What do Design Terms Mean?

Branding, Web Design & Marketing Glossary

We use a lot of jargon. And, like most people who have been in their fields for over 10 years, we don’t always realize it.

Branding, web design, and marketing are all rife with acronyms. After a particularly grueling webinar where we had to pause on every other slide to define terms for the audience, we decided it was time to write it all down. So here you go! The everything creative glossary for branding, web design, and marketing terminology defined in normal, human language.

Branding Glossary

  • Brand Book/Brand Guide — This is the all-in-one guide to everything a designer (or marketer) would need to know about your brand to create content for you. More on brand books here.
  • Color Codes
    • CMYK — A color system used primarily for print, using Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black ink.
    • Hex — A color system for web and digital applications that simplifies the RBG colors down into a simple 6 digit code.
    • RBG — A color system used for digital screens, using red, blue, and green light.
    • PMS — Short for the Pantone Matching System, this color system is used by printers to get an exact color match and has a color code for each ink option.
  • Logo — A symbol or design that identifies an organization’s products, assets, and intellectual materials.
  • Signature Logo — This is a BrandSwan term; indicates a logo design that is based on a text treatment with minimal graphics (costs less).
  • Style Sheet — Definitions may vary but our definition is a one-pager cheat sheet for your brand with your color codes, fonts, and logo versions.
  • Target Audience — The people you hope to reach with your organization’s products or services. They may be clients, donors, or even constituents, but it’s anyone you want to reach with your message and compel to take action. More on target audiences here.

Web Design Glossary

  • ADA Compliance — The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all public areas of life, including your website. Making your website ADA compliant involves using a set of best practices to make sure the content is accessible for people with a broad range of ways to browse your site. More about ADA compliance here.
  • Content Management System (CMS) — Software that helps users create, manage, and update website content without using code of specialized tech skills.
  • Copy/Content — Copy typically refers to the actual words on your website, whereas content can be more broad and include images and video as well. When we talk about content, we’re talking about all the tools that convey information to your users. More on website content here.
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) — Software that helps you manage all your lead and customer interactions in one place. Typically includes lead forms, scheduling, email, invoicing, etc.
  • Integration — When 2 separate tools are able to work together (for example, using lead forms from your CRM in your website).
  • Plugin — A tool to extend the functionality of your website by adding 3rd-party software.
  • Theme/Theme Builder — A website theme is a set of preset styles and layouts you can apply to your website. A theme builder lets you customize a theme or even build new themes.
  • Responsiveness / Mobile-Friendly — A website’s ability to adapt to different devices and screen sizes.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) — The ways you can optimize your website for search engines so that will bump your website up in the search rankings for the keywords that are relevant to your content. More about SEO here.
  • SSL Certificate — A digital certificate that authenticates your website’s identity and encrypts information to keep you and your users safe. More about SSL here.

Marketing Glossary

  • Analytics — The numbers and metrics you collect to assess your marketing tactics. More on marketing analytics here.
  • Bounce Rate — Percentage of website visitors who leave without interacting (clicks, form, videos, etc).
  • Click-Through Rate — Percentage of email readers who click a link or button in the email.
  • Content Marketing — Content marketing refers to the technique of providing content to draw your audience through a marketing funnel. More on content marketing here.
  • Engagement — Number of interactions on posts, including clicks, comments, and shares.
  • Engagement Rate — The proportion of engagements as related to the overall reach of your posts.
  • Followers/Subscribers — Number of people following your account or subscribed to receive emails/read a blog.
  • Impressions — Numbers of times your post was seen in someone’s feed, including repeats.
  • Open Rate — Percentage of email recipients who opened your email.
  • Reach — Number of people who had one of your social posts display in their feed.
  • Traffic — Number of people who visited a website.
  • User Journey — The path users take through a website.
  • User Journey Drop Off — The page(s) at which users leave a website.

Free Resources

Download our Marketing Plan Template to create a strategic marketing plan that works!

Marketing Plan Template from BrandSwan, a woman-owned marketing agency in Delaware