In design, structures are used in a composition to distribute the visual weight between elements. They are established when objects are placed in relation to one another. Different types of structures include abstract, formal, informal, and invisible or inactive. A structure may only be defined if there is an identifiable pattern, and when there is none it falls under the category of being abstract. If objects are evenly placed throughout a composition then it is considered a formal structure, but if the objects have no order and do not follow straight structure lines, it is an informal structure. The most basic formal structure is the grid system in which all sections are equal. Other structures include gradation and radiation, both which are repetitive in form. In gradation the units are changing at an even rate and in radiation the units are placed around a single center.
An invisible structure is one where the lines that create the structure are not physically there, but even though they cannot be seen the mind will fill in the blank so that we may see where they would be. All structures are an essential tool for organizing a composition.
As this chapter discussed, some of the most basic formal structures may be considered grids. In addition to our text I found a website entitled The Grid System that serves as an in depth reference as to how a design grid functions and how to create one. Grids are an essential foundation to clean, organized design and were made relevant by the International Typographic Style movement. Design grids are not the same as the kind of grids we may have drawn graphs on in math class. They are not mathematical and instead are used simply to aid in formatting a layout. Particularly for lengthy text they are useful in generating regularity and consistency. Previously when I took a typography class grids were mentioned so that we could create learn how to create interesting and clean looking compositions that were comprised solely with type.