Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Grid design resources

From: CSS: Page Layouts

Video: Grid design resources

Before we move on to the lab, I want to leave you with some of my favorite tools and resources for working with grid-based designs. And I've included this file for you in the 05_06 directory; it's the grid_resources.htm file. Now, the first site I want to take you to it is Design by Grid. Now, this is a great collection of articles, tutorials, and resources on designing with grids, and they also have a nice showcase of sites that focus on grid-based design. Perhaps my favorite site in dealing with grid-based layout is The Grid System, and you can see they have different articles.

Grid design resources

Before we move on to the lab, I want to leave you with some of my favorite tools and resources for working with grid-based designs. And I've included this file for you in the 05_06 directory; it's the grid_resources.htm file. Now, the first site I want to take you to it is Design by Grid. Now, this is a great collection of articles, tutorials, and resources on designing with grids, and they also have a nice showcase of sites that focus on grid-based design. Perhaps my favorite site in dealing with grid-based layout is The Grid System, and you can see they have different articles.

They have some tools that can help you design with grids. They have different books, links to grid-based templates, and a blog. Now, you'll notice from these dates that they haven't updated in a while, so I'm not really sure what the long- term prospects for the site is, but the articles and the information and the tools that you'll find on the site are invaluable. So even just because they're a couple of years old, it doesn't devalue what this site has in terms of resources, so this is a site you should definitely check out. Now, I also recommend reading through The Elements of Typographic Style Applied to the Web.

It's a very long title, but this is a web adaptation of Robert Bringhurst's famous The Elements of Typographic Style book and again, it's being adapted for web typography. Now, it's slow going. They're going all the way through Robert's book, and right now they're just sort of beginning on Chapter 3 and work kind of comes and goes with this, but this is an absolutely fantastic resource. It's not just for grid-based design, but since typography is such an important part of your web site and understanding how to control typography correctly and how to style it correctly for the web is going to help you in great type into your grid-based design.

So this is definitely a resource that you need to spend some time with. I'm also a really big fan of the Golden Ratio Calculator. I love designing with specific ratios, and there's a lot of different ratios you can use, but probably the Golden Mean is the most famous. And with this you would just enter a width or an important number. Let's say, for example, we're going to do a 12-column design. I can type in 12 and I get a couple of different sets of measurement. This one says, okay, if you're going to use a 12-column design, a 7:5 split fits that golden ratio.

On the other side of it, it says, if one of your columns is based on 12 units, the column on the other side should either be 7 or 19, or you could even do both. So this is a really neat tool for you to help understand what the ratios of your different page elements and grid- based design should be based off of. I'm not a huge fan of grid systems. I'll be honest with you, I don't use any of the grid systems that are out there. I prefer to make my own. But that doesn't lessen the impact that they've had on the design world, and probably the most famous grid system out there right now is the 960 Grid System.

A ton of people are using this, but if you go out to Google and you search for CSS grid system, you're going to find dozens of these out there that people are using. So a grid system is essentially a collection of styles that are sort of preformatted to help you design on a grid, and they'll include classes that you can use in order to control the widths and the layout of the elements on your page. So they're very handy to have, but they do add a little bit of bloat to your CSS. But what I like about the 960 Grid System site is there are a lot of really cool things on here.

They have a custom CSS generator. They have nice documentation that will help teach you a lot about grid-based design, not just using this particular system. They also have a Grid Overlay Bookmark, which will help you design a longer grid, even if it's not this one, and they have some neat resources like this demo. For example, if you were designing on a 960 grid, it helps you understand the different column breakdowns that are possible and some of the different measurements for columns so that they will fit within the system. Now, of course their spacing here is based off of 20 pixels. So if your base unit of measurement is going to be different, it's not going to fit exactly into this column spacing, but you get a good idea of what's possible within 960 pixels.

They also have a nice gallery, or showcase of sites, that are using the 960 Grid, and one of the things that this will help you do as a designer is it's going to help inspire you and going to help you see that designing on a grid doesn't have to be restrictive. You can really have just an amazing variety of layouts created off of a single type of grid system. So the 960 Grid System, I would encourage you to go check that out and read a little bit more about it. Now, I also have another gallery site here, Grid Based, which has a gallery of grid-based designs. And again, this is a great place to go for inspiration or just seeing how certain people have designed on the grid.

You can go into their CSS, break down the grid that they're working with, and sort of understand how you might want to adapt that grid to your particular workflow. Finally, I have a couple of little tools here that I really like. This one, #grid, it's a nice little, lightweight piece of JavaScript that you can start putting into your sites as you're developing them. And what this allows you to do is, for example, if I hit G on the keyboard, you can see here it gives me a grid overlay of my site. So as you're working, you can set up this grid to the measurements that you need, and then you can just toggle that grid on and off when you're testing your page to make sure that you're lining things up the way you're supposed to within your grid.

