Golden Meaning

After asking designers to tackle English literature, publisher GraphicDesign& has is now asking them to get mathematical with new release Golden Meaning.

Cover

GraphicDesign&’s Page 1: Great Expectations book, published in 2012, saw designers including Erik Spiekermann, Tony Brook and Morag Myerscough tasked with creating typographic interpretations of the first piece of Charles Dickens’ novel.

Malika Favre illustrates using a Golden Ratio grid
Malika Favre illustrates using a Golden Ratio grid

For companion piece Golden Meaning, GraphicDesign& founders Lucienne Roberts and Rebecca Wright tasked 55 designers to communicate mathematical concept the Golden Mean.

George Hardie demonstrates the Golden Ratio in 3D with volumes
George Hardie demonstrates the Golden Ratio in 3D with volumes

The Golden Mean, also known as the Golden Ratio, is the term used if the ratio of two quantities is the same as the ratio of their sum to the larger of the two quantities – eg a+b is to a as a is to b. The ratio is equal to 1.618 and also links to the Fibonacci Sequence.

Julia expresses the Fibonacci Sequence in language
Julia expresses the Fibonacci Sequence in language

Artists and architects including Le Corbusier and Dalí have used the Golden Ratio in their work, and it is also said to be perceptible in some everyday designs, such as the size and shapes of postcards, wide-screen TVs and cars.

Lawrence Zeegen shows a painter creating a rectangle in Golden Ratio proportions
Lawrence Zeegen shows a painter creating a rectangle in Golden Ratio proportions

The Golden Ratio can be a tricky concept for those of us who are less mathematically gifted, which is why Wright and Roberts enlisted mathematician and journalist Alex Bellos to work with them on the project.

Margot Lombaert demonstrates the Golden Ratio in a spiral
Margot Lombaert demonstrates the Golden Ratio in a spiral

The pair say, ‘Alex patiently scribbled diagrams on napkins, suggested references that might inspire and gradually introduced us to his world, while we scratched our heads.’

Nick Couch created a recipe for Golden Ratio flapjacks
Nick Couch creates a recipe for Golden Ratio flapjacks

Suitably enlightened, Wright and Roberts then sent out a brief to a selection of designers, asking them to communicate, demonstrate or explore the Golden Mean.

Oli Kellett reworked a portrait of himself based on Golden Ratio proportions
Oli Kellett reworkes a portrait of himself based on Golden Ratio proportions

Designers including Malika Favre, Bibliothèque and Vaughan Oliver responded with a range of cencepts.

Ryan Todd applies the Golden Ratio to everyday objects
Ryan Todd applies the Golden Ratio to everyday objects

Bellos says, ‘The responses engage with many aspects of the Golden Mean. Some have chosen to focus on the number itself, 1.618, covering the page with its random-looking decimal digits. Some have chosen to focus on the numbers of the Fibonacci Sequence.

Sennep examines the Golden Ration in the seeds of a sunflower
Sennep examines the Golden Ration in the seeds of a sunflower

‘There are many golden rectangles, golden spirals, golden angles and there is even a golden ass and some golden flapjacks.’

Golden Meaning, edited by Lucienne Roberts, Rebecca Wright and Alex Bellos and designed by Lucienne Roberts, is published by GraphicDesign+ priced at £17.50.

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  • Nigel Reading November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    It’s not just statics and spatial, because according to Asynsis principle-Constructal law, it’s dynamical, an innate “principle of least action” optimal behaviour, a temporal signature of information, energy and resource flows, of “Form follows Flow”. Da Vinci’s (other) Code: Asynsis-Constructal published in South China Morning Post Hong Kong, Sunday 19 January 2014 http://www.scoop.it/t/asynsis-principle-constructal-law

  • Nigel Reading November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    It’s not just statics and spatial, because according to Asynsis principle-Constructal law, it’s dynamical, an innate “principle of least action” optimal behaviour, a temporal signature of information, energy and resource flows, of “Form follows Flow”. Da Vinci’s (other) Code: Asynsis-Constructal published in South China Morning Post Hong Kong, Sunday 19 January 2014 http://www.scoop.it/t/asynsis-principle-constructal-law

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