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Layout Essentials: 100 Design Principles for Using Grids 1st Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1592534722
ISBN-10: 1592534724
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Beth Tondreau

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Rockport Publishers; 1 edition (February 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592534724
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592534722
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.9 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #705,430 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Layout Essentials: 100 Design Principals for Using Grids doesn't actually deliver design principals, they're just platitudes. Here are some examples: “Avoid crowding,” “Avoid overcrowding,” “Design with ample margins,” “Pack it in.” What the book does deliver is a well-chosen selection of excellent page layouts, most based on applications of grid principals, though a few make you scratch your head. (There is an illustrated compendium of grid layout terms on the first pages.) The author even applies the same principal to the layout and comments of the pages that illustrate the particular principal chosen, so the book design itself is excellent and quite clever.

What the author does not deliver is solutions to today's designers' main challenge: keeping a consistent look and grid design over printed pages, computer screens, and personal device displays. The book is focused almost entirely on printed pages or posters.

Nevertheless, the examples shown are brilliant and inspirational and the author's comments well-taken. Also of note is that many of the designers of the featured examples are women; nice to see a stereotype broken. All in all, the book is well-worth its cost.
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Format: Hardcover
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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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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Format: Hardcover
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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