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This book is a great resource for those wishing to learn more about grids. What was most interesting to me was the portions discussing the history of the grid and the psychology of the grid. The rest of the book is great as well though. My only complaint would have to be that even though a very interesting grid is utilized throughout the book, the lack of changes in font size allow no development of a hierarchy of information and make the headers at time distracting and overall make the book a little difficult to read. other than that I highly reccomend this book.
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If this book were a website it would have serious usability problems. You often have to rotate the book 90 degrees to read a lot of the text, and a lot of the key graphics are way too small while non-essential graphics are blown up way beyond their importance. E.g. some grid layouts discussed in the text are accompanied by a graphic of the aforementioned layout at the size of a matchbox; while a graphic of a relatively uninformative application toolbar spans the entire spread. The designers have sacrificed readability and comprehension to "style".
It's a pity because this book has some interesting information on grids, and tackles the subject from unusual angles. If you're already familiar with the grid then the text and mini essays provide a refreshing perspective on this topic. The content is of mixed value and should be read critically, much of it is clearly presented as a particular designer's view or idiosyncratic method which may or may not be useful to you depending on your design philosophy and methods.
If you are just learning about grids then this is not the place to start. There is some practical information on how to create and set up a grid but surprisingly it comes right at the end in the last 2 chapters and it is only briefly touched upon.
I half-heartedly recommend this book if you want to view the grid in a wider context, or from a historical or psychological perspective, and want to explore how some designers approach the grid. Be prepared to work a little, thanks to the small graphics and "designer" layout. Despite these problems, I enjoyed reading this book; it's a break from the more dense and dry works on the subject which I am immersed in a lot of the time. Be aware that it's not a book that will teach you very much about actually implementing the grid in your own work, though you might get some new insights and ideas.
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This book was pretty horrible. If you are looking for a book that will teach you HOW TO USE grids in design, this definitely, MOST definitely isn't it. I can't tell you how much this ISN'T it. This is mostly just a commentary on grids, theories, and apparant use of the grid in society. Most theories on the use of grid in society are really quack though. This is the type of book that takes things TOO far. It's based on some rather quack opinions.
This book doesn't approach the grid from a learning standpoint, as in, how to USE a grid or develop a grid. It is a coffee table book.
The layout of the book is horrible. You open the book and see in the inside of the cover which is lime green and you might think that this might be a nice, fun book. But it isn't. The layout of the pages suck. It doesn't matter who designed this book, how many design awards they won, or whatever but this book is POORLY designed. It's too heavy on style to be read like a book. The style is pointless. It's even difficult to navigate your way through the table of contents! It seems like the designers designed this book for themselves and not for people to READ.