Golden Meaning / GraphicDesign&

Often referred to as the ‘divine proportion’, the golden mean has long served as a blueprint for innovation and aesthetic appeal. Golden Meaning puts this to the test, exploring the relationship between graphic design and mathematics to present the golden mean as never before.

Intended to be as intriguing as it is illuminating, Golden Meaning collects the responses of 55 (think Fibonacci) designers, typographers and image-makers to the same brief – to communicate, explore or explain the golden mean, first defined by Euclid. New works by Hort, Moniker, Catherine Zask, Kapitza, Ian Wright, Bibliothèque, Alan Kitching, MGMT. design, Julia, Mike Perry Studio, The Luxury of Protest and George Hardie tackle this ancient mathematical quandary with intelligence, style and a generous pinch of wit – employing sculpture, poetry, cosmology and even cuisine. Each design is accompanied by a short rationale explaining the designer’s decision-making process.

An attempt to demystify mathematics, Golden Meaning is not just a book for graphic designers. Whatever your interest or level of knowledge these 55 interpretations will inform and delight. A contemporary take on a golden oldie, Golden Meaning challenges perceptions of what – and who – graphic design is for.

As Mathematician, broadcaster, writer and Golden Meaning advisor Alex Bellos observes in his introductory essay: ‘This book deserves attention from the maths community as much as it does the design one’. Bellos’s Alex’s Adventures in Numberland was a 2010 Sunday Times bestseller and New Scientist Book of the Year. His latest title, Alex Through the Looking-Glass, publishes in 2014.

Golden Meaning itself shines, with pages printed in one colour – a gold special – and cover run in luminescent fluorescent yellow and incorporating gold and holographic silver metallic foils.



A man nears the completion of creating the perfect rectangular shape. The ratio of the rectangle is 1:1.61803… He has created a rectangle with proportions that relate exactly to the golden mean. Is the man a painter, art school trained in the golden section, or is the man simply a painter and decorator with an innate sense of what looks and feels right?



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