Grid: A Modular System for the Design and Production of Newpapers, Magazines, and Books Paperback – Dec 15 1982
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The Grid: A Modular System for the Design and Production of Newpapers, Magazines, and Books
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After a brief history of the use of grids, the book is divided into three sections. Each section deals with a specific form of print; newspapers, magazines and books. Hurlburt gives plenty of examples in each section of some of the best uses of the grid and details of the people who designed them and how they used them. We not only get plenty of examples from print but we get to see the underlying grid that was used to produce that print.
A wide variety of grids are outlined and the reader will be sure to find one grid system that works best for him/her. Despite the fact that the book was published in 1978 it retains its relevance especially given the increased popularity of desktop publishing software such as Adobe InDesign. I found that the grids from this book worked perfectly in my design work with InDesign. There is a seven page technology appendix which is completely useless due to the age of the book, but this in no ways detracts from its value. Bottom line? If you are involved in producing magazines, books and/or newspapers, this book should be in your library.
The contents look at the use of grids in newspapers, magazines and books but there really aren't too many examples shown and nowhere is there a page or spread from a publication with a grid laid on top to show exactly how the grid helps create the page design. On page fifty-eight there is a whole page illustration of a grid for the German magazine 'twen' which would be much more informative if it was laid over an actual 'twen' page showing how the headlines, columns of type and pictures conform to the grid. It's slightly annoying that most of the grids in the book are in sort of muddy mid-brown panels with black lines for the columns.
The lack of thoroughness in Hurlburt's book is really brought home if you look through Josef Muller-Brockmann's suburb book on the subject: Grid Systems in Graphic Design/Raster Systeme Fur Die Visuele Gestaltung (German and English Edition). Here you'll find page after page of detailed information about the subject: grid construction; type faces and sizes; the use of images. Consideration is also given to using grids with posters, all kinds of printed matter and exhibition design.
Hurlburts book is lovely to look at but there is no comparison with Grid systems by Muller-Brockmann. Also Hurlburt's book is far too expensive for what you'll get out of the contents.
BUYER BEWARE NOTE
I bought a paperback copy of this book recently but it was a print-on-demand inkjet copy which I thought was very poor because it's black only so that the mid-brown second color in the original hardback is reproduced as grey. The reproductions in the original were not that good to start with and made worse in the inkjet copy. I think it's worth looking around the net for the original hardback copies from Van Nostrand (1978) or the UK publisher Barrie & Jenkins (1979). My inkjet reproduction copy is of a Wiley paperback published in 1982.
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