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Grid basics

  • The Grid System
  • Design By Grid is a resource to promote websites designed with grids, and the tools and techniques used to make websites with grids.

Layout sizings

Quick resolution to grid width and layout list, wip;

  • 240 x 320 (mobile)
    • 3 60px columns, 20px gutter (960)
  • 320 x 480 (mobile)
    • 4 60px columns, 20px gutter (960)
  • 480 x 640 (small tablet)
    • 6 60px columns, 20px gutter (960)
  • 768 x 1024 (tablet - portrait)
  • 1024 x 768 (tablet - landscape)
    • 960s has no far-left/right gutter, but there is space here
      • 12 60px column, 20px gutter
      • 16 40px column, 20px gutter
    • 972 width
      • 12 54px column, 30px gutter
  • 1200 x 800 (desktop)

Sizes from the Responsive Design Testing bookmarklet. See also


  • 2:3:4:6 (inner:top:outer:bottom)
  • (more generally 1:R:2:2R for page proportion 1:R[7])
  • division of the page into ninths
  • 12
    • 6, 4, 3, 2
  • 16
    • 8, 6, 4, 3, 2
  • 24
    • 12, 8, 6, 4, 3, 2

Factor pairs

  • 720
  • 840
  • 960x1, 480x2, 320x3, 240x4, 192x5, 160x6, 120x8, 96x10, 80x12, 64x15, 60x16, 48x20, 40x24, and 32x30.
  • 972x1, 486x2, 324x3, 243x4, 162x6, 108x9, 81x12, 54x18, 36x27
  • 978x1, 489x2, 326x3, 163x6
  • 990x1, 495x2, 330x3, 198x5, 165x6, 110x9, 99x10, 90x11, 66x15, 55x18, 45x22, 33x30
  • 996x1, 498x2, 332x3, 166x6, 83x12
  • 1008 - just under 1024*768 browser viewport
  • 1008x1, 504x2, 336x3, 252x4, 168x6, 144x7, 126x8, 112x9, 84x12, 72x14, 63x16, 56x18, 48x21, 42x24, 36x28
  • 1200x1, 600x2, 400x3, 300x4, 240x5, 200x6, 150x8, 120x10, 100x12, 80x15, 75x16, 60x20, 50x24, 48x25 and 40x30.
  • 1260!
  • 1440

The above doesn't take gutters into effect..

Read more:

Grid frameworks


golden ratio vertical rhythm;

  • Skeleton - "A Beautiful Boilerplate for Responsive, Mobile-Friendly Development"



Fluid Baseline Grid

  • Fluid Baseline Grid system was built with typographic standards in mind and combines principals of fluid-column layouts, baseline grids and mobile-first responsive design into a resolution independent and device agnostic framework. It is packed with CSS normalization, beautiful typographic standards, corrected bugs, common browser inconsistencies and improved usability.


  • Griddle is a fluid and modular grid system for modern browsers — IE8+, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Chrome.


Simple Grid



960 LESS

  • 960 LESS is an adaption of the 960 Grid System available at This adaption is done to make use of LESS Mixins to, in theory, allow for less code to be used in the creation of a site. The flexibility of the mixins allows for pretty much any grid system to be usable, with margins of 10px per column. This allow, in theory, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, 16, 20, 24 or more columns to be used without having to create excessive amounts of code.



@import 'grid';
/* defaults to 12 column, 960 pixel grid system. */

@column-width: 60;
@gutter-width: 20;
@columns: 16;
/* overriding these variables after grid.less import */

@total-width: 100%;
/* for fluid (percentage-based) grid rather than a fixed pixels */
@include row(4,4);


  • Frameless - Adapt column by column, not pixel by pixel.
    • adapts around 320, 480, 600, 900 and 1900 pixels
    • less, scss, grid overlay




gem install compass-960-plugin

Grid mixins (see Sasson's layout partials for examples)

@import "960/grid"; 

Default is 12 colums. Set this in subtheme .scss;

$ninesixty-columns: 16;

Give an element a grid attribute

@include grid-container; - give to #page. sets width and auto margins
@include grid(8); - declare an 8 column wide element
@include grid-prefix(2); - add an empty 2-wide element before
@include grid-suffix(2); - add an empty 2-wide element after
@include grid-push(4); - push element 4 to the right
@include grid-pull(4); - pull element 4 to the right
@include alpha; - remove left gutter, for nested grid first element. must got after grid()
@include omega; - remove right gutter, for nested grid last element. must got after grid()




$total-columns  : 12;             // a 12-column grid
$column-width   : 4em;            // each column is 4em wide
$gutter-width   : 1em;            // 1em gutters between columns
$grid-padding   : $gutter-width;  // grid-padding equal to gutters
.page {
 // page acts as a container for our grid.
 @include container;

 // header and footer are full-width by default.
 header, footer { clear: both; }

 // nav spans 3 columns of total 12.
 nav { @include span-columns(3,12); }

 .content {
   // content spans the final (omega) 9 columns of 12.
   @include span-columns(9 omega,12);

   // main content spans 6 of those 9 columns.
   .main { @include span-columns(6,9); }

   // secondary content spans the final 3 (omega) of 9 columns.
   .secondary { @include span-columns(3 omega,9); }


  • Blankwork is a simple, flexible and semantic grid system.
    • scss, flexible and semantic

Golden Grid System






  • Griddles is a simple, opinionated grid system for modern responsive layouts. Free of columns it provides percentage based-layouts with an override capability so you can determine what happens to the layout at given break-points purely by adding classes.

Bootstrap and Foundation



Fluid grid and content

Grid generators


Vertical rhythm

Web tool