Alignment: The adjustment of arrangement or position in lines of a text or an image — left, right, centered, etc.

All Caps: Refers to text or a font in which all letters are capital letters. “All caps” may be used for emphasis (for a word or phrase).

Bold: A type style in which the image face is darkened; used to call attention to the text on which it is used.

Centered Text: The text is aligned to neither the left nor right margin; there is an even gap on each side of each line.

Font: One complete set of characters (including all the letters of the alphabet, punctuation, and symbols) in the same typeface, style, and size.

Italic: The style of letters that usually slope to the right. Used for emphasis within text.

Justified Text: The letter- and word-spacing is adjusted so that the text falls flush with both margins.

Left-Aligned Text: Left-aligned text begins each line along the left margin of the document. This results in a straight margin on the left and a “ragged edge” margin on the right.

Lower-Case: The smaller form of letter used in type.

Right-Aligned Text: It aligns the beginning of each line of text along the right margin of the document. The result is a straight margin on the right and a “ragged edge” margin on the left.

Sentence Case: This is when you only capitalize the first letter of the first word in a heading – like you would in a sentence.

Upper-Case: This is also known as capital letters, they are the larger characters in a typeface.


Body Copy: Type composition as the main text in a layout, to provide detail about the product or service.

Centered: Placement of element, usually a headline, at a midpoint in relation to some other element.

Headline: Main message in type copy form. It works with the main visual to establish a concept.

Layout: A plan or arrangement of visual or type elements, constructed and formed to communicate an idea. A good layout organizes, attracts and works for the viewer.

Sub-Head: Type form that compliments the headline, giving further information or explanation to the idea. Usually positioned directly below the headline, a sub-head eases the reader into the body copy message for more details.

White Space: White space refers to the canvas space left in between different elements of your design. It’s important because it keeps your design from being too cluttered or too confusing.


Clipart: Artwork found in a book that could be clipped out and used in your ad. Today, it is usually sold as electronic artwork files that can be placed into your ad.

Cropping: To delete unwanted parts of an image so that the result is more useful.

DPI (Dots Per Inch): A term to describe the measure of sharpness within an image. For the best results, 72 dpi should be used for online, 200dpi for newsprint and 300dpi for magazines.

Graphic: An illustration imported into an ad; any non-type element used in design, e.g. photo, artwork, box, line, or use of color.

Logo: A trademark or signature of a company or product, in type or in graphic form.

Resolution: The resolution of an image is an important factor in deciding the attainable output quality. The higher the resolution of an image, the less pixelated it will be and the curves of the image will appear smoother.

Scaling: Increasing or decreasing the size of a graphic. This can be done without altering the image’s proportions or stretched to fit a larger size.

Watermark: Many artists and clipart sites place a translucent design on top of their work to discourage others from using it without their permission.


Border: Plain or ornamental frame around any page element or ad. Ornamental frames are dated and should be used sparingly.

Drop Shadow: Is a visual effect added to an image to give the impression the image is raised above the background.

Feathering: A tool used in graphic design software that makes the edges of an image appear softer.

Grayscale: Grayscale images consist of black and white; no color.

Gradient: A function in graphic software that permits the user to fill an object or image with a smooth transition of colors or gray tones.

Opacity: The degree of a color or tonal value. The opacity of an image or object that can range from transparent (0% opacity) to opaque (100% opacity). The ability to edit the opacity of specific objects allows the designer to create images that seem to flow into and through one another.

Reverse Type: Lightly colored text on a dark color background; used to call attention to the text on which it is used.

Outlined Type: A line of color placed around the outside of type; used to call attention to the text or make it stand out from the background. Outlining type is dated and should be used with caution.

Underlined Type: A horizontal line is placed immediately below a portion of writing; used to call attention to the text on which it is used. Underlining type is dated and should be used sparingly.

Tint: A color is made lighter by adding white, this is called a tint.