The Simplicity Paradox

By Mark Taoilinn

While speaking with a graphic designer friend of mine recently I was reminded how much work goes into making something look simple yet striking. 

Take the Apple iCloud logo for example. 

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The Apple iCloud Logo

Looking at it you would be forgiven for thinking “I could do that, I’ve been drawing clouds since kindergarden”.

When you examine the image in more detail you come to realize that there's a lot going on under the hood.  Take another look at the archetypal image and you'll see that a complex mathmatic formula give it its balance and grace.

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The Golden Ratio, or as some call it, the Divine Section, has been studied by mathematicians, engineers, musicians and even stock brokers for centuries. Its application in art and architecture is said to yield pleasing, harmonious proportions. It has used in paintings by Leonardo DaVinci, Salvador Dali and Georges Seurat.

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This picture by Leonardo DaVinci uses the

same golden ratio as the iCloud image 

While we're on the topic of Apple, take a look at their company logo. Again there's much more going on than meets the eye.

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To give the logo its sinuos curves and distinctive appeal, the contours of the fruit follow a complex Fibonacci sequence (a numerical sequence in which each number is the sum of the two proceeding numbers). Just like an iphone, the Apple logo is all grace and beauty on the outside and keen science on the inside. 


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