What does Grid mean in Design?

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In graphic design, a grid is a system for organizing content and comprises a series of straight or curved lines. These lines can be vertical, horizontal, or angular. When it comes to using a grid, it is essential to have elements line up proportionally.

If there are multiple objects in a grid, they should be spaced evenly apart. They need to line up extremely well vertically and horizontally and at right angles where possible.

A grid’s sections can be divided into margins, flowlines, modules, columns, spatial zones, gutters, and markers.

The Five Main Type of Layout Grids Are:

  • Manuscript Grids: Great for magazines, newspapers, PDFs, ebooks, and other text-based designs.
  • Hierarchical Grids: Organizes content by the level of importance where modules are set up in a manuscript grid or freestyled.
  • Column Grids: Content is organized by columns to increase readability, such as in academic textbooks or newspapers.
  • Baseline Grids: Improves readability in designs with lots of text by giving proportional space between headings and body text since the baseline is the line text sits on.
  • Modular Grids: Used when a column grid isn’t enough to organize elements like in eCommerce websites. It contains both rows and columns and has equal-sized modules.

Of course, some very successful designs break some of these rules. However, the grid should be followed first. Once grid rules are understood, then designers can learn the exceptions of where it is okay to break them. Every kind of design should have some elements of the grid.

In general, following the grid rules will make a design look best.

The Grid Enhances Designs and Artwork By:

  • Keeping content organized.
  • Improving the efficiency of design time.
  • Enhancing the layout of type with baseline alignment.
  • Increasing multi-page cohesiveness.
  • Helping balance designs.
  • Adding to visual hierarchy.
  • Increasing design flexibility.
  • Creating effective whitespace.