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Content-out Layout: the Resources

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The method I outlined in my recent article, “Content-out Layout,” is actually the culmination of quite a few different influences. If you’re interested in a deep dive, I have compiled this list of the most useful thinking on the web about ratios, grids, and fluid design. Enjoy!


Grids, as we know them, are having to adapt to a fluid canvas. It helps, first, to have a strong understanding of how grids are built, how they’ve traditionally been applied in design, and how they work into responsive design:

Philosophy of Fluid Layout

As we stop designing pages on the web, and start designing systems to be applied across myriad viewports, it helps to have the right mindset:

Ratios in Nature and Design

Ratios are nothing new in design. The underlying mathematics of natural phenomena have inspired architects, sculptors and humans in general for centuries:

Ratios in Web Design

Using ratios in web layouts has been explored before. I found these two very different posts inspirational in searching for a way to work with ratios in fluid design:

Working with a Scale

Typographers will find working with scales familiar. There is lots of great thinking, here, that can be adapted for layout:

On Harmony in Book Design

I didn’t get the space to touch on this much in my article, but even in a fluid environment, it is ideal to think about the relationship of your content area and the viewport. Book designers have been exploring this idea since the 16th century:

About the Author

Nathan Ford

Born and raised in Texas, Nathan now lives just outside Cardiff, Wales. He is the creative director at Mark Boulton Design, and is also the creator and product lead on Gridset, a simple tool that makes designing advanced grid systems for the web a breeze. Catch his occasional thoughts on all aspects of the web at Art=Work.

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