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Design Glossary

Here we simply introduce design terminology!

This glossary explains terminology that is often used regarding productions that Design Partner handles.




Dot density that represents the image quality of picture data. The number of dots per inch is expressed with the unit “dpi.”

Typesetting Plates

Refers to using photographs and illustrations in a quadrangle shape, or trimming them down into a quadrangle shape before using.

Ruffled Border

Decorated ruled lines, such as wavy lines and perforated lines.


Refers to booklets that arrange and line up items such as products and services. It can also refer to sales guides and inventory lists.

Typographic Printing

A relief printing technology which paints ink and prints letters on a letter press that combines lead letters and forms sentences.

Rounding Corners

In bookbinding, this is the process that rounds the corners of the printed materials. Even in design data, the object that rounds and shaves corners is called a corner rounder.

Color Pallet

Refers to information that indicates color combinations shown on a display.


A writing method for beautifully writing the alphabet using pens and brushes, developed mainly in the West and the Middle East. In the Greek language, it means “beautiful writing.”

Cold Colors

Refers to colors such as blue, green, and purple that have low warmth and that give of a calm image.

Comprehensive Layout

In design for printed materials and advertising materials, this term refers to examples created to display the finished product in an easy to understand manner.

Pigmented Ink

This ink has large paint particles and has dye pigment that is left undissolved in water. It is finished in a matte texture with clear colors so that the ink does not sink in the paper.


Refers to adjusting the space between 2 letters.


Catch Copy

Advertising catchphrases. Refers to short writing in some advertising copy that is meant to draw in consumers and lead to more purchases and awareness of products and services.


Explanatory text for charts, photographs, and illustrations.


Calibration is another way to say proofreading. In design workplaces, it also refers to color adjustment in printing machines.


Originally a unit that displayed the text size of printed data. More recently, this term is used when displaying the text size in web design.


A visual expression that was made widespread by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque at the start of the 20th century. It features a painting method that draws the appearance of a subject from various angles in one picture.

Bronze Red

A kind of red color that can be thought of as a bright, yellow-ish red. Generally, the combination of M100% and Y100%, as well as M90% and Y100% are often referred to as bronze red. However, there is no clear definition of the color.

Good Design Awards

Held by the Japan Institute of Design Promotion. Every year, superior designs are awarded prizes. Products that have received a Good Design Award can have the G mark displayed on them.


Refers to the making of a board for printing by combining letters. Recently, work that arranges text and photographs in accordance with the layout is also referred to as typesetting.

Graphic Designer

Refers to occupations that design posters, products, and packaging.

Creative Director

In the advertising field, refers to the role of top director of the plan proposal and production of a concept. Just as “art director” refers to someone who supervises the visuals, “creative director” refers to someone who coordinates all aspects of a project.

Clio Awards

An advertising awards show that was founded in the United States in 1959. Along with One Show, it is considered one of the three major advertising award shows in the world.


Refers to straight lines that divide a screen or surface vertically and horizontally.


Ready for Press Plate

Refers to the confirmation of contents to be printed, and the approval of and request for printing. Recently, the term “sending a manuscript to the printer,” which has almost the same meaning, has become more widely used.

Galley Proof

Has the same meaning as proofreading printing, and refers to test printing for proofreading the printed materials.


Transportation Advertising

The generic term for advertising on transportation methods such as taxis, busses, and trains, as well as advertising on related facilities.

Advertising Agency

Refers to contracted companies that do marketing instead of companies, and take on promotional duties using various media such as television, newspapers, magazines and the internet.


Proofreading is work that compares the printed material and data and checks to see if there are no mistakes. In the design industry, confirming the text and content before printing is called text proofreading.

Finishing Proofreading

Refers to materials, data and manuscripts where the last check has been carried out.

Edge Print

Processing that adds color to the cut surface of paper, such as the cut surface of business cards, and the thickness of the edge and top and bottom of books.


An architectural style that was popular in northwest Europe from the 12th to 15th centuries. Features designs that are profound and brilliant, and that lead the viewer’s line of sight upwards. This style was mainly used in cathedral buildings.

Gothic Type

A typeface designed with a uniform thickness for the vertical and horizontal lines. Among Japanese typefaces, it is a standard typeface along with Ming.


When something is printed on a letterpress printing with mistakes in the typesetting sequence. Now it is the generic name for when typos and omitted text are printed as is in printed materials.


A position that creates ideas for text that lead to purchases and awareness of products and services. It not only refers to copywriting, but also to various other kinds of text such as naming, headlines, and slogans.


A collage is one technique for making pictures, and the term means “pasting” in French. Originally, it referred to products constructed of cut out printed materials, as well as that method itself. However, the term collage now also refers to expressions that use cut out materials on data.


This word means “modern.” In the interior industry, this term has the meaning of a style that realizes the benefits of comfort in accordance with modern values.


This word refers to “subject” and “contrast.” In the design industry, this term mainly refers to the differences in brightness, hue, and shape of images.


Refers to proposed projects that compete with other competing companies.

Coated Paper

Paper in which the surface is coated with a coating material. Features a glossy luster.

Corporate Identity

1. Refers to various actions, and plans for these actions, for carrying out better corporate activities by unifying the corporate image, philosophy, and perceptions of attitudes to society, both inside and outside of the company.
The main activities involved in corporate identity are creating a shared understanding between employees regarding the company’s philosophy, as well as constructing an image of the corporation for outside of the company by sharing logo marks, corporate colors, catch copy and company characters based on that philosophy.

2. Refers to various actions, and plans for these actions, for carrying out better corporate activities by establishing and sharing visual elements such as company logos, company colors, and company characters, as well as text and messages such as slogans and catch copy, all based on the company name and philosophy, by unifying perception of the corporate both inside and outside of the company.

3. This does not just mean unifying the company philosophy and attitudes towards society within the company and raising awareness among employees. It also refers to activities that increase the worth of the company by sharing an image through using logo marks, corporate colors, and catch copy for outside of the company.

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