History of the Baseline Grid?

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Rob Weychert's picture
Joined: 5 May 2005 - 8:38pm
History of the Baseline Grid?

Okay, potentially stupid question: Does anyone know the history of the use of the baseline grid? Is it something that has been in use throughout the history of typography, or just something that was popularized by programs like Quark and InDesign, which make its implementation easy? I've read numerous books on typography, design, and their related histories, and none of them make any mention of baseline grid at all. Google only seems to turn up tutorials for page layout software.

If anyone could enlighten me or point me in the direction of enlightenment, I'd be very grateful.

Alessandro Segalini's picture
Joined: 5 Oct 2005 - 5:14pm

I think you can refer to paleography.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am

I assume you mean the baseline... line.
In my view, it was the Romans, in a break from Ancient Greece (who generally preferred a centerline "around" which the letters would float), who standardized the double lines (baseline and cap-height) within which everything (except the ideologically vestigal "Q") must fit, snell!


Tim Daly's picture
Joined: 11 Sep 2003 - 9:04am

I remember drawing baseline grids for specifying type on and for "greeking", you could buy pre-printed sheets with light blue grids (so the camera couldn't pick them up) to use for paste-up (large publications had batches printed up).