Designing an arrow based on the golden section



We here at Gogogic have uncovered an anchient information-design mystery, how to design an arrow that is pleasing to the eye and mathematically perfect.

The design is based on the golden ratio or ‘the golden section’ which is defined like this:

The golden section is a line segment sectioned into two according to the golden ratio. The total length a + b is to the longer segment a as a is to the shorter segment b.

And so it is. If you put together an arrow, begin by setting up the tip of the arrow with a 90° angle. From there you can set the length of the stem based on the height of the tip.

Stem_lenght = tip_height *3

And then set the width of the stem, which should be 2 thirds of the width of the tip.

Stem_width = (tip_width/3)*2

And now you’re done! This arrow is very pleasing to the eye , more noticeble and readable. It can be scaled to any size while keeping the proportions intact.



5 Responses to “Designing an arrow based on the golden section”

  1. Kristleifur Daðason Says:

    Nice! Hats off to your arrow science.

    It really does work, it’s a good and proper arrow. It kind of breaks down in the narrowest version though … maybe it’s the angle of the triangle sides, or maybe it’s that the length of the bulk should only affect the aspect of the head so much.

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  4. Michael Rudmin Says:

    I disagree this arrow is attractive to the eye. What you have done is to let the history “Golden ratio is attractive” define your viewpoint. If you want to use the golden ratio to make an attractive arrow, go ahead and make the arrowhead based on the golden ratio of the arrow length. But make the stem width correspondingly narrower, according to the golden ratio. So Overall L:W=1.618:1; arrowhead L:W is 1:1.618; and take the arrowhead down by another factor of 1.618:1, to get the width of the stem. So Arrow height is 10; Arrow width is 16. Arrowhead width is 6.18; Stem thickness is 3.82.

    But I don’t know if that is a “most pleasing arrow”. All I know is it is more pleasing than the overweight things I see here.

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