The Grid closing its doors

Was it a weekly paper? A magazine? An alt-weekly? We were never quite sure how to categorize The Grid. What it was, though, was pretty spectacular.


So we’re saddened to hear that this Thursday will be its last day of publication.

Operated by the Star Media Group in Toronto, The Grid sprang onto the scene in 2011, immediately earned World’s Best Designed honors, and followed that up with two more wins in that category, SND’s first back-to-back-to-back winner in that category. With its highly practical cyan-magenta-yellow palette and embrace of alternative story forms from front to back, its hallmark was one of vibrancy, inventiveness and playfulness.  It was a paper that never coasted on a page during its 162-issue run.

The judges’ comments from this year’s World’s Best discussion:

“If The Grid were a friend — and it seems like it’s aiming to be — it would be the one who grabs this and that from their closet, adds a colorful scarf and a
thrift-shop bracelet to create a near perfect effect.

2003CPleasingly jumbled at first glance, the whole look is deceivingly harmonious and smart, supported by a design grid that might be 7 columns, 5 columns or somewhere in between, but is always in the neighborhood of hip.
A small-format entertainment weekly, The Grid is a wait-for-a-date publication — full of quick reads, alternative story forms, and engaging infographics — ideal for the coffee shop or bar. It might easily make you forget to look at your phone.
The Grid also offers more traditional fare but does not couple it with staid layout. Knowing and wise in its news presentation, it makes creative use of black space (yes, we mean black) as well as white. Whether it is offering relief from a fact-packed news story — with a colorwheel graphic of 10 minutes at a Toronto council meeting or a Venn diagram in neon colors about what Toronto chefs are putting into tacos — The Grid’s use of color is likely one of the primary elements that sets it apart in the reader’s mind.
But don’t let the eye candy fool you. The Grid’s use of color to shock, surprise and entertain is secondary to its mission — to inform.
Beneath the attitude and fun on its covers and throughout, there is real information about Toronto’s neighborhoods, its food trends, its politics and more.
Like a good friend, The Grid is perched next to the reader, ready to share funny and useful insider information about life in Toronto.”

About Stephen Komives

Previously served as Executive Director of the Society for News Design, from 2009–2019.

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