Biggest Myth in design : Golden Ratio
The golden ratio is something many have heard about, but few – other than professional designers – know what it means. So before we shoot it down shall we define it?
Imagine a rectangle which is slightly wider than it is high, and draw a line from top to bottom at the point that makes a square on one side. This creates a second rectangle with the remaining part of the first one, this time higher than wide. If that resulting second rectangle has the same proportion of side length as the first, this is known as the golden ratio. The division can continue on, making smaller and smaller rectangles, all of the same shape and proportion.
It has been a widely held belief that use of the golden ratio in art and design leads to a particular harmony and beauty. Designers seek to incorporate it, or perhaps find it after they have created, believing it gives a quality to their work. Works by Le Corbusier, Salvador Dali, and Da Vinci – even the Apple logo – are said to include it and be made more powerful by it.
Actually, an article from Fast Co Design strongly suggests that this is all bunk, and in reality designers (although they may use golden ratio as one of many tools) do not give the notion anything like the mystical value we might imagine.
How is This?
Well, the golden ratio was first described by Euclid 2,300 years ago, but later written about in a book by Luca Pacioli. He didn’t actually suggest using it as a basis of design, but he was friendly with Leonardo Da Vinci, who illustrated his book. Somehow, the beauty of Da Vinci’s pictures became connected with the golden ratio. This became inflated way beyond actuality during the 19th century. Even some office furniture companies that sell Reception Chairs know about this. If you head to bestbuy-officechairs.co.uk/reception-chairs/
Of course, the golden ratio is still a useful technique and if you’re looking for effective web design – with or without its magic.
What is Good Design?
There are many factors in good design. One may be the golden ratio, but perhaps the most important question is – does this design get across my message powerfully?