7 Key Chinese Terms for Designers

Most Designers out there would probably have dabbled in freelance design work at some point, or you might even have the chance to work for an overseas client. The problem is: they might speak Chinese, which might not be your first language, or a language you’re fluent in. We’ve come up with a list of design terms and their chinese translations, in case you desparately need to know them for a meeting you’re about to have with a chinese client.  If you aren’t a designer, stick around anyway to learn some new terms and their meanings 😉.

1. Golden Ratio

黄金比例 Huáng jīn bǐ lì

The Golden Ratio In Design And Why It Matters To Your Brand - Kimp
Image taken from: https://www.kimp.io/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/golden-ratio-in-spiral-staircases-EJJAKH5.jpg

If you aren’t a designer, or are one but haven’t heard of the golden ratio, also known as the golden section, is a special number approximately equal to 1.618 that appears many times in mathematics, geometry, art, architecture and other areas.

2. Rule of Thirds

三分法 Sān fēn fǎ

Rule of Thirds Detection from Photograph
Image taken from http://web.cecs.pdx.edu/~fliu/project/thirdsrule/thirdsline.jpg

The rule of thirds is a composition guideline that helps draw the viewer's eye into the image and places more emphasis on the subject. This guideline that places your subject in the left or right third of an image, leaving the other two thirds more open.

3. Hierarchy

等级制度 děng jí zhì dù

Hierarchy Diagrams & Charts: Overview & Example | Organimi
Image taken from: https://www.organimi.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/what-is-a-hierarchy-diagram-1080x675.jpeg

Hierarchy refers to the control of visual information in an arrangement or presentation to imply importance. It influences the flow and order of information that we see in a design. Hierarchy helps to provide structure and visual organisation in a design, as well as create focal points and ease navigation of a design for viewers. Hierarchy can be achieved through creating contrast through the other design principles, such as a difference in scale of objects, or with colour and white space, etc.

4. Complementary Colours

互补色 hù bǔ sè


Complementary colour schemes draw on 2 opposing colours on the colour wheel, resulting in a high contrast combination, such as yellow and violet, magenta and green, and blue and orange.

5. Analogous Colours

类似颜色 Lèi sì yán sè


Analogous colours are a group of 3 colours side by side on the colour wheel. They create a visually pleasing and calming display, but provide a low contrast experience.

6. Gradient  

渐变色 jiàn biàn sè


Gradients are colour transitions blending from one colour to another. They’re great for adding depth and colour to a design, and can consist of similar colours or even contrasting colours.

7. Alignment

对齐 duì qí

3 Simple Ways Help Designer Make Outstanding Graphics - Fotor's Blog
Image taken from: https://www.fotor.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/8003ce1d7c0041cb931500075b214b6e-1.jpeg

You probably most commonly come across alignment when dealing with text - whether to align your paragraphs left, right or centered. Other elements in your design can also have alignment, and is crucial to keeping your design organised and flowing well.

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