Designer’s Jargon

Online Phrases
More Online Phrases
Graphic Design Phrases
General Phrases

Online Phrases

These are all variations on image types and are usually associated with online imagery.

72 dpi (dots per square inch) is the standard size for a web image. This is the resolution used by monitors, so (in online terms), greater than this would be excessive and slow down your page load times (harming site SEO) and inevitably your customers / visitors experience.

Backlinks or inbound links are links in to your website. They are highly beneficial in your websites SEO. However, they must be considered good links  by search engines or could have a negative effect. We offer SEO services to help create good back links to your website in affordable monthly packages.

A blog is a great way for you to keep on top of getting fresh content on to your site. It can help to generate back links to your site through writing engaging articles within your business community.

FTP or File Transfer Protocol is simply a way of transferring files over the internet. If we work on your website for you and you have your own hosting or are setting it up yourself we will require these details in order to acces your websites file area on the server so that we can deploy the files. To access your FTP you would usually need your web address, a username and a password. These will generally be provided to you by your web host.

This is an online tool, provided by Google, to help you track visitors and their behaviour on your site. You can also track where your visitors are coming from, which pages may be letting you down, set up 'goals' (for instance: sale completed) and much more.  We can help you with Google analytics integration on your site, which will give you a step in the right direction to improving your site SEO.

HTML or Hyper Text Markup Language is used to mark up the user side code of your site such as headers, paragraphs, lists and so on. HTML will be used within any dynamic website language, such as PHP, and is also used to encode any special characters such as an '&'.

Keywords are directly related to SEO. Keywords can be split in to 'short tail' (less than three words) and 'long tail' types (over three), but essentially they are the phrases people use to find things online. There are no exact keywords that you should use on your site as it depends entirely on what you do or sell and who you are targeting i.e. they directly relate to you or your company. We offer an affordable keyword identification service... read more.

PHP is a programming language used  to develop dynamic websites and will usually be used alongside MySQL (the language used with your databases). There are many more options out there but this is the language we will use if we develop your website.

RGB is generally associated with online imagery and is the colour breakdown used by your monitor. RGB colours generally help to reduce image file sizes which in turn can improve download times of your web pages (helping to improve your visitors experience and site SEO)

SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is no one particular thing but rather a collection of things you can do to improve your rankings with search engines such as Google and Bing, thus increasing visitors / customers to your website. We offer a wide range of SEO services with many included as standard, when you work with us, on your new site.

This is simply the short way of saying Search Engine Results Page i.e. Google's results from one of your searches

Social media / networking is pretty much what it says on the tin. A blog, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Digg... these are all social media tools which help you interact with the public and generate general public interest in you, improving your site SEO. We offer services to help you improve social media aspects of your site.

URL or Universal Resource Locator is simply the descriptive word for your website address and the links to the pages within it. URL's can also be manipulated to be SEO beneficial. We offer SEO services to help improve things such as this we also will ensure url's are optimised when we develop your website.

Wireframe's are a sketch or blueprint of your websites layout before any finished designs are started. They help to visualise your website and ensure the layout works for everyone and most importantly, your visitors.

An XML sitemap is a document type listing your website pages and details which help search engines, such as Google and Bing, to map your website. A sitemap is not a required part of a website but is essential to help with your sites SEO. When we create your website, we create an xml sitemap and submit to all the major search engines as part of your standard package.

More Online Phrases

Caching is something your browser will use which helps in page load times on any particular website. It is essentially storing data such as images, css, js etc which is used across the site so that you will not need to download the information again. Caching can usually be turn off within your browsers preferences.

Yes ok the are biscuits, but cookies are also an online element used to store information relating to the site you're on. For instance if you're logged in (usually a session), track sales and so on. They cannot be used to place viruses on a computer but spyware is a possibility (though most websites still will not do this) which has recently lead to a new law being introduced where users of a site will need to be informed if cookies are to be used for none essential elements. This will be in place in May 2012 though it has already been delayed by one year so it remains to be seen if this is moved back further.

Jquery and Mootools are both javascript frameworks which help with site interactivity and things such as form submissions without a full page reload. We will generally develop any website we undertake using Jquery (this site uses it!) but we are happy to use Mootools should you require it. There are other javascript frameworks out there... prototype for instance... but we find that Jquery and Mootools produce some fantastic results.

Meta Descriptions is an element of your web page which, while not directly seen be the front end user (site visitor) are read by search engines. They should be concise (ideally no longer than 160 characters) legible (well formed sentences) and keyword rich. Meta Keywords (not to be confused with keywords) have, in recent years, been devalued with search engines such as Google admitting it no longer utilises them. However, we still think they're worth having but more for spelling errors around your keywords i.e. dseign etc.

PCI compliance is a legal requirement for any website selling goods online where personal details are collected. There are varying levels your company will need to reach depending on the size of your company.

Servers are really just a computer... just a very (usually) powerful one and what your website will be stored on by your hosts. There are various server options to choose from. Cheaper hosting packages will usually mean you are placed on to a server with lots of other websites which could result in slower load times on your website & restrictions in what you can do. This is normally okay for smaller websites. For hosting of your company website you may wish to look at a virtual server (limited people hosted and greater server management) or dedicated server (your own). A recent development is cloud hosting offering 100% up time, however, while this sounds appealing, a virtual or dedicated server ma

Spam is the term for unwanted mail and posts on to you blog.

