Breaking the grid with typography

Grids are a part of every designers life and they can make your it very stable and comfortable. But what happens if you like to break the grid? Inspired by an article on 99designs here is our answer. The first grid systems were established by swiss designers in the 20th century. In the 80ies the reaction was a rigid grid celebrated by revolutioners like Emigre or Neville Brody. With the beginning of webdesign or coding and it’s mathematical functions, the grid got born new. Here are some nice examples of breaking the grid and going to explore some more design horizons with typography. The first image is showing some stairstepping. The second shows Tilt your text. Than the famous, easy to set in illustrator and indesign wrapping text. While using the edge of the page in image four the next shows enclosed shapes, which can upgrade your book designs very good. Asymetric styles and collages are en vogue since DADA. Last but not least handwritten fonts are always disturbing the symetrical eye and giving the whole face a new dimension, like the blue note in jazz music does. So if you like to know more about grids there is a cool repost on viaprinto blog in german and also on thinking with type in english.

Image sources: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8


Yesterday saw the first issue release of Ivan Brandon and Nic Klein’s DRIFTER. As with their previous creator owned series VIKING, Ivan and Nic brought me into the fold as the publication designer, and I’ve been working with them, and editor Sebastian Girner, over the last few months developing – what we hope is – a unique design language for the series (you can read more about the development here and here) based on computer code, grid systems, and map coordinates that inform the flexible system and logo — designed to evolve & randomise as the series progresses.

The images above show the cover designs and the editorial/interior pages I was responsible for. If you’re at the Thought Bubble convention this weekend, come say hi (and grab Jason Latour’s exclusive TBF2014 cover!), and Ivan and myself will be signing Drifter #1 at Orbital Comics in London next Wednesday.

DRIFTER #1 is out now in all good comic book stores, and digitally available from Image Comics and Comixology (US/UK).

Thinking Grid Systems in Graphic Design by Josef Muller Brockmann

Title: Grid Systems in Graphic Design
Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Verlag Niggli AG;
Bilingual edition (October 1, 1996)
Language: German, English
Size: 299.72 x 213.36 mm / 11.8 x 8.4 inch


From a professional for professionals, here is the definitive word on using grid systems in graphic design. Though Muller-Brockman first presented hi interpretation of grid in 1961, this text is still useful today for anyone working in the latest computer-assisted design. With examples on how to work correctly at a conceptual level and exact instructions for using all of the systems (8 to 32 fields), this guidebook provides a crystal-clear framework for problem-solving. (via Amazon)


Jan Tschichold - Grid Systems

Tschichold is a fine example of how unusual grid sytems can be put into place to create orderly, and graphically appealing pieces of work, placement of text and arrangement of images something essential to graphic design but actually can be hard to produce with effect. Here i’ve gathered images to show how Tschichold used Fibonnaci as a grid system for his posters, a more complicated and unusual grid system but works effectively in delivering simple design produced well. Tschichold also used the Golden Ratio as a Grid system, and this was used on his designs for penguin book covers.


Grids and Layout Systems

Here are examples of what a grid layout system is and how it can be applied to practically anything when designing (see apple Logo). There are many different types of grid systems, such as the most commonly used column system, where you have the choice of how many columns you’d like across your page and images and text are placed within these. This is one way of improving legibility. Also there is the golden ratio shown above, which is often applied in art and within architecture, it is more complicated than using the column grid system. On one of the examples you can see baseline grid, this can help sit the text on a line and will help with aligning. For this assignment I will use a grid system for both my website and booklet and for my booklet I will use the same layout for each page so that it keeps it simpler but also coherent throughout.