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.
For companion piece Golden Meaning, GraphicDesign& founders Lucienne Roberts and Rebecca Wright tasked 55 designers to communicate mathematical concept the Golden Mean.
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.
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.
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.
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.’
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.
Designers including Malika Favre, Bibliothèque and Vaughan Oliver responded with a range of cencepts.
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.
‘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.