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Design agency jargon buster.

So much jargon. How often have you sat there in front of 6 people from the agency as they regurgitate ‘word salad’ at you with supreme confidence? They use a smorgasbord of verbal dexterity to explain the simplest of tasks. Then everyone in the room looks at one another, hoping that subtitles will pop up in front of the Strategic Planner to translate the gobbledegook that they’ve just spouted.

Here we try to break down the jargon with our dictionary definitions of agency bull.


Are you a hero, explorer, lover or creator? Whilst this may be relevant if you are writing the next Harry Potter novel, it has little relevance to your brand.


About 10 years ago, design agencies became design consultancies almost overnight. In our opinion consultants belong in hospitals not design studios.

“Equity Analysis”

Stock market planning? Or reminding you of your logo and other important bits, again. 


Research done by nosey ‘ologists’ who look in people’s bins for insights.


The dark art of seeing into the future usually undertaken by visionary (see below) who tell us that in 2026, Harrow On The Hill will all be painted lime and the only people that live there will be called Sebastian. Even some of the dogs.

“International Agency Network”

This is often a small outpost in some far off glamorous location masquerading as a fully functioning design agency.“Yes, of course we have an office in Shanghai. No, we’d rather not share your project with them.”

“Retail Safari”

Paying for a member of the design team to scurry round Tesco’s taking photo’s whilst avoiding security guards. Shouldn’t they know what the competition looks like anyway?


Paying someone to tell you that red = danger and that blue = corporate. Genius.


Some agencies utilise fancy trademark processes in order to qualify why this “process” cost you so much. Ask them to see the trademarking documentation.


For those of us that played Dungeons & Dragons in the early 80s this sounds like something from page 267 in the Monster Manual. In fact, this is someone who can apparently see into the future.

“Visual Planning”

This is usually a combination of a A1 mood board and long words. Very long words.

Feel free to send us any that you’ve encountered that we can add to the list.

Please send all entries on a postcard to:

Slice Jargon Buster, Slice design Ltd, 12 Glenthorne Mews, Hammersmith, W6 0LJ

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