Monday, June 6, 2011

Divine proportion

Here is a project I did in my Visual Design for Technical Communication class at UCBX a month ago. We were given the procedure to draw a golden section the way the Ancient Greeks did it (without a ruler) as written in the image below. We practiced drawing in class with a straight edge and a piece of string. Then we went home with the assignment of illustrating the procedure with the software tool of our choice. 

(click on the image to enlarge)

I worked with Microsoft Visio, which I know well, and started by dividing my page into nested golden rectangles. The whole image, title excluded, has the proportions of a golden rectangle. The nine drawings on the right form a square and the rest of the image on the left forms another golden rectangle. In this second golden rectangle, the procedure forms a square and the top of the image forms an even smaller golden rectangle. Then in this third golden rectangle, the summary drawing forms a square and the equations form one last golden rectangle. 

I then divided the procedure into nine steps and illustrated them in gray and red. The red represents the new segments and circles that need to be drawn. The existing lines that are necessary for each step are shown in light gray. The lines that are not needed are not shown, for clarity. I combined all the lines in a colorful summary drawing to give an overall picture of the procedure.

I also did the math–for fun, but also to make sure I had everything right–and included the equations on the page as a reference.

My final touch was to choose contrasting fonts* and to box the numbered steps into mini golden rectangles for repetition–one of Robin Williams' four design principles. And voilĂ .

* Bauhaus 93 (titles)
Bookman Old Style (text)
Vladimir Script (signature)

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