When we are creating leaflets, magazine pages, business cards or even web pages we usually start with elements that have to be included. Be it images, paragraphs of text or some other form, we have to design a layout that will compliment the product and attract the customer.
The layout will always depend on the content we want to include on our page. First we have to start with asking ourselves “What is the most important element?”
If we’re designing a web page for a store that sells clothes for example we will usually have an about me page, a contact page, a product page and a homepage… Now if we ask ourselves which of these is the most important it’s clearly the product page because we want the customer to spend most of their time on that page. To ensure that we will configure our layout to include big beautiful images that will lure the customer in.
Starting with a blank page however can be a bit intimidating. We have to realise that even though the page may be empty there are still some guidelines and ratios we can use to our advantage. Firstly there is the format (ratio between the height and the length of the page) secondly there are the two diagonals, an optical centre (optical centre is a bit higher than the geometric centre and it splits the paper into the top and bottom half) and the vertical centre. Lastly we usually also have four corners. Besides these standard guides that every format has we can also use the Golden ratio or the Fibonacci sequence to improve our design.
Using the diagonals a basic typography grid was developed in the renascence. It became a standard for page design until the requirements changed in the modern era. Back than they mostly printed books with religious content such as the Bible. These books didn’t contain any images so they focused on the positioning of the text. Nowadays this layout is also known as the book layout and it is very easy to create (video tutorial).
Firstly we have to draw the diagonals connecting outer bottom corners with the inner top corner of the pages. After that we draw the diagonals for the spread.
Doing so we get two intersections. We will connect the right intersection with the top of the page. From there we will draw a line to the other intersection. Using these two lines we once again took in account the format of the page.
Connecting the intersections from before with the top of the page got us a new intersection that will serve as the top left corner of the main text block. The only thing next for us to do now is to connect this point with the diagonal lines from before.
As you can see we have finished the basic typography grid. From here on we can play around a bit more and add pagination and a place for the headline.
To add pagination we will simply extend the outer lines of the text boxes to the lower diagonal as seen below.
Finding a place for a headline will be a bit different. We will connect the upper corners of the text box with the opposing corners of the page. That will give as an intersection which will serve as the base for the title.
As we can see the design is finished. We can use and work on this basic layout further implementing our ideas and elements. The layout is very popular because it works so well with any format. The ratio between empty space and the text is just right because the layout uses the format’s diagonals to set the borders.
For a video step by step tutorial on creating this grid and some added features with columns follow me on my YouTube channel.
Thank you for reading this post. I hope it was interesting and easy to read.
As always have a beautiful day and stay awesome!