What Are Some Graphic Design Terms to Know?


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What Are Some Graphic Design Terms to Know?

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What Are Some Graphic Design Terms to Know?

From color theory to the golden ratio, here are seven answers to the question, “What are important graphic design terms to know?”

  • Color Theory
  • Mood Board
  • Aspect Ratio
  • White Space
  • Resolution
  • Hierarchy
  • Golden Ratio

Color Theory

One important graphic design term to know is color theory. Color theory is the practice of using colors in unison to create a visually interesting composition. Certain colors, when combined, can evoke certain emotions and ideas from viewers.

Colors have different meanings for different people, so it’s important to understand them and how to use them effectively.

Many resources are available online to help you learn color theory. So take the time to study and understand this important concept in graphic design.

Aviad FaruzAviad Faruz

Mood Board

A mood board is an important graphic design term to know because it helps establish the project’s overall aesthetic by setting the tone and style of a design project. They are a visual representation, created using a collection of images, text, color samples, patterns, and design elements that showcase the desired style and mood.

By creating a mood board, graphic designers can effectively communicate their vision to clients and team members and ensure everyone agrees.

Having a mood board as a shared visual language helps to simplify collaboration and ensures that the design team aligns all efforts toward the same goal.

Georgi TodorovGeorgi Todorov
Founder, ThriveMyWay

Aspect Ratio

Aspect ratio is an important term to understand in graphic design. It’s a mathematical ratio that describes the proportional relationship between the width and height of an image or screen. Two numbers separated by a colon normally represent aspect ratios. For example, 16:9 or 4:3, where the first number refers to the image’s width and the second number refers to its height.

Aspect ratios determine how an image will display on a screen, so graphic design professionals must know them. Understanding aspect ratio is key for accurately creating great visuals, no matter what device we view them on.

Kate Wojewoda-CelinskaKate Wojewoda-Celinska
Marketing Manager, Spacelift

White Space

White space is at the heart of contemporary graphic design, and you can’t fraternize with designers if you don’t understand it. Commonly referred to as negative space, white space is the space that borders your elements or content.

With minimalism becoming increasingly important in design, white space is core to avoid overwhelming users with excessive features in one view. Doing such will inevitably force users to lose critical details of such unstructured or cluttered design.

With a robust understanding of white space, you can better control the interaction (even the emotional component) of a user’s interaction with your designs.

You can selectively emphasize the viewer’s focus and evoke a stronger sentimental response in selected areas of your design.

Lotus FelixLotus Felix
CEO, Lotus Brains Studio


Knowing the term “resolution” applies in many industries and everyday life. Simply put, resolution identifies the quality of an image and describes its sharpness and clarity. The term refers to the number of units (either pixels or dots) that occupy a linear inch of an image. You can use it when talking about both on-screen and printed pictures.

Resolution is also used to assess the visual quality of various hardware devices, such as computer monitors, TVs, mobile phones, tablets, printers, and more.

The most important thing to remember is that the higher the resolution, the better the image quality. A blurry or pixelated image is a sign of inferior quality.

Agata SzczepanekAgata Szczepanek
Community Manager, LiveCareer


Hierarchy helps us organize information in a way that is visually appealing and easy to understand. It is also used to create a visual hierarchy to draw attention to the information that is most important, and then to downplay the less important information.

This important term is essential for creating effective graphic design because it allows the designer to prioritize the elements in the design and direct the viewers’ attention to the most important parts. This means that the designer can emphasize the elements that need to stand out, while still leaving room for the other elements.

You can achieve hierarchy through a variety of methods, such as size, color, placement, contrast, and texture. Hierarchy is an important part of the design process and is an essential tool for creating visually engaging designs that can communicate a message quickly and effectively.

Janie DoyleJanie Doyle
Marketing Director, SC Vehicle Hire

Golden Ratio

In graphic design, everything is created with the Golden Ratio at its core. It’s a mathematical approach that helps designers achieve perfection—or something along those lines. While most people might argue “beauty is in the beholder’s eye,” using the Golden Ratio to create any design will probably result in a well-balanced and aesthetically pleasing opus favorable to most eyes.

Also known as the Divine Proportion, the Golden Ratio is based on the Fibonacci sequence. It’s a sequence of numbers that naturally occurs in anything and everything, not just in art. In a Fibonacci Sequence, each number is just the sum of the numbers preceding it—typically starting from 0 to 1 all the way to infinity.

Preston PowellPreston Powell
CEO, Webserv

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