Structure of a Book | Design For Print

18 Feb

Jan Tschichold was a german typographic expert in the 1930’s, and focused greatly on the structure of typography. Josef Muller-Brockmann stated in “Grid systems in Graphic Design” that Tschichold ‘Die Neue Typography’ (The New Typography) ‘Formulated the rules of an up to date typography which met the needs of the age’.

The purpose of a grid, with reference to book making and typography, is that a design solution will seem to be ‘functional’ and ‘more aesthetically pleasing’. objects on a page of a book that are aligned in a certain manner using an array of geometric lines and patterns will seem more organised than a book with imagery and typography that has in no way been put into a system and style. the benefit of using a gridded ordering system will also show that the designer sees his work to be constructive and ‘oriented to the future’. Because our brains perceive objects on a screen or a page mathematically, at a level which we are not conscious about, Then this is why organisation will pe positive.

The use of a grid system does not just relate to the physical attributes of a piece of graphic design, it can also clarify other design aspects. For example, the grid can be used to adopt a ‘positive, forward thinking attitude’, as well as having the ability to add some objectivity into a rather subjective field of work. The grid can also present a perception of a designers’ knowledge, ability and mentality.

WIthin the book ‘Grid Systems in Graphic Design’, there are four points that a grid system makes easier:


  • Constructs the argument objectively with the means of visual communication
  • constructs the text and illustrative material systematically and logically
  • organises the text and illustrations in a compact arrangement with its own rhythm.
  • puts together the visual material so that it is readily intelligible and structured with a high degree of tension.

      The use of the grid is to create structure to adverts, brochures, books, catalogues, periodicals and so on.

      if the grid is used successfully, then it will portray a sense of planning, organisation, and this will distill a sense of confidence to the reader that what they are looking at is credible and factual.

      Screen Shot 2013-02-18 at 14.42.56

      Taken from ‘Grid Systems in Graphic Design’ (Josef Muller-Brockmann). the section describes how the width of a column on a page needs to be enough so that the reader can view the message easily and clearly. The column width needs to take into account the size of the type, length of the lines as well as the leading (space width in between lines). A general rule of thumb is that there should be seven to ten words per line of text of any length, so the type size needs to be adjusted to suit this however long the line is.


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