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Glossary of Terms

Listed below are terms that are common to the discussion of graphic design and the visual arts. It is almost a guarantee that at some point these terms and concepts will be covered and discussed in posts on Visual Attack Formation.

Color Theory -
Color Theory is an area of study in the visual arts and serves as a general collection of ideas about the implementation and use of color. The ways in which color can cause certain emotions, are harmonious or discordant in their combinations, and how colors can be used to communicate messages and ideas beyond their use as a way to define shapes are the major concepts that color theory attempts to explore.

Font -
A font is generally considered to be a complete character set (typically A-Z, a-z, 0-9, and punctuation marks) designed around a unified graphical style. Fonts make-up typefaces, or groups of similarly designed fonts. For example, the Capcom Logotype is set in the Korinna Extra Bold font of the Korinna typeface. “Font” is often used in the same context as “typeface”.

Icon-
In graphic design (as opposed to the religious use of “icons”) is an image, symbol, or pictograph that represents some other concept, action, or object. For example the green mushroom icon of the Super Mario series denotes that a player will receive an additional life, and not an actual green mushroom.

Logo -
A logo is a graphic mark or emblem commonly used by commercial enterprises, organizations and even individuals to aid and promote instant public recognition. Logos are either purely graphic (symbols/icons, for example the Umbrella Corporation) or are composed of the name of the organization (a logotype or wordmark, for example Sony’s corporate logo).

Raster Graphics -
A “resolution dependent” method of creating graphics, raster graphics are created with the use of pixels; and thus are dependent on the dimensions initially determined by their creator (ex: a 900 px wide by 300 px tall graphic will look increasingly worse as you increase the dimensions). The majority of textures, backgrounds and particle effects were originally created as raster elements. This type of graphics is opposed to vector graphics which are “resolution independent” as they can be scaled as large or small (raster cannot go smaller without degradation in quality) as desired.

It is extremely common for artists and designers to employ both types of graphics in a single design; it is important to note that games (outside of games that run on the Flash platform) consist entirely of rasterized graphics as consoles and PCs typically do not employ rendering engines that construct graphics using geometric equations.

Typeface -
A series/family of fonts that are all designed around a specific appearance. For example, Helvetica is a typeface but Helvetica Black is a specific font. The Rock Band series makes heavy use of the Avant Garde typeface. “Typeface” is often used in the same context as “font”.

Vector Graphics -
A “resolution independent” method of creating graphics, vectors are comprised geometrical primitives (lines, curves, points, etc) to create shapes/designs that can be scaled as large or small as the creator wishes. The majority of logos, icons, HUD elements, and text treatments in games were created as vector (or partially vector). This type of graphics is opposed to raster graphics which are “resolution dependent” as they are composed of pixels and thus rely on the resolution of the display to be scaled (sized).

It is extremely common for artists and designers to employ both types of graphics in a single design; it is important to note that games (outside of games that run on the Flash platform) consist entirely of rasterized graphics as consoles and PCs typically do not employ rendering engines that construct graphics using geometric equations.

Wordmark -
A type of logo that consists almost if not entirely of type (text).

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