Pleasures of Design

Horizontal grids

The columns of the page provide the vertical structure. A horizontal grid is made by dividing the page into a number of equal divisions from top to bottom.

The purpose of a grid is to provide a structure on which to build the page. It takes time and experience to manage a grid successfully so don´t give up if it seems difficult at first. The grid is there to help – if it makes life too difficult ignore it and try again next time.

Ideally each grid unit should take up an equal number of text lines with a line between each. However if the number of lines on the page will not divide equally, then just divide the page area arbitrarily.

If the layout includes a lot of illustration material a grid can help to give a structure to what might otherwise be a rather random arrangement.

The number of grid divisions will greatly influence the design. If the divisions are too big they will not allow enough variety in the layout; if they are too small the result may be too fussy.

If you need to vary the size of the pictures on a page, use the grid to help you to decide the proportions. Unless the grid is skilfully handled , the designer can be tempted to crop the pictures to fit the grid while ignoring their content.

more ... Page layout – Part 5