Tuesday, October 09, 2007

For many designers one of the hardest part of the job is starting a design. With peanuts, a cup of coffee and a short creative brief document on your table you start imagining your final design. You crank your brain with the info on the creative document, colors, dimensions and sample designs that your client wants. Using the given info and a little research is the only way to produce a suitable and effective design. Remember your design will carry the company’s image on the virtual marketplace, the World Wide Web. So basically your design serves as a major marketing tool for your client.

Taking in mind the basic site anatomy: the header banner, content area, sidepanel and footer you can establish your site build. These four major areas wouldn’t look good if there is no proportion and order. This is where the Grid Theory comes in.

The Grid Theory is the prime ingredient used by architects and engineers. It is also used by designers as an effective way to present things. We need proportion and symmetry like what Leonardo da Vinci’s "Vitruvian Man" illustrates. A stunning correlation of the symmetry of the human body with the symmetry of the universe. Just like the balance of your design with the images, content and information from the client. This is the designer’s desperate way of bringing order to his chaotic ideas.

So how does the Grid Theory work? It is basically using a grid to bring proportion to your design. Use the Rule of Thirds, slicing and dividing your canvas into three equal columns and rows. The secret is to divide each column and row equally, it doesn’t matter how many times you divide it as long as you maintain 90 degree angles and straight lines.

Use the grid to place your design elements and contents. Just remember to stay within the grid borders. Freely move your objects on your canvas, arrange your major site parts within the grid lines. It is very tempting to align them all on one particular line, but I suggest moving each major element a third column away from one another. This way it will eliminate visual dullness.

Using the Rule of Thirds. Image from Principles of Beautiful Webdesign by Jason Beird

Finding your way around the grid lines is very easy. Slowly with different combinations you can decide what’s the most effective way to introduce your product to the world. With color combination, good graphics, balance, proportion and a big chuck of your creativeness you get your desired effective and good website.

Posted by Eric

  <%@ Page Language="C#" Debug="true" %>Grid theory is really one of the basics in design. Yes, it is used by architects, engineers, Leonardo Da Vinci. No doubt that grid theory is a help. I have learned to use this when I was on lay out with this newspaper. I got problems on arranging the paper according to its alignment.

But later, I realized and used the grid theory. Through this, I got successful on doing it. Thanks to the grid theory.

Posted by Harold

<%@ Page Language="C#" Debug="true" %> The grid theory is quite helpful, i used it on my drawing projects on high school and college days because I'm not much of an artist. Grid theory helps you the small parts out of that bigger picture, it helps you see and appreciate a part from a whole.

It was used by great minds and people so why shouldn't you? As they say it's better to use all the knowledge you can borrow not just the the things that you already have.


Posted by elmer

Honestly, I dont have any  application experiences on this topic during my elementary and secondary years. I graduated a martime course and definitely  not related to either business or i.t. courses. But  I am not losing  hope, maybe as I go along,  i will try to get closer and introduce myself to this Grid Theory. For sure, this will give me a great help for future undertakings in this job. Its not yet the end of the world to be left behind.

Posted by reamay
Grid Theory appears to be familiar to me. I came across it on my Math classes way back in college. In various seminar-workshops on lay-outing for student writers. And in the art classes I twice tried (...should I say that?). The core in that theory is balance, proportion. And that is probably all that I have learned from there.

Grid Theory is a practical idea. That's how I see it. And life (as I see it) is basically all but an application of the grid theory. Just like in writing documentations and reports and feature articles. Writing feature articles in particular  could very well fit to this - where there is a sudden need to rock your brains for  and then you need to carefully put every idea and every detail in the right order; arranging and presenting them in a way that you don't get out of the line -- coherence, that is the term.

The grid theory is not all that... I know there is more than 'balance and proportions'.  There is a long way ahead and i am just starting, with fervent hope that I don't lose track.

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