Continuity, Harmony, Balance, Ohmm…

Thursday’s studio session with Susannah and Dominic was similar to last week’s in that we had to go out and around LCC again to take photos, this time about grids we saw in everyday things, whether naturally-occuring  or manmade.

Before we set out, within our tables we explored what grids meant to us, beyond and within the realm of Graphic Design. I’ve always employed grid systems in my page layouts, so for me, it was a bit hard to think outside the idea of editorial work and Graphic Design. Nevertheless, below is what my table discussed.


  1. Structure / Skeleton / Framework
  2. A rule / set of Laws to BREAK
  3. Creates Harmony
  4. Expansion
  5. Balance
  6. Making Information Modular
  7. System of Organisation
  8. Gives Continuity
  9. Swiss Design — Josef Müller-Brockmann
  10. Mapping / Transformation
  11. Photographic Composition; Rule of Thirds

It was interesting to actually reconsider how grids influence my work as a Graphic Designer. I’ve grown so used to just using grids that sometimes I don’t even consider why I turn to it so early on in the design process. I suppose, for me, grids just act as a skeleton of which to piece the design together on. It’s the main scaffolding holding up the layout, and you don’t immediately see it, but you know that it gives you a sense of comfort and order.

This is why I really liked the conclusions we came up pertaining to Continuity, Harmony and Balance. They are good reasons for using grids.

  • Grids give Continuity because they can be repeated on multiple pages, and create a steady rhythmic flow in the layout of textual and pictorial information. They allow you to serialise different sets of information in a continuous order chronologically or hierarchically.
  • Grids give Harmony because they allow a set of collaterals across physical and digital platforms to look cohesive and coherent. The allotment of information in different sections of a grid, when applied in an identical fashion to different collaterals, create an attractive reiteration and repetition of the design across the collaterals.
  • Grids give Balance because they allow you, in the most straightforward way possible, to consider page proportions and also be more aware of the space made available to you and the negative space in your design that helps to counterbalance the content on the page. The Van de Graaf canon (made popular by Jan Tschichold) is one way we can start deciding the proportions of a page and where to occupy the page with text.

I found that it was rather tricky to find non-manmade examples of grids around the area. Other groups were quite creative in that they took reference from the veins of leaves. I shall exclude my photos from this post because I don’t feel they really helped much with my current understanding and usage of grids pertaining to Graphic Design.

When we got back, our next activity was to explore organising things in a grid. We each brought 10 random things to work with, so we played around with arranging things in different configurations and with different criteria. Later on, Susannah and Dominic pointed out that the class was quite interested in arranging things according to different categories, and brought up the term Typologies. Here are some shots of the arrangements we did.

In some arrangements, it is quite obvious that we explored colour versus no colour, materials, size, shape, etc. It was fun, but honestly just felt like a pretentious exercise on flat-laying things to get more likes on Instagram. HAHA! Eager to start the Week 5 Grid studio.


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