January Nuggets - everyday acronyms

1 min read

We use some abbreviations and acronyms so often that we forget what the meaning behind the letters are (remember when people would actually say 'lol' instead of actually laughing)? 👀

Here are some common design industry acronyms and what they actually mean:

SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics)

We love SVGs. An SVG is a scalable graphic that contains the actual line art information, rather than pixels. It does this using coordinates and values for all the points on the lines in the art. What makes SVG so great is that the file size is really small (loads fast on websites), and it can be scaled up infinitely without any loss in quality. Plus, they can be animated for websites using After Effects and exported as a Lottie animation. This means we can create super crisp animated illustrations, logos, and icons without the slow load times.

JPG (Joint Photographic Group)

JPGs (also called JPEG, pronounced jay-peg) are pixel-based images, mainly used for photography and print. JPGs tend to come with large file sizes which can slow down website loading times. Reducing the file size of JPG images can result in a loss of quality so care needs to be taken to balance size and quality. 

PNG (Portable Network Graphics)

PNG is an image format that uses a bitmap to map out each pixel. With each pixel being a color. PNGs are great for exporting vector graphics, and not so great for photos with many colors. The fewer the colors, the smaller the file size. A bonus is that PNGs can be exported with transparency, which makes them ideal for logos if SVG isn’t an option.

PDF (Portable Document Format)

PDFs are used for documents, layouts, and print. If we need to export a file that is predominantly vector and type based without losing quality. 

URL (Uniform Resource Locators)

When people say URL, they are referring to the address of a web page (e.g. the URL of this page is

WWW (World Wide Web)

Also known as ‘the Web’. This one might be obvious, but another fun fact is that the ‘W3’ part of W3C exists because saying ‘WWW’ has so many syllables, it is actually faster to just say the full ‘worldwide web’, or ‘W3’. So it kind of fails at being an acronym if abbreviation was the goal. 

USB (Universal Serial Bus)

USB is well known, but I thought it was funny that the U stands for universal. It doesn’t feel so universal when there is USB A/B/C/micro/mini/micro-a and so on. USB sticks are definitely going the way of the Floppy disk and slinking quietly into the past.