Back To The Futura: More Design Terms to Know

October 4, 2017 Jayci Morrison


Back to the futura

Last time we talked about design jargon I simplified common design terms for non-designers. But, I have since I still confuse non-designers without even knowing it!

That’s the issue with jargon: You don’t even think you’re using it, but you are. Before it was pointed out to me, I believed I eliminated all design jargon in front of mixed company. So, I now present to you  more terms I thought were commonplace, but turns out not so much.


1. Portrait and Landscape

I know! I know! You think everyone would know the difference. I did too...

I was out running errands and this wonderful, cute family asked me to take a picture of their group. No problem! I take the phone, turn it sideways while they pose, and ask, “Landscape okay?” The lady who handed me the phone responds, “No, the family please.”

I was not the only one to cock my head to the side and raise my eyebrows…

So, quick refresher. The first image is portrait. The second image is landscape.


portrait landscape


One other thing to remember is portrait images do not look good in landscape spaces. I’ve illustrated what this can look like below.


portrait in landscape  landscape in portrait


Keep this in mind when choosing or creating images for your social media and website header images.

2. Logos

Too many companies either dismiss the importance of a logo, or plan to design a great logo. But, companies think they don't have time or money to deal with it.

Deal with it now! You'll thank yourself later.

Logos are important. They tell the world about your company. You can revisit the design later. But, putting a good logo design together in the beginning will help in the long run.

There are seven types of logos (if you're super interested in the differences, go here). What I will tell you is not all logo types are good for all businesses. Some types of businesses will get a better return on investment using one type of logo over the other.

There are three popular logo types for insurance companies. They are lettermarks, wordmarks, and combination logos.

Lettermark logos are typography based with a few letters, usually a company’s initials. Think monogram.

AARP logo  AIG logo  SafeAuto logo

These are good for companies with long names.

Wordmark logos are typography-based using only the business’ name.

John Hancock logo  Humana logo  MetLife logo

These work best for companies with distinct names. Think Google, Disney, or Ebay. Shorter names work better as simplicity is key. Also note the typography choice is very important. Sometimes, companies create entirely new fonts for their logos.

Combination logos are any combination of typography and image.

Kemper logo  Aegis logo  The Hartford logo

Elements can be side by side, stacked, or integrated. These logos are very versatile and a good option for any business.

There’s no hard and fast rule of which logo type is your best choice. Think about your business model, your target audience, and your goals and go from there.

3. Bleed and Trim

These terms only apply to printed materials. But, they are vital to creating business cards, flyers and postcards for your insurance agency.

Trim is the final size of the item being printed. For example, a typical business card is 3” x 2”. That is the trim.

Bleed is the area where design goes over the designated space. Keeping with the business card theme, the design should extend to 3.75” x 2.25” to cover the bleed area.

Sometimes, printer heads shift. The bleed assures correct alignment and edge to edge color of the item after it's trimmed. On the example below, the black is the bleed area, the gray is the trim. The white is where the most important parts of your design should be. 

bleed trim diagram

4. Resolution

Resolution is the detail of an image. There are two types of measurement when dealing with resolution.

1. DPI, or dots per inch, used by printers.

2. PPI, or pixels per inch, used by electronic devices such as phones, cameras and computers.

The higher these measurements are, the better the quality. But, keep in mind, size of the image also plays a part in quality. A small image is will immediately have a disadvantage in detail because of its size.

This is an image at 300ppi.

300 px girl

This is the same image at 25ppi. It’s still clear what it is, but it’s grainy and pixelated.

25 px girl

Next, we zoom in.


5. Pixelation

You can’t talk about resolution without talking about pixelation. Remember, a pixel is a square of measurement. When the resolution of an image is high, this square is tiny, but the squares get bigger as the resolution goes down.

This is that 300ppi image I mentioned before.

Girl not pixelated

This is her at 25ppi. Notice the squares. That’s pixelation.

Girl pixelated


6. Contrast

This can be confusing because it’s a very broad term. It usually relates to color and the difference between dark and light. But really, any elements that look different from each other are creating contrast.

This first image is a regular puppy.

regular puppy picture

The next image is the puppy with higher contrast. The difference between the dark and light spots of the puppy became clearer. Upping the contrast creates that separation.

high contrast puppy picture


The third image is the puppy with lower contrast. Notice the background is muddled.

low contrast puppy photo


7. Hierarchy

This term refers to the order of items on a page based on importance. Look at the below example from one of Insurance Website Builder's templates.

The first thing that really catches your eye is the phone number. Customers know exactly how to reach you the moment they open your website. Then, they’ll see lines of business, which tells a customer if you work with the type of insurance they need.


Nebula Insurance Website Builder template design


Whew! That was a lot, but now you guys are ready to go into the world and impress people with your knowledge of design. If you missed the first post in this series, click here to read it.

Your insurance website design is the first thing online prospects notice. Is it time for a refresh? Contact us today for a free design consultation. 


About the Author

Jayci Morrison

Jayci Morrison is a design and media specialist on ITC's Insurance Website Builder team. She's responsible for giving each website its distinctive look and then bringing that look to life. She also has a hand in creating AgencyBuzz email templates, ITC marketing collateral, and any other design needs the team has. When she's not staring at a computer screen, she can be found anywhere outdoors with her husband and their two dogs.

More Content by Jayci Morrison
Previous Article
Backlinks: Your Key to SEO Success
Backlinks: Your Key to SEO Success

Backlinks play a big part in your insurance website's online search visibility.

Next Article
Best Ways to Drive Customers Away
Best Ways to Drive Customers Away

If you drop the ball with one of these three insurance marketing tactics, you may be driving customers away.