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BRAND VOCAB

Brand: Refers to a company’s reputation and the way it is perceived by the public. The brand is formed from the expectations, memories, and stories associated with the company, and its ability to live up to them.

Branding: Refers to the active effort to shape people’s perceptions of an organization through verbal and visual strategies and design.

 

Brand Activation: A marketing strategy that actively engages customers through interactive experiences such as events or social media campaigns to build an emotional connection between the brand and its audience.

 

Brand Architecture: A strategic framework that helps companies effectively structure and manage their brands within a portfolio. This enables companies to align each product’s brand strategy and positioning with the market, even when catering to different target groups with different products or services.

 

Brand Asset: Encompass all the elements that represent a brand and communicate its distinctiveness to the public. These include tangible elements like the logo and website, as well as intangible elements such as the brand story and values. When combined, these brand assets form the brand image and shape its unique identity.

 

Brand Associations: Are the mental connections people make with a brand. The feelings, thoughts, and ideas that come to mind about a particular brand.

 

Brand Awareness: Refers to the degree to which consumers know that a particular brand exists.

Brand Collateral: Also referred to as marketing collateral, refers to all the media and materials created to promote a company and its products or services. (e.g., brochures, flyers, landing pages, etc.)

 

Brand Colors: Refers to a specified system that determines which colors are used and how for a brand. The aim is to create a uniform and recognizable appearance.

 

Brand Consistency: Refers to a brand's ability to maintain a consistent, cohesive, and recognizable identity across all communication channels and touchpoints. The goal is to ensure that all brand elements are consistently applied to provide audiences with a coherent experience, regardless of where they interact with the brand.

 

Brand Culture: Encompasses all of the values and beliefs that guide a brand’s behavior and interactions with employees, customers, and other stakeholders. It serves as the foundation for corporate culture and influences the overall brand perception.

 

Brand Differentiation: Refers to the process whereby a brand sets itself apart from its competitors by emphasizing its strengths, values, and/or unique value propositions.

 

Brand Equity: Refers to the added value of a brand. It refers to the premium customers are willing to pay to purchase a product or service of a particular brand compared to a similar generic product.

 

Brand Essence: Refers to the central idea summarizing the substance of a brand. This is often expressed via a two to three word tagline. (e.g., Nike’s “Just do it.”)

Brand Experience: Refers to the sum of all interactions a person may have with a brand. Some can be influenced by the brand deliberately, such as the website, packaging, customer service, or in retail environments. Others, like customer reviews, are beyond the company’s direct control.

 

Brand Extension: This means leveraging an existing brand into new markets. (e.g., Dyson, successfully expanding from vacuum cleaners to hair dryers)

 

Brand Identity: This includes all the verbal and visual identity elements created to express the unique personality of an organization. It plays a critical role in differentiating the company from its competitors. It’s also sometimes referred to as a corporate identity.

 

Brand Image: The overall impression people gain from their experience with a brand. This is influenced by various factors, such as the brand’s reputation, identity, or the quality of its products and services.

 

Brand Launch: Refers to the process in which a new brand is presented to the public for the first time. Making a strong first impression is crucial during this phase as it helps establish a lasting position in the minds of audiences, leveraging the primacy effect to create a positive and memorable impact.

 

Brand Loyalty: Refers to consumers’ tendency to remain devoted to a particular brand over an extended period, consistently choosing to consume its products or services. Some brands like Apple have such loyal customers that they form a kind of tribe.

 

Brand Management: Means effectively overseeing a brand and ensuring its message, values, and identity are conveyed consistently. It also takes into account current market trends and customer preferences to adapt the brand accordingly.

Brand Messaging: Refers to communicating the essence of a brand in the right words. Simply put, brand messaging defines what a brand says and how it says it. This includes brand voice and tone, why statement, tagline, website copy, and more.

 

Brand Mission: Describes the overarching purpose or fundamental goal. This defines why the brand exists and what it wants to achieve.

 

Brand Name: A specific term used to identify and distinguish a company, product or service from others.

 

Brand Parity: Refers to the degree to which different brands in the same product category are perceived by consumers as similar or different in terms of their characteristics, features, and benefits.

 

Brand Perception: The overall impression people have of a brand. It is based on their experiences, beliefs, and attitudes towards the brand. This includes the way customers interpret and respond to their interactions with a company.

 

Brand Personality: A set of human characteristics assigned to a brand, consistent with its values. When implemented well, the brand personality shines through all brand experiences.

 

Brand Pillars: Refers to the fundamental principles on which a brand is built. They represent the core values, beliefs, and attributes of a brand that differentiate it from other brands.

 

Brand Positioning: Refers to the strategic placement and perception of a brand in the market relative to its competitors. It entails establishing a distinct and unique position for the brand and firmly embedding this position in the minds of consumers.

