This is the shape I mean:Spiky shape with the word "NEW!" in

If you were asking a colleague to design an advert with one of these in, what would you call it?

And, do graphic designers have names for both the spiky shape itself, regardless of what it's being used for, and for the shape when it encloses the word "NEW" (or related words such as "SALE" and "SPECIAL OFFER")?


3 Answers 3

  • Burst
  • Callout
  • Bubble
  • Splash
  • Bastard Element
  • Seal (at times, depending upon actual content, such as a guarantee)

These terms cover any shape in such a context. The appearance can be anything from a star to an ellipse, to a square, triangle.. etc.

enter image description here

  • 3
    Five out of the six terms you have used make perfect sense to me, However the penultimate term 'Bastard Element' seems very strange to me, I have tried the use various search engines and none of the results coming back seem to be even tangentially related to the use of a shape. Please could you provide some further information on this particular term.
    – EdHunter
    Commented Dec 7, 2020 at 14:15
  • 2
    @EdHunter a "bastard element" is something which breaks the color theme and layout in an attempt to gain attention. "Bastard" being that it is not harmonious with the rest of the design - it doesn't have any visual "parents" in the design, nothing resembling it in nature. Often such callouts are bright red or some other loud color which is not present otherwise in the design.
    – Scott
    Commented Dec 7, 2020 at 19:41
  • 2
    I've always seen this specific element referred to as a starburst, which is absent from your list. Naturally, it applies only to the shape shown in the question, not generically to all the shapes you mention in your answer. I suppose that suggests the most common, generic name is "burst" (which tops your list), and then this specific shape is a starburst. Commented Dec 7, 2020 at 23:00
  • I still see that as "Burst" @CodyGray :) Much the same way a "green bubble" would still be a "bubble". The adjective is superfluous to a degree.
    – Scott
    Commented Dec 8, 2020 at 9:53

It's irregular or distorted star as how you draw it easily starting from a regular multipoint star if it happens that you have not enough good ones already prepared.

enter image description here

You can call it price burst or special offer burst or other burst according the content. You have a new burst.

  • Here in Denmark we would call it a "splash". Also if it has a different shape, but has the same function. Is that term used in other countries as well?
    – Wolff
    Commented Dec 6, 2020 at 15:53
  • I've come across the term "splash headline", for a headline in extra-large type. A Google image search for "splash headline" will show some examples. But I haven't seen this word for the shape. Commented Dec 6, 2020 at 16:28
  • 1
    And, user287001, I'm pleased that I learned something new from you, so thanks. Googling "price burst" finds a lot of these. They also seem to be called "starburst". Commented Dec 6, 2020 at 16:31
  • 1
    @Wolff - splash has more of an association with water/liquids in English. I think I'd call it a "burst" - google images seems to agree
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Dec 8, 2020 at 1:51

The great piece of graphical design software that is Microsoft Office's AutoShapes refers to this shape:

enter image description here

as an 'explosion'. It seems as good a name as any.

  • Upvoted for: "great piece of graphical design software..." Thanks for the laugh!
    – Mentalist
    Commented Dec 8, 2020 at 5:47
  • Yes indeed, actually. I Googled "price explosion", and the 1st to 2nd, 4th to 6th, and 8th to 10th images were price bursts. The 3rd was a jagged arrow attached to a dollar sign, which I suppose counts as another kind of bastard element. The 7th was a mushroom cloud used to illustrate an article about a Bitcoin price explosion. So add "explosion" to the list. Commented Dec 8, 2020 at 19:47

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