I'm trying to create a UI design for my 1024x768 screen.
I know there's a grid system out there. I've read about the benefits, etc. I understand, I think from a fundamental level, why I need to use them. But I'm so confused about how to create my own grid for my designs. How, for example, do I decide how many columns to use? Is there some way to take a look at a wireframe prototype and immediately be able to assess how many columns I'd need to use? I'm essentially taking wireframes and "skinning" them out in Illustrator.
The other thing I've noticed is that sites that talk about grids sometimes show examples that confuse me a bit. For example, I've noticed that a site will have 12 columns, but some of the boxes that align to the left side of this column have an overflow on the other side--meaning they don't fit into the column perfectly.
Can anybody help me decipher grids? I've looked through other threads, but it still answering my questions as to HOW you step-by-step set up a grid to fit your design.