*PS. Below you will find an auto-generated transcript of this episode.
Timothy Samara: One of the most important things for designers to think about is that any particular grid structure can be used in a lot of different ways. The grid is just to set a guide. It's not the design of the content, how that content moves on the surface of that grid can happen in a lot of very, very different ways. And, you know, you can fill columns with content, images, and texts all the way out to the margins. And that creates one particular kind of feeling.
Arek Dvornechuck: What's up branding experts, Arek here at Ebaqdesign and my guest today is Timothy Samara. Timothy is a New York based graphic designer and educator whose 25 year career has focused on visual identity and branding, communication design, and typography. Working for large corporations, nonprofit organizations and start-ups. Timothy also teaches at many design schools and universities around NYC including: The New School for Design, New York University, School of Visual Arts and more. He has also written several books on design and one of them is “Making And Breaking The Grid” and this is the book we’re going tot talk about today. So Timothy is an expert when it comes to graphic design and that’s why I really wanted to have him on our podcast — to talk about Graphic Design Layout. Hello Timothy, thank you so much for taking the time to join us, on our podcast.
Timothy Samara: It's a pleasure.
Arek Dvornechuck: Thank you. So I think it is vital to start by talking about the structure in graphic design. So on one hand we have designers who see typographic grid as an organizing principle and it’s a part of their process that helps them yield precision, order and clarity in everything they do. And on the other hand we have designers who might see grid as a symbol of aesthetic oppression, something that hinders their expression. But I believe that first you need to learn how to use the grid, in order to be able to break it when you need to. And I really like what you said in the book, quote: “The grid system is an aid, not a guarantee. I permits a number of possible uses and each designer can look for a solution that is appropriate to this or her personal style.” So with that, we gonna talk about some of those solutions and how to make a layout. But first can you talk to us about benefits of making a grid and where it comes from?
Timothy Samara: So the grid is a, it's a principle for organizing information and it comes out of, in a very, very organic way out of the structure of the Latin typeface letter forms in particular, and also in the way that we structure language, which tends to work in a kind of a horizontal vertical framework. So it has this very, very kind of organic, natural quality really into the way that Westerners read and expect to navigate information from a structural perspective, the benefits of it like any kind of a system. It is a part of kind of designed systems thinking. It allows a designer to create a, kind of a continuity of logic of organizing principles or organizing qualities for graphic material texts and images that helps hold everything together in a kind of a unified totality, so that all the parts of a project as they vary sometimes with a little bit of information, sometimes with a lot of information, sometimes different kinds of information in different combinations can all appear to be speaking with the same voice, conveying the same idea and leading a reader or user through the information in a kind of consistent way so that the user becomes familiar with and comfortable with the way that they're interacting with the information.
Timothy Samara: You know, a system is always about this tension between consistency and variation and what the grid does is allows of course, for that consistency, because all of the elements that it contains or that it governs are following kind of proportions that are divided by a regular set of intervals guidelines or breaks in the space of a page or screen from left to right and top to bottom. So all the proportions of elements and the way that they might be organized conform to those, those divisions in the page space at the same time, because those spaces can be combined in different sizes or different proportions. It allows for flexibility. That is as information changes from part to part, to part, whether it's from one screen to another and a website or it's page spread after page spread within a book, or even in a more extensive program where there are many formats like in a branding system, it allows the designer to be able to create visual cohesion among very, very different kinds of information in different combinations.
Timothy Samara: And that's the primary, the primary benefit. If you're thinking in terms of kind of teamwork, the grid also provides a way for several designers in a team or who are working on a project collaboratively to develop individual components independently and still be adhering to some rules. So that everybody's work looks like it goes together. And then last it's a, it's a kind of a, it's a machine for efficiency, most of the planning and development of the grid structure and what it's going to do the way that it, it is going to organize information, takes place up front. So there's a kind of a front loading and that you spend really more time kind of assessing what the content is and how the grid structure is going to accommodate it and account for, you know, different kinds of situations. And then once those rules are defined, is that in essence, you can bang out a lot of material very, very quickly because those rules have already been established and you're essentially following your own rules you know, time after time after time. So it reduces the need to kind of design each kind of component each page spreader, each screen, kind of from the ground up. So it, it really improves, you know, kind of the efficiency of workflow. And that's a very, very practical kind of benefits.
