At a Glance - The Golden Ratio

The golden ratio is the most beautiful number you may ever see. We know that sounds a little over the top, but really, everything looks better when the golden ratio is applied.

Architects, painters, fashion designers, and engineers have been using this most illustrious proportion for centuries, because things just look prettier this way.

And, Mother Nature has been using this ratio for eons when designing proportionate trees, flowers, snail shells, and more. If you count the elements in the spirals of a snail, flower or pinecone, you'll notice that they approximate the golden ratio. Crazy, huh?

So what's the magic number? Technically speaking, the golden ratio, φ, is an irrational number. Say what? For the sake of our brains, we will define φ as:

Generally speaking, when comparing two quantities, like height and width, φ is the ratio that is the most visually appealing. Take a look at these two rectangles.

What about these two coffee cups?

If you chose "B" for each, you have a very good eye. The ratio of length to width for each "B" image more closely approximates the golden ratio.

Find this ratio in your body. Grab a tape measure

Next time you take a walk, look for this beautiful ratio in world around you!