Golden Ratio

The Golden Ratio

Known in a variety of names such as the Golden Mean, Golden Section, Divine Proportion, or the Greek letter Phi, the Golden Ratio is basically a unique number which approximately equals to the value of 1.618. The ratio itself comes from the Fibonacci spiral, a naturally occurring sequence of numbers which can be encountered just everywhere, from the number of fruits on a tree to the shape of a pearl. That said a Golden Ratio is a mathematical ratio.

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What is a Fibonacci Sequence?

In mathematics, The Fibonacci sequence is basically the sum of the two numbers prior to it. It goes: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89 and so on, to infinity. Taking into account this pattern, the Greeks developed the Golden Ratio in order to better express the difference between any two numbers in the sequence.

Uses of the Golden Ratio

The golden ratio or the golden number is commonly found in nature. It is also frequently used in a design, to promote natural-looking and organic compositions which are aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

Golden Ratio in Design

Wondering how to use the golden ratio in design? Let’s check out

Here are five ways of using the Golden Ratio in design:

1. Typography and Describing Hierarchy

The Golden Ratio can help us with identifying the size of the font we should use for headers and body copy on a website, blog post, press release, landing page, or even print campaign.

Suppose that your body copy is 14px. So, when we multiply 14 by 1.618, we’ll get 22.652, indicating that a header text size of 20px or 21px would follow the Golden Ratio and balance the 14px body font size.

Also, if you want to find out how large your body text size should be, you could do the opposite. If your header text is 30px, you can divide it by 1.618 to identify the body text (17 or 18 px).

2. Cropping and Resizing Images

While cropping images, it is quite simple to figure out the white space to cut out. But, how do you ensure if the image is still balanced after you resize it? You can take the help of a Golden Spiral as a guide for the image’s composition. For example, if you overlay the Golden Spiral on an image, you can ensure that the focal point will lie in the centre of the spiral.

3. Logo Development

If we want to design a new logo and seem stuck, simply flip to the Golden Ratio. It will help you sketch out the shapes and proportions. Many popular logos, including Apple, Pepsi and Twitter follow the Golden Ratio.

4. Layout

Leveraging the Golden Ratio can enable you to design a visually appealing UI (user interface) that quickly draws the user’s attention that’s what matters the most. For example, a page that illustrates a huge block of content on the left with a narrower column on the right can use the Golden Ratio’s proportions to help you decide where to put the most significant content.

5. Tracing the Golden Spiral

The Golden Spiral can be used as a guide in order to identify the placement of content. Not to mention but our eyes will be naturally drawn to the center of the spiral, which is where it will look out for details, so emphasize your design on the center of the golden spiral and place areas of visual interest within the spiral. The attention to our eye starts in the top-centre, it then moves past the description having absorbed all the details it requires.

Fun Facts

  • Pyramids of Giza and Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Pepsi are all designed using the Golden Ratio.

  • If we lay the square over the rectangle, the link between the two geometrical figures will give us the Golden Ratio.

  • If we keep using the Golden Ratio formula to the new rectangle on the far right, we will end up with an image composed of growingly smaller squares.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. What is a Golden Rectangle?

Answer: The golden rectangle is actually a rectangle that has a length of a+b and a width of a. This rectangle is most commonly observed in art, as it has also been believed that it's the most captivating to the eye of all such rectangles. There is also a golden rectangle calculator which is a convenient tool to find the golden rectangle instead of working it manually. It also has its presence as the golden ratio in nature as well as the golden ratio in architecture. In other words, the golden ratio is observed in various forms of architecture and some concepts of nature, such as in the arrangement of leaves in some trees or decorative plants. The golden proportion is even spotted in regular pentagons.

Q2. How Do We Use the Golden Ratio to Improve Designs?

Answer: You can spot the Golden Ratio when you divide a line into two parts and the longer part (x) divided by the smaller part (y) is equivalent to the sum of (x) + (y) divided by (x), which both equal 1.618. This formula will enable us to create shapes, signboards, logos, layouts, and more.

Considering this idea, we can also create a golden rectangle. Take a square and multiply its one side by 1.618 to obtain a new shape: i.e. a rectangle with well-balanced proportions.

Q3. What is a Beauty Ratio?

Answer: A beauty ratio is actually the golden ratio in beauty. Also known as the golden face ratio, it means the ideal outcome—as described by the golden ratio—is approximately 1.6, which implies that a beautiful person's face is about 1 ½ times longer than it is wide. This also suggests that if the numbers are matching or equal, a person is considered more beautiful.