Avoiding grid lock

Using a grid to layout pages such as a newsletter is standard design practice. A newsletter or a multi-page document, even a one page document such as a resume can benefit from a grid. A grid is the structural framework for page design. Nearly everything you see on screen or printed has a grid as the underlying structure. A grid provides unity. Unity can be achieved through consistency, page number placement, type, space between columns to name a few instances. What’s important about understanding a grid is how you can use it to enhance your layouts. If you produce flyers, or newsletters chances are you use a ready-made template. That’s fine. But what if there is a special event or issue and you want to break out of the grid? Understanding the grid can help you do that successfully. The grid creates unity, unity creates flow and flow aids in understanding. This blog is based on a very simple grid. The upper left hand corner always has an image and the text wraps around it. On occasion there is a table or bulleted or numbered list, an adjustment to the grid. Below is my grid and examples of the grid modified.

My advice is to play around with your grid. If photos are always one or two columns wide make it three, make it larger. Look for pages whose layout you like and save for inspiration; maybe you like the photo treatment, or perhaps the headline design or word treatment. I love the Salvation Army’s trucks. The text on the side says, “Donate Goods”. The “D” and “O” plus the word “Good” are in red while the rest of the words and letters are in black. You see the words, “Donate Goods” and “Do Good”, great design, great idea.

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