BONE UP ON YOUR ILLO + DESIGN TERMINOLOGY!
Definitions for people who have better things to do with their time than learn a shit-ton of illustration and graphic design terms.

No bullshit. Here we go:


ASYMMETRICAL
: Not symmetrical. Duh. Maybe see: SYMMETRICAL.

CANVAS: Or Artboard. This is the working area within a graphics application.

CMYK: It stands for CYAN, MAGENTA, YELLOW, and BLACK, because black obviously starts with the letter k. You know what really pisses me off about this? They didn’t even change if for the sake of preserving an acronym. It’s not like CMYK spells anything. It was probably some whiny loser, raising his hand in a meeting, like, “Um, won’t people think the letter B represents blue instead of black? How about instead of a B we use a K? Y’know, to avoid confusion.” What a dick.

COMPOSITION: The thing you’re making. Composition refers to the art space you’re working in. Whether it’s a digital poster design or a traditional canvas painting, the area in which you create is your composition.

DESIGN: Oh, come on. You know what this one means.

DIGITAL ILLO: The practice of drawing and painting with the aid of digital tools.

ELEMENTS: The building blocks of a composition: Line, shape, form, color, texture, value, and space.

FREEHAND: Manual drawing without the aid of instruments like rulers.

GESTURE ILLO: Very loose drawing technique used to create thumbnails and roughs.

HATCHING: A drawing technique wherein a series of fine lines are used to create the illusion of shadow.

HARD EDGE: Refers to any shape within a composition with clearly defined outlines.

ILLO (ILLUSTRATION): I call it ILLO because ‘illustration’ sounds lame as hell. Illustration is old. Get rid of it. And yeah, Illustration is a pretty loose term. So, let’s just say we’re all using it the way we’re all OBVIOUSLY MEANING TO USE IT! It’s like, fancy drawings and stuff. Or whatever.

JUSTIFIED: A television show my dad inexplicably LOVES, or a method of aligning text that spans content from edge to edge of a particular area. You know what this is because you’ve used a computer and you’re not an idiot.

LAYOUT: I use this interchangeably (and usually incorrectly) with ‘Composition’ as a way of explaining the digital canvas you’re working with. Layout is specifically referring to how you lay something out (get it?) on a page/canvas/burlap sack. I guess you could say Layout is the art of arranging elements within your composition.

OVERLAY: A translucent graphics layer placed on top of an image.

PANTONE: Fuck Pantone colors.

RGB: It stands for RED, GREEN, and BLUE. It’s the Additive Color system.

STYLUS: A pen-like device used to draw and paint digitally, either via a tablet peripheral or touch-sensitive monitor.

SYMMETRICAL: Being made up of the same parts on either side of an axis.

TEXTURE: Any visual representation of how things would appear to feel.