Terms You Should Know Before Hiring a Graphic Designer

Posted on - Last Modified on

Graphic design is as much an art as it is a science, and talking to graphic designers may involve some rather complicated domain-specific lingo at times. To avoid scratching your head at every unfamiliar word they utter, it may be good to brush up on some design talk.


Here are some basic terms to keep in mind when talking to your designers, so that you are both literally on the same page.


Terms You Should Know Before Hiring a Graphic Designer - Image 1


This refers to the color scheme that you choose for the project. The colors can be complementary, that's featuring two colors that sit opposite each other on the color wheel; analogous, made up of three colors that are next to each other on the color wheel; monochrome, a color scheme built in one color and it’s lighter and darker variations.

Branding and overall message are keys in choosing a palette that fits with the project goals in terms of psychological impact. In terms of the colors, you could choose between warm colors and cold colors, which simply means that they are either in the red spectrum (for warm) or the blue spectrum (for cold).


Different variations on temperature have different effects on the viewer. Warm colors tend to make you feel energetic, cozy, and friendly, while colder tones make you feel calm and project a sense of professionalism.


Related Article: Color Palette Explorer: Top 30 Color Schemes for Your Designs


Typography is the art and technique of arranging type be used in a project. This area has a lot of terminologies associated with it, but as an employer, it’s fine to know a few key terms.

Among the first terms you will be hit with while discussing typography is if you would like a Serif or a Sans typeface. Serifs are those little flourishes that appear at the corners and ends of lettering lines. Serif fonts have them, Sans fonts do not.


Other terms you should be familiar with are:


Legibility - Is the text readable?

Alignment - Is the text aligned with the design elements?

Hierarchy - What should the order of attention be on the designed page? What should come first and be bold and visible? What should come second, third, and so on?


Related Article: 120 Best Free Fonts for Designers


The layout tells the designer what goes where, which parts you want to highlight, and which parts you want to elegantly understate. In terms of layout, there are a few important terms that you need to keep in mind as well.


As the design is as much about what you put in as also about what you keep out, white space is a concept you should be familiar with. This extremely important to keep in mind as it permits the designed elements to be elevated in contrast and stand out.


Another important term is margin. How much space you leave between the edge of the page and the text body will mean the difference between a design with a light and airy feeling, or a more tense, energized effect.


Related Article: 120 Free Design Resources & Tools for Graphic Designers


And finally, we cannot talk about design projects without mentioning the ubiquitous Lorem Ipsum. This is just the universal filler text that designers will use to show you how the copy body will look on the page, without actually having to wait for you to input it. So, do not be alarmed if designers start sending you Latin prose, they’re just following the norm.


Do you have a design project you need to get done? Hire a graphic designer and start conversing with these words we featured here.

Posted 1 November, 2016


Recruiter at Freelancer

Hi there! My name is Alex and I work on Recruiter projects at Freelancer.com. If there is anything I can help you with, please let me know. I'm here to support employers and freelancers to get their projects completed from start to finish. I'm very excited to have you as part of the community and look forward to working with you.

Next Article

Smart Ways to Improve Your Customer Experience