Design Slang Dictionary

dictionaryWe don’t expect much from the blogs we follow between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. We steel ourselves for annual “Best of” lists and “In Case You Missed it” repostings. However, one of our favorite blogs, FastCoDesign, has raised its head above the holiday doldrums and given designers a real treat: “The Urban Dictionary of Design Slang.” Not only does it clear up some industry jargon you might not have been clear on, it does so in a clever manner akin to Ambrose Bierce’s “Devil’s Dictionary.” Best of all, it’s a dictionary that begs to be added to by those in the field.

Here are some of our favorite entries, but by all means consult this wonderful document to your heart’s content. And do please suggest your own definitions along the way in the comments below 🙂

  • Disruptive adj. A design that both changes the market and simultaneously references what currently exists. No one likes it.
  • FPO adj. An acronym technically meaning “For position (or placement) only.” What it really means: stock photography sucks, please let us actually shoot this.
  • Feminine adj. Anything tasteful.
  • Content n. What used to be called “writing.”
  • Collaborative process n. Client would like to make the decision.
  • Add more value v. Something a client requests when a project is already over budget.
  • I showed this to my (wife / husband / other)
 phrase. “I don’t like the concept, but would rather attribute the criticism to someone else.”
  • Guidelines n. Telling a client exactly what to do—forever.

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