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MacRumors
Jun 16, 2011, 01:52 PM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/06/16/icloud-logo-infused-with-golden-ratio/)


http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2011/06/goldenratio.jpg


Apple's logo artists have infused the iCloud logo with some mathematical elegance. In this case, the golden ratio or φ.

The circles in the 'puffs' of the iCloud are sized in a ratio of 1:1.6, an approximation of golden ratio, as discovered by Australian designer Alan van Roemburg (http://alanvanroemburg.tumblr.com/post/6550997276/apple-icloud-icon-golden-ratio-alan-van-roemburg). It seems unlikely the proportion was unintentional; Apple's artists simply have an acute sense of the history of design and mathematics.

The golden ratio (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_ratio) has been around since at least Euclid and Pythagoras. Fans of the Da Vinci Code should know it too, as Dan Brown has referenced φ several times in his books. No wonder iCloud seems so elegant and aesthetically pleasing.

Hat tip to John Gruber (http://daringfireball.net/linked/2011/06/16/icloud-golden)

Article Link: iCloud Logo Infused With Golden Ratio (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/06/16/icloud-logo-infused-with-golden-ratio/)



stewart715
Jun 16, 2011, 01:57 PM
Giving them too much credit. They don't care about the minor details that much.

http://i.imgur.com/74B5Z.png3

Pink∆Floyd
Jun 16, 2011, 01:59 PM
Now who would've thought of that?
:apple:

Hellhammer
Jun 16, 2011, 01:59 PM
I highly doubt this was intentional. They probably created a set of circles, copied and pasted them, rotated them, and there's your 'golden' ratio.

Giving them too much credit.

You would be surprised to see how widely the Golden Ratio is used.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmaVqkR0ZXg&feature=related

emaja
Jun 16, 2011, 01:59 PM
So, how long before Apple gets sued by these Euclid and Pythagoras guys - whoever they are - for using their proprietary ratios?

...and yes, this is a poor attempt at humor.

Sodner
Jun 16, 2011, 02:01 PM
I noticed this right away when I originally saw the iCould icon. :rolleyes:

Gav2k
Jun 16, 2011, 02:01 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

Very apple like

stewart715
Jun 16, 2011, 02:01 PM
You would be surprised to see how widely the Golden Ratio is used.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmaVqkR0ZXg&feature=related

I agree with that -- but you'd also be surprised how widely the Golden Ratio is used, unintentionally :)

eschrad
Jun 16, 2011, 02:02 PM
Current screen resolutions are 1:1.6 as well... or 10:16

1050 x 1.6 = 1680

ThanatosId
Jun 16, 2011, 02:05 PM
So, how long before Apple gets sued by these Euclid and Pythagoras guys - whoever they are - for using their proprietary ratios?

...and yes, this is a poor attempt at humor.

Ummm, I think God would have to be the one to sue them ;)

Hellhammer
Jun 16, 2011, 02:05 PM
I agree with that -- but you'd also be surprised how widely the Golden Ratio is used, unintentionally :)

Probably, but even then, it shows that the Phi is somehow a magical number ;)

Current screen resolutions are 1:1.6 as well... or 10:16

1050 x 1.6 = 1680

Though 16:9 is becoming more popular all the time.

jav6454
Jun 16, 2011, 02:05 PM
Current screen resolutions are 1:1.6 as well... or 10:16

1050 x 1.6 = 1680

Other way around ;)

16:10 or 8:5

Either way, manufacturers are barely producing screens with that ration, everything is 16:9 now...

nagromme
Jun 16, 2011, 02:07 PM
Giving them too much credit. They don't care about the minor details that much.

Image (http://i.imgur.com/74B5Z.png3)

I agree with that -- but you'd also be surprised how widely the Golden Ratio is used, unintentionally :)

Exactly. The mystique of the Golden Ratio is fun, but reality is more boring :)

I know the iCloud post was just for fun, so I’m not slamming it. But as a matter of interest: the Golden Ratio has NOT been intentionally used by great artists through history. You can find something “close” to that ratio in any image if you look for it. It’s like finding faces in clouds (no pun).

You could pick ANY ratio, say, 11-to-17, and find something very close to it somewhere in just about any image.

In modern times, the ratio is better-known and some certainly do use it. Apple may have too... but it’s a little off (thanks, stewart) and given that it was designed on a computer, I think the golden ratio in the logo is nothing intentional.

Read Mario Livio’s book, The Golden Ratio: The Story of Phi. And you won’t be disappointed: for every myth about The Golden Ratio that he dismantles on solid historical research, there’s some other thing you never knew about the number that’s even cooler, AND true. (Like the ways that numbers related to it appear in nature.)

eschrad
Jun 16, 2011, 02:09 PM
Other way around ;)

16:10 or 8:5

Either way, manufacturers are barely producing screens with that ration, everything is 16:9 now...

