All You Need to Know About Golden Ratio Applied to Graphic Design

Graphic design can be just about anything that you’d like it to be. There are rules, but the design is interpretive and rules are meant to be broken. There are some instances in which rules can be extremely helpful. A prime example is the basic rules and guidelines that we have in place for typography. If you’ve ever met a typography enthusiast, you’ll know from the first-hand experience that the rules of typography are serious, and deviating from those rules have serious consequences. Today’s article isn’t focusing on the rules of typography, although you could technically include typography in this principle. Today’s topic is on the Golden Ratio of graphic design.

What Is The Golden Ratio

So, what exactly is the golden ratio? Is it the holy grail of design? Will it make all of your designs mind-blowing? Do you need to get a special certificate to learn this skill? We’ll talk about what exactly the Golden Ratio is. Don’t worry you don’t need any special skills to master it!

The Golden Ratio is closely related to the Fibonacci Sequence and describes the perfectly symmetrical relationship between two proportions. It is approximately equal to a 1:1.61 ratio (the exact number is 1.61803398874989484820), and it can be demonstrated using a golden rectangle, a perfect spiral, and even a golden triangle. The golden rectangle consists of a large rectangle made up of a square and a shorter rectangle. The Golden Ratio can be found in all different types of designs. One of the most famous works constructed using the Golden Ratio is Leonardo Da Vinci’s, Mona Lisa.

golden ratio

It’s everywhere

The Golden Ratio exists in more than just graphic design. You’ll find it used in almost every place you look. It’s in the construction of buildings, it occurs naturally in nature and used to pattern music and it even occurs in our DNA. Yep, that magical ratio is pretty much everywhere you look. To find the Golden Ratio you would start by creating a line and dividing that line into a long portion and short portion. In order to make the Gold Ratio work, the full length of the line divided by the long portion of the line must equal the same number as the long portion of the line divided by the short portion of the line.

If it sounds a bit intimidating, don’t fret! There are tons of websites that provide golden ratio calculators and even scripts that you can install in your design program to calculate the ratio for you. One of the easiest ways to quickly calculate the Golden Ratio is to create a square in your design application of choice. Then divide that square by 1.61. Continue to repeat this process over and over until you have the desired size or the desired number of squares needed to complete your piece.

Golden Ratio Calculators

Omni Calculator is a website that allows you to input some basic information and it will give you the numbers for the Golden Ratio.

Golden Ratio Calculator Plus is an iOS app that will allow you to calculate the Golden Ratio with some additional features.

How You Can Use it

As you can see there are several ways to implement the Golden Ratio. You can use it in pretty much any type of graphic design that you’re working on. When you’re trying to find projects that work well with the Golden Ratio, think about projects that lend themselves well to symmetry. Think in terms of modern pop art and logos. You can also use the Golden Ratio to layout and arrange your designs. Using the principle of the Golden Ratio, you can set up bounding boxes to confine and arrange all the elements of your design to fit perfectly with the proportions of the Golden Ratio.

The best thing about the Golden Ratio is its versatility. The concept is very easy to understand, but difficult to master. You can jump right in and start designing with the Golden Ratio and you can increase the complexity of your designs as you become more comfortable with the concept. Use all the resources available out there on the web for calculating the Golden Ratio. Those will save you tons of time by not having to do the math by hand.