All posts tagged ‘design’

File Under: Glossary


GIMP stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program, and is a free software program for image authoring and composition, and photo retouching. The program has a scripting interface and can be expanded with plug-ins and extensions.

File Under: Glossary

Outline Font

An outline font supplies a geometrical description of each character so that the font can be rendered in a variety of sizes. Since they are scalable, outline fonts can make the most of an output device’s resolution. The greater the resolution of the monitor, the sharper the characters will look. Popular languages for defining outline fonts are PostScript and TrueType.

File Under: Glossary


Much like an oil painter with her palette of many unique color combinations, each operating system has its own palette. Many computers out there display only 256 colors at a time, and the Macintosh and Windows operating systems reserve about 40 colors out of the 256, leaving 216 available. Netscape Navigator, Microsoft Internet Explorer, and NCSA Mosaic implemented a 216-color palette that won’t dither (i.e., vary the pattern of dots in an image) on different platforms and is “browser safe” (in other words, these 216 colors will always look the same, no matter what platform or browser is being used). Theoretically.

File Under: Glossary


The cell is nature’s building block, and the pixel is the web designer’s. Pixel is one of those half-baked half-acronyms:PICture ELement. It refers to how monitors divide the display screen into thousands or millions of individual dots. A pixel is one of those dots. An 8-bit color monitor can display 256 pixels, while a 24-bit color monitor can display more than 16 million. If you design a web graphic on a 24-bit monitor, there’s an excellent chance that many of your 16 million pixels won’t be seen by visitors to your site. Since the agreed-upon lowest common denominator palette for the web has 216 colors, you should design your graphics using 8-bit color. (see Bit Depth)

File Under: Glossary

CLUT file

In computer graphics, a color look-up table, or CLUT, is the set of available colors for a given application.

For example, a 24-bit system can display 16 million unique colors, but a given program would use only 256 of them at a time if the display is in 256-color mode. The CLUT in this case would consist of the 16 million colors, but the program’s palette would contain only the 256-color subset. To avoid dithering (i.e., varying the pattern of dots in an image) on 8-bit machines, you should only use colors from a predesignated CLUT.