Art vs. Science
The Golden Ratio
We all have that feeling sometimes when you know that something just looks right.
Design is not a science but an art that takes analytics into consideration. Yes facts and figures are important but it will not give that special something, that wow factor, that for some hard to define reason just resonates with the viewer.
Choosing a splash of a particular colour here or placement of a shape there, can be the difference between a successful design and one that seems lifeless or 'just doesn't seem to sit right'.
This is the 'art' that a talented designer often automatically chooses and puts down in the creation of a design, it is inherently instinctual and is not based on science or mathematics.
What is undeniable though, is that mathematics are at play here and in the post examination of a design, the science of mathematics is clearly displayed.
Since Renaissance times, great artists and architects have produced works that follow the golden ratio.
The golden ratio expressed mathematically is:
I remember at art school dissecting many great artworks such as 'The Last Supper' by Da Vinci with the golden ratio.
What I believed then and do still to this day, is that those great painters didn't set their artworks up using the ratio, but are just naturally talented so that they have an instinctual feel for what is pleasing to the eye and so therefore their works naturally fit the ratio!
(I have a great personal dislike of post rationalisation by a critic who has never spoken to the actual artist about the reasons (especially psychologically) why they did something a particular way. I believe that if a critic could ask a dead artist today, why they used a lot of black (as an example) the artist may reply it is simply because he had run out of all other colours, not because he was suffering depression and anger.)
So in the name of science we at 'the box' decided to investigate how our designs conform to the golden ratio.
Of the randomly selected designs (one example above) that the ratio was applied to, it showed that they indeed did fit the proportions of the golden ratio.
But what I believe the best result to be, is that the designs I created conform to the golden ratio not because I laid out a golden ratio grid first and applied elements accordingly, but that my instinctual feel for pleasing proportions are responsible - art created it, science quantifies it.
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