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The purpose of using a baseline grid is to make sure that our type cross aligns across columns. If I turn on the grid, we can see that each line of type sits on that grid--and that no matter how many columns we have-- how many different type sizes we have, and admittedly we don't have many different sizes here, but no matter how many we have, everything is aligned to that grid. So it's establishing a really strong rhythm in our document, and that rhythm is very important, because that's what's going to keep the reader's attention, and that's what's going to give credibility to our designs.
Not to say that we can't occasionally break that rhythm and sometimes we will need to do that, but the rhythm then needs to be reestablished. So the baseline grid is the metronome of our document, and there are three steps to establishing it. First of all, we're going to turn it on. And if you go to turn it on, and it doesn't show up, this might be the reason why, the view percentage. Now, in my case my view percentage is 74 points.
When we go to the Preferences, we can see that the View Threshold is 75%, which means that even when the grid is turned on, it will only show up at views of 75% and above. So I am going to make that less. And how it looks may not bear any relationship to how we want it to end up looking. And that's the case here. So I am going to return to my Grids Preferences and change a number of things.
Firstly, the Color, I want something most subdued, like Light Gray. Secondly, the Start position, currently it's starting at 3 picas from the Top of the Page. I want it to start not from the Top of the Page, but from the Top Margin and exactly on the Top Margin, so I am going to make the Start value 0. The increment is what I want, that's 12 points. So there is nothing else I need to change here. Optionally I could and from time to time do come and change this. If I want my grids to be visible over every object in the document, I would uncheck Grids in Back, but for now I am going to leave that checked.
And that is how our document looks with our baseline grid turned on. When I set up the page, I said I wanted 55 lines from top to bottom in my type area, and here is why. Because I knew in advance that I wanted 8 rows, and each of those 8 rows has 6 lines in it. And there are in addition to the 8x6, we have 7 Gutter spaces, and that equals 55. So that my baseline grid syncs exactly with my column rows, I had to carefully consider that, and that was a design decision that I seemingly made randomly, but I am now letting you know why I chose that number, 55 lines, 55-7=48, 48 divided by 8=6.
And it's 6 lines that I have in each of my rows. So now that we have the Baseline Grid, let's try it out. I am going to go to my document page, and I am going to create a text column over four of my column units. Then I am going to fill that with placeholder text. And we can see that the text currently has no relationship to the baseline grid whatsoever. So I am going to select the text, I will need to make it smaller, I am going to change the font, let's zoom in.
And then to make the text aligned to the grid, I need to come and click on this option right here, Align to baseline grid, and you can now see that each of the types' baselines sit comfortably on that baseline grid. We can turn the rows off if we feel like we have currently too many guides on our page. But now what we need to make sure is that all of the spacing that goes into all of our paragraphs is based around our grid increment, which is 12.
So we need to think in units of 12, 24, 36. Occasionally we may need to half that and go to 6, and that's okay, things will resolve themselves after two lines that have an extra 6 points applied to them. You may be thinking this sounds rather restrictive, and in some ways it is. Working with the grid, we are imposing constraints upon ourselves, but at the same time, the grid is very liberating because we know where to place things on the page.
We know that if we need to scale images, we can size an image like so, and the aspect ratio of that image is going to be very like a photographic aspect ratio, so the cropping of the image will be sympathetic to the image content. And we can easily scale it and have it lock to our grid increments, and when necessary we can crop or adjust the size of the frame, snapping to those grid increments. Ultimately, it's going to give us a very ordered, very structured, very rhythmic layer, especially useful when working with picture heavy layouts like this, where we can make sure that the spacing between all the different elements is consistent.
Now, working with type on a baseline grid can present some frustrations, so let's in the next movie look at some of the problems that can arise.
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