Graphic Design Glossary

Man at iPad

Many nonprofit managers are “accidental communicators” and do not come into their role with knowledge of graphic design. This brief glossary of terms is intended to assist accidental communicators as they work with graphic designers or printers.

Bleed: This term is used to describe whether or not the design is displayed all the way to the edge of the page. A full bleed indicates the color or images will flow to the edge of the page; no bleed occurs when the color or image ends before the edge of the page, leaving a white border around the design. Full bleed typically costs slightly more to print.

CMYK: This color code stands for cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. It is selected in color settings when creating documents to be sent to a printer. CMYK is often called “four color” and refers to the four wells of ink in a printer.

InDesign: InDesign is an Adobe Systems software application used for designing and publishing print and online documents.

Kerning: Kerning describes the space between letters in type in a design.

Leading: Leading describes the space between lines of type in a design.

Pantone Matching System (PMS): Patone Matching System is a standardized color reproduction system that enables color use consistency between manufacturers without the need for direct contact.

RGB: This color code stands for red, green and blue. It is selected in color settings when creating web or electronic applications. If a document is being made into a PDF, the RGB setting should also be selected in the properties menu of the software creating the Adobe Acrobat PDF.

Resolution: When creating materials for print, it is important to resize images as a high resolution file of at least 300 dpi or larger. This ensures that images will print clearly. Images displayed on a website should be resized at 72 dpi, which allows the web page to load quickly.

Runaround: The space surrounding a photo or graphic separating it from the text around it.

QuarkXpress: QuarkXpress is a software application for used creating, editing and publishing print documents in a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor.