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Every industry has their own language. Words that aren’t often used in everyday conversations are used to describe conditions within the industry’s “lingo”.  It is important we don’t confuse our customers, but sometimes we do when we use design jargon.

Here are some of the reasons why:

When describing the slant or a floor or ceiling surface, we use the word “cant”.



Noun: cant; plural noun: cants

A slope or tilt.

“The outward cant of the curving walls”

Synonyms: slope, slant, tilt, angle, inclination


Then the customer asks, “What can’t I do?”


When we are describing the brightness of a light source, we use the word “lumens”.



Noun: lumen; plural noun: lumens; symbol: lm

The SI unit of luminous flux, equal to the amount of light emitted per second in a unit solid angle of one steradian from a uniform source of one candela.


The customer says, “Well of course we are humans and I can see that it is not bright enough!”


We describe a built in seat as a “banquette”.




An upholstered bench along a wall, especially in a restaurant or bar.


The customer says, “We probably aren’t going to rent out the office for banquets.”


Describing a detail in a granite wall, we may say “kerf”.



Noun: kerf; plural noun: kerfs

A slit made by cutting, especially with a saw.


The customer says, “Sorry, I didn’t mean to be rude.”


When we are describing the durability of a flooring material, we say “P.S.I.”.


An abbreviation for Pounds per Square Inch. It is a unit of pressure or of stress. It is the pressure resulting from a force of one pound-force applied to an area of one square inch.


The customer says, “I love that show, especially the LA version.”


r.o.i. Design is committed to providing the best possible customer experience and we vow not to intentionally confuse anyone with design jargon!