1. Grid Basics
Arek Dvornechuck: So some of, some of my also just to summarize what our listeners, some of the key takeaways from, from from your book is that, you know, graphic design is problem solving. So we need to organize all this information. Picture symbols fills up text headlines, and so on. So gray brings the systematic order to, to our layout. So it allows us to easily navigate and insure visual cohesion and the harmony, as you also mentioned. So it's also, it makes our work more efficient, right? Allows us to say time down the roads. And so basically grid is a set of online and based relationship. That's set up as a guide for placing elements on a page, right there, hide the width height, the width proportions. So can we talk about some of the agreed basics and fundamentals of page layouts, things like, like you mentioned in your book, you know, the column grid, the modular grade, different kind of grades, hierarchy, grades, compound, grades, image, behavior, texts, behavior, and so on. Can we just pass on some of those key elements to have our listeners understand, you know, the concept of building graphic design layouts? I think the first
Timothy Samara: And most important thing to understand is that one, you know, you make your grid based on whatever the content is. We're in response to the content and also in response to the format, you know, whether it's printer screen-based and how the user's going to use it is how they're going to access that content. So any number of any, one of a different kind of grid could be potentially useful or appropriate depending on what the content happens to be. If the content is relatively simple, that is, it doesn't have that many different kinds of parts, a simpler grid is more useful so that it minimizes the, the potential for complication to kind of creep in. But over time, that is if you, if you, if you don't have very, very complicated information, you don't need a very complex grid structure. So in that case, something like, if you, for example, if you only had essentially a long form kind of running text, and maybe there were some notations or a very, very minimal number of images, and maybe only captions for those images, and, you know, you don't really have to be able to break apart the page space in a dramatic number of ways, because you don't have to separate things.
Timothy Samara: You don't have to group things. You don't have to be able to distinguish between you know, kind of several different kinds of stuff in the space. And so something as simple as a manuscript grid where you have in essence, one single block and defined by margins of specific portions might be okay, that might also not be enough. It may, you know, whether that's a functional issue that is that you need greater distinction, you need to be, need to be able to separate at least out to the captions from where the running text is or a call-out or something. But that may also be an aesthetic choice, you know, sort of how actively you want to be able to break the page. And so you might say, you know column grid of maybe only two columns might be useful, whether those two columns happen to be the same width within the page format.
Arek Dvornechuck We are going to take a quick break here, but we'll be right back. Listen. My mission is to help people build and design I claim brands. So whether you're a business leader who wants to become more intentional with branding and all of its aspects, or you're a creative professional who wants to attract powerful clients and surely be able to help them with branding, then you need to start with a discovery session in order to develop a strategy that will inform all your creative work and everything that you need in order to learn how to do that. You can find in my online courses, I designed.com/show, where I share with you my worksheets case studies, video tutorials, and all their additional resources to help you feel safe and strong about your process. Now let's get back to our interview
Arek Dvornechuck: Or show what you are talking about. All our listeners, all you guys to check out the book, the book is quiet, it's quite a big [inaudible] a lot of different, you know, [inaudible] gives us examples and different tools and techniques. So sort of things that go on. So
Timothy Samara: You know, whether or not the, whether or not the columns, whether there's two or three happened to be the same size that is the same width left to, right. The page space is, you know, there's a, there's another kind of a decision to make. It could be that the columns are all the same, the same width, and that just by adjusting material from left to right. You know, let's say it's a two column grid from one column to the other, or from using both columns simultaneously or using one column for one kind of content. And another column for another kind of content could be fine. It could be that, you know, going back to this example of primarily a long form, like an article where there might just be sort of captions or small insects or notations, you could have a narrow column for that kind of secondary material and focus attention on a much wider column of a different measurement on the same page, in which case then you would be dealing with what's called a hierarchic grid where each column is given a proportion based on kind of what content it's going is going to occupy it. And so those two things, those two columns don't necessarily have to be the same if you're dealing with, with material that is very complex, where in you might have three or four different kinds of texts, as well as images of different kinds, as well as something like a sidebar or a timeline or diagrams, infographics, and so on, were all of those different kinds of information are going to appear together sometimes all at once and sometimes in different combinations, the more kind of complex grid you're going to need. And that would generally tend to suggest a modular grid. That is one where a modular grid in which there are not only columns left to, right, but also divisions top to bottom that is rose. And that gives you then a tremendously larger number of kinds of divisions, and therefore also a greater variety in the kinds of proportions and shapes that can be integrated into that grid structure. And that allows you then to, you know, create very, very specific kinds of treatment for the topography of running texts versus headlines versus captions call-outs diagram, labeling infographics, as well as for different kinds of sizes and positions of other kinds of graphic material images. And I cannot gruffy and tables or charts and so on. I mean, I think that the being kind of focused on typography is as I am and always being conscious of the reader's experience especially for not only complex text, but a long form text that is where you're reading extensively, you know, an article or an essay of several thousand words, is that the comfortable quality of that reading experience and the ease of using it, that text becomes very, very important. So very often I'm very concerned about what the type setting qualities are. The attributes of the texts happened to be looking at kind of the width of a, of a block of text or a column, how many characters aren't aligned, what is the rag shape doing?
