DesignGridLayout is a revolutionary and innovative Swing LayoutManager inspired by the use of canonical grids for user interface design. Its goal is to be useful for typical form-based designs. DesignGridLayout is an alternative to other grid-based layout managers (FormsLayout, GridLayout, GridBagLayout, HIGLayout, PnutsLayout, RiverLayout, SGLayout, TableLayout and MiGLayout). DesignGridLayout works with JDK 1.6 and later.
The idea of user interfaces based on canonical grids is described in the book Designing Visual Interfaces: Communication Oriented Techniques by Kevin Mullet and Darrell Sano. Available online, Patrizia Nanni's thesis Human-Computer Interaction: Principles of Interface Design has a nice chapter called Module and Program: Grid-based Design, which also references Mullet and Sano's work.