Golden Ratio: The Complete Guide to Understanding the Golden Ratio

The beauty of design is that everyone can interpret it differently. While this may mean there is no one-size-fits-all approach to how we create these gorgeous images. A genius mathematical approach can help us come closer to creating these enticing-looking designs time and time again. This application is often referred to as the Golden Ratio.

To help you understand what the Golden Ratio is, we have created this complete guide to provide you all the information you need to know and show you how it can help you with your next image, logo, or picture.

What is the Golden Ratio?

The Golden Ratio, also known as the Golden Mean, Divine Proportion, or the Greek Letter Phi, is a unique number that equals approximately 1.618. This number comes from the Fibonacci sequence, a naturally occurring series of numbers found almost anywhere- nature, paintings, music, and even architecture.

However, when this Golden Ratio is applied explicitly to designs, it helps the creator develop a balanced, organic, and aesthetically pleasing final arrangement.

How to Use the Golden Ratio

So how does the Golden Ratio relate to design? Let's take a look. The Golden Ratio is found when you divide a line into two parts- a longer part A and a smaller part B. When you take this longer part and divide it by the smaller one, it equals the sum of the two parts, divided by part A, which equals 1.618. When you apply this formula to your designs, it can help you create gorgeous layouts, unique logos, beautiful shapes, and so much more.

To simplify this Golden Ratio even further, lets specifically see how it applies to design:

  • Your Font Size: The Golden Ratio is an excellent tool in helping you determine what size font you need to use for your body and headers on everything from a landing page, blog post to a print campaign. For instance, if the text of your body is 14px, to get your header text size, you would need to take this 14px and multiply it by 1.618.
  • Your Logo Ideas: If you are looking to design a new logo but cannot come up with any ideas, consider using the Golden Ratio to help you sketch out some shapes and images in different proportions. For instance, take a look at Pepsi or Twitter's logo. Both of these follow the Golden Ratio principle. 
  • Your Image Sizes: One of the biggest concerns when cropping images is making sure the picture is balanced after you resize it. Fortunately, when you apply the Golden Ratio as a guide and place it on the image, you can ensure that it is evenly balanced every time. 
  • Your Layout: The Golden Ratio is also ideal for perfecting layouts and making visually appealing designs that draw your audience's attention to the most important things first. 

The Golden Ratio vs. The Rule of Thirds

The principle behind the Rule of Thirds is to break down an image into thirds (both vertically and horizontally) so that you can have nine different parts. The rationale for this is if you place points of interest in the intersections, your photo will become more balanced and allow your viewers to interact with it more naturally.

When comparing the Golden Ratio and the Rule of Thirds, the Rule of Thirds is basically a more straightforward form of the Golden Ratio. Even though its proportions do not equal 1.618 exactly, it does give you roughly the same effect. Plus, it is much easier to implement.


Once you start understanding the concept of the Golden Ratio, you will start seeing it everywhere around you. This is because our minds and eyes are used to seeing this incredible ratio and reacting positively to it. 

What is even better, as a designer, if you start applying the Golden Ratio to your work, you can improve your designs with a few simple tweaks and create beautiful-looking images that better help you interact with your audience. 

Need to Download CorelDRAW?

Download a Free 15-Day Trial Now!