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Grid Systems: Principles of Organizing Type
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Grid Systems: Principles of Organizing Type

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  1,070 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Although grid systems are the foundation for almost all typographic design, they are often associated with rigid, formulaic solutions. However, the belief that all great design is nonetheless based on grid systems (even if only subverted ones) suggests that few designers truly understand the complexities and potential riches of grid composition.
In her best-selling Geometry
Paperback, 112 pages
Published August 12th 2004 by Princeton Architectural Press
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  1,070 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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James Moes
Dec 29, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: design
It will be good for reference, but doesn't provide the strategic design insights one would gain from Ellen Lupton's Thinking With Type and/or Edward Tufte's Envisioning Information. ...more
Apr 19, 2010 rated it liked it
The text can get heavily jargoned, but there are ample examples to get you through what she means. Also I loved the overlay pages, where they had reproductions of real life products (book layouts, posters, programs) with a transparent sheet over it marking the grid lines to show you how it was laid out. Some seemingly simple designs were quite complex.

I would have liked there to be more design critiques - there were a handful of examples where they 'fixed' bad design. I learned more from those.
Jul 17, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: design
A very strange book. If you are into typography, you are likely familiar with the grid. Basically there are aesthetics involved in laying things out in certain grid patterns that are pleasing to the eye. This book shows many examples of text laid out in grids, but does little to explain why they are laid out in that manner. Overall, this book could give you some ideas, but leave you wondering what the purpose is. There is just very little explanation behind the theory of the grid system. This le ...more
Hamid Nasr
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
برای من که گرافیک نخوندم خوندن کتاب های تو این زمینه خیلی بهم کمک میکنه مخصوصن در موقع دیدن پوسترها و تجزیه و تحلیلشون
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Interesting, but this could have been better presented as a 1-2 hour lecture series.
jonathan berger
Oct 22, 2007 rated it liked it
A competent but joyless primer, there's little besides a (thorough!) book-length treatment of a single design exercise. ...more
Samudra Bhattacharya
Its a reference book, so I didn't read it cover to cover, but there is some really good practical advice about grids in here! Might not be super important for pros but definitely helpful for someone trying to understand how grids work.
The other cool thing about this book is that it has the works of famous typographers and then has an overlay page with the grid that was used for it to get an understanding of what is happening.
Highly recommended for anyone trying to improve their understanding o
Tea Zbašnik
The book is very hard to folow if you have problems with focus, but thanks to a lot of picture content I did managed to get through. I do wish someone else would explain a bit more to me all the compositons un detail, as I think I did get pass them to quickly to study them properly.
I would recomended to study and exercise the studys with the samples provided, to get sense of composition and hierarchy.
Igo Lubczański
Dzisiaj wjechała też druga książka Kimberly Elam, o siatkach. Traktowałbym ją jako miły eksperyment, ciekawostkę, a nie jako podręcznik. Elam bardzo ciekawie zwraca uwagę na istnienie hierarchii informacji w projektowaniu, jednak widać po książce, że ma swoje lata. Podejście się trochę zmieniło, i historia projektowania graficznego nadal jest cenna, jednak trzeba być na bieżąco. Dla każdego, kto ma schizę na punkcie siatek i nie nudzi go matematyka.
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dropped
A strange book. It provides a lot of examples, but with little explanation. Probably, if you studied them thoroughly you could get something out of them. Or use them as reference material.

Anyway, as someone with no prior knowledge about grid and design, I was expecting there to be text that explains the reasoning behind placements in the grid, and their benefits or downsides--however mundane they may be.
Jun 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very nice workbook/excersise book. I feel like after taking a fun design-related course. The examples are versatile and show step by step how the author and students approach the layout problems - which other books usually lack.
I will definitely do the excersises myself and will reach for that book for inspiration in the future.
Dan Croak
Jan 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Fundamentals of design
Feb 21, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
niczym „ćwiczenia stylistyczne” z siatek modułowych
Jun 22, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: graphic designers, confused about typographic grids
i really liked this book, i thought it was clear and easy to understand. a lot of pages had overlays with the grids printed on them, so you could see the composition with or without the grid. there were a lot of pages explaining why certain compositions worked or didn't work, and how to fix them if they didn't. I wish there were more pages with the overlays, because i found them very helpful, but that's my only complaint. ...more
Mike Williams
Oct 22, 2007 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Design Students
A strangely organized journey through various grid systems, from basic to more complex. It doesn't seem to be written as much as collected and assembled, but the attentive reader will still gleam some knowledge and inspiration from this book. The most magnificent part is the construction of the book itself with meticulously drawn grid-overlays of respected designs. ...more
Nov 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art-design
I think of this book as a well-composed and very clear introduction to working with grids.
The great amount of examples given and the see-through grids overlaying pages contribute really well to the contents of the book.

In short: a good way to start learning about grids and a helpful guide through the graphical design process.
Dec 07, 2009 rated it liked it
This book provides an excellent foundation into the construction and concepts of grids, and provides great examples of each. However, that said, I DO NOT recommend this book to those who already understand the concepts. Instead, I would go with something like LEARNING AND BREAKING THE GRID.
Amanda Farough
Nov 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: design
This book is fantastic for the budding graphic designer that is struggling with how to communicate effectively with text blocks, hierarchy, tension, and locking of graphical elements. An excellent read that is a must-have for any design student.
Aug 10, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: design, grid
Good detail and elaboration on the classic Allen Hurlburt book.
Leonard Houx
A great book for web designers!
Andy Stone
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The best of its kind.
Marc Manley
May 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
A great intro into the concepts of design.
Oct 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Very good if you're just beginning to learn layout design. ...more
Samuel Dellicour
Jan 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
Not bad, but a little bit too basic.
Aug 19, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: graphic designer
It changed the way I worked! And it is also a wonderful souvenir from my trip to London ♥
Feb 13, 2018 rated it liked it
like... this helped me make a good architecture project so thanks i guess?
Bjm Index
Jul 20, 2012 added it
Shelves: business
Aug 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: design
Fairly elementary, but good as far as the limited content on offer went. The transparent overlays on real examples were a nice touch.
May 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: graphic designers, artists.
Essential reading for graphic designers. Even if you think you know all there is to know about grids, you still need to get this book.
Florence Laiai
Aug 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
love this book!
it was like gold to me.

helped me to explore a lot
and theres so much more to explore...
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Kimberly Elam is a writer, educator and graphic designer. She currently chairs the Graphic + Interactive Communication Department at the Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, FL, where she has developed an academic minor in the Business of Art and Design. Her previous design education positions include the Kansas City Art Institute, North Carolina State University and The Ohio State Univer ...more

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