Chris Schnell
Head of Program Higher Education Art, Design & Tourism

Fibonacci Sequence

Does anyone teach students the secret ratio or amazing Fibonacci Sequence?

How do you approach it?

5 / 5 • 7 Ratings

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marcia blanco

Posted on 8/15/18 7:30:33 PM Permalink

I have a whole lesson on it that is pretty fun. First, I show them the first 15 minutes of the super dated Disney cartoon: "Donald in Mathemagic Land." (If someone else hasn't posted this, here's the link: Then I have them construct a golden spiral in Illustrator. (You'll never get it perfect. Just do the best you can). I have them pull the spiral into Photoshop to make a custom shape that's constrained and then I have them find famous works of art on line, drop them into PS and see if they fit the golden mean. I then have them take their own photos and apply the same test. If anyone is interested (I know this request has been out there for a while), I can post the lesson plan.

Sharon Prest

Posted on 6/23/18 2:36:24 AM Permalink

I address it in my photography class​ when I introduce composition. There is a video that shows how Henri Cartier-Bresson images use the Fibonacci Sequence.

Benji Derdeyn

Posted on 10/16/17 7:59:43 AM Permalink

I do so by creating animal logos in Illustrator. They must use only combinations of circles and cur ed lines taken from the Fibonacci spiral. If you send me a message i'll share the lesson.


Posted on 1/9/18 1:11:14 PM Permalink

If it would not be too much trouble, to share the lesson with me that would be fantastic and greatly appreciated.

Patty Olstad

Posted on 1/9/18 6:42:19 PM Permalink


I'd love to see that lesson. Would you be willing to send it to me?



soraya brooks

Posted on 9/10/17 8:05:36 PM Permalink

​Yes! I taught this last year, and asked students to create their own digital illustrations in Illustrator using the sequence. Results varied, but were very original. Wonder where I can post photos... I can email them to you if interested. let me know. Soraya

Mike Hazlip

Posted on 11/8/16 1:27:11 AM Permalink

​Yes, I teach it in my photography class as part of composition. I start by drawing two small 1x1 squares on the board, then I ask the students "Each of these represents one unit, what is one plus one?" They say two, and I draw a 2x2 square above the two 1x1 squares. Then I ask them to add 2+1 and I draw a 3x3 square to the right of the previous. Then they add 3+2 and I draw a 5x5 square at the bottom. I just keep going around until I run out of room on the whiteboard. I go back and draw a quarter arc in each of the squares to make the spiral. I also show images that illustrate the spiral in nature. The students are usually engaged, and it's a challenge to see who can keep adding in their heads. They are amazed to see that sequence in nature and how effective it can be in composition.

Craig Hutchins

Posted on 10/28/16 3:53:55 PM Permalink

​Hi Chris

I have found that it is helpful to start out talking about pi since most students have heard of that. Then to use pictures that represent the sequence and get them enthusiastic about the pictures before going into the details on the Fibonacci sequence.

Craig Hutchins

Chris Schnell

Posted on 10/29/16 1:37:34 PM Permalink

Thank you Craig​

Jeff Barnes

Posted on 10/11/16 6:01:58 PM Permalink

Hi Chris,

Peter Georgakis does a pretty good job explaining Fibonacci Sequence it in a Faculty Lecture 2005. Mostly simple practical demonstration nothing fancy. Its a little long but he covers rabbits, stairs, and also correlates to nature. Here is the youtube link.

ends around 22 min.

Could be too boring for todays students, but maybe it will give you some ideas.

I hope this helps.

Jeff Barnes

Chris Schnell

Posted on 10/29/16 1:36:45 PM Permalink

Thank you Jeff


Brian Scrivener

Posted on 7/21/16 6:29:39 PM Permalink

Hi Chris

Check out "Foundations of Layout and Composition" title by Sean Adams on

Only 95 minutes but gives a good explanation of the Golden Section and how to apply it.

