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Making and Breaking the Grid: A Graphic Design Layout Workshop Paperback – May 1 2005
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
Extensive examples of design principles. Great resource for new students of design, or anyone looking to improve their design skills.Published on Aug. 7 2013 by john hunt
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... Read morePublished on April 1 2012 by Andrew Simpson
i have seen so many books talk about grid,
most of them are too dry, either only have the imagry or just the grid itself,
this is the book would totally show me how is... Read more