This technique was inspired by Akira Ouchi, a design professor from VCU who explained how to use your intuitive sense of design to find and develop a strong grid system. If you’ve put elements onto a page and are happy with it, the grid is there – you just have to find it.
Grid systems do not have to be planned at the start, and I don’t see how you could make a grid system absent design elements. A grid created in advance may force you to tighten up and abandon your intuitive sense of what ‘looks good on the page’.
This technique will help you move a design from a ‘comp’ or idea, to an elegant and polished page. In addition, the grid you develop will allow you to add or subtract copy without destroying a page layout – this is crucial when making multi-page documents with varying amounts of copy and imagery.