The golden ratio & graphic design

Published:  February 26, 2014

After the success of its first book Page 1, GraphicDesign& has published a new book – Golden Meaning – investigating the creative interpretations of a common mathematical concept – the golden rule. With the help of 55 contributors including designers, typographers and image-makers, the book explores how graphic design is shaped by this mathematical ratio theory, and how the theory has been expressed through graphic design.

Mark Hudson uses the golden ration to compare the proportions of everyday objects

GraphicDesign& is a London-based publishing firm set up by Lucienne Roberts and Rebecca Wright. Their new book is not exclusively designed for graphic designers as it aims to ‘demystify mathematics’ and make it more accessible for everyone.

Oli Kellett uses the golden ratio to determine how a beautiful face should look

Mathematician and writer Alex Bellos also helped in the compilation of the book. In his introductory essay, he notes, “This book deserves attention from the maths community as much as it does the design one.”

Sennep examines the relationship between the Fibonacci code, the golden ratio and the patterns on the head of a sunflower

The golden ratio, also known as the ‘golden mean’ or ‘divine proportion’, is an age-old mathematical theory that is used by artists, architects and composers alike. It supplies a ratio through which proportions, grid and space can be divided and composed.

Rose Blake highlights the time period when the height of a parent and a child equals the golden ratio

Contributors were expected to use their creativity to explain or interpret this theory using illustrations, mnemonics, typefaces, graphic design or interactive software. The result is a compilation of ingenious ideas that employ poetry, history, visual art, cosmology and even food to tackle this concept.

Malika Favre’s contribution is a silhouette of a woman using a golden ratio grid

“We were keen to include illustrators, who are lateral thinkers by trade, but we also wanted plenty of contributions from typographers and some from creatives with a more mathematical or scientific background,” Roberts said.

Julia matches numbers in the Fibonacci sequence to words in the Oxford English Dictionary

The book is printed in muted gold colour on white and the cover is in luminescent fluorescent yellow with gold and holographic silver metallic foils.

Jessica Nesbeth uses hair to illustrate the golden mean

Homework uses the golden ration to draw a ‘golden ass’

George Hardie represents the golden ratio using wine

Adrian Talbot creates a new typeface using the golden ratio proportions

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