Sometimes as designers, we throw around terms and expect others to understand what we’re talking about.
A client might say, “Please send over all the final files for the project.”
And the designer will reply, “Attached here is the web version and the print version with bleeds and crop marks. Will you need the working files as well?”
While our current project managers, sales staff, and clients have a great grasp on what these terms mean, there is definitely a learning curve for new employees that haven’t worked in a design agency or clients that don’t deal with a lot of design work yet.
If that conversation above seemed a little grey, we have a guide for you. While we’re not going to get too technical, here are a few common design terms that are good to know if you are working with a designer, especially an infographic designer: 🙂
Web version vs. print version
Before starting an infographic, it’s great to know what the graphic is intended for, as this will help designers determine what program they should use to create the graphic as well as other design considerations for the intended use. The web version of an infographic will usually be a long .jpg file that is included on the client’s website or shared on their social media channels. The print version will be a .pdf file of any custom size, but common page sizes include 8.5” x 11” or 11” x 17”.
The wireframe is a blueprint for what the graphic will become. It is an outline kept in grayscale, without any design elements, so that the client can focus on the overall structure, flow of the different sections of copy, and the layout of where both text and graphics will be placed.
Moodboards help to give clients a better idea of how they can expect the final graphic to look, including images that are the designer’s inspiration behind a graphic. Overall, the mood board aims to match the subject matter, target audience, and overall tone of the infographic to make sure the designer and client are on the same page on both look and feel before we move into the design phase.
Vector images vs. raster images
Vector graphics are made out of points and can be resized to any size without losing quality (and are usually created in Adobe Illustrator). Raster graphics, such as photographs, are made of pixels. When scaled to be a larger size, there will be a loss in quality. Adobe Photoshop is a common program used to edit and work with raster images. Learn more about the tools we use here.
Bleeds and crop marks
Printers cannot usually print right to the edge of a piece of paper, so when a printed document has a graphic or background that goes right to the edge, designers include a slightly larger print area, which will be trimmed down to the final size. The bleed is the area beyond the edge of the paper (usually 0.125” on each side), where a designer would extend the artwork and graphics. Crop marks are lines in the corners of the document to show the printer where the page should be trimmed.
Final files vs. working files
Working files are the files that were used to create the graphic, and the file type depends on the program that was used.
• Illustrator | .ai file
• Photoshop | .psd file
• InDesign | .indd file (InDesign files would be “packaged” to include fonts and any graphics/linked files used in the document)
• After Effects | .aep file
Final files are exported from the working files, and are in the file format that is needed for the final use of the graphic.
• Web | .jpg
• Print | .pdf file (including any bleeds and crop marks if needed)
• Animation | .mp4 file
We hope you enjoyed getting a refresher on some of these common design terms. If there are any more terms you’re stumped on, tweet us @lemonly and we’ll help you out!