Skill Level Appropriate for all
- Raise your hand if you've heard of grids. It seems like grids and graphic design just go together. Some of you work with grids, some don't. Some of you like grids, some don't. Some material is more suited to a grid than others. Whatever the case though, it seems like every designer is touched in some way by the grid. There are two kinds of grid. One is the responsive grid, which we looked at a while back. That's a grid that flexes according to what's on the page.
The other is a geometric grid, sometimes called Swiss style or international style. It's fixed and that's what we'll look at today. A good book on this subject is Grid Systems in Graphic Design by Josef Muller-Brockmann. If you don't have it I encourage you to get it. It's a design school classic. It's dry and not the only treatment of the topic but very well known. It's the basics really well. The Swiss style is fixed or immobile.
You set up a page of horizontal and vertical lines like you see here on the cover. And make your material conform to it. It does three things. It organizes your stuff. It makes a bunch of decisions for you. And it yields a distinctive look. If your material lends itself to this look, it can be very cool. So to start simply, today we'll make a small, very limited grid. We're going to design a product label for a face moisturizer for men.
It's a small package and label, a ratio of about three and a half to one, rounded corners. Our copy and image are these. Great photo, some guy friendly words like, heals windburned skin and doesn't feel sticky or greasy. First step is to rule a grid. In this case four rows, three columns. I knew where to put these because I knew where I wanted to go. I've done this before. So it'll look easier than it'll be for you the first time, but once you have the idea, it's pretty easy to get really nice results.
I want the photo on the right. So the copy's going on the left. Start in the upper left corner with the product name aligned here at this intersection. In the case of the J there's not exactly a vertical to align with, so I've sort of split the line. Exactly what you do here will depend on the letter and on the typeface. The idea is just to get it in the corner. Also, if this were pure international style, I'd set it in helvetica. In this case though, I'm going to deviate because I want some grit.
Facial product for men could easily lapse into the feminine so I want to avoid any hint of smooth or prettiness or glamour. At the same time I don't want to react and to cliche by going all cowboy or NASCAR. This typeface is called Veneer Two. Bold, condensed, slightly distressed, weathered quality about it, like a worn pair of jeans. Nice texture and small like this, it's fairly understated.
Next line goes here. Face moisturizer for men is set in Filosophia bold from Emigre. A great text face, lots of texture. There's a bookish quality about it. Last is the descriptive copy. Also Filosophia, heads in bold, text in regular, smaller still. So there's a hierarchy of big, medium, and small. Again, note the corner alignments. Two equal columns.
They've been written to fit that space. And that's all our copy. So for this project the job of the grid is done. Remove the grid and you can still see the structure. That's the thing about the Swiss grid that makes it distinctive. You can see it, or at least see its effect. That we're in here I'm going to skip over one of these editors, I'm going to skip, skip a slide. Next step is to add the photo. The effect is dramatic here, but it was very easy.
Just feathered it into the background so it becomes part of the page and looks very natural. And with that, layout wise we're done. Last step is to add color. It doesn't have to be the last step. You can do it as you go. In real life, if you have a house color or a product line color you'd use that. In this case I don't, so I've pulled the grays, which are face moisturizer and the text from the image, then added the dusty orange as a highlight.
It goes with the somewhat sepia tone of the image. One color option I looked at is this, and that's turning JAX white. This brings some visual depth. Both work. One viewer said the white felt softer, more like moisturizer. Where the black suggested sunscreen. You might let me know how you see it. And that's it. A small, simple grid. We'll continue this next time. A little more complicated on a beautiful full size poster.
And that's your design for today. See ya next time.
Q: Why can't I earn a Certificate of Completion for this course?
A: We publish a new tutorial or tutorials for this course on a regular basis. We are unable to offer a Certificate of Completion because it is an ever-evolving course that is not designed to be completed. Check back often for new movies.