13 branding + design terms to know when working with a designer

You’ve decided to invest back into your business and hire a professional designer: congratulations! But after hearing some design jargon you’re afraid of asking a silly question. Have no fear, friend, I’m here to deliver clarity and confidence so you can understand branding and design terms with ease!


These are the essential terms you should know when working with a designer. Use this as a glossary to help you navigate any jargon thrown your way.


Brand: Your brand is intangible. It’s a combination of your visuals, the experience your business provides, how you interact with your audience, and how you present yourself and your business.


Branding: This is the process of selecting, creating and displaying elements of your brand in a meaningful way.


Brand identity: The visual presentation of your brand. This is your color palette, logos, typography, etc.


Brand guidelines: This instructional rulebook explains how your brand presents itself to the world through its logo, typefaces, color palette, photography, and so on. It’s a reference tool that shows you how to use all of these new assets you have no idea what to do with, helps maintain consistency in how your brand looks and feels, and is a guide for what to do with your logos and what NOT to do.


Brand voice: How you present your brand through your words, tone of voice and communication.


Collateral: Any marketing material that goes alongside your business to promote your brand.


Color swatches: Your brand identity color palette is your way of connecting with your target audience while also showcasing your unique personality. Your brand’s color swatches include the hex code, CMYK code, and Pantones.


Logo: The graphic or visual mark designed to represent your brand. It could include your business name, tagline, an illustration, etc.


Mission Statement: A sentence or two that expresses the business’s purpose in addition to the products or services and the target audience.


Mood board: This is a layout or collage of existing imagery that represents the look and feel of your branding.


Niche: A specified segment of a market that you position your business within.


Revisions: This is the designer term for “round of changes.” Most designers have revisions included in the price of your quote so you don’t have to pay more each time you ask for something to be changed.


Typography suite: The fonts and hierarchy selected for any branding.


Now that you understand the 13 most common branding terms, remember to use this blog post as a reference guide whenever you need it!




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