Golden Ratio in Design: Using the Golden Ratio in Graphic Design

As you create stunning designs with highly complex elements, you may want to be sure that you include all the right elements to that design. One commonly-used element to help create balance in your graphic designs is the golden ratio.

What is the Golden Ratio?

The golden ratio is a mathematical ratio often found in nature that, when put into your designs, can help create a more cohesive and visually appealing whole. Put in simple terms, the golden ratio occurs when you take a line and divide it into two parts, and the longer portion of the line divided by the smaller part is equal to the sum of the two parts divided by the longer part. This number should equal 1.618.

The golden ratio creates a highly appealing design--one that our brains are actually wired to prefer. By utilizing the golden ratio in your graphic design elements, you will often find that you can increase user appreciation of those images.

Why is the Golden Ratio Important in Graphic Design?

The eye is naturally drawn to designs that incorporate the golden ratio. It can help guide layout, typography, and the composition of your images as you work to create a more cohesive whole that will appeal to your audience. Simply utilizing the golden ratio, which is often found in nature, can help evoke specific feelings in your viewer and enhance the overall effectiveness of your design.

How to Use the Golden Ratio in Graphic Design

The golden ratio can be used in several areas of your designs, whether you're constructing a small logo or designing a comic book panel. It can be found naturally in many pieces of art and building design. Ready to start using elements of the golden ratio in your graphic designs?

1. Utilize the golden rectangle.

The golden rectangle can be found by taking a square and multiplying one side by 1.68, creating a visually pleasing rectangle. You can use these two shapes on their own or continue multiplying the same way to create a multifaceted design that is balanced and pleasing to the eye.

2. Incorporate the golden spiral.

By drawing a spiral over each square by starting at one corner of a square and ending at the opposite corner of the next one, you will end up with the golden spiral: an element that evokes the look of a shell or the gorgeous spiral of opening rose petals. This element is often highly appealing to many viewers.

3. Use the golden ratio to inform your sizing for headings and typography.

Often, this simple element can make a wall of text much more visually appealing. Use your heading as the smaller segment and the typography as the larger segment. 

4. Use the golden spiral to help inform cropping and resizing decisions.

Do you have a design element that needs to have white space removed? Make sure the final image is still balanced by incorporating the golden spiral or the golden ratio to determine how well the image is balanced.

5. Use the golden ratio to inform overall layout.

The smaller bar of the golden ratio design could be a sidebar or image that you want to pull out from the main wall of your layout.

6. Create visually appealing logos and images utilizing the golden ratio.

By using the golden ratio as part of your logo design, you can make them memorable and appealing: balance colors in the image with the golden ratio or pull out specific portions of the image, for example.


Utilizing the golden ratio is a highly effective technique for making the most of your designs and making them more visually appealing. Try these strategies today to enhance your graphic design efforts.

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