Layout | Resources

960 Grid Actions

Instead of keeping track of a template file, I thought it would be easier to just make an action that would do the same thing.

The action creates a new file with (almost) the same dimensions as the 960gs templates. So, what are you waiting for? Download the action, install it in your Presets > Actions folder in Photoshop and load it.

Dowload the action

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Layout | Tools

QuarkXPress 8

QuarkXPress 8 is a brave release. It marks a major change to the user interface of the venerable page-layout and design program for the Mac. The familiar interface that QuarkXPress has held to for 21 years is now more similar in style to that of Adobe’s design applications. At the same time, version 8 offers very little in the way of new features, thus making the interface change its hallmark.

Read the full review

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Layout | Tools

Adobe InDesign CS5

According to Adobe’s research, InDesign isn’t just for print anymore; it’s now used for a wide range of projects, including those targeted to online and mobile devices. These days, customers crave easier ways to add interactivity, export documents to Flash, and create e-books, and seek streamlined techniques for the functions they use day in and day out. When you compare the new release of InDesign to these goals, the result is highly successful.

Read full review

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Layout | Basics

Page layout tips

Page layout or page composition is the process of placing and arranging and rearranging text and graphics on the page. A good composition is one that is not only pleasing to look at but also effectively conveys the message of the text and graphics to the intended audience. There are certain tried and true elements of page composition that can help insure a successful layout. You may notice that these page composition tips are closely tied to the principles of design. Continue reading

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Layout | Basics

Ratios and com­plex grids

In part one of this Simple Steps series I talked about how to use a simple ratio, that of the paper size you are using, to cre­ate a sym­met­rical grid on which to cre­ate your designs. This, the second part in the series, will deal with other ratios and how they can be com­bined to cre­ate more com­plex grid systems.

Relat­ing to grid systems
I’ve talked a few times about using the Golden, or ‘Divine’, Sec­tion in the grid sys­tems you design. The Golden Sec­tion is a ratio which is evid­ent through­out the uni­verse as the num­ber Phi. You can use this ratio to good effect in design by mak­ing sure that ele­ments of your grid con­form to this ratio. Using the Golden Sec­tion can ensure a nat­ural sense of cor­rect com­pos­i­tion, even though it is based in math­em­at­ics it will ‘feel’ right. Continue reading

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Layout | Basics

Designing a grid systems

Ratios are at the core of any well designed grid sys­tem. Some­times those ratios are rational, such as 1:2 or 2:3, oth­ers are irra­tional such as the 1:1.414 (the pro­por­tion of A4). This first part is about how to com­bine those ratios to cre­ate simple, bal­anced grids which in turn will help you cre­ate har­mo­ni­ous compositions.

Start­ing with a blank canvas
It’s always easier in these kinds of tutori­als to put the example in con­text, in some kind of real world scen­ario. So, this is it. You’ve got to design a pro­gramme for a gal­lery exhib­i­tion. You know you want the size to be A4. You also know that there are going to be pho­to­graphs and text, and the pho­to­graphs will be of vary­ing size. There you have it — your blank canvas. Continue reading

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Layout | Basics

Grid system

Think of the grid as a plan — a plan for your page layout
Many of the pages that you see everyday have a grid. You may not see it but it is there, holding up the design, establishing structure, guiding the page elements.

A grid is an invisible structure used to guide the placement of elements on your page. Grids don’t appear on the printed piece but their influence may be evident in the widths of column texts, the uniformity of space around photographs, or the consistent placement of repeating elements from page to page in a magazine. They are a series of guidelines that determine the margins of the piece, space between page elements (headlines, body text, photographs, etc.), and let you know where to put things on the blank page. Continue reading

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