There are two basic ways to go about doing the Golden Ratio (or Divine Ratio same thing.) One is to do math and do the ratio thing by the number.
Not what I do.
Here is a diagram with an explanation below. Rotate it clockwise. For some reason I couldn’t save it in the correct orientation. Also it will go to another page and then click on that link as well and it will download.
The Golden Ratio for Book Page Layout – The Villard Diagram
Villard de Honnecourt lived in the 13th century. He was an architect as well as an artist. All that we know of him comes from his sole known remaining body of work of 250 drawings on 33 sheets of parchment dating from the 1220s to 1240s. It resides in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France Paris shelf mark MS Fr 19093.
The Villard Diagram uses a straight edge and a t-square (or something guaranteed to give you a ninety degree angle straight line). It will work on any rectangle.
If you are doing this for a single page artwork that could be framed I strongly recommend putting a 1″ buffer all the way around your work space for the matting. THEN do the Golden Ration INSIDE this new work space.
– Step 1 – Find the center of your work area. You do this by drawing lines to opposite corners of the work space in a large “X” shape. The point where the two lines cross is the center of your work space. Take your square and draw a line straight UP to the top of your work space. This line is not in the diagram. In fact you can just mark the top of your work space without drawing a line to it.
– Step 2 – Draw 1 line each from this center top point to each of the bottom corners of your work space.
– Step 3 – Where the lines cross (in the diagram points F and H). Draw a line straight up to the top of your work space.
– Step 4 – From the left top point draw a line to where the right crossing point is (in the diagram that point is labelled “F”. From the right top point draw a line to left crossing point (in the diagram that point is labelled “H”)
– Step 5 – Using your square – At point “R” in the diagram draw a line over to the left line. Stop when you touch this left line. If you are making a double column start again at Point Q and draw over to the right ling. If you are just using one work space start at “R” again and draw over to the right line.
– Step 6 – Using your square – From these stopping points draw a line straight down until you run into a line, stop at the line.
– Step 7 – If you are using a single space simply connect the two bottom dots and you have your text block. Congratulations.
– Step 7A – If you are creating columns draw a light line all the way across the bottom using the two bottom points as your start and finish. Then using a square draw a line from R to the bottom line and draw a line from the Q to the bottom line. Erase the line between the two boxes you have just created.