jargon buster

DECIPHERING SOME COMMONLY USED INDUSTRY TERMS

To help you understand some of the terms and abbreviations contained within the Design Advantage website and in the design industry, please read through the glossary below. If you have any questions please call us on 01227 700009


Alignment


The positioning of a body of text. Text can be positioned to the left, right, or "centre" of a page.

Animated GIF


A GIF graphic file, which consists of two or more images shown in a timed sequence to give the effect of motion.

ASP (Active Server Page)



A dynamically generated web page, generally using ActiveX scripting.


Bandwidth

Bandwidth is the amount of information your connection to the Internet can carry.

Bitmap graphic

A graphic imange which is composed of a pattern of dots. The individual dots are stored as data on a computer. An example of an animation that is a bitmap graphic is a GIF animation.

Bitmap Image (bmp)


A graphic image stored as a specific arrangement of screen dots, or pixels. Web graphics are bitmap images.

Bleed or Bleeding Edge


When a page or a cover design extends to and off the edge of the paper it is called a "bleed".

Browser


The software used to view, manage, and access web pages by interpreting hypertext and hyperlinks. The two most common browsers are Netscape and Microsoft Internet Explorer.

CMYK

Stands for the colors Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Black. In print design, colors are defined as a percentage of each of these 4 colors.

Compression

A method of packing data in order to save disk storage space or download time. JPEGs are generally compressed graphics files. Compression is a technique to make a file or a data stream smaller for faster transmission or to take up less storage space.

CSS

Abbreviation for Cascading Style Sheet, a feature of HTML developed by the W3C. With Cascading Style sheets, both web designers and end users can create style templates (sheet) that specifies how different text elements (paragraphs, headings, hyperlinks, etc.) appear on a web page. Currently, not all browsers express CSS formatting in the same
manner.

Directory


A directory (such as Yahoo, commonly mistaken for a search engine) depends on people for listings. The main difference between a search engine and a directory is that a directory does not make use of a spider or robot. One of the defining characteristics of a directory is that it is usually divided into categories.

DPI



Stands for dots per inch. DPI specifies the resolution of an output device, such as a printer or printing press machine. Print resolution usually runs from 300-1200 dots per inch on a Laser Printer and 125-225 dots per inch for photographic images on a print brochure. (For information on input device measurements see ppi.)

Drop-Down Menu

If you click your mouse on the arrows in a drop-down menu (also known as a pull-down menu), you will be able to select a product or service. Drop-down menus are commonly used for web site navigation.

Drop Shadow


A drop shadow gives an image depth by creating a shading offset behind a selected image.

Duotone

The application of two colors to provide richer tones than a monotone (single-color image, usually grayscale) can provide.

Emboss


Embossing a graphic image adds dimension to it by making the image appear as if it were carved as a projection from a flat background.

Export


To save a file in a different format (that of another program). For example, many Adobe Photoshop files are exported to become GIF or JPEG files.

Flash

Vector graphic animation software from Macromedia that allows Flash graphics to look the same across all browsers, as long as the plug-in is installed. One of the advantages of Flash animations is their relatively fast download time.

Font

A font is a complete set of characters in a particular size and style of type. This includes the letter set, the number set, and all of the special character and diacritical marks you get by pressing the shift, option, or command/control keys.

Forms


HTML tags that define and label text-entry boxes, check boxes, radio buttons, and/or drop-down menus to create simple on-screen forms for collecting information from the viewer.

Frame

In animation, a frame is a single graphic image in a sequence of graphic images.

Frames

In HTML, providing the ability to break a web page into multiple, separately scrollable areas. Because some search engines cannot follow links in a framed web site, a good web designer will contain text in a NOFRAMES-tag and provide a link for search engines to index your site.

Freeware

Software distributed for free on the web.

FTP

Stands for File Transfer Protocol. FTP allows you to copy or send files (HTML-documents, graphic images, spreadsheets) from one computer to another via the Internet.


GIF

Stands for Graphics Interchange Format. GIF images are the most widely used graphic format on the web. GIF images display up to 256 colors.

Grayscale

An application of black ink (for print) or the colour black (for the screen) that simulates a range of tones. Grayscale images have no hue (color). In print design, a grayscale graphic image appears to be black, white, and shades of gray, but it only uses a single color ink.

HTML


Abbreviation for Hypertext Markup Language; a cross-platform text-formatting system for creating web pages, including copy, images, sounds, frames, animation and more.

