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Making and Breaking the Grid: A Graphic Design Layout Workshop [Paperback]

Timothy Samara
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 1 2005
For designers working in every medium, layout is arguable the most basic, and most important, element. Effective layout is essential to communication and enables the end user to not only be drawn in with an innovative design but to digest information easily.

Making and Breaking the Grid is a comprehensive layout design workshop that assumes that in order to effectively break the rules of grid-based design, one must first understand those rules and see them applies to real-world projects.

Text reveals top designers' work in process and rationale. Projects with similar characteristics are linked through a simple notational system that encourages exploration and comparison of structure ideas. Also included are historical overviews that summarize the development of layout concepts, both grid-based and non-grid based, in modern design practice.

Frequently Bought Together

Making and Breaking the Grid: A Graphic Design Layout Workshop + Thinking with Type, 2nd revised and expanded edition: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students
Price For Both: CDN$ 37.58

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Product Details

Product Description

About the Author

Timothy Samara is a graphic designer and educator based in New York City where he teaches at the School of Visual Arts and Fashion Institute of Technology. He's also the author of The Typography Workbook (Rockport 2004). He lives in New York's Chelsea district.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The big book of clarity and chaos July 21 2007
What a strange publication. Divided into two sections the first explaining grid formatting with actual printed material and the second revealing how to design print without a grid.

There seems a contradiction here because the grid, used intelligently, will allow a whole range of graphic options to be presented with clarity. Some of the print examples reproduced in the first section do show this with perhaps the most useful item a grid thumbnail for each piece, unfortunately I thought it was rather too small as it is the key to explaining each format. From past experience, designing magazines, I would start work on a grid by concentrating on the text type size because it is the least flexible of all the elements on the page. This point really wasn't made enough of in the book's chapter: Grid Basics.

The reproductions show a reasonable range of design solutions, essentially print though there is an example of corporate signage. Missing are magazines (consumer or trade) timetables and the like. Without a grid this type of printed matter really wouldn't exist.

The book's contradiction, to my mind, start with the second section: Grid Deconstructions and Non-Grid-Based Design Projects. The forty items shown seem to have a couple of common threads: their design is essentially arbitrary which makes them look very messy and frequently their typography (display and text) is used as a design element which makes the words unreadable. Their design is the opposite of grid stimulated creativity, in other words visual chaos.

Some of the examples are quite amazing. On page 180-181 twelve pages of a calendar are shown, totally useless as its impossible to see the days and dates.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great book on handling type and layout Jan. 11 2005
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a developed look at handling type and page (surface) layout in a simple-yet-abstract way. Using grids and ideas presented in this book (with some practise), the learning designer can begin to utilise elements once thought as simple and static in ways which add dynamism to your layouts.
For a designer such as myself, a fan of Swiss and Bauhaus, simplicity, directness, Making and Breaking the Grid is a book full of idea and potential. Although not radical per se, it is a concise look at one of the most powerful aspects of communication design out there, in my opinion. Definitely worth a look.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for inspiring designers Oct. 2 2003
This book is great for young inspiring designers to use as a learning tool and reference book. It shows how to make a grid system work and how to modify different styles of grids to a designers particular needs. The book is less in content and more focusing on showing images of the grid at work. This is a must have book and the price is well worth it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unreadable April 1 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm bet none of the other reviewers have actually read this book. I'll further bet no one has with its turgid prose and small low contrast type, usually set against a colored background. Here's a small example, selected purely at random, page 112: "Collage was another new visual analogy that built on the reenvisioning of form begun in Cubism, which juxtaposed found images in dynamic relationships where chance could play a role in the perception of meaning." If you're the sort than enjoys sifting meaning from tangles like that, you'll find it here in most every sentence. The other seven billion of us will want clarity. It is an attractive book; as a coffee table decoration it'll impress visitors waiting in your reception. But nobody, including you, will actually read it. If you must, buy it used.
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