Breaking The Grid

by Zack on May 18, 2009

Pull quotes like this one are a common way to break the grid in print media.

Rules are made to be broken, just like grids. What is the point of having lines if you don’t color outside of them once in a while, right? Breaking the grid is about contrast and framing. When every item but one is aligned it really stands out. This is an alternative type of contrast to color or size.

Something a little bigger says I’m important, a different color says look at me, but something outside of the grid says start here. When you see a pull quote in an article you normally read it first. That is why it pulls you in.

Combining a strong visual with breaking the grid can be breathtaking. Exciting images outside of the grid will stick with the user.

Rules for breaking the Grid

Have a good reason. When someone asks you why that element stands out have a good answer. Don’t just do it to look different.

Do it sparingly. Break the grid too often and you won’t have any grid left.

Be really different. Break the grid by 5 pixels and people will think you made a mistake. Do it by 100 and they’ll know you made a conscious choice.

Have some good examples of breaking the grid? Share them with the rest of us.

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