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10 words your graphic designer wishes you knew

I don't know if all 10 terms are really vital, but this article by Rebecca Swift at is a great place to start. Knowing what "resolution" means is an absolute must, "serif" is helpful, and the rare soul who doesn't know what a "proof" or mockup is can be a challenge, but the rest are either obscure, not to hard to work around, or both.

The one my clients seem to struggle with the most is the difference between a raster (aka bitmap) and a vector image. Most people who work with print, even indirectly, know the difference, but how to tell the difference seems to be the confusing. The article says that raster files have extensions like .jpg, .gif and .png (which is true) and that vector files have the extension .eps.

This is misleading, of course. While .jpg, .png and .gif files are always raster, never vector, an .eps or .pdf image may be one or the other - or may even contain both raster and vector content. If it contains an image that looks like a photograph (or a photograph of a drawing or painting) it's not a vector file. If nothing in the image looks like a photograph, zoom in on a single character, or on the corner of a logo graphic, as closely as you can. If the lines stay sharp, it's probably vector. If you begin to see little square pixels the tighter you zoom in, it isn't vector, unfortunately. I say "unfortunately" because a vector file can be converted to raster very easily, while the other way around is more difficult.

Are there design terms that you struggle with, or that you wish could be better explained? Let me know!

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