Applying the Golden Ratio to Graphic Design

Graphic Design is subjective and can be interpreted differently by every living being. Although there is no one-size-fits-all approach, there is a concrete, mathematical theory that can help us get one step closer to creating amazing design experiences every time. This is known as the Golden Ratio.

So what is the Golden Ratio?

Also referred to as the Golden Section, Golden Mean, Divine Proportion, or the Greek letter Phi, the Golden Ratio is a unique mathematical relationship that is used to determine absolute perfection. With an approximate proportion of 1.618, it stems from the Fibonacci sequence, which is the sum of the two numbers before it. For example, 0, 1,1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, and so forth. From this sequence, the Greeks developed the Golden Ratio to better express the difference between any two numbers. This is how it can be applied to circles, rectangles and triangles:

In its simplest form, the Golden Ratio is the relationship between two or more elements. From flowers to shells and from galaxies to oceanic waves, the formation of the Golden Ratio is present across all aspects of life. See example below of the Mona Lisa, which was painted according to the principles of the Golden Ratio:

How can the Golden Ratio be applied to Graphic Design?

When the Golden Ratio is specifically applied to graphic design, it creates an organic, balanced, and aesthetically-pleasing composition. Although its application is not always intentional, it is important for designers to understand and acknowledge it in order to maximize scale and effectively establish focal points.

Whether you’re a graphic designer, illustrator or digital artist, the Golden Ratio can be used to bring harmony and structure to your projects and can assist with creating shapes, logos, layouts, and so forth.

Although graphic design is often driven by instinct and creativity, the Golden Ratio uses mathematics to completely transform artworks. Whether your focus is on image-making, layout, typography or logo design, the underlying principles of the Fibonacci sequence can serve as an excellent starting point for any artwork.

Author: Nicolette Ashman

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