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Everywhere I look, I come across the 96o grid, like it's the only one that exists, so I am wondering if I can adjust the grid width to what I need, for example to "stretch" it to 1400 on the 1440 screen, because I have not come across information that grids could be relatively arbitral based on the screen size - just the 960 pixel grid everywhere I look.

I know by now that the 960 grid is the most common, but why is it so, when screen sizes are so different? For example - the default size for a HD Desktop Artboard in Sketch is 1440x1024 pixels. So should I still use the 960 grid? What about those huge margins?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Lucian, Zach Saucier, Luciano, WELZ, Paolo Gibellini May 4 '18 at 10:16

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • You can use whatever system you fancy. Design is that way. Asking why is 960 standard is one thing. Asking how to make your design responsive is another. Overall this question as it stands is overly broad and too opinion based for StackExchange's Q&A format – Zach Saucier Apr 23 '18 at 12:25
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I am wondering if I can adjust the grid width to what I need, for example to "stretch" it to 1400 on the 1440 screen

Sure, do whatever you want with it.

I know by now that the 960 grid is the most common, but why is it so, when screen sizes are so different?

Because people are lazy.

It's common because it was/is a nice easy framework that designers and developers can use to throw together a layout using a pre-existing grid system without having to worry about both the design of the grid itself and the technical implementation of that grid (i.e. the HTML/CSS).

If that works for you... great.

Time is money, so saving on design time, development time and having a common starting place for both designer and developer (assuming they're different people) is great. But it is a shortcut and isn't going to work for every design and (as evident by your question) isn't going to fit evolving screen sizes. A static grid of any size isn't really an ideal solution any more and you should really be using some form of responsive grid if you're working for any general web project....

Long story short, don't rely on any pre-made grid system just because it's popular or easy or anything else. Creating a grid system should (in an ideal world) be as much a part of your design process as anything else.

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The creator of the 960 grid system wrote:

I am simply sharing the grid dimensions that I have found myself gravitating towards over the past year or so. If others can benefit from that, then all the better.

So it's nothing more than an arbitrary size made to fit his own projects. It works fine because it was created when desktop screens larger than 960px wide were getting popular. As screens got larger over time the grid gets proportionally larger margins.

If you want a similar system but with flexible columns you can use the unsemantic grid system.

Do as you wish: use it as it is or make the columns responsive. There is no official standard set by anyone.

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