Timothy Samara: What's the internal spacing doing? And then really basing the, kind of the grid structure on how readable and legible and comfortable is the text to read as the starting point for what the grid structure might happen to be. So if I determine, you know, that because the point size is nine or nine and a half, and I need 11 and a half points of letting in between the lines. And I want somewhere between 55 and 75 characters on a line for kind of good sequencing and so on, I want the rag shapes to be nice is that I'll come to some conclusion, you know, depending on what the font is and the size that I picked that, okay, I've got a column that, that feels really comfortable. It's really easy to read. And it's about that wide, maybe it's two and a half or three inches wide or so, and then to look at, well, how many of those can I fit? Side-By-Side on a page? How many do I need to fit side by side on a page? You know, how, how dense is that page going to be? And are there also other kinds of content that are going to have to accompany the text? And then you start kind of, sort of massaging the dimensions of the columns, the dimensions of the rows the spaces between is the gutters and then what impact that has on the margins and are the margins comfortable? Do they set the content off from the exterior of the page and allow for the viewer to kind of separate themselves from the outer world and kind of focus inward on the content itself?
2. Building a Grid
Arek Dvornechuck: Yeah, that's right. So I just want to do some ops. So yeah, so basically in a simplest form grid is based on time, as you mentioned, right on vet and type is, is also based on vertical and horizontal blinds, right? So, so we start you know, horizontal sentences below each other, and that creates vertical lines. And so we can group things together. We can use white space to, to, you know, to ask some dynamism and flow to that, and we can change the, the, the weight and the scale to introduce Kira cave elements and things like that. So, as you already mentioned, you know, every design problem is different and requires different approach and, and there are different the variety of options we can go with. So as you mentioned, this, the first step for us is a design that it would be to understand the content really right. And assess the informational characteristics. So, so we, because we need to anticipate potential problems with laying out the content, right? Like, do we have long headlines? Do we need to crop images in certain ways? Do we have some requirements regarding page count and so on? Because once we develop the grades is a closed system, right? We should. So we should first get understanding the content and try to design a few pages. And I know in the book you talk about, you really recommend doing this by hand sketching layout or sentence can do sketches and then building a great base on that. And then you know, considering different options to the [inaudible] and [inaudible] of them, how many feeds fit on one on one page and so on and still a dimension. So now also things to consider would be like type setting, right? So Interline space her space, what space relationship between, you know, images and, and, and also for you guys who are listening, it's pertaining to both, you know, digital and print as well, because, you know, in the responsive web design, we use grid as well. Right. So, but when it comes to digital design and web design, we need to, we should start with the smallest screen, right. With the smallest formats, but also like a mobile device, and then started from that and then build, you know, and then try to determine how, you know, the content flows between those screens, my wife here. Yes.
