The Grid is Good

As a designer I know the importance of building your visual communications on top of a grid. In fact every piece of well-designed, printed matter we interact with on a daily basis is leveraging an invisible grid.

In my Web Design & the Internet course, I teach the importance of using the invisible columns and rows to organize content and help the user navigate the page. One of the most common grids used by web designers is the 960 grid.  Aptly named for the optimal width of a web page for multiple screen types, the 960 grid provides the web designer 12, 16, and 24 column options for arranging words and visuals on screen.

from left ot right: 12-column grid; 16-column grid; 24-column grid

Many new designers think of a grid as constricting. A system for forcing information into little boxes. After all, isn’t a grid just a collection of invisible straight lines. The beauty of the grid lies in it’s flexibility.  The possibilities are endless, making the grid not just good but awesome.


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