Brand Promise: This clearly describes the specific benefits and experiences customers can expect from a brand. It builds trust and credibility by signaling what customers can expect from the brand.

 

Brand Recognition: Refers to our ability to recognize and distinguish a brand based on its visual, verbal, or other sensory cues such as logo, tagline, packaging, or even a jingle.

 

Brand Reputation: Refers to the collective perception of a brand by its customers, employees, investors, and other stakeholders.

 

Brand Salience: Indicates how easily a brand comes to mind when making a purchase decision.

 

Brand Storytelling: Refers to the art of using storytelling techniques to communicate a brand’s message, values, and identity. This is done to foster an emotional connection and a sense of shared identity between the brand and its audience.

 

Brand Strategy: Like a compass for a brand, providing long-term guidance and direction. It lays the foundations, such as values, positioning, brand personality, and central message. This also sets clear goals for success for all brand communications by ensuring that the brand is presented in a consistent and focused way.

 

Brand Style Guide: Also referred to as brand guidelines, brand manual, brand guide, or corporate design manual is a comprehensive document specifying all brand elements and explaining how to use them. This crucial guide serves as a reference for employees, designers, and other stakeholders to ensure a consistent representation of the brand across different channels. It guides all verbal and visual components of a brand and how to apply these components consistently.

Brand Touchpoint: Includes all interactions or experiences a person may have with a brand across print, digital, and other various channels, such as social media platforms, websites, physical environments, etc.

 

Brand Typography: Refers to a system that determines which fonts a brand uses and how to create a consistent and recognizable identity.

 

Brand Values: Are the core beliefs held by a company. They serve as a compass for corporate decisions and help build a shared identity and trust with the brand’s audience.

 

Brand Vision: Refers to an inspiring and forward-looking idea of what the brand wants to achieve in the long term. It describes the ultimate goal the brand is striving for.

 

Brand Voice: Refers to a distinct tone, style, and personality a brand adopts in its communications. It encompasses how a brand expresses itself to bring across its messages and values. Elements such as word choice, sentence structure, rhythm, and the emotions conveyed in communication contribute to shaping a consistent brand voice.

 

Co-Branding: A strategic partnership in which two or more brands with similar values jointly develop a product, service, or campaign. This collaboration aims to leverage each other’s strengths and advantages to create a mutually beneficial partnership.

 

Employer Branding: Shapes a company’s reputation as an employer. The aim is to attract top talent and retain it long-term.

 

Logo: A graphic symbol consisting of typography, an icon, or a combination of those. It gets used to represent and identify a brand.

Masterbrand: Refers to a brand name that represents an entire company or product line. It covers all the offerings under its umbrella.

 

Rebranding: Also referred to as a brand refresh, this is the process by which a brand changes its appearance and/or strategic direction to achieve a new positioning or perception. This involves revising elements such as the logo, color palette, and sometimes the brand name to improve the brand’s competitiveness and appeal or to target new markets.

 

Tagline: A short phrase representing a brand and conveying its identity. It is so memorable that people often immediately recognize the associated company, even without knowing the brand name. (e.g., “Think different”. “Just do it”. “I’m Lovin’ It”.)

 

Visual Identity System: Also referred to as the visual identity, is a systematic collection of design elements that visually represent a company. These elements include logos, typography, colors, shapes, textures, photography, and various other visual features. They are thoughtfully used in all marketing and communications materials to establish and maintain a cohesive and distinctive identity for the brand.

 

Verbal Identity System: Also referred to as the brand voice or verbal brand guidelines, this outlines the rules for a company’s language-based communication. It defines the vocabulary, style, tone, and themes used in written and verbal communications. This ensures consistent and uniform language across all channels.

DESIGN VOCAB

Ascender/Descender: The ascender is the portion of a lowercase letter that extends above the mean line of a font (the x-height). On the other hand, the descender is the portion of a letter that extends below the baseline of a font.

 

Aspect Ratio: The proportional relationship between the width and height of a rectangle (a rectangle is used because the vast majority of screens are wider than they are tall). An aspect ratio is defined via a mathematical ratio, with two numbers separated by a colon. width: height. This means that 4 inches wide by 3 inches high would be a ratio of 4:3

 

Blur: Makes images more unclear or less distinct. Using a blur can be a great way to make text stand out when overlaid onto an image. When you put text over an image, the two elements can form a somewhat competitive relationship, a little blur can make the text stand out more and appear much more readable.

 

CMYK: A color model that is used for print purposes. CMYK colors begin as white and then get darker as more colors are combined.

 

Color Palette: Comprises of set of strategically chosen colors that can be utilized for any illustration or design work that represents your brand. The selected color palette system should be designed to work harmoniously with each other.

