Document Type



The "golden section" has generally been accepted as the most preferred height-to-width ratio that can be obtained in a rectangle. Little is known of the origin of this acceptance. There has been a limited amount of experimental work done to either uphold or refute the position held. Rendahl (2) failed to confirm the acceptance of the "golden section" by most of her subjects. On the other hand, both Shipley (3) and Thompson (4) have upheld the acceptance. Most former studies dealing with preference of proportions have been concerned with stationary signs. The present investigation has to do with moving signs. Many interesting questions may be raised. Will evaluations of proportions and apparent size be the same for moving signs as they are for stationary signs? Will height and width ratios hold when the subject-target distance varies, i.e., as the driver moves along the highway? Does the speed of approach affect preference? Does the angle of the sign affect the choice? The major study of which this is only a part deals with various of these problems using a variety of pairs of forms. Only three pairs of six comparisons, counting the reversal of positions, are presented here. In this part of the study the problem may be stated in experimental form by the following hypotheses: 1. Certain rectangular forms are preferred aesthetically over others. 2. Relation of height to width of a rectangular sign affects apparent size.

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Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science





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©1953 Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.



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