Learning Activity – Basic Principles of Layout

Learning Activity – Basic Principles of Layout

Take a magazine, newspaper or book that includes images and text. Lay tracing paper over the top of three spreads (both left-hand and right-hand pages). Using a pencil and ruler, carefully trace the grid underlying the page layouts. Remember to remove specific text elements or images, and to only draw the grid lines. Note column widths and margin sizes at the top, bottom, and to the left and right of the main body of text. Is your document based on a two-column, three-column, or another type of grid? Which elements stay the same on each page, and which change?

It seems a lot of my peers didn’t read that highlighted part, or maybe I’m the one doing it wrong, so I traced the outstanding items in pencil and then the grid lines in pen.

Layouts taken from Digital Foto, a Norwegian photography magazine I subscribe to.


The trend being that all the layouts conformed to a set of rules, which remained for the most part – consistant; the guidelines, however, seemingly out of artistic license these laws were sometimes bent to add dynamics to the issue and layout.


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