Grids, Guides and Baseline

The grid makes it possible to bring all the elements of design- type characters, photography, drawing and color – into a formal relationship to each other; that is to say, the grid system is a means to introducing order to a design. A deliberately composed design has a clearer, more neatly arranged and more successful effect than an advertisement put together at random” – Josef Muller Brockmann

Now, I wasn’t the biggest fan of InDesign but since beginning university I have to say I’m impartial, especially when it comes to clean layouts, and that’s because of the 3 musketeers that are grids, guides and the infamous baseline.

Let’s start with the baseline grid. This is practically lined paper in a digital format. Personally, I like the baseline as I’m a little bit of a perfectionist when it comes to order, I’m very particular when it comes to alignment and spacing within text. Using leading you can easily manipulate this, but using the baseline grid is much more efficient and practical as it knows where the text should be, rather than blind guessing by eye.

I am forever grateful for guides. Being the perfectionist I am, when it comes to symmetrical design, guides are second-to-none. They aid in the placement of text, images and everything in-between. They can be placed anywhere on the document and can be used in parallel with grids to reassure that inner perfectionist.

Everything should fit to a grid; vertically, horizontally or both. Grids are used to create a structure within your document, they’re popular for magazine and newspaper layouts as there is a clear structure to design within. Grids are useful as you can personalise them to structure whatever document you are creating. Whether it be a magazine layout, a poster design or a website; grids come in handy within all aspects of design when it comes to creating order.


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