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Familiarize Yourself With These Graphic Design Terms

Whether you plan to hire a graphic designer to create visuals for your blog or you want to learn some basic design skills on your own, it will benefit you to gain an understanding of the terminology used in the profession. Learning the lingo will help you to communicate clearly with your designer or to grasp the fundamentals of good design prior to attempting to give it a go. Take time to familiarize yourself with these graphic design terms to lessen the overwhelm and give you more confidence to bring your ideas to life. 

 RGB - RGB is a model of using color in which red, green and blue are used exclusively in the creation of new colors. RGB is a system that is used in digital design, rather than in print. 

Opacity - Opacity refers to the level of transparency in a design element. At 100% opacity, an object is solid. As the percentage gradually decreases it becomes more transparent. 

Logotype/Logomark - A logo is an important design element that is a visual representation of a company or, in this case, a blog. There are two main types of logos. A logotype is the company’s name designed in a way that is recognizable. A logomark is a mark or symbol that comes to represent the brand. 

Texture - Texture refers to the characteristics of a design’s surface. Various types of textures are used to add dimension or to provide a particular feel to a design. An example may be retro textures that are incorporated into a project to give it the appearance of a vintage poster or a document produced by ink press. 

Whitespace - This is also commonly referred to as negative space. This is the portion of a design that is purposefully left blank. Despite the name, this empty space can be any color. Ample whitespace is encouraged in good design. 

Style Guide - A style guide is a document that contains the specifications that are to be consistently used when displaying your brand. It specifies the exact colors, typography, sizes and other such criteria so that the look of your brand is the same across various platforms. 

Raster - A raster is a type of image that is comprised of pixels. Such graphics do not conform well to changes in size, as they will usually become distorted and lose their original integrity. The popular graphic design software Photoshop uses raster images.

Vector - The opposite of a raster image is a vector. Rather than being made of pixels, this type of graphic is formed with actual lines, points and curves to form shapes. They can be resized without losing their original form.

Typography - Typography is the way in which letters are presented, either digitally or in print. Commonly referred to as font, it provides a particular look to your text. Types of typography include serif, sans-serif and script. 

Hierarchy - The hierarchy of a design is the way in which it is laid out.  Such layout is purposeful in order to create a path for the eye to follow, to improve navigation or to designate importance of design elements. 

Color Palette - The color palette is the combination of colors used in your brand. The colors should work well together and provide a feeling that is reflective of what your offer. Color psychology is important to reaching an audience. 

The terminology offered here only scratches the surface of those you’ll find as you pursue the art of design. Hopefully, they will allow you to communicate effectively with your designer or to begin to understand the very basics of graphic design for your own purposes. 

Choosing a Color Scheme That Works for Your Blog

Color is an essential element of your blog. The palette you use is a representation of your blog’s brand and is actually the first thing people associate with your name. Your colors should match the message you wish to send, and they should be consistently used in all promotional materials. Social media imagery, post graphics, blog banner and other promotional materials should carry out variations of the same color palette. With all of the colors available to you, choosing just a few can be a daunting task. Follow these tips to choose a color scheme that works for your blog, and you’ll soon be taking the first step toward developing your online image.

Understand Color Theory

Color theory is the principle that color evokes a mood or feeling. Let’s look at the common associations that exist with some basic colors. 

Red has a lot of different meanings attached to it. It can be a symbol of love, but can also elicit anger. The shade you choose will help to define your intent and should likely be used sparingly in your designs. 
Blue is frequently attached to a feeling of sadness; however, it’s also been shown to evoke trust in consumers. Blue can be seen as serene and calming, as well. 
Green also comes with a wide array of meanings. Some people associate money with green, while health and wellness can also be represented by shades of green.
Yellow is bright and sunny, signifying happiness and energy. 
Orange is another energetic hue that elicits an image of confidence and success. 
Pink is a color that evokes a feminine or compassionate vibe.. 

Basics of a Color Palette

You should choose no more than four to six colors for your palette. If you’re using black or white as main contributors, don’t count them toward this number. You can use up to three main colors for elements like your logo, header, graphics, backgrounds and patterns. Choose one or two accent colors for a pop of contrast on buttons, bold text and icons. Finally, you’ll want to add a neutral color or two to add balance. You’ll want to mix things up between dark, light, contrast and neutral colors. 

Set the Mood

A good way to play with various combinations and to narrow things down is to create a board on Pinterest. You may set the board to private if you wish, and then start pinning images that create the tone of the vision you have for your brand. If you have certain colors in mind, use them. Otherwise, just start pinning images that interest you to see if a pattern develops. You can then discard pins that don’t make sense and use what remains to pull from. If you have Photoshop, you can create a mood board with that software and use the eyedropper tool to grab colors from the board. If this step is too advanced, look for websites like Adobe CC or ColourLovers to generate your palette. 

Obviously this may take some learning but have fun and go with your instincts and don’t let yourself become overwhelmed with obtaining the perfect combination. Choosing your brand’s color palette is a fun and creative process.