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Designing outside of the Box

Changing things up helps any creative endeavor. Many graphic designers, myself included, have a strong tendency to keep type, images and everything in between strictly glued to the invisible grid that is ingrained in each of us. Keeping all type horizontal, right justified, and images or ornamentation all within the “box” has been done to death. Don’t get me wrong, the grid is not a bad thing and usually allows for high readability and great organization. I am certainly not suggesting to use an organic-shaped presentation for your next budget meeting. I do think that allowing your mind to think outside the grid will lead your designs to a better place. Simple things such as a slight angle on your header, titles turned vertically, or using organic shapes can all give your layout the edge that it might be missing.

Some examples of not-so-boxed-in sites can be found here


and here


  1. Greg Gibson wrote:

    You make a great point, the “boxed in” format does get boring after a while. Sometimes I like to use “text wrap” to wrap my text around certain images to keep the page looking fresh. Also, the way you presented the word “here” at the end of your post is what brought my attention to your blog. It really does help to change things up a bit!

    Wednesday, March 18, 2009 at 5:49 pm | Permalink
  2. Anna DSilva wrote:

    I agree, I think every designer should be trying to think of new and different ways of breaking up the monotony of everyday design. Even changing simple things like the basic layout of a design can give it a fresh look, which is something I am learning from our current project.

    Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 5:26 am | Permalink
  3. Kha Tu Nguyen wrote:

    I do agree that as a designer, sometimes it is a good thing to try to think outside of the box. It helps broaden the creativity and makes your particular design unique. However,there are people who go over broad and in turn their designs become to busy or unorganized. Thinking outside of the box is a good thing, as long as one does not go to the extreme, in my opinion.

    Tuesday, March 24, 2009 at 7:49 pm | Permalink
  4. Rebecca Coleman wrote:

    I don’t think boxed-in text is any more uninteresting than text-wrap. It really depends on the requirements of the design, each has it place. I agree that thinking differently can help the design process, but most important, be original.

    Tuesday, March 24, 2009 at 8:01 pm | Permalink