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F 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.





Fill refers to the colour, gradient or pattern that is filling an outline or shape.

The Fill Tool appears as a Paint Can icon in most graphic design programs.

Fills diagram





Leaflet Flyer Example 2A flyer is simply a printed sheet of paper, usually A5 or A6 in size, that is handed out to advertise or announce a product, service or event.

Flyers often form part of the untargeted junk mail that arrives on our doorsteps daily – so if you are planning a flyer campaign, do make sure you target it properly or you could find most of your flyers are ending up unread in the bin.

In recent years, flyers are also posted in electronic form on social media and special interest sites to advertise directly to a specific target market.





A type font in a caseFont is just another word for a particular size, weight and style of typeface.

The word dates back to the beginning of printing when letters were cast out of metal, (font meaning ‘casting’ in Middle French).

Today we have literally hundreds of fonts to choose from, many of which are available for free as internet downloads.

For more detail on fonts and their uses, please refer to the infographics

  • Sans-serif Typefaces
  • Serif Typefaces
  • Script Typefaces
  • Decorative typefaces

Where you will find hints, tips and some examples too!

Four Colour Process

Four Colour Process



Four Colour Process is a printing term.

It is also sometimes referred to as CMYK printing .

CMYKThe four colours are Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black and they are combined to create full colour images on paper or card.

Put simply, a full colour image is separated into the 4 different colours (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) using filters in the graphic design software. This results in 4 separate images which are then printed one by one on top of each other, to build up the image. The order is usually CMYK (the K stands for the blacK – B in graphics refers to Blue).

If you look at four colour process printing under a microscope you will see that the image is made up of thousands of tiny dots which have been printed at different sizes and angles to create the printed image.

It is mainly used for large print runs where it is very competitively priced.

Small print runs are normally better off using digital printing methods.

PS. This page is reproduced under the title CMYK elsewhere in this glossary





Frames refers to still ‘frames’ from moving images such as videos and  animationsKim & Sammy Waving on Make A Gif or GIF’s.

While video is recorded in real time, and a frame can be created by just pausing the video, an animation or a GIF is made by stringing together a sequence of images which have slight movements.
The eye processes these as movement when they are strung together and the result is an animation.

Walt Disney was the first person to ever produce a full length feature film animation, Snow White in 1937, and he astounded fellow cartoon makers by insisting on 25 slightly different frames per second to ensure the smooth movements he wanted for his characters. When you consider that EVERY FRAME had to be hand drawn onto acetate and then hand coloured you can appreciate how much work went into the film.

Thankfully animation is much easier now we have graphics packages to do a lot of the work for us!


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