Posts about CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)

Understanding how to use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) effectively is a fundamental skill for any website designer or developer. Modern CSS is more capable than ever before, with new layout properties including Flexbox and CSS Grid making creative layouts possible. CSS is not a complicated language to learn, but knowing how to use it efficiently takes time. Andy Clarke is recognised as one of the earliest and most experience users and teachers of CSS and has written five popular books about how to implement it into web design.

Time to update your theme-color meta tag for Safari

There’s been a meta tag for specifying a theme-color for UI elements on websites for a while. If you’ve used it, now’s time to change that element along with the upcoming version of Safari.

The Alternative CSS principle

Let’s face it, unless you develop a complex product—and even if you do—you probably don’t need half the humungous hunk of CSS you bung at a browser. In fact, it’s possible you only need one default and one alternative style for every element.

A slippery slope towards Tailwind?

Sam Sycamore tweeted a utility class for breaking an element out of its container to fill the full width of a page. It prompted me to think about how and when to use utility classes.

A quick note about using filters to change link colours

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been specifying different colours for hyperlinks and their :hover pseudo-classes. Recently, I’ve been experimenting with CSS filters and found they make development much easier.

Naming layout components

I know some people swear by frameworks and I do understand why, although my work rarely needs them. I also appreciate why some people find the grids component in frameworks useful. But, to me, including a framework just for its grid has always seemed excessive. Particularly when there are other ways to develop reusable layout components which are far less generic, but no less flexible than a framework.

Designing your website like it’s 2018

It’s 20 years to the day since my wife, and I started Stuff & Nonsense, our little studio and my outlet for creative ideas on the web. Over on 24ways, it’s also my fourteenth article, this time how to Design your site like it’s 1998. It’s a tongue-in-cheek look back at how we developed websites when I started my company, complete with not so old favourites like font elements, frames, layout tables, and spacer gifs.

When to use display:contents to improve semantics in your HTML

Working with CSS Grid is a lot of fun, as well as making distinctive and original layouts easier and with less code. However, using Grid does occasionally come at a cost and that is semantic markup. Fortunately, there’s a new CSS display property which—when used thoughtfully—can overcome the problem of ‘flattened HTML.’

Using multiple :not() selectors

Here’s a quick entry about something I learned just this week about :not() pseudo-class selectors and how to combine them.

Art Directing For The Web With CSS Grid Template Areas

It’s been a while since I’ve written seriously, but since I started working on my new ‘Art directing for the web’ book, I’ve got the bug. So when Smashing Magazine asked me to write for them again, I couldn’t resist. My latest article, on ‘Art Directing For The Web With CSS Grid Template Areas’ was published today and I’m very pleased with how it turned out. You can read it here.

Using entities as separators in breadcrumb navigation

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to share some of the things that I’ve learned while designing and developing Inspired Guides, starting today with using HTML entities as separators in breadcrumb navigation.

Querying Apple’s Nelson Mandela billboard

Apple doesn’t have what many of us would consider to be a fully responsive website, but that doesn’t mean they don’t sometimes use two of Ethan’s ingredients; flexible media and CSS3 media queries, to improve the placement of some elements on an otherwise fixed page.

Star Wars styling (a silly idea that might just work)

I sometimes work with other designers helping them to translate their design atmosphere and wide screen layouts into responsive designs. Breaking down their designs into systems is big part of what I do. In practical terms that means working through what are sometimes dozens of static visuals to identify patterns of typography, use of colour and layouts, both smaller modules and whole page compositions. From these patterns I classify and identify elements and compose stylesheets based on them.

Two good links to more on CSS filters

Following up on my M M M Madness post, here are two good links to more on CSS filters:

My prediction? Designers are going to go CSS filter crazy over the next year.

The CSS Zen Garden at 10

I’m struggling to believe it quite frankly, but The CSS Zen Garden was planted ten years ago today. I don’t think we should underestimate the importance of The CSS Zen Garden in the history of the web. Its influence still resonates today. Now it’s back accepting submissions and making some of us feel very old.

Andy Clarke portrait

About Andy

I’m Andy Clarke, a well-known website designer and writer on art direction and design for products and websites. I help businesses to deliver engaging customer experiences and unique designs. Read more about my work, browse my blog, or follow me on Instagram and Twitter.

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