All posts tagged ‘design’

File Under: Glossary

Image Maps

Image maps are images that have several links geographically mapped onto it.

For example, an image map of a photograph of the Beatles might enable you to click on Ringo and receive a page describing his drumming abilities. Click on George, and receive a file about how Eric Clapton stole Patti Boyd. One thing to remember about image maps is that they are a purely visual form of navigation, so if your visitor isn’t loading the images, they’ll never know where to click. For this reason, you should always include text links under the images as an alternative way to navigate.

File Under: Glossary

Index Color

Producing images for the web invariably means minimizing the number of colors (and therefore the file size), and the index color system is another step in this squishing process. With a 216-color palette loaded, Photoshop will map an image to those colors when you move it into index color mode. While this helps the compression and allows you to choose bit depth, it also makes the colors dither, or shift numerically, to the palette. One way to compensate for dithering in the index mode is to use a histogram, which is basically a bar graph of each color’s frequency in the image. In most image-processing programs, you can manipulate the histogram and determine how much weight to give certain colors in the resulting palette.

File Under: Glossary

Layers

Many image-processing programs, like Adobe Photoshop, allow you to build images in layers. These layers are created one at a time and placed on top of each other to assemble the whole image. While the file is a pile of little layered images, you can manipulate each layer individually and look at how each change will alter the completed picture.

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.

File Under: Glossary

Font

A font is the overall design for a set of characters. It describes the size, weight, and spacing of a character and shouldn’t be confused with a typeface, which is a more general term. Courier is a typeface; Courier 24-point bold is a font. Computers display fonts in either a bitmap or a vector format. In a bitmapped font, each character is represented by an arrangement of dots. In a vector font system, the shape or outline of each character is defined geometrically. Since a vector font is scalable according to the defined outline, a vector system can make many differently sized fonts from one defined set of characters. Currently, the most widely used vector font systems are PostScript and TrueType.