Editorial design is one of the branches of graphic design that deals with projects and publishing such as books, newspapers, portfolios, and magazines. Whether we are talking about a printed newspaper or a digital magazine, knowledge of the anatomy of a grid is required in editorial design.
Good editorial design is coherent, clear, and pleasant to read. Above all, the goal of publishing design is to make publications attractive and easy to read. For this purpose, graphic designers rely on the grid.
The use of grids plays a very important role in the way information is designed, presented, and understood in an editorial publication. For instance, newspaper article design, magazine layout ideas, and book illustrations require special attention to the location, size, and combination of the information elements that make up the design.
Understanding the anatomy of the grid in editorial design makes it easier to know how and where to place information within a composition.
What are the parts of a Grid?
Once the importance of using a grid have been established, the following points below describe the components of a grid :
The format is the complete area where the final design will be presented. For example, in the print design, the format can be a letter-sized page or a poster-sized page. On the other hand, in web design, the format is the browser window of a desktop computer or mobile device.
Margins are the empty spaces between the edges of the format and the content. Consequently, the size of the margins is what gives the content a general shape, usually a rectangle.
First of all, set the margins. Establishing the size of the margins is the first step in building a grid. This will indicate the space available for work. However, this should not be confused with padding, which is the space within rows and columns.
Columns are the vertical sections of a grid. A grid can have 1 column as well as 16 columns. The number of columns depends on the type of publication. In other words, more columns in the grid mean more flexibility.
Columns gain great relevance in the design of websites and in editorial publications such as newspapers and magazines.
Rows are the horizontal sections of a grid. They help to separate the content horizontally.
Modules are the building blocks of any grid. They are the spaces created by the intersection of flow lines and vertical lines. Vertical groups of modules together create columns. Horizontal groups create rows.
Columns and rows are divided by gutters. Imagine a city, the gutters would be the streets and avenues.
When the gutter is narrower, the more visual tension is created. On the other hand, grids with wider gutters produce soothing templates because the elements of the composition have less tension between them.
Spatial zones are groupings of columns, rows or modules that form a composition element.
Groups of adjacent modules in vertical and horizontal areas create spatial zones or regions. For instance, a vertical region may contain a text spot, a horizontal region may contain a photograph. Regions can be arranged proportionally or used to create overlapping zones.
Flow lines are horizontal lines that separate the different sections of a grid into parallel bands. They help the reader to follow the content of the design.
Flow lines also create stop points or edges for the elements to be placed. Some flow lines are called hanging lines and others are called baselines.
A marker is an area in which one places the secondary content. They mark the exact place where the information to be repeated from one page to another is placed.
Books and magazines commonly use them for chapter titles, page numbering, headers, and footers, etc.
- Sistema de Retículas. Un manual para diseñadores gráficos. Josef Müller-Brockmann. Editorial Gustavo Gili. 2017.
- Diseño y Comunicación Visual. Bruno Munari. Editorial Gustavo Gili. 2016.
- ¿Qué es el diseño? Isabel Campi. Editorial Gustavo Gili. 2020.
- Visual Language for Designers: Principles for Creating Graphics That People Understand. Connie Malamed. Rockport Publishers. 2009.
- Fundamentos del Diseño Gráfico. Richard Poulin. Promopress. 2016.
- Gramática Visual. Christian Leborg. Editorial Gustavo Gili. 2013.
- Fundamentos del Diseno. Wucius Wong. Editorial Gustavo Gili. 1998.
- Diseño gráfico: Nuevos fundamentos. Ellen Lupton. Editorial Gustavo Gili. 2016.
- Becoming a Graphic and Digital Designer: A Guide to Careers in Design. Steven Heller y Veronique Vienne. 2015.
- Diseño gráfico. Fundamentos y prácticas. Dabner David. BLUME. 2014.