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fact file1.11 Invisible Grids


Publication designers generally use some form of grid to structure even apparently disordered, anarchic page layouts. The grid is an invisible framework or set of guidelines, usually saved in a template in the designer's DTP software. The grid does not print, but guides the designer when placing text and images on the page.

By structuring its layout format, the grid helps define the look and feel of a print document and can be varied within the same publication in many different ways to avoid boring repetitious-looking pages. A grid helps give the document consistency and contributes to the 'house style'. Grids and templates also communicate a clear message by organising information and creating balance, unity and a visual rhythm to keep the reader focused. Serif PagePlus makes a simple matter of setting up templates for your underlying grids.

The illustration shows four double-page layouts from issue #83 March – May 1999 of a former quarterly
art magazine called 'make' (ISSN 1365-8190).

Make Layout

The main template is a three-column grid, although two pages use two-column grids (one of these also has uneven column widths). Variety is introduced by wrapping the text around the shape of artworks; by shaping the main text box to a dramatic area of the double-page photos that 'bleed' to the edge of the page; by overprinting the text on top of the illustration; by varying the background colour of pages; by using reversed white text on black; by adding a vertical bar of collaged colour images; by leaving the right edges of columns ragged rather than justified; and by having wide margins at the top and bottom of pages, but narrow margins for the gutters and sides. The reference sheet labels these features and credits the artists.

Make Plan

pin 'make' magazine layout - labelled reference sheet

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