Proper alignment of elements is an essence of any design project. Such alignment is possible with the help of grid. Grid setup is really backbone of the design. Whether its magazine page, advertisement, brochure or business card, each has its own grid setup. Creating grid is starting point in design process. Sometimes printing press provides dieline which acts as a reference to start packaging design.
Elements of Grid
Grid setup includes margins,bleed,guides,markers,columns,gutter, hanglines. Intiallly designer starts with setting all the grid elements and then design the objects one by one as per grid. By following proper grid, design looks consistent and well organized. It brings clarity in reading and understanding the artwork.
Margin is the area around the content on the page.
Columns are created by vertically dividing the page with guides. There can be one or more columns on single page.
Generally books like novel has one column, magazines,corporate brochure has two or more columns. Distance between two columns is called Gutter.
Bleed area is extra space around the page area. Such extra space may include part of artwork touching the edge of the page. When cutting is done in printing press, it cuts the bleed area which results in maintaining of artwork till the edge of the page.
Hanglines are guides used to divide the page horizontally. Such guides can be used to align headlines,text and images on the page.
Markers are set of guides used to place the text inside margin. example of marker is page number.
Selecting a grid
Selecting a grid for the project is essential as each design requires different grid. Grid of website may not be suitable for the book design. So it depends on the content, placement of design. If content is about one topic such as one story of novel, then one column grid will be right, If content is complex with different type of information or includes diagrams then two or more columns may be suitable for the design.
Although grid is starting point of design, it can also be used to bring variations in layout. Its good idea to draw on paper first, before creating layout in software.
Baseline Grid in Indesign
Indesign have option of using Baseline Grid. Baseline grid is basically set of horizontal guides which can be used as guides for aligning text paragraphs. Each guide in baseline grid is equally spaced from each other. Hence it brings consistency in text layouts. There is option to automatically align the text to the baseline grid, that makes it easy to use.
For product packaging design, dieline is provided by printing press. Dieline gives idea about where package will fold and how it will look when fully opened. Design is created taking dieline as reference. While using dieline, Designer has to add bleed where package folds.
Its good idea to learn about different grids by observing existing designs such as label designs of products,brochure designs, magazines, websites etc.