This brand guide uses a range of specialist terms and foreign words commonly used in graphic design and visual communication. Many of them are explained here. If there are any other words which you are unfamiliar with, please get in touch.
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
This is a vector file format normally used in the print industry. Colour format: CMYK or PMS colours. Resolution: can be scaled to infinity as it is made up of vectors and not pixels. Used for: logos, graphics and illustrations.
A brand is a name, concept, sign, symbol, association, design or similar with the aim of identifying and differentiating the products and/or services from one provider or group of providers from the products and services of competitors.
Originally an advertising concept. Nowadays branding is an important graphic design discipline. Branding involves graphic elements, fonts, images or concepts which define the identity of an organisation or product.
Brand guidelines are internal tools made available within an organisation for training and reinforcement purposes and to motivate everyone involved to build and maintain a strong brand. Brand guidelines may have different forms and approaches, and they may include various elements such as visions and values, visual identity, strategic guidelines, product and service descriptions, guidelines for communication in various media, visual style and tone guidelines, brand structure, etc.
A unique set of functional and mental associations that the brand aspires to create or maintain. These associations represent what the brand ideally represents for the target group and also suggests a brand promise to the target group.
Brand structure is a tool used to define how a company or organisation categorises, positions, structures and names its products, concepts and services.
Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key colour (black) other for standard print colours used to reproduce "all" colours in standard printing.
The exclusive, protected right to copy, distribute and sell intellectual property such as photos or fonts. Copyright is used as an expression for a label which signifies that work is protected in terms of its rights and usage.
(Dots per inch) or dpi, see Resolution.
A complete set of letters, figures and various symbols with a typical appearance. Regular PRO and Arial are examples of fonts.
This is an image format which reproduces a specified number of colours and may include a sequence of images or an animation. These files can be compressed by restricting the number of colours. Usage: on-screen display (Web, Word, PowerPoint, etc.). Colour format: RGB. Resolution: 72 dpi (low resolution).
An "invisible" set of guidelines/margins used for positioning text, images and graphic elements within a format.
or .jpeg is an image format which reproduces all colours and can have any degree of compression to make the file smaller and quicker. Most commonly used for on-screen display (Web, Word, PowerPoint, etc.)? Colour format: RGB. Resolution: 72 dpi (low resolution).
A graphic element used to identify an organisation, company, product or service. Logos build identity and make the organisation or product easier to recognise and remember.
A predefined set of colours to be used on various surfaces. Defines colours for colour surfaces, typography, graphic elements, etc. (The pallet generally does not define photo colours.)
– or PMS colours – is a predefined colour system used as a reference or in order to print special colours which cannot be achieved with CMYK. Pantone colours (or codes) are used to ensure correct colour reproduction in various printing units and to allow colours such as silver and gold to be printed.
The smallest building blocks in digital images.
An image format that reproduces all colours and may have areas with varying transparency. Popular for on-screen display where there is a desire to be able to use the motif on various backgrounds. Usage: on-screen display (Web, Word, PowerPoint, etc.). Colour format: RGB. Resolution: 72 dpi (low resolution).
(Pixels per inch) or ppi, see Resolution.
A defined, scalable area defining the space that must be left around the logo in order to isolate it and allow it to stand out.
Described in dpi or ppi (pixels per inch) and indicates the size of the pixels. Images for online and on-screen use are always reproduced in 72 dpi, while images for print often have to have a resolution of 300 dpi or more in order to be sharp.
Red, green and blue are the three colours used by monitors to display "all" colours. RGB is based on light, while CMYK and Pantone™ based on ink and printed colours). These have a greater colour range than CMYK and Pantone™, and so not all colours displayed on a monitor can necessarily be recreated in print.
Compressed files for Mac. Opened using Stuffit Expander (or compatible software).
A graphic element to which significance is ascribed beyond itself and that can be used as a logo or be combined with a wordmark in a logo.
An image format for photos.
Typography is the method for producing and setting text. Includes font selection, sizes, colours, etc.
Value (or tint) is a measure of the lightness or darkness of a colour.
A graphic made up of Bézier curves. Graphics of this type can essentially be upscaled and downscaled to infinity without impairing the quality/reproduction, and they are used for logos, icons and illustrations. .ai and .eps are common file formats.
A standardised text logo or graphic representation of the name of a company, institution or product name and is used for identification and brand building. In some cases, this term is used to refer to the text element in a composite logo.
Compressed files for PC. Opened using WinZip (or compatible software).