Practical Graphic Design Advice for Creative People

How to create amazing designs with the Golden Ratio

Did you know that there is a common mathematical ratio that is found in nature, called the Golden Ratio? It has had many names throughout the years, such as the Golden Section, Golden Mean and to the Renaissance Artists; the Divine Proportion. The ratio from nature and you can see it in Architecture, art, and in music. When you use the Golden Ratio, you can create natural looking designs for your, Layouts, Logos,  Photography, Typography and web design.

What is the Golden Ratio?

The Golden Ratio is a mathematical ratio found in nature. It creates an attractive, pleasant,  natural looking layout in your designs, as it has a perfectly symmetrical relationship between two portions. The Ratio is 1:1.618 and is also known as phi from the Greek alphabet. It was originally formulated from the Fibonacci Sequence where each number is the sum of the two numbers before it 0, 0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21 and so on.

Golden Ratio

How to build your own Golden Ratio

Step 1: Draw a rectangle 1000px wide by 618px high. (Divide 1000 by 1.618 to get a height of about 618px.)

Golden Ratio

Step 2: Divide the rectangle into two parts (Dividing by 1.618). One side will be 618px and the other side will be 382px.

Golden Ratio

Step 3: Divide up the smaller rectangle the same way as the first.

Golden Ratio

Step 4: Keep dividing the next smallest rectangle until you are finished.

Golden Ratio

How to use the Golden Ratio

The Golden Ratio can show you where to place the best parts of your design, with the main focal out being at the centre of the golden spiral. This adds interest that is similar to the rule of thirds. The golden ratio can also be applied to the proportioning of different sized elements using the 1:1.618 ratio.

The Golden ratio is not a steadfast rule, but it is a helpful tool to have in your toolbox. Many designs that you see will fit into the Golden Ratio, however there are just as many that do not.