What Are Key Types of Grid Systems in Graphic Design?

Grid systems play an important role in web and print design, as they help to put in order, rhythm and consistency of all the visual and text design elements within the layout. Thanks to horizontal and vertical lines and guides which make a grid, you can easily arrange any object and make it look in accordance with the design principals and project requirements. In other words, grids help to enhance the visual hierarchy and give coordinates for easier navigation within the layout.

There are a lot of grid systems which vary in shapes and sizes. All grid structure types fall into simple and more complex grids. Below are key grid types which you need to know for creating your future design projects.

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Manuscript Grid

Manuscript grid is a basic grid system that consists of a single column that is an ideal option for arranging huge blocks of continuous copy. Manuscript grids are usually applied for creating design layouts of essays, books and blog posts.

Example of a manuscript grid usage

Column Grid

Column grid system is the most used type of grid structure. Column grid structure overtakes a whole page area and splits it into a number of vertical columns. The design elements are aligned to these vertical columns. This type of grid is commonly used by web and graphic designers. Column grid systems are widely applied for magazines and newspapers layout and design. There can be at least 2 columns in a column grid and 12 or more columns if needed. There are symmetrical with columns of the same width or asymmetrical with some columns of a different width in comparison with the rest.

Example of column grid usage

Modular Grid

The grid compiled of multiple columns in combination with horizontal rows is called modular grid. This type of a grid system provides flexibility in arranging the balance between visual and textual blocks. It is usually used in complex projects with random text and visual content blocks.

Example of a modular grid usage

Hierarchical grid

The hierarchical grid system is a random grid structure that is formed in accordance of the design elements layout needs. Hierarchy grid system is used when you need to arrange secondary objects around one key object that serves as a focal point in the design. Hierarchy grids are commonly used in web design.

Example of a hierarchical grid usage

Hopefully, the above-explained grid system types will help you in proper organization and arranging of design elements and objects in your graphic or web or graphic design projects.

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