Join Sean Adams for an in-depth discussion in this video The golden section, a universal and successful proportion, part of Graphic Design Foundations: Layout and Composition.
I saw a television program that talked about a secret geometry and World Order Conspiracy. That secret geometry turned out to be the Golden Section. Of all the proportional systems in use today, the Golden Section and Golden Rectangle are the oldest and most utilized. It's not really a secret. The golden section may have been used as early as the Egyptian pyramids. The ancient Greeks however, are credited with discovering this proportion. One of the most pleasing forms to the eye, it's a golden rectangle.
And golden section based on the Fibonacci sequence. Using the geometry in math, the golden section ratio is one to 1.618. This ratio is seen repeatedly in nature, the spiral connecting the points is found in galaxies, shells and weather. The Greeks use this proportion on their buildings. Leonardo DaVinci used it on the Mona Lisa. Notre Dam is a series of golden rectangles and today the United Nations building is based on the shape also, but what does the Mona Lisa have to do with your layout? Using the golden section is a simple and easy way to define a pleasing composition.
This poster is a perfect and clear example of the golden section. The proportion dictates the size and placement of the elements. This poster looks deceivingly simple. But when I overlay the golden section, it is clear how precise the layout is. The golden section doesn't need to be a static guide on the page, it can be used in any direction. It can be rotated. You can use it multiple times as a containing proportion. I've used it on a variety of projects. It can be the basis of simple shapes, a way to organize text and images, even a way to place a monkey on the screen.
Don't be worried about the math, nobody will ask you to compute the ratio mathematically. Think of the golden section as a helpful guide. It may be called a sacred hidden geometry in the Da Vinci Code, but its not really that serious.
- What makes a successful layout?
- Layout elements: shape, line, color, texture, type, and space
- Using balance and tension to create a dynamic layout
- Adding drama with contrast and scale
- Working with proportions: golden section, rule of thirds, etc.
- Creating the right grid for your design
- Choosing simplicity or excess
- Adding an element of surprise
- Making images and typography work together