How to implement several baseline grids in InDesign?

bergh's picture

I was attempting to dissect New York's design, and I noticed that they're using many different leadings at one time. Is there a way of setting this up in InDesign, and having multiple baseline grids? Are they on separate layers?

francis bold's picture

Haven't read through it but this thread may have something

nina's picture

"having multiple baseline grids"

Even if that did work (which I don't think it does) I'm not sure you'd want that.
I mean the idea of a baseline grid is to provide visual consistency for a layout, and you're not really going to achieve that by superimposing 3 different arbitrary grids. :->
One very useful concept to work with is the idea of common denominators. For example, if you set up a baseline grid with 3pt increments, you can have larger text with a 15pt leading & smaller text with 12, for example for a text with a smaller sidebar. Both these leadings fit the grid, and once every 4/5 lines the baselines will match up again; that way you do get variability – but still grid-based variability that won't look as arbitrary.

And if you *do* want more free-form design just don't use any baseline grids! :-)

blank's picture

Most magazines, especially weeklies, are built from templates that are all gathered together to make the final issue. So it’s quite easy for them to have different baseline grid settings for different page templates. Of course, because the layouts are mostly predetermined, there’s a good change they’re not using baseline grids at all.

plainclothes's picture

regardless of what 'good practice' says, InD gives you the option of setting different BG for each text frame and leaves the bit about quality typesetting up to you. I've actually found it useful on rare occasion for multi-column text relating to a particular feature that is graphically 'off' from the rest of the feature.

nina's picture

> InD gives you the option of setting different BG for each text frame

Oh? I stand corrected, then.

James Deux's picture

Oh? I stand corrected, then.

Not completely!

Yes, Command + B is a cute little bugger in InDesign; great when you need to break the column structure. But I don't recommend TOO many baseline shifts in a single spread. It is useful when you're adding different kinds of text that aren't appropriate for the body baseline; a caption may require a different baseline than the content of an article. (You may be able to do this in Paragraph Style as well.)

All in all, visual consistency is key. If you have too many differing baselines, it will look as though there are none and you may as well just individually adjust the leading of each text frame to your liking.

Matt Steel's picture

Use a three (or two) point baseline grid as someone mentioned above. That's what I almost always do for my grids, and make sure my leading regardless of type size is set to some multiple of the base. So for example, that gives you 12 pt lead for paragraphs, 9 pt for sidebar/callouts, 21 pt for headlines, etc...

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