SSL or Secure Sockets Layer is a online security protocol (https) used on data sensitive areas of your website, for instance your online ecommerce checkout. it helps with encrypting the data sent from such pages and is a requirement for reaching you PCI compliance levels.

UX is the shorthand way of referring to the user experience on your site. Any website we design always considered from a users point of view... while keeping things pretty of course!

Web Canonicals are a way of telling search engines what the address of any specific web page should be. They can help prevent your site from being hindered by what the engine see as duplicate content. When we develop your website for you we ensure canonicals exist on each page to prevent this from being a problem. We can also help with getting this integrated on to your existing site.

XML (Extensible Markup Language) is a language type used to encode information in to a machine readable format. It is commonly used for sitemaps which can be submitted to the major search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo) to improve your site SEO. It is also regularly used to for 'feeds' of your store data and products to submit the information to affiliate sites.

Google Dart is the latest programming language on to the market. It's still being developed but that's not to say we're not giving it our fullest attention (can we ever afford to ignore Google!) as it's planning to launch itself as being faster, more secure and delivering more efficient scaling with the primary aim of replacing javascript.

Google Adwords is Googles option to run paid online advertising through them. It's free to sign up, however, you will need to have an understanding of the Google Adwords functionality and the best ways to receive a return on your campaign to make best use of it. There are individuals out there with professional qualifications in this, who you can employ to help improve your campaigns chances of success.

These are the roles assigned to elements on your page, for instance, site navigation has a role of 'navigation'. They are not seen by the visitor but read by the browser they are viewing on and are a part of / help with website accessibility.

CPC simply stands for Cost Per Click. This is the amount you will pay when someone clicks on your text or banner advert on Google and the Google Network through an Adwords Campaign for instance.

CPM stands for Cost Per Mile and is most commonly known as Cost Per Impression. This is the amount you per per impression of your advert. With Google Adwords you will pay an opted amount per 1000 impressions forinstance. CPM is only available with banner adverts on the Google Network, through adwords.

ROI or Return On Investment, is the what you get back from you investment in to the Google adword programme for instance. It may be monetary, and in most cases certainly is, but it is basically a measure of the amount you have paid to get your visitor to do something. i.e. purchase a product.

CTR or Click Through Rate is the amount of times you advert has been clicked on.

CPA or Cost Per Acquisition is the amount you have paid on your online campaign for each successful click through to your website. As with ROI, it may be monetary based, but it could alos be the cost to achieve a site registration, for instance.

Graphic Design Phrases

300 dpi (dots per inch) is the standard dots, or pixels, per square inch of a high resolution image. When we develop any print (graphic design) or branding artwork for you it will genrally be supplied at this resolution. An exception to this may be a newspaper advert design which will usually be required at 150dpi but we will work to whatever resolution is required based on the project.

Coated / Uncoated Pantone colours are premixed colours, helping to ensure constant, solid and unblemished,  colours in printed artwork. We will deliver pantone references for any corporate colours made for your company on your branding projects.

CMYK is a colour format generally associated with printed design. It is also know as 4 process. When you receive any type of branding or graphic design service from us we will supply you with this colour break down where applicable (i.e. corporate colours).

150 dpi or 'dots per inch' is commonly associated with artwork, such as your advert' for the press and refers to the amount of pixels there are in any square inch of the artwork.

Die cutting is the process of cutting shapes into your print work. For example, circular stickers.

This is simply a line cut into your artwork to create an easily removable section on something such as a booklet with a discount voucher in it.

Foil stamping is the process of adding metallic foil to your print work (often gold or silver, though a wide range of colours can be used).

Embossing is the process of 'pushing out' elements of your artwork to give a 3 dimensional appearance.

Debossing is the process of 'pushing in' elements of your artwork leaving it lower than the level of the rest of the printed material.

Spot varnishing involves placing a small amount of varnish to a section of your artwork leaving this area glossed, thus 'lifting' the area.

Laminating literally refers to laminating your artwork with pastic and can be done in both gloss and matt finishes. For example the outside of a magazine.

Saddle Back Binding is the process of securing loose pages together via a fold in the artwork, usually with either a staple or stitching.

Perfect Binding is the process of joining all pages in you brochure, for instance, together with a spine through the use of an adhesive.

This is another form of varnishing, though generally more cost effective. It helps to prevent the artwork getting 'spoilt' through dirt. A good example of something often given and  aqueous coating would be a postcard.

Bleed, in printed work, refers to the 'overspill' of you artwork when the project is sent to the printers. This is removed before the final artwork is sent out and helps to ensure that the artwork's print goes to the edge without any white showing (assuming white is not involved in the design of course!) i.e. a full bleed project. Artwork, with bleed required, is usually set up with 3mm to spare on all edges though it will depend on the scale and printers requirements.

General Phrases

Adobe Photoshop is a professional piece of software for producing artwork in. It is used in both the web and printed side of the creative industry.

As with Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator is used by the creative industry in both print and web sectors. The artwork created by illustrator is vector based which enables it to be scaled to any size, though this would be limited should a photograph or some other pixel based object be used in it.

Adobe flash is primarily used in the web industry to produce sites and banners, helping to deliver fluid movement. However, the recent emergence of HTML5 and popularity of devices such as iPhones etc has reduced its popularity. As such it is unlikely you will find it used to develop full sites in the future.

Feathering directly refers to images, and is the process of fading out to the background of the artwork.