Timothy Samara: I would, I would always advocate for, for really thinking about the smartphone, you know, this as a kind of, you know, as sort of the basis for how you might think about column, because this is going to be your worst case scenario. This is the narrow limits and the smallest kind of format area that text is going to appear in. And there are much more, I would say, you know, sort of stringent requirements for, you know, how large, a point size has to be, or the pixel size of the text has to be, and how much space you need between. And that's going to really kind of drive you know, sort of how that text fits within this very, very narrow space, which in essence, if, if the text is legible and it has a readable quality, it's likely to fill most of that space, and that's not a bad place to start for determining the column, especially as the, as the, the format then expands, you know, into say desktop browser where there's going to be a lot more leeway. So I would, I would always, and then you can sort of apply this thinking to print design too, is to, is to always find you know, the most difficult or challenging sort of situation or aspect of the material that you're working with and also the format so that you solve that problem right off the bat. And then you use the way that you solve that problem, too because you're gonna, you can always make something more complex. You can always make something more expressive and you can always make something less conventional. It's very, very difficult to start with a very, very expressive kind of irregular unconventional kind of a layout and then try to mash it down into a smaller space or to solve a problem that, that really has a lot of limitations in it. Once you've kind of gone, you know, kind of whole hog and sort of always thinking about, you know, the task at hand and how that, how that material is going to be used, you know? Yes, of course, if if you don't need the mobile component then you don't have to think about it. There are ways to, you know, kind of reverse or sort of retrofit the layout of a grid based layout in a desk desktop browser environment, you know, downward into the phone, in essence, you know, you're thinking you have to sort of think sequentially left to right. The, how the, the material that's on to the right of the page is going to stack underneath elements that are to the left of the page that's sequence remains, but yeah. Is, you know, and I, and I say it in the book too, is, you know, think about the phone format as your column, as the starting point, if you need to subdivide it, if you need to chop it in half in order to create more interest, or because you have to, you want to be able to introduce smaller elements either for contrast or because of what the content needs are. You know, you can always do that. I provide the example of a, of a, a website and the news website from Spain that is where the phones sort of column format is already subdivided now into four smaller columns. So that details like navigation, like the hamburger at the top, the headings and so on, and also, you know, other kinds of divisions side-by-side images and so on can fit within that space and look like it goes, it works together, carries the same kind of feeling and has the same kind of overall sort of design quality or the same kind of language as it does when it's expanded to the full screen size.
3. Using a Grid
Arek Dvornechuck: Yeah. So you, you give up, I really, I really realize it, like, you know, you show us a lot of different examples, as you mentioned, you know, this webpage or some, some Spanish web page, right. For you guys want to check out the book. I really realize it's full of real life examples, you know, from some of the top design firms. And so you can really get a sense of different variations of, you know, layouts and grades and, and, and, and how we can use them. And also the next thing I think I wanted to talk about is this, it was about building a great, right, right. And, and, and also responding to the parts to how you structured your, your book. So next next thing I wanted to talk about is using a grade because building a grade is one thing, right. But then we also need to think about, you know, how the material within the, how it will work within the grade. So we need to consider, you know, scale relationship between elements, the rhythm, you point out things like it, should we keep it geometric or more organic and so on, or, you know, to what kind of degree we feel that this, the structure, the degree that we built and we keep it full to the margins, or we leave some space open and make it more dynamic and more interesting. Some of my takeaways from, from this part is, is that no, should the content on pages be positioned symmetrically, you know, mirroring or asking magically, should the content be oriented towards the spreads in terrier or pushed outwards towards the edges or for ages. And then we can also use techniques like transparency to create some depth, right? Like for example, th this I think is a, is a common practice nowadays in our overlapping texts on top of images. So some part of the text or a headline overlaps the image that is behind it, that creates some kind of, kind of a dimension. And, and yeah, and basically how we can achieve layout variation by, you know, alternatively placing images, you know, we can place images towards the top, towards the bottom left or right on different spreads so that we create like a kind of a rhythm or a sequence as we described in the book. So it's not all the same. So it's also more interesting to look at and browse the, or read the content. Right.