Yeah, yeah, yeah... whatever! :p

Sjhonny
Jun 16, 2011, 02:12 PM
Current screen resolutions are 1:1.6 as well... or 10:16

1050 x 1.6 = 1680

although 1:sqrt(2) would be way easier to work with. Those are the ISO proportions of paper. So you could always easily fit two A4's on one screen. The Golden Ratio is 1:sqrt(5/4) and besides existing in nature and therefore being considered beautiful, it doesn't have any real use in our society.

emaja
Jun 16, 2011, 02:15 PM
Ummm, I think God would have to be the one to sue them ;)

He's nothing but a patent squatter.

Lukeyy19
Jun 16, 2011, 02:38 PM
surely this is exactly the point of the Golden Ratio, that good artists/designers will unintentionally come very close to this Ratio, because that is the point at which something looks it's best.

hence why it's called the GOLDEN Ratio...

munkery
Jun 16, 2011, 02:44 PM
The golden ratio is also commonly found in nature. For example, flowers, pine cones, & etc.

People inherently prefer compositions with this ratio. It is possible the icon designer ended up with this ratio by trial and error given that a preference for this ratio appears to be evolutionary, as in genetically based.

Although, the golden ratio is taught in design theory courses as well.

Also, individuals in cultures that read left to right also prefer the highest point in relation to the golden ratio to be located on the right side of the composition.

Although, the position of the highest focal point in the composition can be manipulated to create various visually aesthetic effects if other elements in the composition balance the image.

This is taught in design theory courses as well.

I noticed this right away when I originally saw the iCould icon. :rolleyes:

I notice that the focal point of your avatar pic meets the parameters I have defined above.

ratzzo
Jun 16, 2011, 02:45 PM
Whoa, cool stuff. I wonder in what else Apple can we find such things. I would have never noticed that!

Zoreke
Jun 16, 2011, 03:04 PM
Cool! but let me tell you that a good and experienced designer does this automatically, the eye knows when something is right (golden ratio).

We did an experiment with a golden ratio caliper and measured some of our desings that looked good (logos, packs, illustrations, ads, etc) and they all matched the golden ratio magical proportion.

Since the proportion exist on nature, all that we as designers do is to apply it to our daily work and make things look nice! We are just extending our design.

The logo desingers probably didn't planned that coukd that hard but the desinger is really good and apply the golden ratio to everything he/she does.

Cheers

:D

Sjhonny
Jun 16, 2011, 03:41 PM
People inherently prefer compositions with this ratio.

Any supporting research concerning this theory besides Renaissance philosophers or 19th, begin 20th century romantic painters? Le Corbusier based it's modulor on phi, but that only applies to humans. I understand that people in paintings and statues with phi correct proportions will appear more aesthetically (might be evolutionary), but why would things like displays look nicer with golden ratio proportions?

SunsetDistrict
Jun 16, 2011, 04:24 PM
Am I the only one here who has seen Radio Dept.'s video of "Pulling Our Weight"?

jonnyz
Jun 16, 2011, 05:07 PM
I remember reading this (http://www.deltaflow.com/?p=199) article a while back that pointed out how close the iPod (Classic) is to the Golden Ratio. And as previously stated, some screens such as the current MB/MBP are 16:10.

baryon
Jun 16, 2011, 05:56 PM
That's a beautiful logo anyway. Love this new brushed metal style. It's different than the "old" OS X brushed metal, and also different than the glossy bubble icons (iTunes, Mac App Store), which is nice.

PlaceofDis
Jun 16, 2011, 05:58 PM
That's a beautiful logo anyway. Love this new brushed metal style. It's different than the "old" OS X brushed metal, and also different than the glossy bubble icons (iTunes, Mac App Store), which is nice.

i'm actually not liking the brushed metal look. a flat black or blue or something would be much less dated looking imo. but it is wonderfully symmetrical.

Doctor Q
Jun 16, 2011, 07:53 PM
This is by far the Best MacRumors article ever!

munkery
Jun 16, 2011, 09:00 PM
Any supporting research concerning this theory besides Renaissance philosophers or 19th, begin 20th century romantic painters? Le Corbusier based it's modulor on phi, but that only applies to humans. I understand that people in paintings and statues with phi correct proportions will appear more aesthetically (might be evolutionary), but why would things like displays look nicer with golden ratio proportions?

If you google research concerning the golden ratio, you will find some. The genetically based preference for the golden ratio is suggested because it is found throughout nature and is cross-culturally preferred.

The information I provided only applies to objects within a composition; as far as I know it does not apply to the perimeter of the composition so it therefore most likely does not apply to the aspect ratio of a display.

A lot of art and natural structures (flowers) do not have the golden ratio defining the borders yet have a good aestethic quality due to having the golden ratio within those borders.

From what I understand, people actually prefer wider aspect ratios because these displays better fit our visual field. I believe this is what is driving the move to 16:9.

Maybe the application of aesthetic preference in regard to the aspect ratio of a display is dependent on whether the observer is looking at the composition of the display itself or the composition of the objects displayed within the perimeter of the display?

