Grids in the Yearbook Layout Make Life So Much Easier


After agreeing on the theme as well as the articles, photos and captions for the high school yearbook, the next step is deciding on the its layout. Keep in mind that the most effective yearbook layout area easy on the eyes, easy to read and easy to connect the dots between the articles, photos and captions. Without a good layout, the yearbook will be a disorganized mess regardless of how well the articles were written and how well the photos were taken.

Fortunately, grids can make life easier for the members of the yearbook committee! Here are things you need to know about your new best friend in the yearbook layout design process.


Grids Are Invisible

It must first be emphasized that grids do not actually appear on the printed pages of the high school yearbook, thus, the invisible term used on these lines. Basically, grids are a set of lines used as an effective guide in the placement of the various design elements of the yearbook. Said design elements include the articles, essays and stories as well as the photos, images and captions.

Although grids are invisible, their influence on the pages of the yearbook is evident, in a manner of speaking. Examples include the consistent placement of repetitive elements from one page to the next, the widths and lengths of the column text, and the uniform spaces around the photos. Even the margins, gutters and alleys on the pages are determined by the choice of grids, thus, emphasizing their importance in effective yearbook layout.


Grids Start with Margins

The good news about grids is that computerized applications provide for a wide variety of grids (i.e., nine grids, ten grids, and twelve grids) in both standard and customizable formats. This means that even a neophyte layout artist will be able to experiment with the placement by moving around the design elements of the high school yearbook – and with the use of a computer, too! Say goodbye to the laborious tasks of manual placement in the traditional yearbook layout design process.

In both traditional and digital layout, nonetheless, the grids start with setting the margins. On a computerized application, the margins are the solid lines shown on the screen with a margin on the top, bottom, left and right parts of the paper. The box resulting from these 4 margins make for a single unit grid.

It is then an easy matter of dividing this single unit grid into multiple grids using the features on the application. Or if you are having problems with doing so, tap into the standard grid formats and experiment from that point.


Grids Provide Great Benefits

How do grids make life easier for the staff members assigned to the yearbook layout design process?

• Grids unify related pieces from one page to the next mainly through the adoption of a single grid system.

• Grids unify the disparate elements of the page into an organized yet pleasant appearance. The text, photos and headings are lined up for easy readability and continuity.

In short, grids provide continuity and consistency in all the pages of the yearbook – truly, two qualities essential in effective yearbook layout.

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