Composition and grid structure are vital factors in effective communication with type. In Thinking with Type, Ellen Lupton comprehensively explains the benefits of working with a grid. She addresses the flexibility of grids, what grids offer in integrating type and image, and how they can organize a complex hierarchy.
There is an inextricable link between typeface, type size and measure (i.e. line length). While a design’s appearance can vary from screen to screen, good designers are experts at creating enticing, digestable amounts of information, carefully composed to hold our interest. However,losing the connection with the audience is all too easy. For example, text set small on long lines can make for daunting reading, and text set large on short lines is equally problematic, though for different reasons.
In the latter case, the line breaks could overwhelm the punctuation, demanding the reader to refocus their attention every few words. In both situations, the extra long or extra short lines could lose the reader’s interest all on their own.
At the click of a button, the copy smoothly expands to a few paragraphs and across two columns, just enough to get you hooked while still adhering to the grid. This longer descriptive copy creates another level of typographic texture and tone that contrasts effectively with the headings, providing a welcome change of pace and visual rhythm.
Percussion Lab also makes effective use of the grid, flexibly using four columns to feature a detailed mix of sets from contributing artists. Each featured item fits into the column structure and overall hierarchy, including details on the date, artist, set name and genre. The highlights expand to fill two columns and feature a track listing and helpful details.