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Examples of grid work

For this weeks directed study, we have too look at different examples of grid work in visual design. As somebody who wants too work in magazines, I decided to compare two different of magazine layouts and how manipulation of grid structures has lead to a certain effect and meaning.

Example one: Making the grid.

This article is from November’s issue of What’s On magazine – a magazine which “The Midlands essential entertainment guide”. Automatically, the word guide makes me think that the layout is going to be simplistic, informative and structured, and I wasn’t wrong. In this page example, the use of columns have allowed to pictures and text to flow together and also allowed the visual designer to adjust the width of each column to generate key focal points, for example A-ha and Paramore. The text and information follows a set grid structure and the title works within this, however due to the grid the designer can make the title stand out clearly and still be a part of a cohesive design. Additionally, to make the piece especially aesthetically pleasing, the designer has encorporating the Golden Ratio (signified by the red outline). The golden ratio makes the piece look well structured and pleasing to the eye.

Why I think the designer has done this:

I think the designer has decided to follow grid structures such as columns and the golden ratio to make a structured and pleasing piece that can balance text and photographs well. Also, because the magazine is a guide, to have all the information everywhere wouldn’t work. Peoples expectations of a guide is to be organised, simplistic and informative, and this layout encapsulates those expectations. The simplistic layout makes information easy to find and well structured supplying the expectations to it’s audience. Also, the gives the magazine a sense of convenience because of how easy information is to find, which works well with it’s purpose once again.

Critical analysis – does it work?

I think that for its purpose, the layout employed is effective. The guide has a lot of information to pack into the guide, and as a front page to category of music it represents a wide variety well contained and structured. Personally, I think the points I have made about the designers decisions are valid and generate an understanding of why keeping to the rules of grids was used in this particular magazine. Also, although the article may look boring, the use of grids has made this look pleasing overall and worked well and effectively.

Example two: Breaking the Grid

This piece is taken from the contents Octobers issue of Empire magazine. The magazine is notorious for being the best film magazine around and works hard to bring a personal perspective to the cinema going experience. The cover is eye catching and packed with information and the designer has carried this theme onto the contents page as well. Because the magazine is quite thick, there is a lot of content, and to save it looking boring through having a lot of text and minimal images. To save this problem and too maintain the expectations that the cover gives, the designer has made the decision to break the grid so the combination of text and images are well organised and visually impressive. The designer has cut around images, such as the Storm troopers and put them in close proximity with the text to give the reader the impression that there is a lot of information in this magazine that would interest them. Also, the designer has put most of the text into some kind of column structure so the reader can easily identify what the features are. But to combine the text and the images into one design that together breaks grids, the designer has also placed some text such as page numbers and bullets of information close to the images.

Why I think the designer has done this:

I think the designer has decided to break the grids with these techniques because the film magazine market is extremely competitive so they need to stand out. And if consumers want to see what they are getting they simply check the contents page for information. This contents page makes the eyes dance around and gives the impression that there is a lot of information to process and get stuck into but still it works as a layout cohesively and is visually striking. Also, film itself is a clever combination of language and image and the designer has managed to translate this into the magazine with clever design choices. Differingly from my first example, the purpose of empire isn’t to guide, it is too excite, entertain and sell and with a design like this it gives the consumer a good impression aesthetically when going through the rest of the magazine.

Critical analysis – Does it work?

Personally I think that the choice to break the grids really works for this magazine and the page layout. It’s dynamic and interesting which immediately excites consumers and works with the image that the magazine is trying to portray. Also I think that if the designer decided to stick with the grid structure the overall effect wouldn’t have been as dynamic and interesting. In this particular article, the way the designer has constructed elements of images and text frames the main body of text – the features – really well, and this wouldn’t of necessarily been as effective if working within grids.


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Categories: Visual Design
  1. December 1, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    hello I was luck to find your subject in google
    your post is brilliant
    I get a lot in your subject really thanks very much
    btw the theme of you website is really quality
    where can find it

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