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The Golden Section (Cont.)

January 17, 2009

I realized that in my previous post about the Golden Section, I explained how to create one but I had not shown the principle in action. Someone had read the post and was wondering how the Golden Rectangle would be usedĀ for a page layout so here it is.

I have taken an example of my own work in which I used the Golden Proportions both for the page size as well as the layout. Below you can see the original poster (left), and then the poster with the visible guides I created from the Golden Rectangle (right):

click the image for a closer look

Now I said that I used the golden proportion (1:1.618) for the size of the page, and as you can see the image on the right shows that the entire page is simply a golden rectangle. The easiest way to set up a page with Golden Proportions is to choose a width you want (for a vertical layout like my poster) and simply multiply that width by 1.618 to get your height. In this case, my finished piece was 7in. x 11.326in.

As you can see in the poster to the right, I have left all of my guides, including the original Golden Rectangle, the breakdown into more Golden Rectangles (red), the Fibonacci Spiral (green), and some extraneous guides (blue) I added on my own.

I first broke the layout down into two areas, the upper part which is contained in the square region on the rectangle, and the text below which is contained in the subsequent Golden Rectangle. The word “HELLO.” come up flush with the bottom of the square, and the copy below mimics the “square shape”. In addition, the Fibonacci Spiral enters the text on the exact corner of the period following “HELLO”. It then continues to meet the “E” on its upper-left corner, flush against the bottom of the square, and again curve through the “E” and “L” in the exact middle of the two letters.

Additionally, in the upper area of the poster, the subtext “the transcendence of our transience”, as well as the image of the birds begin to mimic the curve of the spiral. Lastly the blue guide which i simply derived from the diagonals of the entire rectangle and square portion in the upper area of the layout, split the two elements in the upper portion in half, providing a sort of axis to base their position off of.

The biggest thing to remember when you’re creating a loyout using this (or any other) techniques is to use the guides in the layout as a base or loose structure, not a cookie cutter positioning system. Use them to help you, but not tell you where to place various elements. If you are forcing things to fit into a piece, it will always show in the finished product.

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