Thinking about grids

  • What is a grid?  A grid is an organizational tool meant to distribute content in a meaningful way on a page. It does so by breaking a space into regular units, allowing content to be placed in a blocked space.
  • What are margins and why are they important?  Margins are the space between the edge of the page and the start of the nearest text. They are important because they allow pages to breath; they act to promote the text which lies on the page above the ground created by the margin.
  • Which sample design do you like best from this chapter? Why? The Zahn-Nopper store identity is my favorite example in the Grid chapter. The main layout utilizes a modular grid, and is effective in utilizing the rotationally symmetric Z and N to promote the brand. The five by five grid is only broken by the name of the store. Additionally, the playing off of the Z and N to create a frame in the other promotional materials has a home in my heart.
  • What grid(s) are used to layout the “Grid” chapter of this book? The layout of this chapter is primarily a two column grid, with the inner column being narrow, leaving space for commentary or captions, and the main column containing most of the copy. Each text page has a quote which sometimes falls into one or both of the columns. In single pages with images, the main asymmetrical grid persists. In spreads with one large image that exists on both pages, the grid is reversed, with the narrow column moving to the outside of the page.
  • What type of grid is best for simple documents? Simple documents can be made complicated with a fancy, modular grid. Or, the simple nature of the document can be emphasized by a simple, one column grid. The “best” grid for a simple document thus depends on the intent of the designer. By breaking the document into chunks, a modular grid can provide hierarchy and additional visual interest. However, if the message is straight forward, a direct one column approach might better match the intent of the copy.