate through the content.
Legibility Readability Describes how easy it is to read a block of text and distinguish each letter.
Sans serif Sans Serif typeface A typeface in which there are no small lines at the end of each stroke, the common sans serif typefaces are Arial, Helvetica, Verdana.
Script Script Typeface A typeface that resembles handwriting includes Milasian, Leckerli One, and Good Vibes.
Serif Serif typeface A typeface where small edges protrude from the letters, popular fonts include Times New Roman, Georgia, and Garamond.
Slab serif Slab serif typeface Typefaces with strong, thick lines commonly used for headlines, including Archer, Rockwell, and Neutraface Slab
Kerning Space between words
Leading Space between lines in text

6. Specialized words for graphic design: About Branding

Brand identity is one of the designs that Graphic Designers will often have to do. Therefore, you should definitely not ignore  the graphic design terms about Branding.

Major word Vietnamese name Meaning
Brand Trademark Your company concept is recognized.
Brand mark Brand Instead of using text, this is a specific logo image that represents the company.
Brand identity The brand identity Visual versions of your brand include your logo, tagline, website, packaging, and other marketing materials.
Emblem A style of Icon Company logos in a variety of tailor-made shapes and frames
Letter mark Alphabetic sign Logos with stylized letters are usually the company’s initials.
Pictorial mark Identification symbol The icons are specific, intuitive, representing the brand.
Style guide Design standards A set of design standards for a brand that ensures consistency in the style and content of the design.

Above are  the specialized words of graphic design for those who are new to the profession, these are extremely useful knowledge for you. Malu Design hopes that the above sharing will help you better understand the graphic design major.