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  • Baseline Grid

    Reading a site it says (I can not paste url)

    Finally, to effectively work with a grid type, images need to have a relationship to a baseline grid, which effectively anchors items. Text can be cross-aligned, with varying type sizes occupying some or all of the lines of the baseline grid. For example, if you have a 12pt baseline grid, the default type size and leading configurations of 10pt on 12pt leading, 20pt on 24pt leading and 40pt on 48pt leading will all fit to the same grid, cross-aligning and bringing a sense of structure to a design as the human eye looks for order and patterns

    I tried this but it doe snot seem to make sense. If I set the baseline to 12pts, and make font size 10pt and

    edit - I worked it out!

    Any tips on using baseline grids and indesign? esp with multiple paragraph styles applied?

  • #2
    I stopped using InDesign baseline grids several years ago when we tried to implement them at a magazine I worked at. I haven't used them since, so I don't know if Adobe's changed the way they work.. They were just too rigid and confining.

    We did not, of course, toss out the principle of using an invisible underlying grid upon which the magazine was designed. We just tossed out the notion of letting a software program enforce it and, instead, allowed our designers the latitude to make their own judgment calls.


    • #3
      Originally posted by Backspace View Post
      Any tips on using baseline grids and indesign? esp with multiple paragraph styles applied?
      Yes; don't use a baseline grid unless you have to. There are applications in which using one is a prudent and essential measure, but not many. A layout that ruthlessly honors a baseline grid will cause many more problems than it solves, and the number of people who will notice whether your columns are baseline-gridded is negligible. Just because I know all about the feature, I'm someone who would notice, and when I do come upon a layout composed (almost always needlessly), on a baseline grid, I think; "poor bastard; why on Earth would he put himself through it?"
      Last edited by HotButton; 08-11-2017, 11:06 AM.
      I'd rather be killed than come to your party, but if you don't invite me, I'll kill myself.


      • #4
        Hi Backspace and welcome to GDF.

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        • #5
          Hotbutton and B, why do you hate Baseline grids in Indesign so much?

          I'm interested because I teach Indesign and want to know the practical reasons.

          thx for any respond


          • #6
            It's not a matter of hatred, Carlo. Baseline grid is actually a great feature if you take the time to gain a true understanding of how it works, then plan your layout based on it, knowing in advance how it will affect content-fitting, particularly in layouts that include more than just like-formatted text. As I'm sure you know, anchored objects (especially those with text wrap applied), captions, pull-quotes, tables, dropcaps, subheads, etc., are all items that could easily end up in unwanted position when there is a baseline grid in effect.

            I've produced many layouts in which I made a baseline grid work just fine, and the visual benefits of grid-aligned body text were apparent (to me), but I've worked on many more in which other, un-grid-able placement and positioning priorities outweighed those benefits.
            I'd rather be killed than come to your party, but if you don't invite me, I'll kill myself.


            • #7
              Originally posted by Carlo
              Hotbutton and B, why do you hate Baseline grids in Indesign so much?
              I haven't used baseline grids for a few years, but at the time, I found their implementation too rigid and confining. For example, I remember difficulty in getting the spacing I wanted between, say, a headline, a subhead, a pull-out quote, a drop cap, etc., and the rest of the body because the text was rigidly conforming to the baseline grid. The benefits of having all the type lined up perfectly was outweighed by the often less-than-ideal spacing between the various elements that it would cause. The workaround for these things just made it more trouble than it was worth.

              Lately, when I've played around with baseline grids, it seems that more recent versions of InDesign might have more flexibility in letting the user choose when and where to use them. Even so, with the kind of work that I typically do, having the body text align to a common baseline just isn't all that important, so I don't use it.

              Even though I align most every element in a layout to an underlying grid of some kind, a separate grid to ensure baseline consistency beyond just using consistent point sizes and leading, at least for me in the work I typically do, is just more of an encumbrance than a help. I suppose if I were laying out a long, text-heavy book, where most every element on every page was based upon a template into which text just flowed from one page to the next, the baseline grid alignment would be more visually critical and the downside would be much smaller, so I'd likely use the baseline grid feature.


              • HotButton
                HotButton commented
                Editing a comment
                ^ 'Zactly

            • #8
              I don't think I've met a base line grid yet and I've been doing this stuff nearly 20 years. All the stuff we do is custom though. usually the graphics are created as one-offs, and while each has an over-arcing design scheme, the material is usually so varied, that using a baseline grid would just unnecessarily complicate things. Will look for some examples.


              • #9
                Here, we'll try this.
                Images of various museum exhibits. Don't look at the artifacts, look at the graphic design content. Base line grids would be a nightmare.


                • #10
                  OK, thanks for the feedback. Some things to consider about baseline grids.

                  Every text frame can have his own baseline grid (that way you can overrule the general baseline grid, and it can be included in a object style)

                  Every paragraph style can align to the baseline grid all lines or only the first line or none.

                  So a pull quote can align or not. As with everithing else…

                  I would use a baseline grid to all text formatting that has to fit to a certain ratio of alignement and not use it for titles, subtitle and so on…

                  I wouldn' use a baseline grid in a flyer, poster and things like that. it has no use.

                  Setting up a baseline grid in a document (preferences) is also a bit of a worry.

                  Ok just my idea, but it works for me







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