We started by looking at systems. Lots of maths. Lots. It made me glad I took Mathematics 131. We talked about the Fibonacci sequence and the Golden Ratio (and it’s overuse by nature…) and looked at different uses of them in pages. The system of squares was one thing that confused me. The fact that you have to create a point from the centre of a square to another edge using an arc, to divide the system in another square, which can be divided further using the same method. Just putting it in a sentence makes it sound confusing. Looking at illustrations helped to see the spiral that was being created. Other systems we looked at was the root 2 sequence, Den system, Rule of thirds, root 3 and root 5 sequence. The root 4 sequence was a very simple system (since root 4 is simple 2).
We had to create page systems using the root 2, 3, 5 and Golden Ratio, (not root 4…because it’s too simple—even though I really wanted square pages…). A way to start was by simply picking a unit of measurement. It could be a number you make up or a measurement you take (which can be more meaningful conceptually). Using this and the rules, I could decide my page dimensions and then move on to the grid (how many columns and rows I want, depending on my system). For example, a system of root 5 would go up in factors of 5, system of Golden Ratio would use the Fibonacci sequence etc.
I started by using a line measure as a unit. I made a paragraph with average measure of 55-75 characters and used that as my unit:
^ used Golden Ratio
Using this method I was able to create a relatively square book. After experimenting with paragraphs as units for page systems I used my hand measurements. I experimented with the width, span and height of my hand. I also Googled the size of an average male hand and used that…because my manual wasn’t just for me.
The Root 3, Root 2 and Root 5 sequences were the ones that I focused on the most. Especially root 3 and root 5 because they gave my finer grids, so more flexibility on where to position objects.
I used 0.4 and 0.5 cm as gutters, because apparently there was a way to decide gutters, which we hadn’t gone over yet:
^ Apart from my hand height, I also looked at my mug for a unit of measurement. Doing this made me notice how things in general are designed while keeping aspects like hand size in mind. My mug height gave me very similar results to my hand height. What really struck me was my lunchbox, it’s dimensions were almost identical to my hand.
By the end of it I ended up having around 20 grids
These were some of my main grids that I liked.
^ It was after the class discussion that I realised that I did these wrong. The grid wasn’t divided enough to give me enough ways to position my type. There were only 2 columns in one and 3 in the other.
^ The discussion also made me realise that more detailed wasn’t necessarily better. The grids that are too fine won’t even be perceivable. A common thing that everyone in the class did was make tiny pages. We all wanted cute books, I argued that they were like pocket dictionaries. But then we weren’t making pocket dictionaries.
This was a ‘grid’ that I had made, that I didn’t print out, mostly because I had a feeling that it was messed up. I had talked about having a grid that wasn’t like an even grid, but more like a brick like grid or honeycomb grid. Going through our discussion and thinking it through made me realise that the grid wouldn’t work:
^ How would I arrange my columns of type and images on such a weird grid? Now that I look at it, it looks so impossible. Don’t know why I thought it made sense earlier.