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Proportional calculation
machine for makers


2 : 3

1 : 1.5

3 ÷ 2 = 1.5

0.667 : 1

2 ÷ 3 = 0.667

320 : 480

320 ÷ ( 2 ÷ 3 ) = 480

2 : 3

2 : 3

4 : 6

6 : 9

8 : 12

10 : 15

12 : 18

14 : 21

16 : 24

18 : 27

20 : 30

22 : 33

What is a ratio

The numerical relationship between two values is a ratio. By simply measuring the values, and dividing them by each other, you can derive the ratio. The same ratio can be described in many ways, for example: 0.67:1, 1:1.5, 2:3, 6:9, and 24:36 are all the same ratio. Even though the values are different, these all describe the same relationship between two values, which is the number of times they contain each other. If the ratio is represented as a rectangle, like in this app, the first number is the width and the second number is the height, meaning 1:1 is square, 2:1 is horizontal, and 1:2 is vertical. A common digital display like a TV, computer monitor, or phone is 16:9, a common front door is 3:8, and a common step in a staircase is 11:7.

Why is a ratio useful

Mathematical solutions aren’t always the best, but are often useful tools when making something where harmony and cohesion are desired outcomes. By discovering and defining the proportional truths of a composition and the elements within it, you can more easily create and apply standards throughout the entire composition, resulting in more pleasing relationships and simpler evolutions as you expand. The precision that ratios bring to an underlying system often affords simpler problem solving as things evolve. And by defining a ratio that’s symbolically relevant to the subject matter, you can infuse a layer of intrinsic meaning into the design itself, which deepens the roots of the foundational systems you establish for the work.

How to use a ratio

Begin by observing ratios all around you, they are everywhere. From the natural world to the built environment, there are endless opportunities to find inspiration for the infinite ways you could use ratios. Length and width of the same object are the simplest expressions of a ratio, but comparing the weight of two different objects, or the space between objects, are other ways to leverage ratios. The embedded geometry of ratios can lead to visually interesting and sturdy structures. You can use ratios to define your layout architectures, outer framing, spacing scales, typography scales, color palettes, elemental relationships, musical compositions, culinary experiences, physical environments, digital interfaces, and more.