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Recently, Batman mentioned a comic he’d seen about A4 paper and the golden ratio Lichtenberg Ratio (see the comments below).  Thanks to the wonders of the  Internet, we were able to track down the comic, which makes me laugh every time I read it. We were also able to find the author, who graciously gave us permission to post the panels here.  If you click on them you’ll be directed to the Flickr site, where you can read them in a larger size.

Copyright by The Valrus.  Used with permission.

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### 7 Responses to “All About A4”

1. Brent Yorgey Says:

Fantastic!! I don’t see what it has to do with the golden ratio, though… (well, I guess the golden ratio also has a nice self-similarity property, but it’s a different one).

• Marc Says:

The link to the golden ratio also confused me.
At http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/iso-paper.html I found

Note: The Lichtenberg Ratio – used by the standard paper format series – is occasionally confused with the Golden Ratio (which Euclid referred to as the “extreme and mean ratio”). The Lichtenberg Ratio is defined by the equation a/b = 2b/a = sqrt(2), whereas the Golden Ratio is defined by a/b = (a+b)/a = b/(a−b) = (1 + sqrt(5))/2. While aesthetically pleasing properties have been attributed to both, the Lichtenberg Ratio has the advantage of preserving the aspect ratio when cutting a page into two. The Golden Ratio, on the other hand, preserves the aspect ratio when cutting a maximal square from the paper, a property that seems not particularly useful for office applications. The Golden Ratio was for a while a more fashionable topic in the antique and renaissance arts literature and it has a close connection to the Fibonacci sequence in mathematics.

2. David Petersen Says:

When I click on the picture it tries to make me log in with yahoo and then make a flickr account. Is it just me?

3. Sue Says:

I already had a flickr account, so I don’t know. Great explanation. Reminds me of Resi and Transi explaining electronics.