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Golden Ratio Graphic Design

October 16, 2013 IADT General, Graphic Design 0 Comments

Golden RatioGraphic designers obviously want to create designs that please the eye. But how they do it is more complicated that you might expect.

One way that designers can develop effective and natural-looking graphics is by using the Golden Ratio.

What is the Golden Ratio?

Did you realize that design often relies on math? It does when you use the Golden Ratio, although there are some easy ways to do it.

The Golden Ratio is a concept in art and math that refers to shapes that have a proportion of 1:1.61. For example, if you were looking at a golden rectangle, the ratio of one pair of its sides to the other would be 1:61.

This ratio is found in not just art but also architecture and nature, and we use it simply because it looks good.

How Do I Use the Golden Ratio in Graphic Design?

The ratio of 1.61 actually goes on infinitely (1.6180339….) but you can round the number up or down to simplify your work. It’s based on the Fibonacci sequence, a series of numbers in which each number is the sum of the two numbers before it. Here’s how the sequence starts:

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55….

The numbers 2 and 3 add up to 5. When you divide a number by the number before it, it equals approximately 1.61. That means you just need to multiply a number by 1.61 to find the next number, rounding the answer to the nearest whole number.

Why do graphic designers need to know this? Because it helps them create shapes based on the golden ratio. Just multiply the length of the short side of a rectangle by 1.61 to find the length of the small side. This principle also works on the area of two relative shapes.

But instead of worrying about math, you can simply look for a golden ratio calculator. Plug in a number and it will calculate the missing numbers for you.

There are even golden ratio typography calculators. These help graphic designers figure out the golden ratio of font size to line height to line width.

Look for more examples of the golden ratio to see how it influences the industry of design, and remember to test these calculators.


What do you think?