City Grid Graphics

This grid is the underlying framework for the graphic design of your content. You can break it down into smaller graphic elements, which can be layered within your content in multiple ways.

Using the city grid graphics, which represent New York City and the additional dynamic cities around the world where we are located, will infuse any communication with new and original visual points of view.

The NYU city grid graphic.

Cropping the City Grid for Different Aspect Ratios

Cropping the city grid for different aspect ratios (full-text alternative located immediately below image).

Each part of the graphic has a distinct look, lending versatility to any set of communications.

Place the city grid into the size frame you need, scale up (if necessary), and move it around until you find a crop that works for your communication. Check out the accompanying image for examples of how you can crop the city grid graphic.

Tips for Cropping and Scale

Scale

Scaled down cropping shows more of the grid and has a lot of energy. Scaled up cropping feels more calm and creates room for text.

Zoom in to decrease the number of shapes and lines. Always show at least one intersection, diagonal, or curve.

Scale full-text alternative located immediately below image.

Line Weight

The line weight should stay in relative proportion to the size of your communication. It should be thick enough to highlight a detail or subject but not so thick it overpowers it.

If the line is too thin, it wonʼt have any real impact on the design. If it is too thick, it may crowd the subject it is trying to highlight.

Line weight full-text alternative located immediately below image.

White Space

Delete any shapes or lines that don’t work with your design and/or to create room for text or images.

Examples of white space.

Before (left): The entire grid is shown as is. After (right): A white box is placed over the lines on the left side of the grid.

Cropping

Don’t use the entire city grid graphic in designs with fixed aspect ratios; it must be cropped. However, you can use the entire grid or larger portions of it in responsive digital applications. Never let the edges of the city grid show, even in responsive designs.

Cropping full-text alternative located immediately below image.

Using Graphics with Typography

Paths and Typography

As a graphic element, the path represents where we are today and where we hope to go next. These are the paths that lead us to unexpected intersections of new ideas and opportunities. Here are examples of how to incorporate paths in your communications.

Use an Ultra Violet path as an extension of the thought.

The path can help bridge two ideas or extend a single thought across your layout. This approach makes for a more engaging design without losing the legibility of your message.

Example of a path as an extension of a thought (full-text alternative located immediately before image).

Example of a path as an extension of a thought.

Use an Ultra Violet path as a text box.

The path can act as a background for brief but important bits of information. It can help copy stand out on top of photography or visually tie several photographs together with a single message.

Text-box example (full-text alternative located immediately before image).

Example of a path as a text box.

Place text along an Ultra Violet path.

The path can act as a visual guide for the reader, helping them follow a narrative through the layout.

Along-the-path example (full-text alternative located immediately before image).

Example of text placed along a path.


City Grid and Typography

The city grid is a versatile tool that elevates your designs and brings a wide range of flexibility to your communications. Here are examples of how you can use the city grid to enhance your content.

Use the city grid as a background behind text.

The city grid can help ground your copy and photography as a background. It adds texture and movement to a layout without overpowering your content.

Accessibility Note: When layering text over the graphic, make sure the graphic is lighter in color and less complicated so it doesn’t interfere with the legibility of the type. Ensure all text passes color contrast requirements.

The city grid used as a background example (full-text alternative located immediately before image).

Example of the city grid as a background for text.

Nestle text in the city grid’s negative space.

The city grid can also frame your content. You can easily organize your layout by placing copy or photography within the grid’s negative spaces.

Example of typography nestled in city grid’s negative space (full-text alternative located immediately before image).

Example of text nestled in the city grid’s negative space.

Weave the city grid between text.

You can add depth and energy to your communications by weaving text through the city grid. Be sure your message remains legible and accessible when using this approach.

Accessibility Note: Avoid using images with text—screen readers are not able to read text within images. Learn more about creating accessible images.

Woven-between-text example (full-text alternative located immediately before image).

Example of the city grid woven between text.

Putting It All Together

An email example (full-text alternative immediately follows image).

Email

The NYU logo is in the top-left corner to reinforce brand recognition. A darker, cropped version of the city grid pattern is used for the email masthead. A path anchors the title of the event series. The border of the email, which extends vertically on both sides of the message as the recipient scrolls through the email content, is also a part of the city grid.


Window Decal

The way this decal bridges both windows tells a story. The Ultra Violet frame is left open at the top and encompasses both the professor and student. A single path unites the two windows and connects the text. Additional parts of the city grid pattern subtly overlay the edges of the composition to create a greater sense of focus on the center.

Window decal example (full-text alternative located immediately before image).


Book spread example (full-text alternative located immediately following image).

Book Spread

A single path weaves its way through this book spread to carry the reader through the composition. The headline on the left page is anchored to the path and sits over a subtle city grid background. The path continues to the right, framing the body text and ultimately finding its way to the edge of the page, encouraging the reader to follow.