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  • Writer's pictureSarah Elissa Stanick-Woods

Lost In Translation? How To Speak Designer 🧭

Updated: Aug 8, 2023

Ah, the enigmatic world of graphic design - where colors dance, fonts flirt, and pixels party! But wait, are you feeling like a fish out of water in this imaginative ocean? Fear not, my fellow adventurers! We've all been there, lost in translation amidst the artistic jargon and creative lingo. Today, I'm your trusty language Sherpa, guiding you through the peaks and valleys of graphic design lingo with a splash of humor, a sprinkle of puns, and a whole lot of creativity! Read the below for tips on creating picture-perfect communication.

1. Color Me Confused:

Designers have an affinity for colors that puts rainbows to shame. When they mention "CMYK" or "RGB," they're not just spewing alphabet soup – these are the magical codes that make colors come alive! CMYK is for print, while RGB is for the digital realm. So, next time you're unsure, just "C my YK" and "RGB right."

2. Mind Your Typography:

Graphic designers are like sorcerers when it comes to fonts. From serif to sans-serif, they've got a font for every occasion. Remember, it's not just about "what font," but how "font-astic" their selection is for your project. So, when they're talking about "kerning" (adjusting space between letters) or "tracking" (space between groups of letters), don't panic; they're just ensuring true font love!

3. Resolutions and Revelations:

Ever heard designers chanting "300 dpi" or "72 dpi" like mystical mantras? Fear not, it's not some secret society code. Dpi stands for "dots per inch," and it's the key to picture-perfect resolutions. Higher dpi means crisper images, while lower dpi works for the web. Think of it as choosing between HD and analog picture.

4. Vectorious Vectors:

Designers have a soft spot for "vectors" – not the math kind but the graphics superheroes! Vectors are images that can scale without losing quality -- kinda like magic. So, when they say, "Let's vectorize that," they're not plotting world domination, just ensuring your logo looks sharp on a business card or billboard.

5. Designers Are Like Cakes, They Have Layers:

Layers are a Graphic Designer's best friend – like icing on a creative cake. Imagine stacking transparent sheets, each with a different element, to build the final masterpiece. So, when they talk about "flattening" or "merging" layers, they're not into complicated relationships, just streamlining the creative process.

6. Finding the Right Balance:

Designers know how to strike the perfect balance – like a tightrope walker at a circus. They use the "rule of thirds" to create visually pleasing compositions, and when they mention "visual hierarchy," they're not plotting a royal marriage, just guiding your eyes to the important stuff!

7. Going Grid or Going Home:

Designers have a secret weapon – the grid! No, it's not like the "Upside Down" from Stranger Things. It's a layout guide to organize elements. So, when they say, "Let's use a 12-column grid," they're not planning to colonize Mars – they just want to maintain order and harmony in the design universe.

Woot, You Made It!

Congratulations, intrepid language explorers! You've successfully navigated the whimsical world of graphic design jargon. Armed with newfound knowledge and a bag full of puns, you're ready to conquer creative challenges with ease. Remember, speaking Designer isn't just about decoding technicalities; it's about embracing creativity and letting your imagination soar!

So, the next time you hear a Designer say, "May the pen tool be with you," you can confidently reply, "Oh, snap!"

Happy designing, fellow creatives. May your colors be bold, your fonts be quirky, and your creativity know no bounds! 😉


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