When the New Graphic Design issue no.1 first came to our office in 1960, my husband studied it thoroughly to find the underlying grid that the whole publication was based on. (I still have the tissue paper system that he worked out.) He was fascinated with it since the grid is essential for organization of masses of information.
There is usually a grid automatically worked out in design work for letterpress (it’s the nature of the process) but with the advent of offset printing, anything goes any old place you want and especially now with designing on computer.
Photograph from Vignelli: From A to Z, written by Massimo Vignelli, published by Images Publishing Group Pty Ltd.
"Establishing the most appropriate grid for a book on the Indy 500, based on 4 columns and 4 rows. This grid offers the possibility of having horizontal pictures based on the 2-to-3 ratio proportion (typical of slides) from small modules to a half page to a full spread".
Quote from Vignelli.