Timothy Samara: Absolutely. I think you touched on this. I think one of the most important things for designers to think about is that any, any particular grid structure can be used in a lot of different ways. The grid is just, you know, it's, it's a set of guides. It is not the actual design of the, of, of the object whenever it happens to be, it's not the design of the content, how that content moves on the surface, so that grid can happen in a lot of very, very different ways. And, you know, you can fill columns with content with images and texts all the way out to the margins. And that creates one particular kind of feeling. You can push the content down in, or compress it into a low area within the, within the page, you can raise it up, you can compress it left or right. And so on things can move in a very, very kind of up and down sort of rhythmic way. And they can also create very kind of static block. I think that, you know, the, the idea of, of, you know, what that compositional language is, and the way that material moves in the space is itself, you know, kind of part of the message of the content the Fe provides, you know, support for the feeling of the content. And so those are decisions that designer has to make, or like really carefully in addition to, you know, the font selection, which is, you know, the, the fonts that you choose, which are also going to kind of convey certain kinds of feelings or attitudes, is that structure and movement, you know, a composition itself is a kind of an idea. And, you know, like I said, any grid, you know, whether it's six columns, a wide or a columns wide, and, you know, however many rows deep is that that's, that's the thing that kind of holds everything together and provides kind of proportional harmony, but the designer still has to kind of invent the idea for how the material is, is happening on that. You know, on that surface, you know, a grid can be used in a very, very organic and almost fluid kind of a way where it almost seems to disappear. You know, and in fact, there's a, there's a kind of a way of thinking is that you want the reader or the user, the viewer to, to feel that geometry and to feel that there is this kind of cohesion between things, but you don't want to beat them over the head with it where the grid is absolutely present is that you want, you know, all the time and especially not kind of, monotonously repetitive where everything is in the same place. And then this goes back to the, kind of the fundamental issue of, of using this kind of structure as a system is that a system is about this balancing act, this tension between consistency and conformity, that you, you understand how everything goes together in similar ways, but also it's about variation. If you don't have the variation is you, you create a very, very dull and repetitive and monotonous experience. And sometimes that's desirable not necessarily dull, but of course you don't have anything to be dull, but sometimes the nature of inf of certain kinds of information, things like instructions manuals that sort of thing, you know, sort of ask the designer to get out of the way and to present the information in as systematic and consistent a way as possible. So that the user, the reader becomes really you know, familiar with learns rapidly, how the information is being presented and how to order it in their, in their own minds. And sometimes that, that, that makes a lot of sense. And other times you want there to be a lot of, kind of a lot of variation. There are a lot of different kinds of rules at play, and each of those rules allows for individual kinds of variations. There's no right or wrong way to go about that. All of these kinds of decisions are part of the design process. So the part of the sort of conceiving of, and you know, how that information, how that material is going to be presented and what kind of effect it's going to have on, on the, on the end-user on the, on the reader, but conceptually and emotionally and visually at the same time, and all those things are, are intertwined. So all, all the decisions that a designer makes have to come out of what the content is. And you know, sometimes the content tells you you know, it's, it's a grid is not useful here. You know, it's not going to, it might, it might be generally kind of useful in the way that, you know, a chair that has four legs and a seat allows you to sit on it. But sometimes that chair can be made out of some kind of puffy rubbery material. And sometimes it can be made out of you know, steel slats. And those are two very, very different kinds of feeling. Sometimes the chair maiden might not even have to have legs to sit on it. And then, you know, so it's kind of a weird analogy, but, you know, the way that something functions is also, you know, has to do with, you know, what is the, kind of the idea that you're conveying. And sometimes, you know, sometimes the grid is not, it's not.
Arek Dvornechuck: So let's talk about those instances w when, when we can break the grid or we can, you know, because as you mentioned, and as I started the, the, this episode with you know, saying that, for example, I specialize in identity design just like you, and we need to kind of build some kind of some kind of guidelines and some kind of a structure to bring confusion and consistency between different elements in different applications. Right. I have my all the designers might, might be concerned that it kind of like kinders their creativity in some way or expression. So, and now you mentioned that, you know, Nick, you know, what we can or cannot do basically. So no, so, so the last part in your book is also, you're talking about breaking the grade. So so as you already mentioned, the, also for some, we might want to acknowledge, ignore the structure altogether, or create some specific kind of, you know, some kind of alternative structures to, to, to, to create some kind of emotional reaction from the viewer, from the user, or invoke like some kind of negative association on things like that. So I'm so curious, talking about deconstructing the grid to generate new spatial relationships, right? And you give us a show, us specific examples as well. So the techniques we can use here. So some of my takeaways from the book is it like splitting, splicing, shifting elements, the formation, a distortion, right. Using using oxies centered Oxy structure. And it also gave us like whole bind of other, you know, types of geometric structure, like, you know, stepping plastering rotational, audio Concentrix spiraling and so on. So can you just touch base on that and, and, and, and walk us through some of those strategies for breaking.
