Baseline grid

Teaching notes on how to set up a baseline grid in InDesign. This document is a slightly revised and reformatted document previously available here.

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A baseline grid is based on the leading of the continuous text (body text) of a publication. Leadings and paragraph spaces of all text in a complex publication would then be mathematically derived from this leading. A baseline grid ensures that the sizes and leadings all text in a complex publication are related to each other and are locked into place, so that they line up across columns as well as across pages. Baseline grids are almost always used in newspapers, and often in other complex publications such as magazines and textbooks.

Information design reading list

Theory, discourse and research

Black, Alison; Luna, Paul; Lund, Ole; Walked, Sue (2017)
Information design: research and practice
New York: Routeledge

Horn, Robert E (1988)
Mapping hypertext: analysis, linkage, and display of knowledge for the next generation of on-line text and graphics
Arlington, VA: The Lexington Institute

Horn, Robert E (1998)
Visual language: global communication for the 21st century
Bainbridge Island, WA: Macro VU, Inc.

Jacobson, Robert (1999)
Information design
Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press

Frascara, Jorge (2015)
Information design as principled action: Making information accessible, relevant, understandable, and usable
Champaign, Illinois: Common Ground Publishing

Mijksenaar, Paul (1997)
Visual function: an introduction to information design
Rotterdam: 010 Publishers

Pettersson, Rune (2002)
Information design: an introduction
Amsterdam, Philadelphia: John Benjamins

Wurman, Richard Saul (2001)
Information anxiety 2
Indianapolis, Ind.: Que


Baer, Kim (2008)
Information design workbook: graphic approaches solutions, and inspiration + 30 case studies
Beverly, Mass.: Rockport

Institute for Information Design Japan (2005)
Information design source book (second edition)
Basel, Switzerland: Birkhäuser

Mijksenaar, Paul and Piet Westendorp (1999)
Open here: the art of instructional design
New York: Joost Elffers Books

Rice-Lively, Mary and Hsin-Liang Chen (2006)
Scenarios and information design: a user-oriented practical guide
Oxford: Chandos

Visocky O’Grady, Jenn & Ken Visocky O’Grady (2008)
The information design handbook
Cincinnati, Ohio: How Books

Wurman, Richard Saul (1996)
Information architects
Zurich, Switzerland: B. Martin Pedersen


Kindel, Eric; Walker, Sue; Burke, Christopher (2013)
Isotype: design and contexts 1925–1971
London: Hyphen Press

Neurath, Marie (2009)
The transformer: principles of making Isotype charts
London: Hyphen Press

Neurath, Otto (1980)
International picture language: a facsimile reprint of the [1936] English edition
Reading, UK: Department of Typography & Graphic Communication, University of Reading

Neurath, Otto (2010)
From hieroglyphics to Isotype: a visual autobiography
London: Hyphen Press

University of Reading (1975)
Graphic communication through ISOTYPE
Reading, UK: University of Reading

Edward Tufte

Tufte, Edward R (1990)
Envisioning information
Cheshire, Conn.: Graphics Press

Tufte, Edward R (1997)
Visual explanations: images and quantities, evidence and narrative
Cheshire, Conn.: Graphics Press

Tufte, Edward R (2001)
The visual display of quantitative information
Cheshire, Conn.: Graphics Press

Tufte, Edward R (2003)
The cognitive style of PowerPoint
Cheshire, Conn.: Graphics Press

Tufte, Edward R (2006)
Beautiful evidence
Cheshire, Conn.: Graphics Press