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Making and Breaking the Grid: A Graphic Design Layout Workshop Paperback – May 1 2005

3.7 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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  • Making and Breaking the Grid: A Graphic Design Layout Workshop
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  • Thinking with Type, 2nd revised and expanded edition: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Rockport Publishers; New edition edition (May 1 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592531253
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592531257
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 1.3 x 28.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 907 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #9,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Timothy Samara is a graphic designer based in New York City, where he divides his time between teaching, writing, lecturing, and freelance consulting through STIM Visual Communication. His 18-year career in branding and information design has explored projects in print, packaging, environments, user interface design, and animation. He has been a senior art director at Ruder Finn, New York's largest public relations firm, and senior art director at Pettistudio, a small multidisciplinary design firm. Before relocating to Manhattan, he was principal of Physiologic in Syracuse, located in upstate New York. In 1990, he graduated a Trustee Scholar from the Graphic Design program at the University of the Arts, Philadelphia. Mr. Samara is a faculty member at New York's School of Visual Arts, New York University, Purchase College/SUNY, and The New School, and has published six books on design and typography, all through Rockport Publishers: Making and Breaking the Grid; Typography Workbook; Publication Design Workbook; Type Style Finder; Design Elements; and, most recently, Design Evolution, released in January 2008. Mr. Samara and his partner live in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn.


Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is interesting, but I felt it lacked content and depth. I also found that the writing was too light; this distracted me from the content.

The book briefly covers the history of grid design. Then it goes on by looking at different grid layout patterns. The rest of the book analyses different examples of designs using and breaking the grid framework.

One thing I appreciated was that the examples are taken from different fields and periods of time.

This is a good book if you have no background in grid design. I would purchase something else if you are looking for more depth and theoretical knowledge on the subject.
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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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had to get this book for school and Amazon had the cheapest prices compared to other retailers. I'm very happy with the purchase. The book is really interesting too, lots of information and pictures and it also shows you the different grid lines and guides used for specific designs.
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