A very similar tool to this is the 960 Gridder tool, and this 960 Gridder tool actually is just a bookmark. So if I take this and make a bookmarklet out of this particular file, then I have the ability, anytime I click on that bookmarklet, to have this overlay. And what's really nice about this one is you get a lot of control over the opacity of this, over the number of columns that you're going to be using within this grid, so you can just kind of modify this at any time. And then using the keyboard shortcut of Alt+Ctrl+C, I can just toggle that grid kind of on and off once it has been enabled.

So again, that's another resource that will help you develop grid-based designs by allowing you to sort of test within the browser and overlay the grid that you've established right on top of it. I want you to keep in mind that grids are just tools. They can help you create harmonious designs and they certainly make the process of planning things like fixed layouts a lot easier. However, don't see them as just rigid structures that restrict your ability to design. Now, at the end of the day, you're the designer and your design has to work on a level that's acceptable to the client, and perhaps more importantly, to the audience.

Incorporate them into your design process, but don't be afraid to go outside the grid if the demand warrants it.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for CSS: Page Layouts
CSS: Page Layouts

71 video lessons · 44201 viewers

James Williamson
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 4m 20s
    1. Welcome
      54s
    2. How to use the exercise files
      3m 26s
  2. 1h 39m
    1. Box model review
      8m 47s
    2. Calculating element dimensions
      11m 11s
    3. Understanding margin collapse
      7m 59s
    4. Calculating em values
      7m 41s
    5. Calculating percentage values
      7m 51s
    6. Normal document flow
      13m 3s
    7. Controlling element display
      8m 53s
    8. Using CSS Resets
      7m 11s
    9. Fixed, fluid, and responsive layouts
      9m 9s
    10. CSS debugging tools
      6m 46s
    11. Using the Firebug Inspector and the WebKit Web Inspector
      11m 5s
  3. 53m 15s
    1. Page design workflow
      3m 6s
    2. Page design tools
      4m 56s
    3. Determining page structure
      7m 18s
    4. Creating image assets
      8m 58s
    5. Creating initial page structure
      7m 3s
    6. Adding meaning with classes and IDs
      5m 23s
    7. Structuring content with HTML5
      6m 6s
    8. Building internal structure
      10m 25s
  4. 1h 36m
    1. Floating elements
      7m 50s
    2. Clearing floats
      7m 28s
    3. Containing floats
      7m 50s
    4. Clearfix technique
      10m 38s
    5. Floating inline elements
      14m 34s
    6. Two-column floated layouts
      8m 17s
    7. Three-column floated layouts
      11m 30s
    8. Column height considerations
      7m 3s
    9. Creating equal-height columns
      10m 42s
    10. Floats: Lab
      5m 25s
    11. Floats: Solution
      5m 21s
  5. 51m 42s
    1. Relative positioning
      7m 59s
    2. Absolute positioning
      8m 59s
    3. Fixed positioning
      4m 23s
    4. Controlling stacking order
      8m 31s
    5. Clipping content
      8m 21s
    6. Controlling content overflow
      5m 38s
    7. Positioning elements: Lab
      3m 59s
    8. Positioning elements: Solution
      3m 52s
  6. 48m 46s
    1. Design considerations for fixed layouts
      3m 28s
    2. Establishing the layout grid
      7m 57s
    3. Defining column spacing
      9m 30s
    4. Applying the grid through CSS
      8m 56s
    5. Creating grid-based assets
      8m 26s
    6. Grid design resources
      6m 22s
    7. Building fixed layouts: Lab
      4m 7s
  7. 44m 35s
    1. Designing for flexible layouts
      2m 30s
    2. Calculating percentage values
      8m 45s
    3. Setting flexible width values
      6m 6s
    4. Making images flexible
      8m 10s
    5. Setting minimum and maximum widths
      7m 24s
    6. Building flexible layouts: Lab
      4m 53s
    7. Building flexible layouts: Solution
      6m 47s
  8. 49m 36s
    1. Responsive layout overview
      3m 49s
    2. Using media queries
      7m 16s
    3. Organizing styles
      8m 39s
    4. Making content responsive
      8m 33s
    5. Mobile design considerations
      7m 32s
    6. Building responsive layouts: Lab
      4m 23s
    7. Building responsive layouts: Solution
      9m 24s
  9. 1h 22m
    1. Creating multi-column text
      6m 36s
    2. Using borders to enhance design
      13m 59s
    3. Rounding corners
      6m 56s
    4. Adding drop shadows
      10m 35s
    5. Working with opacity
      6m 8s
    6. Utilizing the background property
      15m 5s
    7. Working with CSS sprites
      7m 58s
    8. Enhancing page design: Lab
      6m 22s
    9. Enhancing page design: Solution
      8m 38s
  10. 6m 25s
    1. Additional resources
      6m 25s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed CSS: Page Layouts.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.