Going, going, grid

I have a previous entry about grids but this post includes more direct information on using a grid to aid design. A link to the previous entry is at the bottom of this post.

Remember in math class when you learned graphing? That was my favorite part. I got graphs. I love plugging in the data and seeing the line graph, or pie chart created. Ugly, hideous things though they were. In science class we charted by hand, with graph paper. With my first piece of graph paper a love affair began. How I love graph paper, I have notebooks, those composition books, made with graph paper. I flirted with graph paper with purple lines and yellow lines. Throughout high school all my work was turned in on graph paper. It was more expensive that regular notebook paper but my Mother indulged me. What does this have to do with a grid? Lots. Using a grid to layout a page is invaluable to good design. Columns, photos, pull quotes when laid out on a grid create and evenness and readability. It creates a format, a consistent design. That consistent design relates to your branding, it becomes your style. Mine is right here. I consistently have an illustration in the upper left corner of each post. It morphed over time from being related to the post and always copyright free clipart to being unrelated to the post and an original illustration. Below is a simple grid. There is also a pdf that can be downloaded. As you can see on the second grid I laid out my blog post. Left upper corner picture and the text to the right and below. This is such a good way to think about your page, be it a newsletter, PowerPoint presentation, or even a resume. It helps keep images proportionate to the text. You can tell if text is over whelming the page and needs to be broken up. You can experiment with some bolder designs. You can use this grid or make your own.

  1. Download the pdf, Place the pdf on a PowerPoint page sized to 8 1/2 by 11. Use the drawing tool to draw colored boxes to experiment with layout.
  2. Print the pdf and lay another piece of paper over it and draw your boxes or hold both pieces against a window to see through the top piece of paper.
  3. Make your own boxes. Cut one inch off the top and side of a sheet of colored paper (8 1/2 by 11). Fold into quarters, cut apart. Fold each fourth into quarters and cut those apart. You now have 16 rectangles. Lay them out on a white sheet of paper keeping a 1/2 border all around (you won’t be using all the pieces).





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