Chris Schnell

Posted on 10/29/16 1:36:20 PM Permalink

Thank Brian.
​A great resource​

amanda BRUCE

Posted on 6/17/16 1:15:24 AM Permalink

Hi Christ, part of my grad-school capstone was a series of instructional and informational designs. I did a huge illustration of it, represented as numbers. If you would like to see it let me know.

Also, if you have Tool fans in the class, they can be introduced to Fibonacci through -- Fibonacci in music (Tool’s Lateralus) and see it in video form on youtube - The Fibonacci in Lateralus

Good luck!

Chris Schnell

Posted on 6/19/16 1:37:07 PM Permalink

Hi Amanda

thank you.

Yes i would love tot see yoru illustration.


Lisa Cady

Posted on 6/16/16 10:51:31 PM Permalink

This is one of the first items I bring up the first day of class with my Photoshop and Video students. I also have projects based on this and the rule of thirds.

Chris Schnell

Posted on 6/19/16 1:37:37 PM Permalink

Thanks Lisa.

Yes agree rule of 3rds is powerful too.

Claire Richards

Posted on 5/23/16 2:06:13 AM Permalink

Chris Schnell

Posted on 5/23/16 2:56:27 AM Permalink

thank you Claire.
we remind our students of the importance of image composition and cropping from day one :-)
great resource link

Claire Richards

Posted on 5/23/16 3:03:07 AM Permalink

It really can transform their work.

Nick Robertson

Posted on 5/22/16 4:22:46 AM Permalink

Ive always liked showing this quick vid as a nice intro

Chris Schnell

Posted on 5/22/16 4:30:20 AM Permalink

Thanks Nick. A great short introduction to the beginning of much more ...

Chris Schnell

Posted on 5/22/16 4:30:20 AM Permalink

Thanks Nick. A great short introduction to the beginning of much more ...

Claire Richards

Posted on 5/23/16 3:04:03 AM Permalink

Great resource, really inspiring!

Dena Wilson

Posted on 5/20/16 6:39:13 PM Permalink

Chris Schnell

Posted on 5/22/16 1:52:00 PM Permalink

Thank you Dena

Tiffanie Davis

Posted on 5/18/16 4:55:10 PM Permalink

Yes!!! I work with high school graphic design students..... I always show them the old Disney cartoon.... Donald in Math Magic Land.... yes, it is elementary... but it is entertaining, and gets the point across!

Chris Schnell

Posted on 5/22/16 1:52:49 PM Permalink

thank you Tiffanie.
it sure does :-)

Sue Lemmer

Posted on 5/16/16 10:17:19 AM Permalink

I work with primary school students and normally approach this through looking at Fibonacci sequence in nature - spirals are a great starting point. We collect images and go outside to find real life examples. Plotting these on graph paper leads into the golden ratio

Chris Schnell

Posted on 5/22/16 1:53:40 PM Permalink

Sue - thank you for sharing how you apply it in the primary school class room.

Glenn Godenho

Posted on 5/12/16 11:23:53 PM Permalink

Funnily enough, I just discussed this with students in terms of ancient Egyptian architecture. There have been a few nice papers illustrating how the golden proportion might have been (un)consciously employed. Happy to give you the references if any use.

Chris Schnell

Posted on 5/22/16 1:54:50 PM Permalink

Hi Glenn
Yes - would be great to have a look at the resources.

Herbert Weigelt

Posted on 1/7/16 9:13:20 AM Permalink

Chris Schnell

Posted on 1/15/16 4:11:29 PM Permalink

thank you Herbert

Eugene Andrews

Posted on 12/24/15 12:57:44 AM Permalink

I saw a great video on the golden angle recently that was used for helping ones understand the practical use of Fibonacci Sequence. So that is my tip, show the practical value first then highlight the theory.

Chris Schnell

Posted on 1/15/16 4:12:13 PM Permalink

Thank you Eugene.
Do you have the video link?

S Girardi

Posted on 2/16/16 7:42:36 PM Permalink

Would love to have that link also!