Design issues | Why grids?

December 4th, 2006


A question that is always burns my mind. As a designer, I always seek to build some sort of a grid in my designs. Alignment of design object is one of the most important ABCs of any information display. If I saw a 1px shift from a grid I get irritated and I feel that there is something wrong and not well designed… why??

Most of architectural designs are based on grid. The modern movements of design are based on grid. Modern cities are planned according to a grid. Grids are everywhere, and in everything designed by human.

So why is grid?
I tried to find an answer for that question. But to tell you the truth, answering this question needs more research and deeper digging. But I can shape an opinion based on my design experience through out the years. The most important thing to bear in mind is that not every creation in life is based on a grid… in fact there is a design movements created to fight grids…

If you want to design something that works you simply need a system. This system insures that anyone could easily get use of what you have designed… wither it was a house or an Ad.

Basically the grid is the simplest system which man ever found. It’s like the easiest equation in mathematics 1+1=2. Grids allow understanding how and why things work. Users need a guide so grids are the most understandable guide you can ever get.

Some people do not believe in grids. They take there designs into a higher level of experience. But most of the time the results are vague or hard to use for most people. And maybe this is what they want.

Other people do not know what is grids are for. There for most of there work are useless and below standards.

Grids have many forms, proportions and relations. Good and functional design relay on grids. People who seek beauty may not find a great use of grids. Probably they will ignore it and end up making arbitrary designs. Such design which will cost you money and nothing in return.

We need grids but we don’t have to like it!!

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6 Responses to “Design issues | Why grids?”

  1. Ccee Says:

    An interesting post.
    Thanks, I’ve really liked it.

  2. salam Says:

    I like to start from a grid,then maybe infuse some chaos around it.Grids keep things in perspective,and in the right proportions….I love grids!

  3. Haitham Issam Says:

    Well grids provide order, and even with chaos I beleive there should be some order to control it terms of functionality, ‘Chaos within Order’, especially in the case of architecture. But order can be something other than grids no? Would like to try some experimenting.

  4. Wael Attili Says:

    Haitham: how about fractals… it’s a much more complicated system of order…

  5. Haitham Issam Says:

    Wael I’m not really familiar with the issue, sounds very interesting though, but it’s Proportion afterall, and the clustering of the ‘fractures’ is in order, so we’re back to Order :D

  6. Wael Attili Says:

    well Haitham, it’s another form of order but not based on grids :)

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