The golden ratio or section, is basically a maths ratio that can be used to lay out a design or get proportions correct in a design.
What is so fascinating about the ratio/section is that it crops up on nearly all designs, especially in nature.
A flower’s head is based on the ratio, a sea shell, The Parthenon, the geometry of Leonardo Divinci and my butty box.
If you watch QI, the golden ration is part of the scenery set.
A simple example is in photography, the rule of thirds. Look through a camera view finder and if a grid doesn’t appear, then you can visualise a grid splitting the viewfinder into 3 columns by 3 rows. From this, you can place the horizon, land and the subjects.
I could give you the full maths low down, but if you are like me, that level of maths makes white noise appear in my head and my eyes glaze over, so look here for the full story of how it works.
So, how can the ratio be used in design?
It can be used as an overlay for ordering div boxes in a web design, to lay out a print design or design a new sea creature, its up to you. Web designs, designed with the ratio or not are coming in, mostly with 2 column designs where the first column takes up about 2 thirds and the second column the last third. The ratio works with all designs and following the guides of the ratio, design elements just sit better and look ‘correct’.
Give it a try. It is fascinating.