 

Color Psychology: This entails an understanding of how colors convey meaning and what those colors mean.

 

Color Theory: Creates a logical structure for color. There are three basic categories of color theory: The color wheel, color harmony, and the context of how colors are used.

 

Complementary: Refers to colors that are opposite of each other on the color wheel (e.g., red and green).

Contrast: Occurs when two elements on a page are different. For example, it could be different colors between the text and the background color or dark vs. light colors. One of the main reasons to use contrast in your designs is to grab attention.

 

Cool Colors: Refers to colors such as blue, green, and light purple that can calm and soothe.

 

Crop: When you crop an image, you’re cutting away and discarding the unnecessary portions of the image. Cropping allows you to change the emphasis or direction of an image.

 

Flat Design: Refers to a minimalistic approach that focuses on simplicity and usability. It tends to feature plenty of open space, crisp edges, bright colors, and two-dimensional illustrations.

 

Gradient: Refers to a gradual change of colors (such as green turning gradually into blue) or a of color fading into transparency. There are three common types of gradients: radial, linear, and freeform

 

Grid: Refers to an orderly layout constructed from evenly divided columns and rows. The point of a grid is to help designers arrange elements consistently.

 

Hex: Refers to a six-digit number used in HTML, CSS, and design software applications to represent colors. This number is often preceded by a hashtag symbol (#).

 

Hue: Another way to describe a color. A hue can be any color on the color wheel. (e.g., red, blue, or yellow)

Hierarchy: Refers to the principle of arranging elements to show their order of importance. This utilizes several key principles, including size, color, contrast, alignment, repetition, and brightness, to emphasize and organize certain characteristics of a design.

 

Kerning: Refers to the space between two specific letters (or other characters: numbers, punctuation, etc.) and the process of adjusting that space to improve legibility.

 

Leading: Determines how text is spaced vertically in lines. Leading is used when content that has multiple lines of readable text and ensures the distance from the bottom of the words above to the top of the words below has appropriate spacing to make them legible.

 

Lorem Ipsum: Refers simply to dummy text used by the design industry. It’s used as placeholder text and has a more-or-less average distribution of letters as opposed to using ‘Add content here, add content here’ within designs when the copy isn’t quite ready.

 

Mockups: Refers to when a digital element that is designed to look like a replica of a physical work or product. Designers will often "mockup" examples of how your brand, illustration or design could be applied in the real world. (e.g., graphics on t-shirts, posters, etc.)

 

Monochrome: Used to describe design or photographs in one color or different shades of a single color.

 

Monospace Font: Also known as a fixed-pitch, fixed-width, or non-proportional font whose letters and characters each occupy the same amount of horizontal space.

 

Opacity: Refers to the level of transparency of a design transparent. The lower the opacity, the more transparent an element is. For example, 100% opacity means an object is solid.

Orphans / Widows: Are lines of text that appear at the beginning or end of a paragraph that are left hanging alone at the top (Widow) or bottom (Orphan) of a line.

 

Pantone Matching System (PMS): A color reproduction system for non-standard color matching and printing. (e.g., textiles, paint, interior finishes) Every hue is given a number, enabling people to reference and reproduce the same or similar colors.

 

Pixel: Refers to a minuscule area of a screen (the word comes from “picture element”). Pixels are the smallest basic unit of programmable color on a computer and images are made up of many individual pixels.

 

Raster Images: Are made up of a set grid of pixels. This means when you change the size of stretch a raster image it can get a little blurry and lose some clarity.

 

Resolution: Refers to image quality. As a rule of thumb, the higher the resolution, the higher the quality. A high-resolution image will be clear and crisp whereas a low-resolution image will feel a little pixelated and blurry.

 

RGB: A color model in which red, green, and blue light are added together in various ways to reproduce a broad array of colors. RGB tends to be used for digital/on-screen purposes.

 

Rule of Thirds: A technique that designers use to determine the focal point by using a grid of three rows and columns. Focal points are indicated where the lines converge. Designers use this as a guide to determine where to place important elements in their design.

Sans-Serif Font: “Sans” literally means “without”, and does not include any extra stroke at the ends of the letters. For enhanced legibility of content, it's often suggested that sans serif fonts should be used for online body text and serif fonts for headlines and print.

 

Saturation: Refers to the intensity or purity of a color. The more saturated a color is, the more vivid or brighter it appears. Whereas desaturated colors, appear a little duller.

 

Scale: Refers to the size of an object in relationship to another object. Two elements of the same size can be seen as being equal. Whereas elements with a clear variation in size tend to be seen as different.

 

Script Fonts: These are fonts often based on historical or modern handwriting styles and are more fluid.

 

Serif: Refers to the little extra stroke or curves, at the ends of letters.

 

Slab Serif Font: Features a more geometric feel than traditional serif fonts and has serifs that are square-shaped, larger, and bolder.

