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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Plain and Simple Grid Design
Making and Breaking the Grid, by Timothy Samara, is an analysis of the construction and deconstruction of grid-based designs. Featuring a comprehensive showcase of works in different media and across several decades.

The Book

The book is basically divided into 2 parts. The first one about the creation of the grid-based designs and its usage. The...
Published on 29 Jun 2011 by J. Pedro Ribeiro

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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The big book of clarity and chaos
What a strange publication. Divided into two sections the first explaining grid formatting with actual printed material and the second revealing how to design print without a grid.

There seems a contradiction here because the grid, used intelligently, will allow a whole range of graphic options to be presented with clarity. Some of the print examples reproduced...
Published on 28 Sep 2007 by Robin Benson


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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The big book of clarity and chaos, 28 Sep 2007
By 
Robin Benson - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Making and Breaking the Grid: A Layout Design Workshop (Paperback)
What a strange publication. Divided into two sections the first explaining grid formatting with actual printed material and the second revealing how to design print without a grid.

There seems a contradiction here because the grid, used intelligently, will allow a whole range of graphic options to be presented with clarity. Some of the print examples reproduced in the first section do show this with perhaps the most useful item a grid thumbnail for each piece, unfortunately I thought it was rather too small on each spread despite being the key to explaining each format. From past experience, designing magazines, I would start work on a grid by concentrating on the text type size because it is the least flexible of all the elements on the page. This point really wasn't made enough of in the book's chapter: Grid Basics.

The reproductions show a reasonable range of design solutions, essentially print though there is an example of corporate signage. Missing are magazines (consumer or trade) timetables and the like. Without a grid this type of printed matter really wouldn't exist.

The book's contradiction, to my mind, start with the second section: 'Grid Deconstructions and Non-Grid-Based Design Projects'. The forty items shown seem to have a couple of common threads: their design is essentially arbitrary which makes them look very messy and frequently their typography (display and text) is used as a design element which makes the words unreadable. Their design is the opposite of grid stimulated creativity, in other words visual chaos.

Some of the examples are quite amazing. On page 180-181 twelve pages of a calendar are shown, totally useless as its impossible to see the days and dates. Pages 188-189 show eight spreads from a design school journal showing irregular shaped blocks of text creating a sort of collage. I doubt anyone made the effort to read any of it. What is interesting about this second section material is that so much of it comes from educational establishments. In the real world all this designer whimsy would be rejected by the client on sight of the first dummy

'Making and Breaking the Grid' is well printed with 175dpi and the layout is adequate and for a book about grids you would have thought its own grid would have been included but it is strangely missing. Overall I felt that because the contents present two opposite design ideals the book's editorial concept is rather flawed.

From my experience there is only one book that really explains it all: Muller-Brockmann's 'Grid Systems in Graphic Design' published in Switzerland and full of good solid, practical, hands-on information. This book's only purpose is creative clarity.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Plain and Simple Grid Design, 29 Jun 2011
By 
J. Pedro Ribeiro (Dublin, Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Making and Breaking the Grid: A Layout Design Workshop (Paperback)
Making and Breaking the Grid, by Timothy Samara, is an analysis of the construction and deconstruction of grid-based designs. Featuring a comprehensive showcase of works in different media and across several decades.

The Book

The book is basically divided into 2 parts. The first one about the creation of the grid-based designs and its usage. The second one explains the deconstruction of the grid, a different approach on design in which the grid doesn't have to obey any rules.
In the first few pages the reader will be immersed into the historical facts surrounding the development of the grid-based design. There is a lot of information here - about 150 years of art & design evolution in only 7 pages - maybe a timeline would be interesting. But then again, this is not a history book.

The next chapter the author slows down the pace and starts a workshop about grid design. The content here is precise, clear enough for beginners and a good read for advanced designers. Concepts and styles are illustrated in a simple yet effective way and the examples are spot on.

Then the showcase begins. Pages and pages of great artwork from different decades and styles. Each of them with its own grid style - column, modular grid, etc. Description and comments explain how it was used and the effect generated by it.

Conclusion

As an introduction to grid-design, Making and Breaking the Grid does its job. It will give the initial hints and ideas of layout structure in a few pages but doesn't go very deep. The highlight of the book, without any doubt, is the showcase of designs. Big illustrations and photographs with detailed information. Definitely a must-have on any designer library.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Why grey on grey?, 16 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Making and Breaking the Grid: A Layout Design Workshop (Paperback)
It surprises me that a graphic design book should have been laid out in such a way as to make it difficult to read or understand. The choice to print in grey on a grey background makes text hard to focus on and the images fail to stand out against strong background. No doubt there is some interesting information in here, but one must fight against the layout in order to get at it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff, 26 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Making and Breaking the Grid: A Layout Design Workshop (Paperback)
Turned up weeks late.

very good text, great layouts well printed.

One for grpahic artists, although if you were trained I'm not sure if it would offer you any significant insights
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad purchase Very disapointed, 29 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Making and Breaking the Grid: A Layout Design Workshop (Paperback)
I bought this book because I genuinely expected that it was going to contain information on grids for all aspects of graphic design not just websites, book covers, leaflets and a few other small things, this book is really more of a layout design book than a graphic design grid book in fact I think that the title should really be called "Making and Breaking the Layout" there is no typography grids which I was quite surprised by. Anyway personally all in all I'm very disappointed and completely regret buying this book what a waste of money.
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0 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Graphics Book, 30 Dec 2010
This review is from: Making and Breaking the Grid: A Layout Design Workshop (Paperback)
good book, great with helping understand the grid, though got dropped in the snow by the post man so got wet and pages stuck together.
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Making and Breaking the Grid: A Layout Design Workshop
Making and Breaking the Grid: A Layout Design Workshop by Timothy Samara (Paperback - 29 April 2005)
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