What really is the Golden Ratio
What do the Pyramids of Giza and Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa have in common? They are designed using the Golden Ratio.
The golden ratio is a special number approximately equal to 1.618. It is commonly found in nature, and when used in design, it fosters organic and natural looking compositions that are aesthetically pleasing to the eye. But what exactly is the Golden Ratio?
Putting it as simply as we can, the Golden Ratio (also known as the Golden Section, Golden Mean, Divine Proportion, Aurea Proportion or Greek letter Phi) exists when a line is divided into two parts and the longer part (a) divided by the smaller part (b) is equal to the sum of (a) + (b) divided by (a), which both equal 1.618.
In design, the Golden Ratio boils down to aesthetics – creating and appreciating a sense of beauty through harmony and proportion. When applied to design, the Golden Ratio provides a sense of balance, or perfection in harmony.
This harmony and proportion has been recognised for thousands of centuries: from the Pyramids in Giza to the Parthenon in Athens; from Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel to Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa; and from the Pepsi logo to the Apple logo.
In fact, our brains are seemingly hard-wired to prefer objects and images that use the Golden Ratio. It’s almost a subconscious attraction and even tiny tweaks that make an image truer to the Golden Ratio have a large impact on our brains.
You’ll find this beautiful creature throughout nature’s forms – ferns, flowers, sea shells, even hurricanes – which perhaps why we find it so visually appealing. Because it is, indeed, nature at its finest.