12 Days of a Designer’s Christmas

I probably had a little too much fun making my holiday card this year, it combined design, music, and for those of you who have made it to the article a little bit of design education. Here are the terms you may not be familiar with…


Asterisk

Interested in learning a bit about asterisks? Read more…


Spot Colors

Utilizes special inks that a pre-mixed to match a specific color. These inks are predominantly made by Pantone. Read more about the Basics of Color in Design…


French Fold

This is a method of folding were the sheet is folded vertically and then horizontally. So the piece feels like a booklet and then unfolds into a poster.


4-Color Printing

Utilizes four inks (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) to create all the colors in printed piece. Read more about the Basics of Color in Design…


Ampersands

Possibly the most creative and beloved typographic symbol among all typographic symbols. It’s origin is rooted in Latin word “et” for “and”. The form for ampersand is literally started as ligature for the letters “e” and “t”. The earliest use of the “&” date back to first century AD. Its form has evolved since then and takes wildly different styles.


Binding

There are actually more than eight different methods of binding, but here are few common ones…

  • Saddle Stitch: One of the most common and economical binding methods, utilizes folded sheets and staples at the binding.
  • Loop Stitch: Staples with loops sticking out, great for a booklet that might insert into a 3-ring binder.
  • Perfect Bound: Sections of folded pages or “signatures” are collated and glued to a wrap-around cover.
  • Tape Bound: Adhesive tape is used around the spine to hold the pages together, often this method is combined with Sewn Binding for extra stability.
  • Case Bound (Hard Cover): Traditional hard cover book binding, utilizing a sewing and glueing method.
  • Spiral/Coil Bound: Very common binding were holes are punched and a wire or plastic spiral is used to hold the booklet together at the spine.
  • Wire Bound: Commonly known as “Wire-O”, this is a great alternative to Spiral/Coil, because the pages do not offset as the pages turn like spiral bound pages do.
  • Sewn Bound: Similar to saddle stitching, but sewn rather than stapled.

Kerning

Removing the space between individual letters. Kerning is most important where text is printed large, like on a sign, when letters are blown up small inconsistencies in the spacing between them becomes more apparent. A designer would kern the letters individually to ensure that the letters are beautifully spaced for optimal readability.


Leading

The vertical space between lines of text measured from baseline to baseline. Leading is important and should be considered in any text were there are multiple lines. For example, imagine a book of paragraph after paragraph of text, if the lines are too close together the leading is too tight and the text will feel crowded and more difficult to read. Open the leading up and the text feels more spacious and reads faster.

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