Weirdly, I prefer the look of 16:10 laptops but prefer using 16:9 laptops. Whether this is biologically based or not, I don't know. I would speculate and say that this contrast in preference does have some biological foundation.

BTW, the actual perimeter of the iCloud icon is, for the most part, a square.

AriX
Jun 16, 2011, 11:13 PM
Isn't the iCloud cloud the same as the MobileMe cloud?...

cheesymogul
Jun 17, 2011, 02:47 AM
LOL. As a graphic designer I must say, this is the most ridiculous article in a while!

Let me enlighten you a bit: True artists and seasoned graphic designers use the golden ratio all the time without even thinking - because you just feel that this proportion is well composed. Usually you are drawn to it almost like in auto pilot.

Therefore you can take any 10 good logos or designs, or even well composed photos, and you'll probably find in 7 out of them the golden ratio implemented somehow!

If Mr. van Roemburg thinks his "discovery" is unusual, I guess he must be fresh out of art school. Because only art school students during their first semesters measure it consciously with a ruler...

Apple's designers have not necessarily to be mathematical geniuses or fanboys of design history to use this proportion.
Being just a experienced professional with a decent sense for aesthetics is good enough.

JTToft
Jun 17, 2011, 03:50 AM
... and people are surprised by this?

caspersoong
Jun 17, 2011, 06:13 AM
This is really interesting. I wonder how they applied this in the iPhone, iPod touch, Mac, etc.

myemailisjustin
Jun 17, 2011, 01:47 PM
After iCloud was announced, I found their icon to be eerily similar to the CloudApp that's been on the app store for quite awhile..the only difference is one additional circle on the left. http://www.getcloudapp.com/ hasn't anyone else noticed this?

res1233
Jun 17, 2011, 08:59 PM
Because i was bored, here's a quick applescript to approximate the golden ratio.
set n to 100
set x to 0
set y to 1
repeat n times
set z to x + y
set x to y
set y to z
end repeat
display alert y / x

Oh yah, and this is one of the awesome things about macs for programmers for those of you windows users out there. :) You don't even need to know applescript to be able to figure out what that code does.

Honestly, if Apple made AppleScript more than just a scripting language and turn it into a full-fledged programming language, I think it would be far easier to use than Objective-C. I use it wherever I can at least.

Consultant
Jun 17, 2011, 10:11 PM
This is by far the Best MacRumors article ever!

Except that Alan (June 15) is not the one who discovered it (http://stam-design-stam.blogspot.com/2011/06/icloud.html) (on June 9). Alan seems to be intentionally shady too.

Explained in the second part of the article: http://obamapacman.com/2011/06/icloud-logo-designed-with-triple-golden-ratio/

After iCloud was announced, I found their icon to be eerily similar to the CloudApp that's been on the app store for quite awhile..the only difference is one additional circle on the left. getcloudapp.com/[/URL] hasn't anyone else noticed this?

MobileMe was established before getcloudapp.

It's like that MobileMe had the icon before this other company did.

Sardonick007
Jun 18, 2011, 07:56 AM
So, how long before Apple gets sued by these Euclid and Pythagoras guys - whoever they are - for using their proprietary ratios?

...and yes, this is a poor attempt at humor.

OH JUST DAMN, that was awesome, I cringed and just about came outta my seat until I read the last sentence. Thanks for the near death experience.

Les Kern
Jun 18, 2011, 12:10 PM
Bull hockey. If Apple designed it using the correct ratios, they would have hit the numbers perfect, but they didn't, so it ain't. An esthetically pleasing shape is all it is. We are arguably hard-wired for this.

jmiddel
Jun 18, 2011, 03:01 PM
An attempt to explain why the golden ratio (GR) is pleasing.

1) humans find it easy to divide stuff visually by 2 and 3 and their multiples 4 and 6. Dividing any more like by fives, is harder.

2) Square versus oblong. Square, having equal sides, is static, the eye stays within the box. The 1:1.6 ratio is oblong, and because the eye travels a greater distance across the long side than the short one, there is a tendency to 'keep going'. Think about the shape of an arrow as traffic signal. This makes an oblong dynamic. The GR uses our ease with division by 3 to create an experience where the dynamic of the oblong is counter-balanced by the simplicity of the ratio 2:3. I know that the GR is really 2:3.236, and wonder if that additional 0.236 adds to the dynamic by just nudging the eye a little extra, almost to reach just enough escape velocity from the container to suggest openess yet allowing the eye to be pulled back into the design without resistance.
Combining different GR possibilities, such as the iCloud does, within a GR frame, creates a visual harmony that both encourages movement, and yet anchors the eye within this attractive container.

luke.mac1
Jun 19, 2011, 06:06 PM
I can't believe I'm the first to post this...

I guess every iCloud has a golden lining...
(p.s. i know it's supposed to be silver lol)