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Get the Professional Design Edge by Using Grids to Design Your Digital Signage

June 15, 2020


When it comes to digital signage content, a poorly aligned design is a bit like a messy bedroom. It feels untidy. It looks haphazard. And the messy feel of it can even cause anxiety. Indeed, visual alignment is an important design principle in all graphic design. Poor alignment will impair a viewers ability to scan the content, and quickly make sense of it. Strong alignment on the other hand helps balance images with text for a more organized, more satisfying viewing experience.

One of the easiest ways to ensure that your design is balanced is simply to use a design grid to align your elements. To assist our users in the design process we have added several new design grids to the ScreenScape-curated Asset Library.

Why use a design grid?

Grids have been used for thousands of years in printing.  A grid is essentially a visual system for organizing a layout. The layout could be for books, magazines, websites, apps, or in our case digital signage. To be clear, a grid is typically used a reference tool when starting out a new design, or throughout the design process to check for misaligned elements. As a design tool the grid itself is rarely part of the finished product. Grids merely assist a designer during the design process, and the grid itself is ultimately removed before publishing – although in some cases the final content may take on somewhat of a grid-like appearance.

In this blog post, we will educate you on a few different types of grids show you how to use them to get better results as you design your media.

Baseline Grid

Many of you will recognize this simple example. The most recognizable use for this style of grid is lined paper. A baseline grid is a series of horizontal lines that ensure that images and type are always aligned to a baseline. In the example below, you can see that the word “Sphinx” is perfectly aligned to the “baseline”.

Column Grid

The most popular grid style in graphic design. We will be using this style almost exclusively for grids for digital signage. As you can see in the image this style lends itself well to highlight things such as “type safety areas”. The image here is of a 4 column grid, the number of columns will increase based on the size of the file/document/template

Here is a good example of a Column grid being used on a digital signage media item:

Modular Grid

The modular grid is a popular tool for designing magazines, newspapers, and mobile apps. It is similar to the column grid with the addition of horizontal divisions.

Pixel Grid

A pixel grid gets its name from pixels on a screen. This is a helpful and flexible grid style for helping to balance a layout or overall composition. Graphic design software tools often employ this style of grid in one way or another, and some even use them as the default background for artboards & canvases.

Rule of Thirds Grid

The rule of thirds is an important design principle in design, and digital signage is no exception. A rule of thirds grid is typically a 3×3 grid that makes for a helpful composition tool, especially for beginner designers and photographers. It helps give balance and structure to photographs and layouts to make them more visually appealing.

Check out some of the examples that use “rule of thirds” below.

Learn more
These grids are now available, free of charge, and they can be found in the ScreenScape-curated Asset Library. Follow along with this Media Corner for more tips on how to use these grids on your digital signage.

Questions, comments, or tutorial ideas? Reach out to us at