I’ve always struggled with the Golden Spiral in graphic design. I always felt I never really understood it, but yet, I knew it was a powerful beast. I worked and worked on understanding it, getting lectured by my instructor over and over on using it more and then one day… it clicked. I got it. It’s all about finding the sweet spot for a design. Lead that eye and get it where it needs to go and make the eye enjoy the ride. I’m Disneyland for the graphic design world essentially. My job is to make sure you enjoy looking at the material provided before you so you don’t turn away… AND make sure you know about the company behind the material and what they offer.

The Golden Spiral is a perfect machine which is utilized by God himself in everyday life. As I understand it, it was derived by humans looking at nature and wondering to themselves “why is that so adorable”. And lo, the Golden Spiral, Golden Circle, and Golden Ratio were born. Golden meaning it’s pretty darn cool.

I’m by no means an expert on this topic, but there are many out there that are and can explain the math behind it much better that I ever could. One place is here. Essentially, its about thirds. Everything looks great when there is tension. Just look at your relationship. Relationships wouldn’t be fun without a little tension. Now, I’m not talking about burning down a house tension, I’m talking about tit for tat tension. Tension is something humans desire and the Golden Spiral delivers. It’s not an even numbered type of thing.. it’s a odd type of thing.  Literally.

The Golden Spiral, Circle and Ratio all play off of the thirds (1/3). For instance, when you take a picture, you should always use wide screen AND put your subject to the right or left… never in the middle.. if you want to look like a pro. Why? Our eye desires it! WE WANT TENSION. This is why soap operas have been around for way too long. TENSION.

I recently worked on creating a poster for a friend of mine who is making a movie. He already had the idea of what he wanted for the poster and laid it out.  It was up to me to not just take his approach and make it look professional, but to make sure the eye is drawn. Welcome: Golden Spiral.

The idea is to lead the eye to the title of the movie (or whatever your desired landing place is) while giving the viewer a Disneyland ride toward it. As you can see below you are naturally drawn to start at the top left as this is where we begin to read. Your eye is then brought down around the characters of the movie and centered into the title. Job done.

Golden Spiral Poster

This could easily be mistaken for hierarchy design, which is based on the Golden Ratio, but in this case it was all Spiral. Oh, Spiral is gorgeous, isn’t she?

Go! Do some design stuff using Golden Spiral or look for it in nature. It’s there in your local park. Just look. It’s fun.

Cali Dingo (David)