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Using Grids in Graphic Design

Grid composition is the foundation of graphic design, whether working with print or web. Composing grids is essential for the realization of any project, from logo design to font construction, from packaging design to page layout.

Whatever the design is, once it is thought out and sketched, you have to start making the final design from a grid. Like buildings, design projects need a supporting structure to make the whole work stable. In addition to being essential for creating a supporting structure for the layout, cages are also extremely important for creating harmony between shapes and relationships, for example by creating white spaces.

How to build a functional grid following the paper format

Good composition makes it possible to create much more usable and effective projects. As the Aesthetic Usability Effect or Theory states,when something is designed to be beautiful it will also be easily usable and usable, because it will have a natural construction. In order to make this happen, it is important to build a harmonious and functional design project by following precise mathematical rules.

The first applicable method is to take advantage of the dimensional ratios of the substrate on which you are working. For example, if you are working on an A4 sheet, it will have a ratio between the two sides of 1:1.414, and you can then use this mathematical ratio to create within the sheet the divisions given by the guidelines. By creating divisions in stable relationship with each other within the sheet, an important visual harmony will be created that will serve as the basis for the entire project.

How to construct a functional grid with the rules of the golden section

A second, even more flexible and effective method is to exploit the golden ratio. The golden ratio is the basis of many of nature’s most harmonious forms and represents the ratio between two numbers that results in the irrational number 1.61803. This number is named Phi and is the relationship between two consecutive numbers in the Fibonacci sequence. The golden section in nature often takes the form of the spiral built on rectangles that follow the ratio 1.618:1. Golden section proportions are also widely used in the construction of website layouts. The golden spiral is in fact a logarithmic type spiral that grows following a so-called growth factor equal to Phi. The very name “golden,” indicates the sense of harmony and perfection generated by the shapes that are based on this number.

To apply the golden section, several tricks can be practiced to simplify the design. The first trick is very famous and is called the rule of thirds. It basically consists of dividing the page, photo or layout you are working on into three vertical parts and three horizontal parts. The 4 points where these lines meet are where attention will need to be focused. This technique works because it follows the reasoning of the human brain. In fact, humans are accustomed to dividing what they see into areas of interest based on how they are structured and focusing on the focal points located in the central area of what they see. Another method of implementing the golden section in projects is to use its shapes and grids.



To conclude this article wanted to remind you that, once you have built a grid, it should by no means limit your creativity but help you channel your ideas toward your goals by decreasing the time spent on the entire project.

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