10 Useful Terms Non-Designers Need to Know

For 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, here’s a cheat sheet of 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.



Wireframes are the basic layout that doesn’t have design elements yet. It represents the product’s or website’s structure or skeleton.



The prototype comes in the later stage of the project, where it’s meant to give the client an idea on how the final product will work or look like.



Applicable to print design, bleed allows an artwork or design to run up to the edge of a page to make sure that the final trim size leaves no white edges.



The grid serves as the guide often used in both print and digital works, which helps with aligning elements and also to work with greater consistency.


White Space

White space is the blank areas left empty to bring further focus on the other, more important elements of the design.



Gradient is when the colors fade into one another, creating a look that goes from opaque to transparent.



This serves as the limit to up to where content or design is allowed. It is the space between the border and the object found outside of it.



Also known as line height, leading in typography refers to how lines of text are spaced vertically.



Also used in typography, kerning is the spacing between the letters or characters in a word.


Above/Below the Fold

In web design, above the fold is the area of a web page that users or visitors see first when they open that page. Below the fold, on the other hand, is the area that users need to scroll to view.


Do you often hear any other graphic design terms that you’re not quite familiar with? Let us know! If you are well-versed in these terms, what other terms do you think should non-designers know?