Texture: Defined as the surface characteristics of an image. In design, textures can be applied to images to provide a desired visual effect and overall look and feel. Textures are often applied to stock imagery or illustrations as a means to make these elements more unique.

 

Tint: A variety of a color where white is added to lighten and desaturate the hue, making it less intense.

 

Tracking: Similar to kerning in that it refers to the spacing between letters or characters. However, instead of focusing on the spacing between individual letters (kerning), tracking measures space between groups of letters.

Triadic: A color scheme that uses colors that are evenly spaced around the color wheel.

 

Typography: The vi­sual com­po­nent of the writ­ten word. All visually displayed text involves typography.

 

Vector Images: Are made up of points, lines, and curves. All of the shapes within a vector are calculated using a mathematical equation which means the image can scale in size without losing any quality. Unlike rasters, vectors won’t get blurry when scaled big or small.

 

Warm Colors: Refers to colors such as red, orange yellow that can provide a friendly, happy, cozy vibe.

 

Whitespace: Often known as negative space, refers to the area of a design left blank. It’s the space between graphic elements, images, copy, and anything else on the page. Even though it’s known as white space, it can be any color.

 

X-Height: Refers to the distance between the baseline and the mean line of lower-case letters in a typeface.

WEB VOCAB

Accessibility: Refers to the practice of making sure your website can be used and accessed by all people, with all abilities and impairments.

 

Back-end: Relates to how the site works, updates, and changes -- basically everything the user can’t see from the front-end.

 

Backlink: Simply put, a backlink is a link from one website to another. Backlinks are used as an SEO method to organically ranking on Google.

 

Bounce Rate: This represents the percentage of visitors who enter the site and then leave (“bounce”) rather than taking an action.

 

Content Management System (CMS): Refers to an online platform in which end-users can create, change, and edit website content using an editor that doesn’t require HTML knowledge. These systems are often built by developers and used as a program so that non-developers can edit their content more easily.

 

Code: Written for a variety of purposes, from web pages to computer desktop software to app development. Each purpose is associated with a different programming language.

 

Cookies: Serve useful and sometimes essential functions on the web. They enable web servers to store stateful information on the user’s device or to track the user’s browsing activity.

 

CSS: Think of HTML as the skeleton/backbone and CSS as the looks. CSS, which stands for Cascading Style Sheets, the most common way of setting the look and feel of a website. While HTML tells the browser what goes on the page, CSS will tell the browser how it should be presented.

Developer: A web developer works to write in a variety of programming languages of different functions to create digital products. A web developer will write code in programming languages designed for the front-end or back-end of a website (see Front-End & Back-End).

 

Domain/Domain Name: Your website address that specifies where your browser should go to look for information. The domain is just a simple way for people to be able to find you.

 

Front-end: What appears to users when visiting your website. It's the part that your users interact with.

 

Front-end Developer: A web developer that uses HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to create what your users will see in their browser when visiting your site.

 

Full-Stack Developer: A web developer who has the expertise to take a project and see it through from conception to completion. They are well-versed in all the layers of computer or web software/product development.

 

Hosting Provider: Provides space on their server to host your website so that other computers can access it live. Generally, they charge a fee for the service which is charged either monthly or annually – plans differ in the level of support they provide, security features, speed etc. Plans can range from limited and low-cost to high-level business plans.

 

HTML: Stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. It’s an essential language for developers to use to specify content for a web page. It consists of tags and attributes that tell the browser what content the web page contains.

Javascript: A programming language that can create dynamic and more complex features on web pages. Its features are used to enhance web pages and make them more engaging and can include things like interactive maps, animated graphics, and live content updates.

 

Organic Search: Refers to all the other non-paid results that are displayed. There is heavy competition to rank as high as possible. The process of ensuring your website lists as high as possible on the SERP is known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

 

The Search Engine Results Page (SERP): The first page of results you see when searching on Google or any other search engine. The SERP will rank results that the search engine deems most relevant to your search query.

 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Refers to the optimization of your web pages for search results. This means, getting your website found through search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.

 

Sitemap: A high-level list of all the pages on your site. Think of it as an outline or blueprint that provides a 30,000-foot view of your website that enables ease of content organization and user navigation in the preliminary web design and dev stages.

 

Web Content: Refers to the written text, visual, or audio content available online and user encountered as part of the online usage and experience on websites. It may include text, images, sounds and audio, online videos, and other items placed within web pages.

 

Wireframing: A foundation where designers can map out the site’s visual elements, including page layouts and sections, as well as elements like headers and footers. Wireframes can be low-fidelity (simple, just so you get the idea) or high-fidelity (detailed may include some already approved brand elements and imagery). Basically, fidelity refers to the amount of “finished-ness.”

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