Consider the image below (the red arrow was added by me, if that's not obvious...)

enter image description here

The heading itself is "Budget and Ownership," but there's a prefix or qualifier of "Challenge #1." Those words aren't part of the heading per se, but rather exist just to put the actual heading in context -- to say, in effect, "this is the first of a series of headings."

The heading itself could actually stand alone. "Challenge #1" just...helps.

Is there an official name for that prefix/qualifier? My gut tells me..."meta-heading" or "super-heading" (as in, before or above) but I feel like I might be re-naming something that already exists.

3 Answers 3


According to Dictionary of Layout & Typography Terms, the element containing the text "Challenge #1" in your example is variously known as a kicker, an overline, or an eyebrow:

KICKER Short, (sometimes underlined) phrase introducing a headline. Also called overline or eyebrow.

But elsewhere in publishing, I have heard the term kicker used to refer to the opening of a story when it is set in all-caps or boldface type or both, as the entry for the term in Glossary of Magazine and Newspaper Terms indicates:

Kicker - The first sentence or first few words of a story's lead, set in a font size larger than the body text of the story.

Yet another term for the element you are asking about is strap. From Glossary of Newspaper Terms:

Strap subsidiary smaller headline placed over a main headline

At the computer magazines where I worked for many years, we called text elements of this type eyebrows—a designation that always seemed very appropriate to me because, in our layout design, the text appeared in small all-caps drop-out letters in a narrow bar of color above the headline. Graphically, the element really was reminiscent an eyebrow.


I would actually consider the relationship to be the other way around, where "Challenge #1" is the heading. "Budget and Ownership" would be called a subheading. I'm uncertain of the entire context with only this one image, but if you don't let the size of the words skew you, to me it's the same as writing it out as: "Challenge #1: Budget and Ownership," not: "Budget and Ownership (challenge #1)."

If that's unsatisfactory, then some other terms I have used in a professional setting that may help you follow this progression: Heading -> Subheading -> Title -> Subtitle -> Caption. I can't say I've come across a term that means "greater than heading," per say.


Semantically it appears to function as a way to enumerate a list of challenges. So you might in this specific case refer to it as a:

"list number" or perhaps an "enumerator"... tho I'm having trouble finding a definition of "enumerator" that applies to things instead of people.

Your "meta-heading" or "super-heading" seem fine to me as well.

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