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Layout Essentials: 100 Design Principles for Using Grids [Hardcover]

by Beth Tondreau
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book Description

February 1, 2009 1592534724 978-1592534722 1

Adhering to certain layout and grids standards and principles is important for any job from brochures, to annual reports, to posters, to websites, to publications. However, knowing how to bend the rules and make certain grids work for the job at hand takes skill.

This book will outline and demonstrate basic layout/grid guidelines and rules through 100 entries including choosing the a typeface for the project, striving for rhythm and balance with type, combining typefaces, using special characters and kerning and legibility. These essentials of grid design are critical to the success of any job.

Frequently Bought Together

Layout Essentials: 100 Design Principles for Using Grids + Thinking with Type, 2nd revised and expanded edition: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students + Making and Breaking the Grid: A Graphic Design Layout Workshop
Price for all three: $47.45

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Beth Tondreau

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Rockport Publishers; 1 edition (February 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592534724
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592534722
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 8.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #666,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learn the Essentials...Avoid Gridlock May 25, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Tondreau makes very few assumptions about readers' foreknowledge of grids and as such, jumps right into the fundamentals within the first 20 pages. Tondreau provides a vocabulary for grids that might seem obvious at first (i.e. columns, modules, margins, spatial zones, and flowlines), but also explains complex grid systems (i.e. hierarchical grids, modular, multicolumn) and methodologies for implementing them (i.e. typography, color, media forms, etc). What makes the book interesting and eliminates it from simply being a reference guide is the constant use of real world projects that illustrate the grid principle being addressed as well as a source of inspiration. In addition, the book makes a conscious effort to inform readers that there is a difference between `principles' and `rules' and designers should not 'lock' into a paradigm that stifles creativity.

I strongly recommend that this book be read not only by designers, but by anyone person that builds interfaces that will be viewed by large audiences. It will only improve the quality of the final product.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lovely, but pretty light on information December 1, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a beautifully assembled book with tons of full color plates which are sure to inspire just about any designer finding themselves stuck in a rut, but it's more of a collection of axioms than it is an informational text. Read through the online preview--that's about as much technical information as you're going to find in here. What's left is just a bunch of pretty pictures and cutesy phrases that essentially amount to "think outside the box" over and over and over.

Definitely worth looking at, but worth owning? Not for me.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book on the topic March 16, 2009
Grids are back! This book breaks down over 100 projects to show how the grid works in each of them, and explains the layouts in a very clear and useful way. The designs that were chosen are done by some of the best designers working today (nationally and internationally). This is a great book for beginning and experienced designers--it will help illuminate and clarify this complex subject. Features print and web grids. So good I'm considering using it for teaching as my Intro to Design textbook.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Maybe it's just for designers January 13, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I thought that the book would teach me how to create grids. How to calculate them. How to define them. Something like the 960 grid website does.

Instead it shows you examples of great design and comments on them. For an experienced designer this explains the great reviews. Just looking at the designs is a joy.

For a novice or better Non-designer it doesn't leave too much to use when reading. Maybe when studying and measuring and analysing with a ruler but definitely not when just reading.

I guess I'll have to keep searching for the right book.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I bought "Layout essentials - 100 Design Principles for Using Grids" by Beth Tondreau after reading some similar books, such as "Making and Breaking the grid" and "PDW Publication Design Workbook - A Real-World Design Guide" (both by Timothy Samara), "Design-It-Yourself - Graphic Workshop - A step-by-step guide" (Chuck Green).
So, I strongly suggest not buying this book if you are not absolute beginners about "The grid", as you won't get value for money: in fact, you won't learn new knowledge from reading the book. The only thing which captures your eyes is the excellent use of colours in the book, but this is typical of Rockport books, always well planned from this standpoint. Use your money to get a better book!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Go-To Layout Design Book January 21, 2010
By Fin
This book is a great guide for getting started on a layout when your are stuck- straight-forward, clean, and simple. Don't let the term 'simples' fool you. Tondreau provides a guide on how to use grids to make information fun, flexible and playful- even leaving room for surprise!

Unlike many graphics books (where I just look at the pretty images), I actually enjoy reading the text because it was more than just a bunch of fluff.

I am happy I bought this book. I sometimes wish I had two copies- one for work, one for home.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Only get out of it what you put into it February 3, 2010
This book is similar to other Rockwell published books that I have read, they give you 100 instances that may or may not directly related to the topic of the book, present very sparse amounts of information about them with a few examples thrown in, and only devote 2 pages to each instance.

I think the sparseness of the information was intended to make the audience think about the 100 topics. The problem is that the limited examples only give a small view of the possibilities. It also takes a lot of discipline to stop and reflect on each topic once you've read it. I think that more text and more how-to type information would help most readers of this book, however, if you do stop and think about each topic, you may well get a great deal from this book (I sat reading with a notebook, and drew out many of the diagrams... that helped me).

My only other complaint is that some of it simply makes no sense. After re-reading some of the topics 4-5 times, I still had no idea to what the author was referring. There were only a few (2-3 cases) where this was the case, but still, it's the author's responsibility to make the written word clear to the reader, and it didn't seem like that was always the case.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential!
As the name says, it's essential for graphic designers. I use it every day for references and layout ideas. Recommend.
Published 8 days ago by Andre L. Moraes
5.0 out of 5 stars helpful grids
these layouts are fundamental for developing designers and will help the experienced designers with a larger listing of contemporary designs.
Published 1 month ago by mondo69
4.0 out of 5 stars Maybe the editor's invisible hand is too visible?
Layout Essentials: 100 Design Principals for Using Grids doesn't actually deliver design principals, they're just platitudes. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Tumblemark
4.0 out of 5 stars awesome book
love flipping through this book - you learn from it whether you are seriously following and reading or if you are just flipping through it for ideas.
Published 3 months ago by C. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect service
This product was just as described high quality book at reasonable prices the way things should be fir college students
Published 5 months ago by CrimsonTideKing
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Handbook
At first I wasn't sure what to make of it becasue it just looked like a list of principles. But the author has put si that one truely builds upon the other and I found my self... Read more
Published 13 months ago by J. Parker
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Explicação clara e objetiva sobre todo o universo envolvendo grids e editoração. Para estudantes e profissionais um conteúdo bem abrangente e explicativo.
Published 15 months ago by Delfim Cesário Junior
5.0 out of 5 stars For School
I needed this book for my Typography course. The examples and the vocabulary go hand in hand with the designs for easy deciphering and interpretation. Read more
Published on March 11, 2012 by Rashida
2.0 out of 5 stars Pretty pictures... and that's all
This book appeared very appealing on a quick browse. It does indeed contain some very beautiful example material. Read more
Published on May 30, 2010 by aiw
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