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Key Terms Every Graphic Designer should know

Graphic design is littered with terms you may not be familiar with. In this article it is discussed about the terms you should know along with the brief explanation of words. So, whether you are a student, newbie or just need refreshment in designing, read this article.

Raster images and vector images:
Raster images are also known as bitmap images and are made up of thousands of pixels which determine the form and color of image. All photos are raster images. Photoshop is one of the most used raster editor, that enables you manipulate the color and other properties of pixels. Resizing of raster images can be little tricky as they are made up of finite amount of pixels. If you make the raster image of larger dimensions using Photoshop, then the software has to make up the data in order to add the size. As the result, the quality of the raster image drops.
Vector based images are those images which are created using Adobe Illustrator and these are the images which are made up of points and each of which has a definite X and Y coordinate. All these points join to form a particular shape and you can fill different colors inside these shapes. Vectors can be resized to any size, large or big, without having any affect on quality. In recent times, adobe illustrator has made a great progress and is still making. Now, Vector graphics have become incredibly complex and now you can add complex shapes, gradients and create highly detailed and scalable vector images. These vectors can be resized according to the your wish, that is why it is used for creating logos and other graphics or images that need to go across many different outputs.

CMYK and RGB: CMYK is the standard mode of color for sending documents like magazines, brochures, annual reports etc. It stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and black –key. When you send a job to the press- cyan, magenta, yellow and black plates are made and then aligned to print on paper. You can add fifth colors or pantone which are created as separate plates. When working in Illustrator or Photoshop, you have the option to set the color modes of your documents. When you convert RGB to CMYK, then you can experience a loss of color.

DPI and PPI: These are the two important terms related to resolution. DPI stands for dots per inch. It is the term which is concerned when you are creating the work for printed output. In other words it is the number of dots per inch on the printed page. The more are the dots per inch, the better is the quality of images. 300 DPI is standard for printing images.

PPI stands for Pixels per inch and is the number of pixels per inch in your image. If you resize the image to make it larger using Photoshop, then the number of pixels per inch increases, resulting in low quality images. Remember, resolution only applies in raster graphics because vectors don’t work in pixels.

Typography refers to the art of arranging and is one of the fundamentals that every graphic designer should read in detail. Typography includes the factors like font size, vertical space between each line, spacing between characters (also known as kerning), width of the text blog etc. All these, if considered and implemented perfectly, give perfect look to the design.

Summary: Graphic designer can design a prefect design, if he has the perfect knowledge of basic terms related to designing.