Just like any other industry, web design has its own professional terms.

A person who designs, codes or writes about the latest news from the field is familiar with them and uses those actively on a daily basis. However, a client that is new to the field of web design and development may get shocked with the abundance of the industry-specific words that you use in your speech as he comes to order his first web project ever.

So, whether you are new to the niche, look for a web design studio to launch your first site or simply search for an explanation of specific web design terms, the following graphic design dictionaryshould come in handy.

50 graphic design terms that are explained in this creative dictionary fall under the category of the most frequently-used words and phrases that one can hear in the office of TemplateMonster, as well as find in blog posts on MonsterPost.

Whether you are reading something about our Graphic Design WordPress Themes, latest HTML releases or reviews of our new flagship templates, using the creative dictionary or web design terms it will get way easier to get the message.

If you think that you are familiar with the most popular terms used in graphic design, go ahead and check yourself

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Accessibility – the ability of a website to be reached by people with disabilities, i.e. visually impaired individuals using screen readers to access visual data, hearing impaired users, color blind people, etc.

Alignment – arrangement and positioning of texts, images, and shapes on a web page.

Ajax – Asynchronous JavaScript and XML used to create dynamic web apps. Ajax also allows for an asynchronous data retrieval, excluding the necessity to reload a web page.


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Bandwidth is generally referred to two things – the rate at which the data can be transferred or the general amount of data that is allowed to be transferred from a web host per month.

Bleed – a part of the page that is trimmed off while printing an image.

Bounce rate – a percentage of the users who leave a website from the same page where they landed without visiting other pages of a site.


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Cache – files that are saved or copied by a web browser providing for a quicker page load the next time a person reaches the same content.

Camera Ready document is the one that is ready for further reproduction and can be sent to a printer.

CMS – (the Content Management System) is a backend tool that lets you manage the content of your site independently from its design and functionality, thus letting you bring changes to the content without affecting the site organization.

CMYK – (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key (black) stands for the basic colors used for documents being sent to the printers (newspapers, magazines, flyers, etc.).


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Domain – the name by which a blog/website is identified.

DPI – dots per inch – a measure of resolution that counts how many dots there are for every inch of printed space.


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eCommerce – electronic commerce, which suggests the process of buying or selling goods online, on the pages of websites.

Export – saving a file in the format that can be used by a different program. With the help of this function, you can open a file on a PC that doesn’t include the same software that you use.


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Favicon – customizable icons that are displayed next to the web addresses, in the web browser bars.

Font – an element of typography, which sets the style and size of the text under a typeface.


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GIF – a common format for animated images.

Graceful degradation – the ability of a website to feature elements that can adapt to older versions of web browsers, making it possible for the users to view the content similar the way people with newer browsers do that.

Grids – series of intersecting horizontal and vertical lines, making it possible for a designer to add structure to and organize content on a web page properly.


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HTML – hypertext markup language – a primary language used to provide content on web pages where CSS handles al layout styling options.

HTTPS – hypertext transfer protocol secure – the most reliable and safe way to transfer hypertext requests between browsers and servers.


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iFrame – inline frame – a way to display one or more web page within one regular web page.


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JPEG – Joint Photographic Experts Group – is one of the most commonly used image formats, which is better suited for pictures with gradients.


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Kerning – is the spacing between characters (letters and numbers), making their pairing more balanced.


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Landing page – a page where a user enters a site for the first time. This is a place that is intended to elicit a specific action from a new client.

Layer – a tool within design software used to separate tires of data, images, and shapes from one another.

Logo design – a process that contributes to creating a visual identity that represents a company, brand, or person.


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Measure – a means of defining the width of a text block.

Meta data – data added to the header of a web page, providing information about the web page that a user has reached.


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Negative space – is the area surrounding shapes and words on a web page.


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Orphan – a short line at the beginning or at the end of a paragraph that adds whitespace between paragraphs of the text.


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PDF – Portable Document Format – a format applied to documents sent for printing.

Permalink – a permanent web address that is commonly used on blogs, letting the web users refer to specific posts even after those were removed from the homepage.

Pixel – a tiny element of a raster image. A group of pixels forms a vivid object in the eyes of the viewers.

Plug-in – a third-party code that is used to extend the capabilities of websites running on CMS or blogging platforms.

PNG – Portable Network Graphics – a file format that is better to be used in web design projects. It supports transparency around images.

Proof – (also referred to as a mockup) a copy or a preview version of what your design will look like when it goes live.

PSD – a format of files that come directly from Photoshop. Saving an image in PSD format, you can get back to its editing even after leaving the working area.


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Raster images – bitmap images that are made up of thousands of pixels that set their form and color.

Resolution – a number of pixels per inch displayed on a digital screen.

RGB – red, green, and blue – a color mode intended to display vibrant images on a screen.


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Sans serif – a typeface where letters do not have serifs (small lines) at the end of characters. Helvetica and Gotham are two of the most popular examples.

Specification – a document containing detailed information on a web technology and explains how exactly it should be used, including tags and other dependencies.


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Template – a file used in conjunction with a CMS, which is used as a foundation to build a website. A template features both functional and stylish elements, which let one get started with a web resource out-of-the-box.

Tracking – is a term is similar to kerning. Tracking refers to an even amount of space between characters.

Typeface – a design set for a group of fonts containing similar attributes.

Typography – one of the graphic design fundamentals, allowing web designers to arrange the type used in any composition.


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URL – Uniform Resource Locator – is the address of a website on the Internet, which makes a specific online project findable out of a range of other resources.


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Vector images – different from raster images that are made up of pixels, vector images use points that have X and Y coordinates, which are further connected to build shapes. Colors are applied to each shape that is formed.


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Web server – a computer with software and networking capabilities that host web pages and makes them accessible to the users from wherever those are located.


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