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Grid Designs Don’t Have to Equal Boring

The problem is, most beginning designers feel that designing on a grid is boring. And it definitely can be. This is especially true if you use the grid as a mandate to fill in every square of the grid with something. The point of a grid is not as a way to fill up space, but to help you organize the space you have.

The trick to using grids in your layout is two-fold:

  • Create the grid, with as many sub-divisions as you need, and then stick with it. Don’t add random lines after you’ve created your grid. The benefit to a grid is the uniformity of it.
  • Place your elements on the grid lines, and make sure they fit the width and height of your grid lines. The most effective designs use the grid in balanced but not 100% symmetrical layouts.

Once you understand how to set up your pages using a grid system, then you can start moving away from the rigid grids to create more elegant design that works even if you can’t see the grid at first glance.

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When you create a new InDesign file, you may see the page ‘units’ like this:1

To change this to inches, go to Preferences (just like Illustrator you can change settings in Preferences)

2

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