4. Breaking the grid
Timothy Samara: I think the reasons one might not, might not use the grid are the ones that you mentioned is that you're looking for an experience that is not or to generate an experience that is not so regimented and so ordered that it is a much more kind of a narrative and expressive, you could say artistic, if you want to use that phrase kind of idea. I think that for the most part the kinds of projects that, you know, really demand a grid are those where a system is, is really important. And especially when the system is very, very complex, you know, because part of the, part of that, the designing of that saying has to do with how do you kind of corral all that stuff in a way that's going to make sense, you know, a lot, you know, over and over and over again, you know, but a lot of projects that are kind of, one-offs like a poster or just a book cover, or a very, very simple or short kind of brochure where website or a printed brochure, where there's not a whole lot of content where that content is, is not all that complicated. You know, those sort of lend themselves to other kinds of approach. And, and there are many you know, when we talk about structure, we're not just, you know, a grid is not the only kind of structure that exists every kind of composition, no matter how organic it is presents us with a structure. And so that, that structure whether it's something that seems kind of irregular or something that might kind of evoke the natural world, the flow of lava down the side of a mountain, something, something that's very, very fluid or something that's kind of networked or, or kind of spiraling or, or concentric, you know, those, those are also structures. And that really kind of depends, I think, on, you know, what it is that you're to convey because those, those kinds of structures tend to take on a more kind of pictorial kind of equality. So we start to say, okay, what is this structure look like rather than seeing, you know, a bunch of columns and a bunch of rows, you know, sort of geometric breaking of space and saying, okay, this is an informational structure, but we may start to look at something that is kind of branched, you know, as being kind of, oh, that reminds me of a tree, or this reminds me of the way a river flows through a landscape or the way that, you know, bugs look or something. You know, I think that in looking at how the structure of a layout, you know, how elements are arranged in space, you know, in itself, you know, can give rise to you know, kind of meaningful ideas that can support whatever the actual content is. There are so many ways to, to, to think about the arrangement of material in space. I think a lot of people get kind of hung up on going to the the grid, you know, almost as a, as a as a convention. And, and like I said, very often, it makes a lot of sense, but there are other ways to provide a clear experience and to, to allow somebody to navigate through information that doesn't necessarily have to be based on vertical, horizontal alignment structure. I think it's, it's worth always investigating whether or not there are ways of presenting information that don't necessarily adhere to what everybody thinks is, right. Or the usual way of doing things. I'm not the kind of person that like, like some, sorry, like some, some designers also think about the grading in a, kind of an ideological way that it is part of the philosophy that they have about how, about how design works about how information should be presented, about how things even aesthetically ought to look from a stylistic standpoint. And that's totally fine. I'm not one of those people, but whatever tool, whatever myth is the best one or the right one or the most compelling one and the one that achieves the communication goals in the best way possible are, is the tool or the method that you use.
Arek Dvornechuck: So some quoting flippers for some of you guys wanna see something here, get are some examples. So some you know layer three
Timothy Samara: You know, that's an interesting example that you bring up in that, that, that itself is a system. Is that there, there are but it is and it is relatively column-based. So there is some deconstruction involved.
Arek Dvornechuck: There is some distortion, right? Yeah. There's,
Timothy Samara: There's distortion and also deconstruction, but it is essentially based on a set of columns, but then there are, there are things that, because
Arek Dvornechuck: We can see all of those applications that this is you know, especially assistance, right.
Timothy Samara: If you go to the other page that long narrow foldout brochure, right? So that's a, that's a folded brochure. So it, it, it folds in on itself. You can, you can recognize it. I think everybody can see that there are columns and those columns are based on a very, very tight grid. That is that there's a lot of columns in there. Those columns are able to be proportioned given different winds by combining them so that the content can be, you know, using three columns or only two columns or four columns. And so on. The perspective is a distortion and it happens in a specific measurement. That is that one one side of a column of text is enlarged in perspective, a certain number of rows upward compared to the, to the left-hand or the right-hand side. The text can be a, another rule in the system is the text in the column can reverse from flush left to flush, right? And that that the columns themselves as happens in some other places can actually rotate that the column, the column can be actually rotated among the increments in, in the grid structure. So even though it comes off looking like it is kind of entirely kind of, I wouldn't say random, but it is very, very irregular and organic and so on. Is that because it's a system is that there had to be some rules in the way that things worked so that other designers could carry out you know, additional communications, you know, other projects down the road and, and have it all looked like it goes together, like the same designers are designing it. But there's a, it's an interesting, it's an interesting tension between, you know, something that is, you know, in theory it is, it is breaking the grid a lot. But at the same time, it's also very, very systematic in the way that those things happen. And that's, that's one way of thinking about it. And then, you know, you can have the system that is very, that is really organic, where there is, you know, there is no you know, where it almost starts to come apart.
Arek Dvornechuck: Well, that wouldn't be a good example.
