The Purpose of the Grid

The grid is used by the typographer, graphic designer, photographer and exhibition designer for solving visual problems in two and three dimensions. The graphic designer and typographer use it for designing press advertisements, brochures, catalogues, books, periodicals, etc., and the exhibition designer for conceiving his plan for exhibitions and show-window displays.

By arranging the surface and spaces in the form of a grid the designer is favourably placed to dispose his texts, photographs and diagrams in conformity with objective and functional criteria. The pictorial elements are reduced to a few formats of the same size. The size of the picture is determined according to their importance for the subject.

The reduction of the number of visual elements used and their incorporation in a grid system creates a sense of compact planning, intelligibility and clarity, and suggests orderliness of design. This orderliness lends added credibility to the information and induces confidence.

Information presented with clear and logically set out titles, subtitles, texts, illustrations, and captions will not only be read more quickly and easily but the information will also be better understood and retained in the memory. This is a scientifically proved fact and the designer should bear it constantly in mind.

The grid can be successfully used for the corporate identities of firms. This includes all visual media of information from the visiting card to the exhibition stand: all printed forms for internal and external use, advertising matter, vehicles for goods and passenger transport, name-plates and lettering on buildings, etc.

Josef Müller-Brockman

Excerpt from: Grid Systems in Graphic Design/Raster Systeme Fur Die Visule Gestaltung by Josef Müller-Brockman © 1981

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