top of page

Confusing Graphic Design Terminology

Updated: Aug 24, 2022

Misunderstoodterms made simple

Graphic design terms that noobs often gets confused.

It's so easy to get these terms mixed up.

The never-ending graphic design glossary

is a killer at times.

Well, I'm here to clear the air. Let's dive in!

Typeface vs Font


Different lettering styles.

Times New Roman, Helvetica,

and Arial are not actually fonts,

they're typefaces.

  • FONT

Variation of weights (light,

bold, and italic) within a typeface

family. Within a typeface, there

can be many fonts,

Tracking vs Kerning


A technique in typography that lets you adjust

the uniform space between groups of letters.


To adjust the spacing within individual characters

in a word. A technique to make text look pleasing.

Backdrop vs Background


It refers to a cloth or screen

at the back of an object. it is

often used in photography.


Anything that is behind*

something. A part of a design

or image that appears furthest.


  • EPS

Encapsulated Postscript is a

file format that saves flattened

vector graphics, but does not

support transparency.

  • AI

A file format that defines

Adobe Illustrator artwork. It

contains unflattened content

that can be edited.

Tint vs Tone

  • TINT

It is produced by adding white to a base colour,

thus increasing lightness. Base colour + white.

  • TONE

A greyed down colour becomes a tone, when grey is added to

colours it reduces the chroma of a colour. Base colour + grey.

Lettermark vs Wordmark


A Lettermark is a type of logo

consisting an abbreviation,

usually a company's initials

combined or even separated.


A Wordmark is normally a combination

of letters or typographic treatment of the

name of a company, institution, or name

used for identification and branding

White Space vS Negative Space


Space on the sheet of paper or

digital page where you give breathing

space for your design elements. It

can be any colour and not just white.


A deliberate attempt to leave

space around or within shapes

to create a meaningful visual


It's so easy to get

confused by these


I hope this helps explain the differences.

Were there any that confused you?

0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Graphic Design Trends

Five absolute must-follow graphic design trends for Summer 2022 Charging in line with what your time is worth Instead Of Letting Someone Else Buy Up Your Free Time For Less Than it's Value Making art


bottom of page