Before I start with the mathematics part of Golden Ratio let’s talk about why golden ratio and gestalt psychology is important in design.
Human mind is a complex structure. We only see things that are logic based and make sense to the brain. Gestalt is a form Psychology with a focus on the cognitive behaviour. Designers only focus on the perception of the visual aspect of this, especially the theory that the whole is greater than the sum of each part. Applying this theory to design creates unity with a piece.
In lay man’s language, if we see a tail, paws, fur, a body, a collar, ears, whiskers and nose our brain automatically registers it as a Dog.
The Gestalt Effect highlights the ability of the brain to join parts and make a whole structure out of it. This helps us in identifying shapes of an abstract logo.
Proportion and Symmetry are critical factors when it comes to eye-pleasing design or even facial attractiveness. Most sci-fi & mystery genre of movies and novels make use of this Golden Ratio and the ‘Fibonacci Sequence’ (which is very different from Golden Rule).
Well, to go on I could write how amazing patterns Golden Ratio can produce or awe you with the fact that even God has his maths right and incorporated Golden Ration also known as Phi (as the Greek letter) which equals to 1.618 in all of nature.
Why do we hype about Golden Ratio? Well because humans are hyper beings but also because Golden Ratio actually helps in getting every design or painting symmetrical and pleasing to the eye. As it turns out our brains are ‘hard-wired’ and when we look at something we unconsciously find the pattern in it. We do not understand when it’s perfect and ‘looks right’ to us but a slight distortion can signal us that ‘something is not right’.
Before we jump into the amazing Golden Ratio and its incorporation in our logo with all its fantastic features, let us dig deep into the ‘Fibonacci Sequence’.
Why know such a hard to pronounce word and its meaning? All because to understand the origin of Golden Ratio, this has to be known from the core.
Fibonacci Sequence is simply a set of numbers that starts with a zero or a one, followed by one, and then proceeds based on the rule that each number (called a Fibonacci number) is equal to the sum of the former two numbers.
This pattern goes on infinitely and if the sums are omitted and just the resulting numbers are noted we end up with a list: 1,2,3,5,8,21,34,55,89,144..etc thus, creating the Fibonacci Sequence.
Now again if we take this sequence and begin to divide each number by its former number we get another pattern-
As the number gets larger, the answers start to approximate the same number i.e. 1.618. The numbers get consecutive no matter how high up the sequence you go.
It is this number, the proportion that draws any two consecutive numbers in the Fibonacci Sequence, that we commonly refer to as “The Golden Ratio”.
The Divine Proportion aka Golden Ratio
To take the ratio one step further, we can derive a rectangle where side x is equal to 1 and side x+y is equal to 1.618, known as Golden Rectangle.
In the above picture, both the large and small rectangle (i.e. the Yellow square + the Green rectangle) and the green rectangle alone can be considered Golden Rectangles as they share the same 1:1.618 ratio.
Now, when we create spirals that cross through each of the rectangles we get the Golden Spiral!
So, why do these shapes matter in design? Well, it wasn’t long after that these proportions were invented that people started finding them mysteriously in all things that occurred naturally.
We can witness these patterns in plants, ferns, waves, nautilus shell, the proportions of the human body and even in the spiral shape of the galaxies. In fact we attribute greater beauty to those whose faces more closely exhibit these attributes because it seems pleasing to our eyes. This ratio is so vividly present in the natural world that it has come to be known as the Divine Proportion.
We are not only surrounded by Golden Ratio but it is also aesthetically pleasing, incredibly strong and well balanced. Even in the early era, humans have used this amazing procedure to create and build some of the treasured artefacts that remain intact even today.
Many famous artists even made sure to incorporate Golden Ratio in their paintings to make sure that they looked attractive and did not pose out any misbalance.
Golden Ratio Today
Phi continues to be used profusely in modern society. Much of our technology, product, architecture, design/ergonomics are heavily influenced by Phi. Even in our logo, we made sure to incorporate to make it more attractive, expressive and ethically right on the design.
When first people learn about Golden Ratio, they try to input them in every design irrespective of the dimensions. Every line, every dimension according to them has to be a reflection of Phi. This inevitably leads to forced and cluttered designs. This is when you need to find balance in your design. Like every other thing in life, there are numerous variables which establish certain limits in our work. Phi should be best applied to fill in this aesthetic gap and get rid of these limiting factors.