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For centuries, newspapers used column rules (vertical lines) and cutoff rules (horizontal lines) to separate stories. Back in the ’60s and ’70s, rule-less gutters became popular, but nowadays rules are back. And most of the best-designed papers use them.
Advantages: Rules organize stories and pages into neat stacks. They even let you get away with butting headlines and colliding art elements, up to a point (see below).
Disadvantages: When drawn down the middle of a narrow gutter, rules can crowd the text beside it. And if you widen the gutter to alleviate the crowding, sliding stories slightly sideways, your page grid can look wonky and unaligned. Rules work best with wider gutters.
Tip: Horizontal cutoff rules can be thin, thick — even screened or fancied up a bit, depending on your paper’s style. But it’s usually best to keep standard vertical column rules as thin and unobtrusive as you possibly can.