The Nontent was created by Michael Steven Forrest, Creative Director for
Counter Brand & Type.

002 – Results
(Click Below)

003 — Information

What is it and how does it work?

The Nontent was originally designed by necessity as an internal excercise for diversifying our editorial and layout capabilities. Frustrated with creating stale, boring and regimented layouts, we needed to find a way to experiment with the grid in a way that was free of any content and context. After seeing The Nontent’s immediate affect on our own creative processes, we decided to test the idea in an Advanced Typography course at Valencia College. The six students who participated not only created 250+ different layouts, but their confidence and compositional skills in other courses improved within weeks.

    This exercise is designed for graphic designers of all levels and specialties. It is intended to not only push one in the areas of composition, typography, scale, rhythm and balance — it is designed to help the designer fully realize the nearly infinite possibilities of the common grid, and to help the designer establish and unlock the inner logic of the blank page.

    Participants are provided with an InDesign document loaded with a simple “box of parts” i.e. simple shapes, a limited color palette and abstracted objects which are designed to simulate images, infographics and basic typographical forms. The provided 8”x10” document also includes four built-in grid systems – a 4-column grid, 7-column grid, 12-column grid and the uncommon, but highly versital, Modular based grid system.

    Each participant is encouraged to submit their layouts to and we will do our best to populate this site as often as we receive submissions. The hope is that The Nontent will be a fun, easy going resource for unlocking the grid and that by default, an image bank that can serve as an inspirational resource for designers looking to solve complicated layout problems.

Is this just a print-based excercize?

While this version is in fact a print / editorial based format, the result and successes of the participant’s experimentation and play will be applicable to any format including digital and animation!

Will there ever be a digital Nontent?

Yeah, we are working on that right now! Stay tuned!