Timothy Samara: This is another example, because this is also structured on a grid. Yeah, actually it's not really, it's not really a grid, that's it? I, I misspoke excuse me, there, there are rules for how those, how those shapes, the shapes of those text blocks are made. But they are, they're very, very loose. But there is a con there's a consistency in the way that those shapes appear is that they're essentially always trapezoids. The trapezoids are always a certain kind of a dimension or a S away from each other and that there are specific rules for how the text changes from light to medium, to bold you know, from block to block, to block in order to establish a so again, it is it's, there's always this, again, always this kind of balancing out as the system becomes, whereas the visual expression becomes more irregular Wilder on one hand, then something else has to kind of offset that, to bring a kind of a measure of control back. So it doesn't just kind of fall apart in your, your reader is like wondering what the hell is going on because you don't ever want to create confusion. That's, that's never desirable. Although, you know, somebody might argue and say, well, confusion is itself a kind of a message. And sometimes confusing the reader, you know, somewhat is helpful. You know, that's a, you know, there's an idea there, how do you confuse someone, but then also bring them out of that confusion so that they come away with a kind of a clear understanding of, of what's happening. You've talked
Arek Dvornechuck: About the different different grid system grid systems and how to use them, how to build the grid and how to break the grade as we are approaching the end of our interview. Can you let us know just for designers who want to learn more from you, of course, I'm gonna link I'm gonna leave a link in the description box to this book. Is there any other way you want designers to, you know, find more about you or, or the work you do, and maybe other professors and Peters want to want to collaborate with you or clients want to work with you? Okay. I've
Timothy Samara: Been working on my website for some time. I had one previously and it got as a long story. So that website should be up in the, in the very near future. It will be Timothy simera.com. You can put my my, my email address in there. I think that's fine. You can also find me at creativelive.com, a couple of live webinars about kind of design fundamentals and creative live. And I are working together now to develop some more courses for their platforms. That's useful. If you visit my publisher's website and my particular page, I have a couple of other books that might be useful in particular design elements. The third edition of that just came out, right? It's the other nine or 10 have kind of lost track and a couple of additions each the latest it's like you want to plug is this one which is design elements. This is the third edition, which has right.
Arek Dvornechuck: It was just released, right. That's released.
Timothy Samara: And I'm not actually sure that it's available on a courthouse website yet on my publisher's website, but it should be available. I think soon
Arek Dvornechuck: Is definitely to be quite interesting, I think, especially brand identity design,
Timothy Samara: Because it deals with you know, every aspect foreman space, color theory typography layout, and then also an image making and really kind of both a sort of visual and conceptual, you know, kind of meaningful aspects of all those sort of major areas of design. But it, it deals a lot with systems, especially in the, in the last chapter. So it's a good kind of a kind of an overview of, of the whole kind of kit and caboodle of everything that we do as designers.
Arek Dvornechuck: Awesome. Yeah, because if it's books, let go specifically, like for example, you get books about books, about layout rules, about design system
Timothy Samara: Design, design elements. So it's everything systems systems is in there, but it kind of brings everything together
Arek Dvornechuck: Into one call it also as well. So, so thank you so much for taking the time to join us in our workers. And and I'm gonna please give me some time for production. I'm gonna let you know when it goes live. And of course, the link to your book. Do you know exactly when the new book is going to be available?
Timothy Samara: I don't actually I had looked for it a couple of weeks ago at my publisher's website and I only just received the advanced copies. So usually it's about a month after that, that it starts starts becoming available. I'll go look again and I can let you know.
Arek Dvornechuck: So even if it goes live, you can always shoot me an email.
Timothy Samara: And I think, it might be up on the site and if it is, it might be available for pre-order.
Arek Dvornechuck: Awesome. Okay. So we can link to that as well.
Timothy Samara: Yeah. I can give you that. I can give you the URL for that.
Arek Dvornechuck: Awesome. Okay. So thanks again.
Timothy Samara: It was my pleasure. Thank you for inviting me. I really appreciate that. Absolutely. Thank you.
Arek Dvornechuck: Thanks for tuning in and if you enjoyed this episode of On Branding Podcast, follow me on social media for more tips on branding, strategy and design. This was Arek Dvornechuck from Ebaqdesign—I will see you in the next one.
Arek Dvornechuck is a strategist and designer who helps brands grow by crafting distinctive brand identities, backed by strategy. Need help with your project?—Get in touch
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