Find an 8-1/2″ X 11″ sheet of paper, fold it in half, then look at the smaller rectangle you just formed. If you divide the long side length by the short side length the result will be a number like 1.545, a “nice” proportion but not perfect. In a perfect world, the ratio would be 1.618… a very satisfying proportion to us humans. If we are designing a floor plan, the façade of a building, or the shape of a bottle, chances are we will employ a 1.618 ratio for the rectangular image. Humans have been doing this for two thousand years, surrounding us with rectangular projects that conform to this ratio. We’re crazy about it… just search for “Golden Ratio” on your computer and you’ll see. You will recognize the perfect floor plan when you see one, or a favorite classic painting, or even your own financial plan, simply because “it just fits.” In each case, chances are fair to good there is a 1.618 ratio somewhere in the construction. Leave the numbers for competent professionals to fuss with, and task them to build you satisfying dimensions you can enjoy the rest of your life.
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