Hyperlink

A hyperlink, more commonly called a link, is an electronic connection between one web page to either (1) other web pages on the same web site, or (2) web pages located on another web site. More specifically, a hyperlink is a connection between one page of a hypertext document to another.

Hypertext

Hypertext is any text that can be chosen by a reader (ie: browser or Acrobat) and which causes another document to be retrieved and displayed.


Java


Java is a programming language, created by Sun Microsystems, which allows small applications to be downloaded into your computer for playback. Java can be used for such simple applications as animation to more complex applications such as a calculator.

JavaScript


JavaScript is a scripting language developed by Netscape. JavaScript can make web pages more animated and dynamic in terms of graphics and navigation. One of the most common graphic JavaScript effects is called a mouseover, and Javascript navigation is commonly created using drop-down menus.

JPEG


Abbreviation for Joint Photographic Experts Group. File format for full-color and black-and-white graphic images. JPEG images allow for more colors than GIF images and are usually smaller in size.

K

1. In computer terms, stands for Kilobyte.

2. In print design, with CMYK, the K stands for the ink color black.

Meta-tag



Meta-tags are HTML tags that can be used to identify the creator of a web page, what HTML specifications a web page follows, the keywords and description of the page, etc. The most common use of a meta-tag in online marketing is the keyword and description tags, which tell the search engines that index meta-tags what description to use in their search query results.

Online

If you are connected to the Internet, you are online. Online advertising is done exclusively on the web or through e-mail.


PDF


Stands for Portable Document Format. Created by Adobe Systems in its software program Adobe Acrobat as a universal browser. Files can be downloaded via the web and viewed page by page, provided the user is computer has installed the necessary plug-in which can be downloaded from Adobe's own web site.

PHP


Abbreviation for Hypertext Pre-Processor.

PNG

Stands for Portable Network Graphics format, and is generally pronounced "ping." PNG is used for lossless compression and displaying images on the web.

PPI

Stands for pixels per inch. PPI specifies the resolution of an input device, such as a scanner, digital camera, or monitor. Web page resolution ranges from 72-96 pixels per inch. (For information on output device measurements see dpi.)

RGB

Stands for the colors Red-Green-Blue. In web design and design for computer monitors, colours are defined in terms of a combination of these three colors. For example, the RGB abbreviation for the colour blue shown below is 0-0-255. In contrast, print designers typically define colours using CMYK (Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Black). 'K' = Black.

Rich Media



Typically, a web site or banner ads that use technology more advanced than standard GIF animation. Rich media banners include: Flash, Shockwave, streaming video, Real Audio/Video, pull-down menus, search boxes, applets that allow for interactivity, and other types of special effects.

Royalty-Free

Photos or images
, photos, graphic images, or other intellectual property that are sold for a single standard fee and may be used repeatedly by the purchaser. Typically with royalty-free clauses, the company that sells you the images still owns all of the rights to
the images, and they are allowed for use only by the purchaser (i.e., the same images cannot be used by another company or individual without repurchase).

Sans Serif


A style of typeface that means "without feet." Common sans serif typefaces include Arial, Helvetica, AvantGarde and Verdana.

Saturation

The color intensity of an image. An image high in saturation will appear to be very bright. An image low in saturation will appear to be duller and more neutral. An image without any saturation is also referred to as a grayscale image.

Screen Font


A part of the font suitcase (of Adobe Type 1 fonts), describes the shape of each character to the operating system so that the font can be seen on a computer screen.

Search Engine


A search engines is a program that searches documents (i.e. web pages, which are HTML-documents) for specified keywords and returns the list of documents. A search engine has two parts, a spider and an indexer. The spider is the program that fetches the documents, and the indexer reads the documents and creates an index based on the words or ideas contained in each document.

URL


URL is the abbreviation for Uniform Resource Locator and is an address referring to a document on the Internet. In other words, it is the address of an individual web page element or web document on the Internet.

Vector Graphic


A graphic image drawn in shapes and lines, called paths. Images created in Illustrator and Freehand (graphic design software) are vector graphics. They are usually exported to be bitmap images.

Web Site

A web site is a collection of electronic pages generally formatted in HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) that can contain text, graphic images, and multimedia effects such as sound files, video and/or animation files, and other programming elements such as Java and JavaScript.

WYSIWYG


Abbreviation for What You See Is What You Get.