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October 18, 2010
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Grid Basics by nokari Grid Basics by nokari

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A brief visual introduction to grids for graphic designers and typographers.
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vmstudio Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2014  New member Student Interface Designer
many thanks !
karkalho Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2013
Thanks, i already use indesign for that, but i thought that illustrator could be the same tools or cheats to do that....
You rock! That explanation helped me to improve time on making grid... I always lose so much time calculating all areas... Great job... Keep going!
karkalho Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2013
i`m looking for a simple way to make my own grid set in adobe illustrator... So anyone knows how to do that, without complex calculations? i mean, one method in the software, which allow set all kind stuff listed above, like Margins, Columns, Rows....? thanks!
nokari Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
I don't recommend using Illustrator if you need to set out a grid for anything complex or across multiple artboards. InDesign is best for that.
When I do make grids I use 2 techniques, though there may actually be a grid making feature I just haven't found yet.

1) Create a rectangle to the exact dimensions of the area you want to put a grid. If you need margins around the artboard, make the rectangle to the edges of the margins and not to the edges of the artboard.
With the rectangle selected, go to Object > Path > Split into Grid.
Set the number of columns and rows you want. (adjust as necessary)
Either make the rectangles into outlines to use as your grid and lock them in place, or drag guides to where they all meet up.

2) If you figure out spacing before you lay down a grid, create rectangles the width and/or height you need and drag guides to their edges to create a grid manually.
AkumaKuma Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I really like this :D
MartinSilvertant Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Professional General Artist
This is nothing new to me, however I must praise you on creating a very easy to follow tutorial. Very well crafted.
pianof Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2012
Sorry if the question is kind of dumb, but how do you usually go about making grids?
nokari Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
My examples were made using Adobe InDesign because that's what I normally use, but you can do it any way you want, be it with software or drawn by hand. You can use grid paper, a ruler and pencil, draw lines with a line tool in your software, or preferably use whatever grid functions your software has. Most word processors have some form of grid options.
pianof Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2012
nnn not so much the technical side of how does one make a grid in program x, but more how does one decide upon dimensions/gutters/margins in the first place?
nokari Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
It's up to you. You can be daring and go all the way to the edge on something, you can use the Golden Rule to pick out geometric lines, or you can be modest and use a simple layout based on the ratios of the paper's sides. There just has to be a reason for what you choose. I would suggest looking at a bunch of different books and measuring margins and gutters to gain a reference. You may see some books where the text looks good and others that don't. Take note of the ones that don't look good and think about why it doesn't look good.
As for the size of a page, that depends on the content and how you want to present it. The ideal line lengths for text are between 35-75 characters (an average of 65 is ideal) and you need to decide for yourself how you want to layout the text on the page. 1-3 sentences can be put in wide or short paragraphs, but any more than that and the text gets harder to read. Long lines make it harder to find your place when you jump from one side of the page to the other and short lines make your eyes jump around too much.
Text can also be more pleasing to the eye when it's asymmetrical on the page. You could choose a 4-column layout and put text on each page in only 1 column on the side of the page. If the columns are slim, you could put your body text across 2 columns, leave the next column blank, and put small quotes in the remaining column. You can see examples of this in the guide. The point is that it's up to you to decide how you want to present your information and that you use a grid to maintain consistency. You can break the grid (go outside the lines), but there has to be a reason for it and it must be consistent, otherwise it will look out of place or as a mistake.

Here is some more advanced information on choosing grids: [link]

The point of a grid is that it's a guide you make for yourself. There's no magic answer for what works best. It's simply a matter of does it have harmony and does it provide consistent structure.
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