PURPOSE: The golden ratio has been used for a long time to objectify and quantify 'beauty'. Dr. Marqurardt claims that the golden ratio can be applied in the maxillofacial field as well. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic significance of using a facial 'phi' mask for analyzing Korean faces with characteristics of Class I, II, and III malocclusion. METHODS: We studied twenty five Korean celebrities' frontal facial photos (10 males, 15 females) and 90 malocclusion patients' frontal facial photos (30 patients in each malocclusion classification: Class I, Class II, and Class III). Patients who received orthodontic treatment at Samsung Medical Center were selected for this study. After superimposition of the selected facial photo and facial 'phi' mask using Adobe Photoshop CS3, the ratio of the entire facial area, mid facial area, lower facial area and horizontal and vertical lengths were measured. RESULTS: The facial ratio in photos of Korean faces showed larger vertical and horizontal ratios than the facial 'phi' mask with golden ratio, regardless of skeletal malocclusion (entire face: 115%, lower face: 125% larger than the mask). The results of the frontal photos of Class I, II, and III malocclusion patients using facial 'phi' mask showed that the vertical length and frontal face area was more significantly influenced by the area of the lower face than the midface. This means that the lower face has larger proportions in the facial areas. CONCLUSION: The ratio of facial 'phi' mask is matched with the ideal facial appearance that the contemporary Korean general public is seeking. Thus, the facial 'phi' mask may be a convenient tool for esthetic analysis of Korean faces. Reducing the area of the lower face is esthetically more desirable for almost all Korean people when planning orthognathic surgery.