Typography & Graphic Design Thesaurus

About the thesaurus

The Typography & Graphic Design Thesaurus (TGDT) is an information retrieval thesaurus constructed for scholars, students, and practitioners of typography, graphic design, and related fields. The core of the TGDT is a list of approximately 1,900 preferred terms that have been selected and arranged for use in indexing, cataloging, classification, and other applications; an additional 600 terms are provided as access points leading to their preferred alternatives.

Scope and aims

The TGDT is comprised primarily of terminology on typography and graphic design, and secondarily on Web design and the book arts – printing, binding, and paper. Particular emphasis is placed on terms that relate to practice, but terms of historical or theoretical significance are included as well.

Search tips

You may search by words in terms (e.g., em dash) or by classification code (e.g., P.5.64).


The TGDT is also available in PDF form. Download version 1.1 (PDF, about 720K) – released May 31, 2006.

History and future plans

The TGDT was created in 2006 as part of the coursework for LIS 419 (Subject Analysis) at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Simmons College, and will continue to be developed as time allows.

Future plans for the thesaurus include improvements in its organization and an increased emphasis on Web design.

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