6 Terms in Graphic Designs You Need to Know

  • by Lois Nur Fathiarini
  • July 02, 2022
  • 3 minutes read


Graphic design is a communication process using visual elements such as typography, photography and illustrations; to sent message through perception of images. A graphic designer can create and combine various symbols, images and texts to convey idea and message through visual form.

For a beginner, there are a lot of terms in graphic design. Some are actually quite simple to understand, and commonly used in design world. Here are some common terms to start with, which hopefully can help to communicate with other designers.

1. Color palette

source: freepik.com

Colour palette can be described as mixture of colors; a group of colors mix and matched with each other to give interesting and attractive color combinations for the eyes to see.

Colors in a color palette usually has been matched and perfectly combined. In general, it can be divided into Dark Color palette and Bright Color palette.

2. Mock Up

Mock-up is a visualization of a design concept to see the final form of a product design. For example, if a designer makes a shirt design project, he/she can make a mock up of a shirt with the final design on it.

source: personal

With design mock ups, a reality is presented about how the final product will look like, and it will be easier for a designer or client to revise the design before it will be passed into production process.

3. Vector and Raster

source: freepik.com

Raster files are also commonly used for editing images, photos, and graphics. Raster prefers graphic formats like GIF, JPEG, PNG and PCX, etc.

Vector files work better for digital illustrations, complex graphics, and logos. Vector files consists of dots/points determines by X and Y coordinates, so it can be resized into any size without losing the image quality. Vector graphic format examples are SVG, EPS, AI and so on.

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4. RGB and CMYK

source: 99designs.com

RGB or Red, Green and Blue is commonly used for digital design which supposed to be displayed on screen or digital designs such as desktop wallpapers, web designs and digital file sharing with clients.

While CMYK or Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key/Black color system is generally used for printed designs such as banners, brochure, and stickers.

5. DPI (dots per inch) and PPI (pixel per inch)

source: Digibook Promotion

DPI is used to mention a resolution of an image. Both DPI and PPI are measured in inch. DPI refers to the number of printed dots contained within one inch of an image printed by a printer. PPI refers to the number of pixels contained within one inch of an image displayed on a computer monitor. Though PPI largely refers to screen display, it also affects the print size of your design and thus the quality of the output.

6. Typography

source: juliannakunstler.com

In general, typography is the way that text is arranged and presented. In typography, usually designer will compose font, theme and structure nicely to get a particular feel to convey message to audience. Good typography designs can make a text looks more lively.


Hello! My name is Lois, I live in Jogjakarta, Indonesia. I am a tattoo artist and I also love sewing and making needleworks. I also do watercolor painting and illustrations.

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