The newest element of SimplyRead’s gradual rebranding over the past couple years has been the image of the shell, spiral, or ‘squiggly’ that appears here and above in our banner. I’m still playing with where to use it, since it first appeared in simplyread.ca’s site navigation buttons (and feedback is welcome).
I’ve been drawn to this shape forever, likely because it reminds me of seashells and ocean waves at the beach, snailshells and sunrays at home. I’m a tree-hugging Piscean from Nova Scotia, so I figure I come by this affinity naturally. It’s also pretty common to see similar designs included in home decor items aplenty.
But why would I want to associate it with my business?
Turns out, a very similar squiggly shape is also a much more revered and powerful symbol referred to as the Golden Ratio (as well as Golden Number, Golden Spiral or Fabonacci Number) You can search for any of these in Wikipedia and get a nice overview.
It’s explained on a terrific website I found during my research, called Making Sense of Maths. It describes how mathematicians view the Golden Ratio’s line pattern embodied in the spiral within the the nautilus shell. It continues, “When we see the wonders of nature through the eyes of pattern, Mathematics makes sense!”
Now, I’m definitely no mathematician. In fact, when I work with complex math or finances I have the greatest sense of what it’s like for a non-reader encountering print. So using a common element in nature to make a mathematical concept clear sure works for me.
I definitely get the concept of patterns, though. As my five-year-old is introduced to numbers, patterns is one of the first things she’s started learning.
People are naturally drawn to patterns in things around them, including information. Thus it’s a hugely useful tool for writers wanting to help readers navigate longer pieces. The more we can introduce verbal or visual patterns, the easier a reader can grasp relationships and ‘digest’ meaning.
And, I strongly relate to any concept that puts some logic to something as profound as the beauty of nature. To the left here is a royalty-free photo that shows an example, but a Google Images search for “Fibonacci spiral in nature” does much more justice to how far-reaching a concept it is.
Another idea inherent in the Golden Number is Infinity, through the infinite spiral and its mathematical equivalent, which are often related to the notion of pure, zenlike simplicity. (For more, read Chapter One of The Mystery of the Aleph: Mathematics, the Kaballah, and the Search for Infinity published on the Washington Post site.)
I’m thinking all of these ideas harmonize nicely with a brand that promotes clarity, ease-of-use, and a natural flow of things.
Hence the shell thingie.
(Credit is due to Clover, who created the original icon when she redesigned our website, and introduced me to the Golden Number concept.)