Guides and grids

Guides and grids are probably the best friends of a layout designer. They help him organize the content and divide it into digestible chunks for better clarity. If we take a building as an example, the layout would be its base and the content its height. Without a proper base, the building will be unstable and eventually fall apart.

Make the grid

Break the grid?

Some designers find grids boring and break them in every possible way to experiment and expand their imagination. This seems to become a standard of how "original" or "creative" someone is, which I think is unfortunate. I doubt that providing a diagonally written text or sloped images make us more creative, even if they don't look regularly. Viewers might get a headache while trying to unscramble their meaning. Or if they have a highly adjustable monitor, they might tilt it to compensate for their angles. The introduction of new stylistic properties to scale, rotate and skew page elements can further lead to misuse. These techniques could only enhance the user experience if used sparingly and thoughtfully.

Why bother?

Breaking grids can slow down readers or scare them to go elsewhere. Before we spend on advertising, we must ensure that our content can be perceived by the reader in a convenient way. Breaking the grid, although creative and trendy, makes this harder. We could think about whether a solution is going to survive in the next five years and if we think so, we could stick to our vision, no matter what other people think.

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