What is the Golden Ratio, and how can you use it in your graphic designs?

What do the Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and the pyramids of Giza have in common? They were all designed by utilizing the Golden Ratio.

The Golden Ratio is a mathematical number that is found in nature, and it can be a great tool for designs. It can foster natural-looking and organic compositions which will be pleasing to the aesthetic eye.

Today we will talk about the Golden Ratio and how you can use it for improving your designs.

What is the Golden Ratio?

The Golden Ratio is a special number which is almost equal to 1.618. 

The Golden Ratio can be defined when you divide a line into two parts. And the length of the longer part divided by, the smaller part is equal to their sum divided by the longer part. This number will always be 1.618.

This number can help you with your designs in a number of ways. 

  1. Set your dimensions

The Golden Ratio can be a helpful guideline for determining the dimensions of the layout. A simple way for applying the Golden Ratio is to set your dimensions to 1:1.618 

For instance, an average layout of yours will have a typical width of 960 pixels. You divide it by 1.618, and you will get 594 which should be the ideal height of your layout.

All that is left is to break this layout into two columns using the Golden Ratio. Whatever you make within these two shapes will be in accordance with the Golden Ratio and will look flawless.

  1. Spacing

Spacing is an integral element of every design. The right use of positive or negative space can make or break the final design

Deciding on the spacing of elements can consume a lot of time. So, you should just start with the Golden Ratio sketch and let the squares tell you where to place each element.

This will allow you to make sure that the proportions and spacing are calculated, rather than being based on instinct. 

If you are working with several elements, then you can put together several Golden Ratio sketches for ensuring consistent proportions throughout your design.

  1. Content

The Golden Spiral, a variation of Golden Ratio sketch, can be used as a guideline for determining the placement of content. 

The human eye is naturally drawn to the center of the spiral where it looks for details. Hence, you should place areas of visual interest within the spiral and focus your design on the center of the spiral.

  1. Images

The composition is important for any image, whether it is to create an aesthetically pleasing photograph or to convey important information. 

The Golden Ratio will help you in creating a composition that will draw attention to the important elements of the photo.

By using the Golden Ratio, you can split the picture into three unequal sections. Then you can use the intersections and lines for composing the picture. 

You can now use these intersections and lines for drawing the viewer’s eye and focusing attention. It will also add energy and interest to the composition. 

Austin Terrill

Austin is the founder and CEO of Print Peppermint. He loves art, graphic design, printing, music, recording gear, synthesizers, and ice cream. He lives in Berlin with his wife and two children.
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