Glossary of Terms


Four-color process / CMYK
(C) Cyan, (M) Magenta, (Y) Yellow, (K) Black. The four colors used by conventional offset printing presses to create images that, to the naked eye, appear to be full color. The printing process itself is referred to as four-color process.

Pantone Matching System / PMS
A standardized system for color matching and specification.

The degree of vividness of a color as modified by the addition of black.

The degree of vividness of a color as modified by the addition of white.


Identity or brand identity
The collective aspect of characteristics (including all perceptual and emotional affiliations) by which an organization is definitively recognizable or known; the core meaning of an organization.

Often used interchangeably with identity and often used to refer simultaneously to both the logo and the identity.

A name, sign or symbol used to identify an organization.

A visual symbol representing an organization that does not generally contain the name of the institution – it more abstractly represents that institution. It may or may not always sit next to the logotype.

The name of an institution that is designed in a visually unique way for use by that company.

Clear space
The area surrounding a logo in order to ensure its legibility and integrity.

The affiliation of two or more organizational identities.


Coated paper
Paper coated with a compound to produce a smoother finish on the paper, reduce ink absorbency and increase the sharpness of reproduction.

Uncoated paper
Paper lacking a surface coating, which allows the ink to be absorbed by the paper and spread.

Typography and fonts

A design for a set of characters. For example, Helvetica and Palatino are typefaces.

An assortment or set of type or characters all of one style and one size, for example Helvetica Bold 12pt is a font.

The line upon which most letters sit, with the exception of certain characters that have descenders, such as g or p, and curved letters such as c or o, which extend ever so slightly below.

Lining figures
Numerals of uniform height and width, for example 123456. This is better for use in tables and spreadsheets.

Old-style figures
Numerals that vary in height and width, for example 123456. They can extend above or below the baseline in a manner similar to letterforms. Good for lengthy text.

Describes the amount of space between two lines of text, it is measured from baseline to baseline; also referred to as line-spacing.

The point system is the standard measurement for type, one point is equal to 1/72 inch or .35 millimeters.