Posted on Tuesday, October 2, 2012
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The density of a color or the density of a piece of paper.

The opacity of an image or object can range from transparent (0% opacity) to opaque (100% opacity). The measure of opaqueness or how much you can see through a graphic or a piece of paper is its opacity. The more fibers or fillers in a paper, the more opaque (less see-through) it will be. Thinner papers can be made more opaque with opacifying thickeners.

use it in real life: Let's say you want to print a very saturated color on one side of a page, and on the other you have lots of white space. You will want to choose a paper with a good amount of opacity to ensure you don't see some of that intense color bleeding through to the white side of the paper.  

Posted on Friday, August 10, 2012
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text that is the main content of a given page or document and sets the visual and emotional tone for the look of the page

use it in real life: A page in a magazine may have a main story, two sidebars and a callout. The main story is the body text or copy.

Posted on Tuesday, May 22, 2012
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the heaviness or thickness of the strokes of a letterform that can be expressed as light, regular, bold, extra bold, etc.

use it in real life: Varying the weight of type can add style to a layout or solve a compositional issue. Also it can address a content or structural issue in which the text requires a specific type treatment for tone of voice, quotations, or folios.

Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012
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the last line or the last few words of a paragraph that appear at the top of the next column or page; the first line of a paragraph that appears at the bottom of the column or page; a word on its own line at the end of a paragraph

use it in real life: No one source seems to agree on the difference between a widow and an orphan, but all designers agree that these pieces of text that sit alone can make stories difficult to read and layouts look awkward. They can be dealt with by either editing the text, or by adjusting the spaces between letters and words called "tracking".

Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012
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The art or process of arranging text and/or pictures on a printed or electronic "page". The layout establishes the overall appearance, relative importance, and relationships between graphic elements to achieve a balance of information for maximum appeal, effectiveness, or impact. Often alternative layouts, or roughs, are prepared to explore different arrangements before the final layout is chosen. Both design and production may be achieved using hand tools or page layout software.

use it in real life: Designers show layouts to clients so they can see various design ideas and the way the piece will look when finalized. Some layouts can be very " loose" or "rough", often called "comps", or they can be "tight" or "polished" depending on the level of work required to successfully express a visual idea.

see also: comp

Posted on Saturday, February 11, 2012
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Historically, a font is a given alphabet and its associated characters of a single size and style containing all the letters, numbers, and marks needed for typesetting. This used to be an actual box that held the pieces of lead and wood of a particular typeface. These pieces of type would be arranged on strips of metal that would determine the spacing above and below each row of type in a paragraph, called "leading". The physical weight and size of these pieces would prohibit storing all of them in one font box. Now type is held in a font folder on a computer, and it can hold all the various sizes and styles of a particular typeface, not just one. Designating a specific type inside a typeface is what is called the font.

use it in real life: Lets say you are looking at a paragraph of type in a magazine. You like the way it looks and want to know what it is. You ask "what is that typeface?" The answer is Times. Then you ask "what font is that paragraph set to?" And the answer...


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