Within this universe, we see a lot of order—order reflecting its Creator. And that order can be seen manifested in the mathematical constants of e, π (pi), or φ (phi). This real number called phi has an interesting characteristic.

When this is called the golden ratio of 1.61803399…

In this example, we see numerous uses of the golden ratio. Height of the pillars vs. height from top of pillars to the top of building, height of Parthenon vs width, etc...

It turns out, this certain ratio has a characteristic that appears often throughout this universe. Furthermore, this ratio—when applied to design—creates a form general pleasing to the human eye. The Greeks (intentionally or not) used this ratio in their architectures, we see this appearing in medieval book designs, and even in the ratio of the human face.

Golden Ratio in Design

We can also use this same ratio in designing the web. In this modest(*cough*) example above, the red logo at the top right corner has a rectangular shape with the height 1.618 times the length of its width. Similarly, the box at center has a width with the golden ratio to the height. The length of the image box is also a golden ratio to the length of the text box to its right. Finally, the entire website has a general shape that corresponds to the golden ratio.

Some have even used the “golden angle” with the arc divided by the ratio, in design. Golden ratios can also be found in other forms such as the curious Fibonacci sequence.

I won’t go into that in this post as that deserves a post on its own. However, if you look around, I’m sure you will start to see aspects of this interesting mathematical constant appearing around you in industrial, graphic, print, and web design.

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This entry was posted on Sunday, February 1st, 2009 at 8:49 am and is filed under Web Design, Website Building. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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@Jeff, that is an interesting question. The golden ratio can be used “epistemologically self-consciously” or not. Most unbelievers do not use it with a certain worldview in mind, however I know that God has created such order, thus I am able to consciously use this certain mathematical constant.
Whether some are aware of it or not, by using such mathematical constants, they are actually un-consciously borrowing a form of Christian worldview.

Great post, Ray. I love your new design.

Just one question…Is your golden ratio epistemologically self-conscious?

That is neat! It does look more appealing.

Great post Ray!

@Jeff, that is an interesting question. The golden ratio can be used “epistemologically self-consciously” or not. Most unbelievers do not use it with a certain worldview in mind, however I know that God has created such order, thus I am able to consciously use this certain mathematical constant.

Whether some are aware of it or not, by using such mathematical constants, they are actually un-consciously borrowing a form of Christian worldview.

I saw those algebraic figures and could not bring myself to read the rest of the post. 😛 I’ve seen too many of those recently…

Amen Ray,

Worldview is a part of everything!