Utilising Grids in InDesign

Design Idea:

InDesign is a piece of adobe software that I was not too familiar with until the start of the academic term. As a result TY1SK provided me an opportunity to expand my knowledge and familiarity with the software.

One of the core features of InDesign is its layout tools. The software provides a comprehensive set of tools allowing myself to manipulate and adjust page layouts to my desired liking. This can be controlled with the ability to adjust margins, create columns, and set up grids. Knowing this I decided to focus on these core element to create my InDesign podcast postcard.

The design that I created takes inspiration from the Swiss style. I chose Swiss design as it features the use of grids which works perfectly in hand with the way I want to design my postcard. The grid layout I decided to use was a 3 x 9 grid system. To pair alongside the basic grid system I also decided to explore the use of a gutter within my gird. This allowed for consistent/even spacing across my design that matched well with the margins that I provided for the design.

The design itself pairs the serif font “Minion Pro” with the organic based font “Wriggle” to create a contrasting pairing allowing the design to catch the viewers eye. The information that needed to be provided was produced using Minion Pro as it acted as a legible font choice. The contrasting font was used more as a ‘decorative’ design choice to catch a viewers eye. This font choice paired well with the organic background that was created using the pen tool to offset the structured grid that takes over the whole design.

Design process:

Screenshot 1: Accessing ‘create guidelines’

To start with the design I added a 3mm margin to my postcard design. The next step was to setup the grid layout that I wanted to use for my design. As previously mentioned I settled for a 3 x 9 grid however a larger or smaller grid could be utilised for other designs. With my grid I wanted to add guttering. This can be achieved by accessing “layout, create guides”. I settled for 2mm guttering to stay close to the margin size.

Screenshot 2: Margin settings

To start with the design I filled the background with an organic shape. This shape drew inspiration from the “Wriggle” font that I previously discussed. I created the shape using the pen tool and keeping the design within the margins that I set for my canvas. When creating the shape I was really ‘loose’ with how it looked as I knew it would be a background element.

Screenshot 3: Introduction of organic shape

Next, I started to add the “wriggle” font based type into the design. I adjusted the ‘Horizontal scale’ to allow the type to fit into my grid system perfectly.

Screenshot 4: Introduction of “Wriggle” type

After the initial type has been place I started to fill the grid using Minion pro, this created some contrast within the design making the type more legible and stand out. When adding this type I wanted to experiment with the type stretching over multiple boxes within the grid, this would still be accepted within my grid system.

Screenshot 5: Introduction of “Minion Pro” type

To finish I also decided to add some icons from my photoshop task in to help brand the postcard as a podcast.

Final design


Software Tutorial:

The software tutorials that I took advantage of when creating my design mainly came from the adobe website. Adobe features multiple InDesign tutorials on how to access certain features within the software which aided me within this task.

The initial setup of my grid system could be considered the most important aspect of creating the design. To set up the grid effectively I watched Type Twice’s Youtube tutorial on setting up InDesign grids. This tutorial taught me how to set up the grid as well as what features such as the gutter does within the grid system. I then used Adobes guide to help me further with setting up my guides. Adobes guide was good to refer back to with all of the content being condensed into basic steps alongside a images for visual aid.


Most of my inspiration came from Swiss design. I utilised Pinterest which allowed me to explore a range of different layouts and compositions that I would not of been able to produce myself. To compliment this my TY1HGC module provided me with a seminar on Swiss typography and layouts which provided historic sources of Swiss design that acted as inspiration. For a visual reference I used Print Magazines Swiss Style article which features multiple historic sources of Swiss design.

Learning Outcomes:

In conclusion of this task I have noticed that I am extremely comfortable when setting up a grid within InDesign. This will provide useful in the future as grids will provide balance and a structure to my designs. I have already used the grid feature within other TY1 modules showing how important my expanded knowledge and practice of the tool has been.