What is the Golden Ratio and How Can it Help You?

What is the golden ratio? The golden ratio, also known as the golden section or golden mean, is a mathematical concept that results in the irrational number phi or Φ, which approximately equates to 1.618. It comes from the Fibonacci sequence, which is a series of numbers in which the following number is a sum of the two previous numbers.

One of the best ways to demonstrate the golden ratio is through dividing a line into two parts so that the long part (a), divided by the short section (b) is also equal to the whole length (a+b), divided by the long part (a). Both equate to 1.618. One can best understand the proportion definition with the equation:

a/b = (a+b)/a

You can use the golden ratio to create a golden rectangle wherein the length is 1.618 larger than the width. 

The Golden Ratio in Art and Design

So, what is the relation of the golden ratio in art and design? Ever since ancient times, many artists and architects have used this mathematical concept in their creations. Various buildings, paintings, and other artworks exhibit the golden ratio, creating a balanced and organic structure and composition.

Some notable ones include the Great Pyramids, the Parthenon in Greece, Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, and even The Last Supper. However, it is unknown whether the application of this mathematical concept was intentional or not. 

Applying the Golden Ratio in Graphic Design

The application of the golden ratio is not limited only to classical art and architecture. Graphics designers can use this mathematical concept to create balanced, harmonious, and aesthetically-pleasing designs every time. 

Typography and Hierarchy

Determining the appropriate font sizes for your title, subtitle, headers, and body text on your website, brochures, and booklets can be tricky. Using the concept of the golden ratio can help decide what font size combinations would still look balanced yet legible. Instead of using a golden ratio calculator, multiply or divide a specific font size by 1.618 to get the corresponding body or headline size.

For example, a 12 pt body text, when multiplied by 1.618, will get 19.416. It means that a 19pt header will balance your 12 pt size body text well.

Image Cropping

How can one crop out unnecessary white space and unwanted objects while still maintaining balance in your images? Use the golden ratio along with the golden spiral to create an aesthetically-pleasing composition that draws attention to its focal point.

You can also use the golden ratio to create guidelines similar to the rule of thirds, except with the middle section more narrow. It can help you align the crucial elements of the image around the central rectangle.

Layout and Composition

The golden ratio diagram can also help create a clean, easy-to-read, and balanced composition in online and print material such as posters and booklets. The squares can guide you on where you can place each content element, including photos and text, on the design space, while maintaining proper spacing and proportion. Using this kind of guide can also create visual interest for your target audience.

The golden ratio is the tried-and-true tool that can help even novice designers create stunning marketing materials. Now you know how the golden ratio works and how to use it, create your own aesthetically-pleasing promotions right now!

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