For Non-Designers: Useful Terms You Need to Know

For diverse creative teams like us here at MicroCreatives, working on a project requires collaboration among members with different roles. The creatives including the designers, developers, animators, and writers may all be familiar with basic terms like ‘PSD’, ‘typography’ and ‘fonts’ and can communicate with each other well. But there will also be times that things may get lost in translation especially when designers work with non-designers who are not familiar with some design terms.


To prevent miscommunication from happening, online marketing company Pagemodo created the useful infographic ‘How to Speak Designer’ that serves as a cheat sheet containing some of the most commonly used graphic design terms and their meanings. This is helpful for non-designers, especially the clients, marketers, and account and project managers.


  1. Wireframes – refers to a basic layout that doesn’t have design elements yet.
  2. Comps – refers to the next creative step after the design goes digital.
  3. Prototype – refers to the later stage of the project where it’s meant to give the client an idea on how the working product will work or look like.
  4. Bleed – refers to when the design has been allowed to go past the edge of the page so there is no margin.
  5. Grid – refers to the guide often used in both print and digital works which helps with aligning elements and also to work with greater consistency.
  6. White Space – refers to the blank area that is left empty to bring further focus on the other, more important elements of the design.
  7. Gradient – refers to the usage of colors that fade into one another creating a look that goes from opaque to transparent.
  8. Margin – refers to the space between the border and the object found outside of it.
  9. Leading – refers to how lines of text are spread and spaced vertically, also referred to as line height.
  10. Typography – refers to the way type elements are arranged to better suit a project.


Learn more frequently used graphic design terms from the infographic below.


How to Speak Designer: 28 Design Terms Small Business Marketers Should Know