The Grid/Golden Ratio


Golden Ratio

The golden ratio is also called the golden mean or golden section (Latin: sectio aurea).[3][4][5] Other names include extreme and mean ratio,[6] medial sectiondivine proportiondivine section (Latin: sectio divina), golden proportiongolden cut,[7] and golden number.[8][9][10]

Some twentieth-century artists and architects, including Le Corbusier and Dalí, have proportioned their works to approximate the golden ratio—especially in the form of the golden rectangle, in which the ratio of the longer side to the shorter is the golden ratio—believing this proportion to be aesthetically pleasing. The golden ratio appears in some patterns in nature, including the spiral arrangement of leaves and other plant parts.

Mathematicians since Euclid have studied the properties of the golden ratio, including its appearance in the dimensions of a regular pentagon and in a golden rectangle, which may be cut into a square and a smaller rectangle with the same aspect ratio. The golden ratio has also been used to analyze the proportions of natural objects as well as man-made systems such as financial markets, in some cases based on dubious fits to data.[11]


In graphic design, a grid is a structure (usually two-dimensional) made up of a series of intersecting straight (vertical,horizontal, and angular) or curved guide lines used to structure content. The grid serves as an armature or framework on which a designer can organize graphic elements (images, glyphs, paragraphs, etc.) in a rational, easy-to-absorb manner. A grid can be used to organize graphic elements in relation to a page, in relation to other graphic elements on the page, or relation to other parts of the same graphic element or shape.

The less-common printing term “reference grid,” is an unrelated system with roots in the early days of printing.


The golden rectangle featuring Fibonacci numbers (Credit: 克勞棣 CC-BY-SA 4.0)
The Fibonnacci Spiral (CC0)


Tondreau, Beth. Layout Essentials : 100 Design Principles for Using Grids, Rockport Publishers, 2008. ProQuest Ebook Central, Page: 26


Grid section of Ellen Lupton’s book

Thinking with Type


Golden Ratio in use

How to Use the Golden Ratio to Create Gorgeous Graphic Designs


Canons of Page Construction


Image By jossi [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The canons of page construction are historical reconstructions, based on careful measurement of extant books and what is known of the mathematics and engineering methods of the time, of manuscript-framework methods that may have been used in Medieval- or Renaissance-era book design to divide a page into pleasing proportions. Since their popularization in the 20th century, these canons have influenced modern-day book design in the ways that page proportions, margins and type areas (print spaces) of books are constructed.

Van de Graaf Canon

The Van de Graaf canon is a historical reconstruction of a method that may have been used in book design to divide a page in pleasing proportions.[5] This canon is also known as the “secret canon” used in many medieval manuscripts and incunabula.

PDF Sample Files

Sample page grids PDF

Golden Rectangle Sample PDF

Fibonacci Sequence

“Grid (graphic design)” by is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

“Golden ratio” by Wikepedia is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

“Canons of page construction” by Wikipedia is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0




4 thoughts on “The Grid/Golden Ratio

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