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The Layout Book

A fascinating exploration of this fundamental aspect of graphic design, The Layout Book explains the hows, whys and why-nots of the placing of elements on a page or screen layout. A historical overview of the subject is followed by a systematic look at key theoretical principles and practical applications. Offering a huge array of potential layout options and with over 200 color illustrations from some of the world's leading design studios, whether you are working in print or digital media this book encompasses a variety of creative approaches. The second edition has also been updated to include interviews with practising designers, as well as new exercises to aid readers in their own explorations. Invaluable for design students looking for a better understanding of layout design, and inspiring for working designers, The Layout Book proves itself as a graphic design must-have.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1 Historical Context Numbers and proportion/ The Golden Section/ The Van de Graaf canon/ Villard de Honnecourt's Diagram /Fibonacci Numbers/ Preferred Numbers/ Corbusier/The Vocabulary of Layout Design Representation and Reality/ Layout today 2 Basic Principles and `rules' Relative and Absolute Measurements/ Dynamic rectangles/ Proportion/ Book Sizes/ Special numbers/ Number sequences 3 Grids and Formations The Grid/ Columns/ Anatomy of a grid/ Fields or Modules/ The Baseline Grid/ Gutter/ Picture boxes/ Runaround and wraps/ Complex or compound grids/ Multi-column Grids/ Orientation/ Angles/ Broadside/ Emphasis/ Hierarchy 4 Objects on a page How we read a page/ Balance/ Juxtaposition/ Typography/ Alignment/ Leading and fonts/ Hyphenation and justification/ Folios/ Marginalia/ Pace/ Layers/ Measure/ White Space/ Dots/ Lines/ Texture and typographic colour/ Passepartout 5 Case Studies Michael Worthington (US)/ Bruce Mau Associates (US) /Bob Aufuldish (US)/ Fabio Ongarato (Australia)/ Mucho (Spain)/ A2/SW/HK (UK)/ Hagen Verleger (Germany) 6 Exercises The Van De Graaf Canon/ Poster Design/ An Exercise in Editorial Complexity/Action Layout/ Flatland/ Visual Storytelling and Narrative Form/6x6 Collaborative Letterpress Project Glossary Index

Promotional Information

A comprehensive visual guide to laying text, image and object out on a screen or page.

About the Author

Gavin Ambrose currently teaches at the University of Brighton, UK. Paul Harris is a freelance writer and editor.


The Layout Book introduces the key principles of layout design through a clear, accessible and instructional format. The fundamental principles of layout design are illustrated through a combination of contemporary and seminal references, which engages the reader and practically demonstrates the theories. * Simon Harrison, Leeds College of Art, UK *

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