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The Designer and the Grid [Paperback]

Lucienne Roberts , Julia Thrift
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

28 Jan 2005
The Designer and the Grid reveals the key to the hidden driving force behind almost all graphic design: the grid. The book begins by reviewing its ubiquity in a cultural context before concentrating on the principles of the grid within graphic design. Case studies and interviews then explore what the grid means to leading contemporary graphic designers. Essays by an architect, a musicologist, a screenwriter and a Web designer deal with the grid as a universal idea; a step-by-step look at the mathematical precision of QuarkXPress reveals the digital grid. Provocatively, the book closes with a discussion of the implications for grid-bound design of the new CAD/CAM technologies. Do they spell the end of the grid as we know it?

The Designer and the Grid is richly illustrated, with paired visuals showing designs both with and without their underlying grids. The favourite grids of top designers, including Simon Esterson, Vaughan Oliver, Ellen Upton and Muller & Hesse are also featured in this unique book.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Rotovision (28 Jan 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 2880468140
  • ISBN-13: 978-2880468149
  • Product Dimensions: 24.6 x 24.6 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,193,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Coffee table rather than school desk 5 Sep 2003
By TheJonesBoy VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
Interesting rather than indispensable - will kickstart an interest in grids and their uses but it's not the only book you'll ever need if you want to really get it together with teh idea of grids and their place in most if not all design work. A bit too desperate to appear groovy for it's own good but decent enough if you don't own any other "grid" books.
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5 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars gridtastic! 29 Nov 2002
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
who says design books have to be dull? this book takes the most anal of design fetishes - grids - and makes them interesting, mainly by putting them in a broader cultural context and then asking those who actually use them what they're all about. buy one for all your design mad friends now
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Amazon.com: 2.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Content, Interesting Design 9 July 2003
By John - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book is a great resource for those wishing to learn more about grids. What was most interesting to me was the portions discussing the history of the grid and the psychology of the grid. The rest of the book is great as well though. My only complaint would have to be that even though a very interesting grid is utilized throughout the book, the lack of changes in font size allow no development of a hierarchy of information and make the headers at time distracting and overall make the book a little difficult to read. other than that I highly reccomend this book.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable But Quirky Look at the Grid 29 Nov 2006
By Nigel M. Duckworth - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If this book were a website it would have serious usability problems. You often have to rotate the book 90 degrees to read a lot of the text, and a lot of the key graphics are way too small while non-essential graphics are blown up way beyond their importance. E.g. some grid layouts discussed in the text are accompanied by a graphic of the aforementioned layout at the size of a matchbox; while a graphic of a relatively uninformative application toolbar spans the entire spread. The designers have sacrificed readability and comprehension to "style".

It's a pity because this book has some interesting information on grids, and tackles the subject from unusual angles. If you're already familiar with the grid then the text and mini essays provide a refreshing perspective on this topic. The content is of mixed value and should be read critically, much of it is clearly presented as a particular designer's view or idiosyncratic method which may or may not be useful to you depending on your design philosophy and methods.

If you are just learning about grids then this is not the place to start. There is some practical information on how to create and set up a grid but surprisingly it comes right at the end in the last 2 chapters and it is only briefly touched upon.

I half-heartedly recommend this book if you want to view the grid in a wider context, or from a historical or psychological perspective, and want to explore how some designers approach the grid. Be prepared to work a little, thanks to the small graphics and "designer" layout. Despite these problems, I enjoyed reading this book; it's a break from the more dense and dry works on the subject which I am immersed in a lot of the time. Be aware that it's not a book that will teach you very much about actually implementing the grid in your own work, though you might get some new insights and ideas.
13 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars TERRIBLE book on approaching the grid 1 Feb 2005
By Mapo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Amazon rating = 1 Star

My personal rating = 0 Stars

This book was pretty horrible. If you are looking for a book that will teach you HOW TO USE grids in design, this definitely, MOST definitely isn't it. I can't tell you how much this ISN'T it. This is mostly just a commentary on grids, theories, and apparant use of the grid in society. Most theories on the use of grid in society are really quack though. This is the type of book that takes things TOO far. It's based on some rather quack opinions.

This book doesn't approach the grid from a learning standpoint, as in, how to USE a grid or develop a grid. It is a coffee table book.

The layout of the book is horrible. You open the book and see in the inside of the cover which is lime green and you might think that this might be a nice, fun book. But it isn't. The layout of the pages suck. It doesn't matter who designed this book, how many design awards they won, or whatever but this book is POORLY designed. It's too heavy on style to be read like a book. The style is pointless. It's even difficult to navigate your way through the table of contents! It seems like the designers designed this book for themselves and not for people to READ.

Overall, the content is pretty worthless.
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