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D is for .... Design Terms Glossary

Non-designers Essential Glossary of Design Terms

Every industry, business and profession has its own language and that language can leave you feeling confused and result in lots of misunderstandings.  We thought you might find our Design Terms Glossary useful whether you are using the training in our Members’ section or dealing with a graphic designer directly.





Graphic designers and printers are busy people and your work will have to be scheduled in with all the other work they are doing.

It is therefore only polite to give them as much lead time as possible before your ‘must-have-finished-by’ date.

Graphic Designers

For example, the usual sequence for a logo design would look something like this:

Week 1: Initial enquiry by you

Week 2: Quote arrives

Week 3: Initial design ideas meeting to establish what you want from your logo design

Week 4: Meeting to look at some rough design ideas and to discuss idea development

Week 5: Meeting to look at a selection of possible ideas now the changes discussed last week have been made

Week 6: Normally you will be presented with a selection of 3 logo proofs to choose between.

If further changes or tweaks are needed add on another week or two!

So, as you can see, it is important to leave enough time for your designer to do their job!


Printers can usually turn jobs around very fast indeed, especially if you are going for digital printing.

It is best to allow about 10 days, but many printers can turn jobs around and have the work printed and delivered to you within 3 or 4 days.

Decorative Fonts

Decorative fonts



Leaflet Flyer Example 6 Xmas at JPCDecorative fonts can be great fun, but be careful not to over use them.

They are a fantastic addition to themed events and can really make your event stand out from the crowd!

There are literally hundreds of decorative fonts available to download from the internet but please do make certain that you are allowed to use them for free before just assuming this is OK.

PS. There is an infographic all about Decorative Fonts on the Be Your Own Graphic Designer website  with loads of details on decorative fonts and how best to use them! It’s Free for members 🙂

Decorative type





DescenderTypography has a language all of its own which can easily confuse the non-designer.

The DESCENDER is the part of any letter that descends below the BASELINE such as the tails on y, g, p and q.

In some fonts letters such as k and r have tails that descend below the line too.

Related Terms: Baseline, Midline, Cap Height, Ascender, Kerning, Leading, Sans Serif, Serif, Script, Decorative, Weight, X-Height


Typography lines diagram




Pixelated photo demo


DPI stands for Dots Per Inch and is an industry standard measure of sharpness in a photographic image.

Technically though, it is an out of date term because now designers work on screens we measure in PPI (Pixels per inch) NOT DPI which is a pre-digital printers term.

So when you are asked for an image with at least 300 DPI , what they usually mean is 300 PPI.

It’s worth being aware of this difference and to clarify exactly which measurement they are referring to if there is any doubt.

Generally speaking the higher the DPI / PPI the sharper the image.

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