Frequently Used Terms in Web and Graphic Design

The world of web & graphic design uses a lot of jargon. It can be very confusing, and sound like random gibberish if you’re not familiar with all the terms. Sometimes is still sounds like gibberish if you know them. I’ve started a list of frequently used terms and their layman definitions. Some terms are specific to Cow and Rooster – “Maintenance” for one. That can mean different things to different companies. Others are industry terms.

If you have a question about something not on this list, or something still is unclear, please ask!

Web Related Terms:

  • URL: Uniform Resource Locator – basically where a particular file is found such as
  • SSL Certificate – Secure Sockets Layer –  the short answer is it is what allows encrypted information to flow between a website and browser. Critical when using sensitive information such as credit card, passwords, and other personal information, it’s also good practice to install on all websites. It also gives a slight boost to your SEO score – and may become even more important in the future.
  • Search Engines – services such as Google or Bing that go out and find the sites/answers you are searching for
  • SEO – Search Engine Optimization – This is the process that allows people searching for you to find you. It’s not a “set it and forget it” kind of thing, but requires ongoing monitoring as well as updated strategies to match the evolution of your business as well as changing standards by Search Engines.
  • HTTP and HTTPS  – Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (Secure) This is basically the method through which servers and browsers talk to each other


Graphic Design Terms

  • Logos – A logo is a symbol, design, or stylized text that represents a company. Ideally it should be distinct and readily recognizable so customers can identify a company at a glance.
  • Trademark – can be a word, phrase, symbol or design, or combination that uniquely identifies one company from another.
  • Servicemark – the same as a trademark, but in regards to a service. Companies such as restaurants and retail stores would use this instead of companies that sell a specific product they produce.
  • Copyright – Until otherwise transferred or licensed the copyright of artwork belongs to the person/agency who created the work (graphic, text, photograph, etc). Unauthorized use can bring a hefty fine from the copyright owner.
  • DMCADigital Millennium Copyright Act. The legislation that clarifies copyright both domestically and how webmasters need to respond to notifications of copyright violations. There is a lot more to this act, but this is the short answer 🙂
  • Stock Photos/Graphics – images you can license for use for a specific purpose. Pricing can vary widely depending on how the image is used, expected number of viewers, if you have exclusive use, and the quality of the image.

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