Miller's Law

An observation in Psychology that suggests that the number of mental objects the average person can keep track of is seven (plus or minus two).

More terms you might want to know

Baseline

An imaginary line on which most letters "sit". As such, it equals the height of an em square. The expected result of a baseline is to reference the height with which text is aligned. The alignment ranges from ascenders, which are the upper strokes in b, d, and h, down to descenders like j or y.

Margin

The space that an item has around it.

Body Copy

The main text of an advertisement or editorial as opposed to headings and subheadings.

Italics

A type of typographical contrast used to convey emphasis. Italics were initially developed for the printing press and are now widely used in print, web design, public signs and labelling systems.

Hierarchy

Also known as visual hierarchy, hierarchy is the ordering of priorities in a design. This may include different visual elements, such as contrast, colour, font size and placement on a page. The graphic designer's job is to create an understandable document using organisational systems that the reader easily understands.

Character

A letter, symbol, or another alphabet unit.

Foil Stamping

The process of applying a thin layer of foil to paper coated with adhesive on one side.

Isolation Effect

A psychological principle which predicts that when multiple homogeneous stimuli are presented, the stimulus which differs from the rest is most likely to be remembered. In other words, people tend to remember items in isolation more than those of a similar nature or objects in clusters. This phenomenon has been applied in designing websites and software with various levels of success.

Composition

An organised arrangement of elements used for a particular purpose, such as to create striking visual effects or to convey information effectively. Good composition is achieved through different methods, such as placing figures or objects in a scene, revising and simplifying lines and shapes that make up a figure, and arranging multiple figures or objects into meaningful relationships.

Rule of Thirds

A rule of thumb used in photography to create more visually appealing images which states that an image should be composed so that the subject or focus of the image occupies one-third of the picture space, with two equal vertical lines dividing their composition into two.

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