I've been wondering if there's a universal grid structure to use regardless of format/page size/proportions? While researching online or reading professional books i usually can see that there are a lot of examples of many division types but never a guideline to start with in any occasion.

I started experimenting with dividing length and height of any format i worked on by 10. Which gave me always 100 modules with exactly the same proportions as the the whole format. Then i read web designers usually use 12 or 24 modules horizontally because the're easily dividable by 2,3 and 4.

So i started dividing each format's length and height by 12. Do you have any suggestions, what other approach i could use in any situation regardless of the graphics material type (posters, ads, posts, catalogs etc.)? Maybe something related to golden ratio, Fibonacci sequence or musical proportions?

  • Its a bit like asking for a shortcut... If there is one its not well known. – joojaa Aug 27 '17 at 20:42


Each type of medium (a. web/print/mobile then b. landscape/portrait, etc) comes with its own restrictions and i don't think there's a rule that could cover everything. It very much depends on the volume and type of content you are working with and the style you are going for.

There are those 'traditional' page layouts that go well with the golden ratio story, then there's a lot of experimental layouting expecially in art books which will ignore all the teachings and do it all upside down. Look at what the dutch book designers are doing (yes, google that).

The only guideline you can have is to ask yourself whether a certain project does, or does not, need a grid. Then you need to know your options for each case.

There's a book called Making and breaking the grid. What it teaches is, first you learn about the grid, the columns, the ratios and everything, then you forget about it and do whatever works for the item.

Also one and two random articles talking about non-grid designs (yes, designing without a grid).

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