Visual Aids: Glossary


Analogous Colors

Colors that are next to each other on the color wheel, such as yellow and orange.

Color Palette

The selection of colors that are used throughout a single project.

Complementary Colors

Colors on opposite sides of the color wheel, such as red and green.

Creative Commons License

A designation by the copyright holder of an image or other work that it can be reused. The license identifies what specifically is allowed under what conditions and what credit must be given.

Exploded View

A picture or diagram where an object appears disassembled so the viewer can see the component parts in proper relationship to each other. They are used to show how things fit together and how parts interact to make a whole.


An image that has all the color information removed and replaced with appropriate shades of grey. These images are sometimes referred to as black- and-white.

Line Art

Simplified drawings made only of solid lines without color or shading. They are useful for showing the basic shape and construction of complicated objects.


In design, it refers to excess information on a slide or image or a cluttered image.

Pecha Kucha

A presentation format that uses exactly 20 slides, and each slide is only viewed for 20 seconds. This format focuses on timing, brevity, and practice.


The blurry appearance of images which are enlarged on a computer beyond their resolution. This often occurs when a small image is stretched to cover an entire slide.


A newer type presentation software that allows for non- linear presentations and is more graphically oriented rather than text oriented.

Rule of Thirds

A layout design grid that divides a page into nine equal squares. Placing or aligning content along the grid lines creates a more powerful image.

Sans Serif Font

A type face whose characters do not have the small lines or flourishes at the end points of letters. Sans serif fonts include Arial, Helevetica, and Tahoma.

Serif Font

A type face whose characters have small lines or flourishes at the end points of letters. Serif fonts include Times New Roman, Georgia, and Palatino.


A simplified image of a person or object created from the outline of the image and filled in with a solid color, usually black.

Slide Deck

A term that refers to all the slides in a slideware presentation. It is a more generic term for PowerPoint slides.


The software used to display digital slide shows. Examples of slideware include Microsoft PowerPoint, Apple iWork, Keynote, Google Drive Presentation, OpenOffice Impress.


A noticeable image or graphic in an image that is placed there primarily to prevent reuse of that image by identifying the owner of the copyright. Often found on online images, it is designed to let you preview the image before you purchase it, at which time, the watermark is removed.

White Space

Empty space in your design that helps direct the viewers’ attention to the parts of the slide that really matter. Use of white space can help reduce clutter on your slide.

Z Pattern

The natural tendency of people from English-speaking countries, among others, to view images in the same way that they read text, that is, left to right, top to bottom. This results in the eye tracking along a Z-shaped path through the image.

Licenses and Attributions