Golden ratio

The total length of the human face divided by the distance between the eyes and mouth approximates towards the number 1.618, also known as Phi. Studies indicate that the closer the proportions of an individual’s face are to this ratio, the more likely others will find that face attractive. In 2012, Florence Colgate was voted ‘Britain’s Most Beautiful Woman’, and scientists found that Florence’s features closely followed the golden ratio. Humans associate this ratio with beauty so much so that plastic surgeons incorporate the formula to optimise the attractiveness of their patients.

Phi can be calculated by splitting a line into a shorter and longer segment. If the value of the longer line divided by the shorter is equal to 1.618 then the lines correspond with the golden ratio. The brain associates these proportions with aesthetic beauty, and the face is just a starting point. For years, artists have incorporated the proportions into their most renowned work. Da Vinci’s The Last Supper uses Phi, as does the Mona Lisa. Paintings by Michelangelo, Botticelli and Raphael capitalise on the golden ratio in order to render their paintings aesthetically pleasing. It is thought that the Greeks used Phi in the design of the Parthenon, while the Egyptians used it in the construction of the Great Pyramids. In nature itself, the golden ratio appears again and again from the shape of sea shells to plants.

Entrepreneurs tap into the golden ratio and incorporate it into their own products. Google’s logo – the multi-coloured uppercase ‘G’ – incorporates the golden ratio into its design. The total height of the G divided by the distance between the straight blue section and the bottom is equal to 1.618. Other companies that incorporate Phi into their graphic design include Pepsi, Twitter and Toyota. Even the standard credit card corresponds with the ratio.

For their products to scale, rebel entrepreneurs must invest time into making them aesthetically appealing. Honing in on humans’ tendency to associate Phi with beauty can help this process.

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