A-Z Graphic Design Dictionary

A-Z Graphic DesignAnimation: Static images processed in sequence and timed to simulate motion.

Anti-Aliasing: Manipulating outlines and edges of graphics or text so that they appear smoother.

Bezier Curves: Line segments drawn with anchor points that can be manipulated to produce curves and shapes.

BMP (Bitmapped Format): A format for storing pixel color data without compression, resulting in high-quality graphics.

CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black): The four subtractive colors that form the basis for the process color model.

Compositing: The combination of graphic or video images into one display or frame.

Contrast: The ratio and range of light and dark values in an image; lower contrast allows for a wider tonal range.

DPI (Dots Per Inch): The number of dots contained in a 1-inch square; also referred to as PPI (pixels per inch).

Dithering: Alternating two adjacent pixel values to create the illusion of a third color.

Export: Saving a file in a format different from the original for the purpose of importing into another program or for printing.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol): Allows the transfer of files between a local computer system and a LAN (local area network) or the Internet.

Flash: Software for animating browser-independent vector graphics.

Four-Color Process: Printing that produces colors through the manipulation of cyan, magenta, yellow and black.

Gamma: An adjustment made to monitors, scanners or images for tonal distribution to produce lighter or darker effects.

GIF (Graphics Interchange Format): A highly compressed image format; displays 256 colors and is easiest to animate.

Gradient: A blend resulting in a smooth transition from one color to another.

High-Resolution Image: Any image with a high DPI, producing very sharp images; high-resolution images are required for professional printing.

Hue: The color of an object measured in degrees on a color wheel.

Image Assembly: Creation of an image built from other files, often by working with layers.

Invert: Reversing colors or tonal values, so that black areas of an image become white, and white areas become black; applicable to all colors.

JPEG (Joint Photographic Electronic Group): A format that compresses an image by eliminating non-critical information.

Kerning: Adding or subtracting space between letters to enhance typographical effects.

Leading: Adding or subtracting space between lines of type.

Lossless: Image compression resulting in no data loss when downsizing; commonly employed with TIFF and GIF formats.

Motion Graphic: Technology that creates motion or transforms appearance, commonly used in video and animation.

Multimedia: Refers to any combination of animation, graphics, sound and text.

Noise: Pixels manipulated to add texture and depth to an image.

Opacity: Tonal value or image color; images are transparent at 0 percent opacity.

PDF (Portable Document Format): Allows for file sharing across platforms, regardless of operating systems.

Paste Board: The area surrounding a work space in page layout software.

PNG (Portable Network Graphics): A format that employs lossless image compression; displays well and maintains small file sizes.

QuickTime (.MOV): Cross-platform multimedia and video format; real-time files can include sound and text.

Rasterize: The process of converting vector images to BMP (bitmapped).

RGB (Red, Green, Blue): Represents the main components of white light that can be mixed to create any color.

Saturation: The controllable intensity of color in an image; higher saturation settings result in brighter colors.

Storyboard: Illustrations and text organized as an overview of multimedia or animation projects.

Thumbnail: A very small file icon representing the original image.

TIFF (Tagged Image File Format): Most common format for scans and photographs; the preferred file format for printing.

Vector Graphic: A resolution-independent graphic composed of paths and points.

White Point: Combination of the RGB color model at its fullest intensity; used to calibrate computer monitors.