Archive for the ‘Grid System’ Category

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

Ariane, Rich, n Hadley

Sometimes design says “hey, don’t notice me.” And it’s perfect.

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

I just had a conversation with a friend showing the importance of a well designed website, especially an information heavy site, and how great it can be when good design is “unnoticed”.


He has to renew his drivers license. He wants to to know where, how much, and if they accept credit cards.


First question:, department of transportation, or department of revenue?

Home page.

There is a lot going on there. Scrolling images. More images to manually scroll through to see links. Three youtube videos. A bit much.

I’ll try online services. Ok, under More Services I’ll try Driver’s License Office.

Ah, the Dept of Revenue page. Ok, Driver License.

“Renew” is listed on the page once, in the exciting heading “Do you need to obtain or renew a driver license, nondriver identification card or permit? You’ve found the front door to all the information you may need about driver licenses, …”

Nowhere else. No links to click.

Recapping real world clicks to find out how to renew a Missouri Drivers License: > Online Services > More Services > Driver’s License Office > Drivers License (on new website) and nothing yet.

Note, this is also where googling “MO drivers license renewal” takes you.

Drivers Licensing Checklist? Scroll down a bit and see this:


Acceptable documents for Proof of Name, Date of Birth, and Place of Birth, Proof of Social Security Number, and Proof of Missouri Residential Address.”

Give up.

LETS SEE HOW IT SHOULD BE won 2013 Design of the year.

“”You shouldn’t come to the website and say ‘wow, look at the graphic design!,’” Terrett says. “You should come to the website to find out what the minimum wage is.”

3 clicks. Everything I need to know.





You gotta know how to get there. In style.

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Having a cool fiancée means I get a lot of say in the overall look of pretty much all of the wedding related things. For the most part it’s me saying “no” to a lot of ornamentation and yes to simple and traditional. Honestly, I’m pretty lucky that she has a similar aesthetic. Or, at least, also enjoys mine. Which means I get to use a lot of Futura!

I think I enjoyed making these directions the most. The goal for the invitation packet was to try and capture the feeling of the ’60s but keep it updated and modern – not to look like a prop from Mad Men. The invitations, reply cards, and directions are all printed on ivory colored paper or cardstock which adds to the old effect but is still in the tradition of wedding invitations created today. I’m happy with the results.

Business Plan Book Design

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Completed. Printed. Delivered. It all started here: Working On A Grid. We decided on 6x9in. and adjusted the grid accordingly.

Book details:
1. 6×9 Portrait.
2. 48 pages.
3. Saddle stitched.
4. 14pt baseline.
5. 9pt Gotham Light for body copy.
6. 36pt Gotham Bold for section titles.
7. Pantone 295 C for cover/title pages.
8. Printed on 80# matte paper.
9. Cover on 100# matte paper.
10. Written by Sam Paasch.

Download the PDF here. Also available is the grid system used.

Photos of book:






Printing this book was a pretty good battle. We saw a company online that will print books for cheap. Gave it a try. Round 1: came back purple instead of blue (my fault) and glossy cover, yuck. Round 2: came back missing half the pages and terrible dark lines in the blue title pages. Round 3: switched to matte cover, fixed color issues, and all is well. Just for giggles we went to Kinkos and was quoted $60 for a 48 page book. Ha!

I need to invest in a toner printer.

- Randy

The Grid System Guide

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

What is this?

This is an ongoing guide to creating grid systems for print, which will be continually updated.


There are plenty of guides out now online about how to create grid systems for the web, even grid generators. But I’ve had trouble finding sufficient material online about creating grids for print. What I did find was a lot of vague terminology. Most of what I’ve learned about setting up the grid comes from this book: Grid Systems in Graphic Design, and Vignelli’s Canon. This guide is geared towards the designer who does not have access to the book, I can not thank you enough, Brockmann. This guide is just my way of constructing the grid, and should in no way serve as the only way.

Let’s Get Started:

I’m going to assume you have chosen an appropriate paper size and margins. I could go in depth about these two subjects but for now it’s better to stay as an assumption.

The grid is based on leading. Baseline to baseline of next line.

1. Start by placing a block of fully justified text from your top margin down to your bottom margin.


Page: 8×10 inches. Margins: top – 1/4, inside – 1/2, outside – 1/4, bottom – 1/2.

2. Choose a typeface, size, and leading. This will serve as your body copy. Please do not use the default leading. For example: 10pt sans-serif type has a default leading of 12pt. This is generally too tight and will be harder to read. I like to stay 3-4pts above the type size. So 10pt with 14pt leading is appropriate. If you choose a serif font you can get away with 3pts above type size.

Place a blue line under each baseline.


Typeface: Helvetica. Size: 10pt. Leading: 14pt.

3. Count the number of lines of text in your block. The point of the grid is to divide the page into even blocks of space vertically. Determining how many blocks of space varies from project to project. 12 is a good starting place. 12 can be divided into 6, 4, 3, or 2. Lets say you have counted 52 lines. Divide 52 by 12, we get 4.33. No good. We need to minus 4 lines of text. 48 divided by 12, we get 4. So at every 4th line of text we place a red line under the baseline.


Right now you have a block of text with 48 lines. Which is divided into 12 rows. If 12 rows seems too restrictive, divide in half to get 6 rows for more freedom.

4. Place a green line on top of each cap-height. All 48 lines. The green line will help align photos. Photos should always align with some grid line, whether it be cap-height or baseline, or be extended to the edge of the page. Do not align the bottom of a photo with the cap-height. (green lines)


5. Now for columns. The number of columns is essentially up to you and the information you are displaying. If you have a lot of tabular data, for example an annual report, 6 columns might be more appropriate than 2. Columns are divided evenly across the page, staying inside the margins of course.

Place a red vertical line to mark the columns.


Page divided into 6 columns.

We can’t stop here, though. There needs to be space between each column. We can’t have words or photos running into each other. The space is determined by the distance between a baseline and the cap-height of the next line.


Black bar represents distance between baseline and cap-height.

Now translate that into the space between columns.


6. Each row needs space as well. Bottom of photos can’t run into the top of another. Simply place a red line on the cap-height of the next line.


Page: 12 rows by 6 columns.

7. The grid is constructed. Now it’s time for the real fun. Playing around with many different layouts to find the right one. Here are some examples.




These are just a very few of what is possible in a matter of minutes. All represent the left page of a full spread. Please don’t hold these layouts against me. They were just quick mockups.

I will talk about page numbers later, and edit if anything is unclear. Stay tuned.