This glossary serves to provide clarity on terms and
a common language in the context of graphic design, per the perspective, experience and findings of
Brink Creative



All of the elements that come together to comprise a  project. Can be content, photography, content, logos, illustrations, animations, audiovisual media and more.

Bounce Rate

Used in web traffic analysis, this represents the percentage of visitors who enter the site and then leave, rather than continuing to view other pages within the site.

“A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service or company. While companies can’t control this process, they can influence it by communicating the qualities that make this product different from that product”.

—Marty Neumeier, The Brand Gap

At Brink Creative, we use the term "branding” to mean creating an Identity.

Change Order

Work that is added to or deleted from the original scope of work of an agreement and alters the original scope. Will amount to more or less on monies and affect the deadline. 

Commerical Art

A term we love. It seems retro and means the graphic art created specifically for commercial uses, especially for advertising, illustrations in magazines or books, or the like.



I'm listening


The degree of difference between two juxtaposed elements, such as small vs. large, dark and light, thick and thin. Design is a push pull of these elements.

Conversion Rate

The most important factor to the success of an online marketing strategy and goals. Getting visitors to take a specific action, whether that be to buy a product, sign up for a newsletter or to make a phone call .



CMYK or ‘Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key’, is a color model that is used for print purposes. CMYK usually referes to offset printing, the traditional method of printing.


Information that is presented via an application (website, print material, other media) to convey a message. Content is developed, organized, and managed.


The activity involving skill at making something.


Exercising the core to solve problems. Often conisdered fun, coming up with inventive ways to meet requirements is challenging. The expectations, budgets and deadlines in graphic design add further layers, but often working within the guidelines and pushing boundaries is exciting.


The first phase of the design process, during which a designer determines a client's differentiating factors, objectives, competition and audience. If a client is going through a "refresher", then a thorough anaylasis of a client's previous materials is crucial. We dive deep into disovery and find that if design and development is problematic, then revisiting the discovery phase can sometimes bring resolve.


The extraction of the essential meaning or most important elements. The metaphor used to describe the design process at Brink Creative.


An exhilerating state of pride, joy and optimism. The way we feel at brink creative when we launch a great web site.


New, inspirational, up-to-date, pushing boundaries, surprising.

Graphic design 

The process of visual communication, and problem-solving through the correct use of typography, space, image and color.


Used as a placeholder, dummy copy is used to assess what content will look like until actual copy is available.


To be respected in ranking. To be pushed and pulled regarding the arrangement of design elements to  signify importance. 



The graphic elements that form a brand. The logo, colors, typefaces, various graphic treatments used in a consistent manner should be recognizable even if the logo isn't applied.


Keeping this honed is vital or our happy existance and the end product of doing so translates to the success of a project.



Two things placed close together to create harmony, contrast or other relationship.


The adjustment of space between characters in type.


For a photograph or illustration, It's like rent. Buying outright is a negotiable fee. Also called a “usage fee”.


The graphic representation for a person, company or organization. A logo can be a mark (symbol) and/or a logotype (graphic treatment of the name), or anything else we define to be.


A type of logo where the name of the company designed in a visual way. 


The design process.


That core idea around which we build a concept. “We feel elation when we find the nugget in the graphic design process.”

Offset printing

Is a printing technique in which the inked image is transferred from a plate to a rubber blanket, then to the printing surface. I call it "old school" and it beyond wonderful with a copia of opportunies. The proofing method of this technique is not exact,  as in digital printing.


The ‘Pantone Matching System’ is a standardized system of colors for printing. Every Pantone shade is numbered for reference and to maintain consistency across a brand, although variables (such as mediums and paper finishes) affect colors greatly.


This profoundly elevates our lives and our work. It is the magic from which all else flows.


The enemy of good.


It's the path we walk together. It's organic, dynamic and often a pleasant surprise.


Preparing files for print, fabrication or programming. This stage of the design process calls for focus and experienced problem solving skills.

Project Management

Ushering a project through the design process. Sometimes projects progress with ease, and other times a project can spiral down into a loss of time and money. Good project management can problem solve to keep things on track.



The main objective of proofing is to produce either a soft or hard copy of what the final product will look like on press. Hard-copy proofing usually involves ink-jet printing or other technologies to produce high-quality one-off copies of the production artwork. 


What we're going to give you after you're done reading this glossary.


In the waiting line. Designers, photographers, writers, illustrations...we all have one. You can tell us that something is coming, but until we have all of the resources we request, we don't hold spots. Time is money.


Specifies the capabilities, features or attributes of the project’s deliverables.

Responsive Design

An approach aimed at creating sites to provide an optimal viewing experience across a range of devices, from mobile to desktop computers.


The amount of detail an image has in relation to pixels. Generally speaking, the higher your resolution, the better your images appear, and the more detail is rendered. Whereas lower resolution images or graphic tend to appear blurry, pixelated or muddy. 


RGB or Red, Green, Blue is a color model that is used for on-screen purposes. RGB is a additive color, meaning that when mixing colors, we start with black and end up with white as more color is added.


Is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine's unpaid results — often referred to as "natural," "organic," or "earned" results.


“Easily understood or done; presenting no difficulty. Composed of a single element; not compound.” A design that is simple is the result of a distillation process, which is generally complex.


Time and place

That which gives purpuse. We say "brings one to a time and place".


Fruitfulness and abundant. That which we wish for our clients.


You get what you pay for.

Visual language

The graphics that support the brand. The logo and beyond. Every business has it's own defintion...let’s define yours.



As spatial solution that directs how to get from one place to another in a building or an environment.

White space

Also called ‘negative space’, white space refers to the areas of a design that are not filled with content. White space is an important design element as it helps to let a design ‘breathe’, helps avoid overly complicated designs, and keeps designs looking clean. Sometimes people think it's a waste of space, but it's actually valuable real estate.


Printed from wooden blocks.


An official term in graphic design. We use it when we really really like something.


The ideas, beliefs and spirit of a time and place.


Local and Planetary Graphic Design