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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great book on handling type and layout
This is a developed look at handling type and page (surface) layout in a simple-yet-abstract way. Using grids and ideas presented in this book (with some practise), the learning designer can begin to utilise elements once thought as simple and static in ways which add dynamism to your layouts.
For a designer such as myself, a fan of Swiss and Bauhaus, simplicity,...
Published on January 11, 2005 by Don Eglinski

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83 of 97 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The big book of clarity and chaos
What a strange publication. Divided into two sections the first explaining grid formatting with actual printed material and the second revealing how to design print without a grid.

There seems a contradiction here because the grid, used intelligently, will allow a whole range of graphic options to be presented with clarity. Some of the print examples...
Published on July 21, 2007 by Robin Benson


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83 of 97 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The big book of clarity and chaos, July 21, 2007
This review is from: Making and Breaking the Grid: A Graphic Design Layout Workshop (Paperback)
What a strange publication. Divided into two sections the first explaining grid formatting with actual printed material and the second revealing how to design print without a grid.

There seems a contradiction here because the grid, used intelligently, will allow a whole range of graphic options to be presented with clarity. Some of the print examples reproduced in the first section do show this with perhaps the most useful item a grid thumbnail for each piece, unfortunately I thought it was rather too small on each spread despite being the key to explaining each format. From past experience, designing magazines, I would start work on a grid by concentrating on the text type size because it is the least flexible of all the elements on the page. This point really wasn't made enough of in the book's chapter: Grid Basics.

The reproductions show a reasonable range of design solutions, essentially print though there is an example of corporate signage. Missing are magazines (consumer or trade) timetables and the like. Without a grid this type of printed matter really wouldn't exist.

The book's contradiction, to my mind, start with the second section: 'Grid Deconstructions and Non-Grid-Based Design Projects'. The forty items shown seem to have a couple of common threads: their design is essentially arbitrary which makes them look very messy and frequently their typography (display and text) is used as a design element which makes the words unreadable. Their design is the opposite of grid stimulated creativity, in other words visual chaos.

Some of the examples are quite amazing. On page 180-181 twelve pages of a calendar are shown, totally useless as its impossible to see the days and dates. Pages 188-189 show eight spreads from a design school journal showing irregular shaped blocks of text creating a sort of collage. I doubt anyone made the effort to read any of it. What is interesting about this second section material is that so much of it comes from educational establishments. In the real world all this designer whimsy would be rejected by the client on sight of the first dummy

'Making and Breaking the Grid' is well printed with 175dpi and the layout is adequate and for a book about grids you would have thought its own grid would have been included but it is strangely missing. Overall I felt that because the contents present two opposite design ideals the book's editorial concept is rather flawed.

From my experience there is only one book that really explains it all: Muller-Brockmann's Grid Systems in Graphic Design (go to the book's site to see some spreads I've uploaded) published in Switzerland and full of good solid, practical, hands-on information. This book's only purpose is creative clarity.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great book on handling type and layout, January 11, 2005
By 
Don Eglinski (Edmonton, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is a developed look at handling type and page (surface) layout in a simple-yet-abstract way. Using grids and ideas presented in this book (with some practise), the learning designer can begin to utilise elements once thought as simple and static in ways which add dynamism to your layouts.
For a designer such as myself, a fan of Swiss and Bauhaus, simplicity, directness, Making and Breaking the Grid is a book full of idea and potential. Although not radical per se, it is a concise look at one of the most powerful aspects of communication design out there, in my opinion. Definitely worth a look.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely helpful, December 15, 2004
My friend designer bought this book couple of months ago. Suddenly I noticed that I can't help myself looking into that book again and again. So, despite having it not far away, I decided to buy another instance for myself.

The book covers the grid theory and usage almost perfectly. If you're engaged in brochure or booklet design, you'll find this book full of ideas and extremely helpful, no matter whether you just start with it or you have been practicing brochure design for years.
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54 of 68 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Maybe post-Lasik..., March 14, 2006
By 
Aaron in Portland (Portland, Oregon, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Making and Breaking the Grid: A Graphic Design Layout Workshop (Paperback)
I can't vouch for the content; it seems sound. I'm just trying to read the friggin' thing, which is quite a challenge because the body text is light grey and <9 point, in small columns. It's all very lovely from 2 feet away; the headings really stand out. The composition is subdued and attractive. You could frame some of the spreads if you wanted to. But to actually read it, well, pity those without 20-20, like myself.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good overview of grid systems and their uses, June 14, 2006
By 
Alex Weber (Los Angeles, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Making and Breaking the Grid: A Graphic Design Layout Workshop (Paperback)
This book is pretty sweet. Samara gives an overview of grid systems, how they are constructed and when they are used. Also, there is a large selection of example works, with cross-references within the book to other similar works.

If you're interested in implementing grids (or violating them) in your work, you should check out this book...

... but consider using a library!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for inspiring designers, October 2, 2003
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This book is great for young inspiring designers to use as a learning tool and reference book. It shows how to make a grid system work and how to modify different styles of grids to a designers particular needs. The book is less in content and more focusing on showing images of the grid at work. This is a must have book and the price is well worth it.
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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Written in annoying design speak, August 2, 2010
This review is from: Making and Breaking the Grid: A Graphic Design Layout Workshop (Paperback)
A colleague of mine had this book and I decided to check it out. I've been a designer for over 15 years and have never been so bored reading about what I do for a living. The author chooses to abuse "design speak" rather than communicate simple design concepts.

Example: "In all of these compositions the designers have relied on their senses of placement, scale, movement, and color to intuitively orchestrate visual qualities within the respective formats."

If I ever say "intuitively orchestrate visual qualities" in a sentence you have permission to drag me into the street and beat my ass with a tire iron.

If you are interested in design and want a book that is written in an accessible way I suggest this: http://www.amazon.com/Systems-Graphic-Systeme-Visuele-Gestaltung/dp/3721201450
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, October 3, 2010
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This review is from: Making and Breaking the Grid: A Graphic Design Layout Workshop (Paperback)
I had a lot of problems with this book (a) one would expect a book with the words "Making the Grid" in it's title to include some process steps that move the reader from a blank sheet and a project through an analysis needs, the construction of a grid, and then its elaboration - you can find none of that! (b) This book spends moments in paragraphs mentioning what I thought should have been graphically illustrated as an early starting point. (c) It is ultimately a showcase of other peoples finished work with a light treatment of the underlying grid (if any), but not much insight on how or why. (d) Much of this boils down to "designer's decision" without much more thought or forwarding. (e) the light condensed type on white and against some of the backgrounds make it hard to read while in motion (on the bus at night NY to NJ). (f) Even the brief treatment of each the examples left me feeling disconnected.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent typography guide to grid systems, February 8, 2007
This review is from: Making and Breaking the Grid: A Graphic Design Layout Workshop (Paperback)
This book is especially helpful because not only are the examples innovative and exciting, but the grids are demonstrated for those examples. A great resource and a must have for any graphic designer
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Excellent layout; poor choice of type, May 25, 2010
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This review is from: Making and Breaking the Grid: A Graphic Design Layout Workshop (Paperback)
For all his expertise in typography, the author fails one of the biggest tests: readable type. Gray type on a gray background makes for a tedious struggle and creates unnecessary eyestrain. This is a huge negative that only points out that all too often designers either don't read or don't care about communicating ideas through words. The layout of the book is fabulous, but I'm sorely disappointed in the typography. Bummer!
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Making and Breaking the Grid: A Graphic Design Layout Workshop
Making and Breaking the Grid: A Graphic Design Layout Workshop by Timothy Samara (Paperback - May 1, 2005)
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