Find your way through a minefield of technical jargon
We all know that jargon is bad, but sometimes there is no simple way to describe some of the terms we use. This page is intended to help you understand some of the technical terms used in web and graphic design.
This page is a work-in-progress, if there is anything we haven’t added or you are confused by please get in touch. Our contact details are at the bottom of the page, or you can use the contact form to send us a message.
AI (Adobe Illustrator Artwork) is a vector image file format. AI is Adobe Illustrator’s default file format. Images in AI format have the file extension .ai.
- Bitmap image
A CMS, or Content Management System is software that enables users to collaborate and maintain web-based content.
CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets is a language used to format documents written in markup languages like HTML.
- Digital Print
Digital print, as opposed to lithographic printing is a form of printing most suitable for short-run production. Printing digitally using laser printing technology is generally faster and cheaper for jobs requiring a small number of prints.
- Domain Name
A domain name is a unique label ascribed to a location on the internet, for instance www.example.com or www.example.org. A domain name can be broken down into at many separate parts, but in practice most comprise of 3 or 4. Read right-to-left, parts are: top level domain (in the previous example .com), second level domain (example in the example shown) and subdomain (www in the example shown).
EPS . Files in EPS format have the file extension .eps.
FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
GIF (Graphic Interchange Format) . Files in GIF format have the file extension .gif.
A hostname is a label ascribed to a location on the internet, for instance example.com. In most cases hostname can be considered synonymous with domain name.
HTML, or HyperText Markup Language is the most common language used to structure documents and their data on the web.
IE is sometimes used as an abbreviation of Internet Explorer, it often also followed by the version number of the software, for example IE9.
JPEG, or JPG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) is a common file format used for the compression of bitmap images. The most suitable use of JPEG is the compression of images such as photographs or paintings, it’s generally unsuitable for the compression of line art or logos or icons. Files in JPEG format have the file extension .jpeg or .jpg.
- Lithographic Printing
Lithographic printing (sometimes abbreviated to litho).
PDF (Portable Document Format) . Files in PDF format have the file extension .pdf.
PNG (Portable Network Graphics) is a bitmap image format. Files in PNG format have the file extension .png.
PSD (Photoshop Document) is a bitmap image format and is Adobe Photoshop’s default format when saving documents. PSD files have the file extension .psd.
TIFF, or TIF (Tagged Image File Format) is a bitmap image format. Files in TIFF format have the file extension .tiff or .tif.
A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is the address of a resource on the internet. The best known example of a URL is that of a web resource, for instance http://www.example.com/ or http://www.example.com/file.html.
- Web Browser
The ZIP file format is a data compression and archival format. ZIP is one of the most common ways of reducing the size of files used today. Both Windows and OS X have built-in ZIP support. Files in ZIP format have the file extension .zip.