Category: CSS


CSS / 15 Mar 2012

Sass and Media Queries: What You Can and Can’t Do

Preprocessors like Sass are helping us flex our development muscles in nearly every area of our CSS. Variables, mixins, inheritance and many more great features make coding easier and more concise than ever.

So what about leveraging Sass for responsive design, or more specifically, for media queries? Are there any features of Sass that pair particularly well with media queries? Is there anything you should avoid? Join me as I experiment and discover the answers.

CSS / 14 Mar 2012

Code a Responsive Navigation Menu

Navigation menus used to be a fairly simple thing. Code up an unordered list, float it left and you’re good to go. With responsive design being all the rage these days though you’re faced with some new challenges when creating a menu design.

Follow along as we start from scratch and code a simple but effective responsive navigation menu that you can easily modify and reuse in your own projects.

CSS / 12 Mar 2012

Use Pseudo Elements to Create an Image Stack Illusion

Today we’re going to see if we can take a single image inserted via HTML and make it look like a messy stack of images using only CSS. The key: pseudo elements.

Along the way we’ll see how embarking on a project like this can quickly lead to some messy code and how we can combat that with some awesome DRY coding practices.

CSS / 7 Mar 2012

Web Design Vocabulary Refresh Part 2: CSS Structure

What’s the difference between a property and a selector? How is a declaration different than a declaration block and what’s a CSS rule? How do I tell the difference between a pseudo class and a pseudo element?

This series will serve as a basic introduction to some terms that every new web designer should be sure to add to his or her vocabulary. It won’t be an exhaustive vocabulary list but rather a primer on a few terms that I found difficult to wrap my head around when I was a beginner. We started with HTML earlier this week and today we’ll move on to some structural components of CSS.

CSS / 6 Mar 2012

Use Gridpak to Roll Your Own Responsive Grid

I love finding free tools that are capable of making my job (and yours) just a little bit easier. The web developer community is positively overflowing with talented people who are more than willing to share their creations with the world while asking nothing in return.

Today we’re going to look at one such tool from Erskine Design called Gridpak. With it we can quickly and easily generate our own responsive grid for building web pages that work well on lots of different screen sizes. It’s a little tricky to implement though so we’ll help you figure out how to set up your styles after you grab the download.

CSS / 29 Feb 2012

What’s the Deal With Display: Inline-Block?

We’ve been using floats for layout pretty much since we left tables behind. It’s a quirky solution that can often cause troubles, but if you know what you’re doing, it works.

One interesting alternative to floats that people are turning to more and more lately is to set the display value of an element to inline-block. What does this do exactly? How is it like a float? How is it different? Let’s dive in and see what we can discover.

CSS / 27 Feb 2012

Super Sweet CSS 3D Text Effects With Sass and LESS

I was recently discussing the merits and various features of CSS preprocessors with a colleague. We covered all of the basics: how it’s great to have variables and how mixins can save you an incredible amount of coding time. When the conversation turned to some of the more obscure features though things got interesting. When I brought up the various color operations, my colleague boldly proclaimed that no “real designer” could ever find a legitimate excuse for using this feature and not picking his own colors manually.

In the words of Barney Stinson, “challenge accepted!” Today we’re going to create an awesome faux 3D text effect with pure CSS and then see why it’s a lot easier to do it with the color operations in Sass or LESS.

CSS / 24 Feb 2012

Do We Still Slice PSDs?

The other day a friend of mine said something that caught my attention, “I’m trying to learn how to slice a PSD.” It’s a simple enough statement. As soon as he said it, I knew exactly what he was talking about, and yet, there was something in there that didn’t quite set right.

Upon seeing my hesitation my friend responded with a question, “Do we still slice PSDs?” Great question! For beginners, jargon isn’t merely jargon, it implies a process and suggests a method of action. For this reason, it’s often helpful for more advanced developers to define their terms in a way that is meaningful to others. Today we’ll dive into the theory behind the process of converting a PSD to to a web page and end with a discussion on the ups and downs of designing in the browser.

CSS / 22 Feb 2012

Responsive Design: Why You’re Doing It Wrong

Responsive design isn’t a fad that arose because of a cool CSS technique, it’s an answer to a problem. Always remember that and constantly ask yourself whether or not you’re really adequately addressing that problem. If you’re using copy and paste to insert your media query breakpoints, your solution might be flawed.

Let’s discuss why media queries exist and how we can leverage them to truly solve the quandary of the ubiquitous web. Let’s talk about why you should let your content determine the breakpoints of a layout, not hypothetical screen sizes.

CSS / 16 Feb 2012

4 Fun CSS Image Effects You Can Copy and Paste

Once upon a time we relied purely on Photoshop to create fancy image effects. These days though we’re turning more and more to pure CSS to add eye candy to our images. Applying custom image treatments using code makes for an infinitely flexible workflow that’s easy to tweak at any time.

Today I’ll walk you through creating some extremely simple and fun CSS image tricks. From polaroids to vignettes, you won’t believe what we can pull off.

CSS / 15 Feb 2012

Twitter Bootstrap 2: Bootstrap Goes Responsive

Recently, we published a piece titled 5 Incredibly Useful Tools Built Into Twitter Bootstrap, which took a look at the basic structure of Twitter’s Bootstrap framework and walked you through implementing some of the major components.

Twitter just released Bootstrap 2.0, an update so large it equates to a near full rewrite. There are quite a few new features and toys to play with, but the real headliner is that the framework is now fully responsive. Join us as we dig in to see how the new grid works and what other cool new features have been added. You’ll learn how to implement Bootstrap in your projects and will also pick up some extremely handy CSS techniques that you can use anywhere.

CSS / 8 Feb 2012

Three Super Easy Ways to Pull Off a Masonry Layout

Masonry style layouts push the boundaries of creative layout techniques. I personally love how capable they prove to be at maximizing the efficiency of galleries containing items with varying heights. Every bit of screen space is used and the result can be downright mesmerizing.

Today we’re going to dive into the concept, ideas and popular techniques that are currently prevalent in masonry style layouts. We’ll learn three different methods for pulling off a masonry layout, discuss the ins and outs of each and make sure that the result is beautifully responsive and reflows based on browser width.