Join Nigel French for an in-depth discussion in this video The parts of a grid, part of Designing with Grids in InDesign (2013).
I'm going to define the different parts of my grid. I'll tap W to turn on my guides, and we can see that I have margins and columns. These margins and columns define the type area. The area within which most of your text and pictures will be contained. As you can see in this example. I have the department head, the folios and this image, all of which go outside of the type area. Super imposed on my margins and columns on a separate layer, I have a layout grid.
This layout grid was created using the Create Guides feature. It's not absolutely necessary to put your layout grid on a separate layer. I prefer to do so, so that when I don't need to see it, I can turn it off. The layout grid divides my type area into eight rows and 12 columns. By subdividing my page in this way, I have far more flexibility over how I size my picture frames and text frames and can create far more dynamic layouts.
As I mentioned, the layout grid will create a series of rows and columns. Separating these rows and columns will be gutters. The size of the gutters correlates with the size of your body text laden. In the case of this document, that is 12 points. The intersection of the rows and columns creates grid fields. How many grid fields you have is up to you. The more grid fields, theoretically, the more flexibility.
But also, the more visual clutter. Here I've slightly simplified things by making the matrix of six by eight to indicate the grid fields. With the grid fields, we have this concept of the active corner. Meaning that when you place an element according to the grid field, generally speaking, you will be placing that element at the top left hand corner of the grid field, although there are exceptions. And the notable exception is when you want to put a caption above an image, in which case you would place that caption to the bottom of the grid field, as opposed to the top.
So those are the different elements of the grid. Now superimposed on this grid, we also have a baseline grid. The baseline grid can be turned on with the keyboard shortcut. Cmd+Opt+', you can also turn it on here, in your view options, or using the view menu and the baseline grid increment will correlate with your body text leading which in turn correlates with the gutter spacing. One type of grid that I will not be using in these movies is a document grid.
If I turn off all of my layers, I will now turn on the document grid, and you can see what this would do. Before I do that, I will also turn off my baseline grid. To turn on the document grid, Cmd or Ctrl+'. The document grid will divide your page and your paste board into graph paper. You can, in your preferences, determine the size of each of those grid squares and how many subdivisions they have.
The document grid might be very useful if you're creating some sort of diagram or chart in InDesign. But when working with type, the base line grid and a layout grid, I find it a far more useful. So those then are the different elements of a grid.
- Why grids matter
- Determining your page size
- Creating margins and defining your type area
- Setting up a baseline grid
- Understanding the power of InDesign's Gridify feature
- Breaking your grid with images
- Maximizing white space with a grid