What We Want from Grid

We felt spoiled with CSS grid for a minute there. It arrived hot and fast in all the major browsers all at once. Now that we’re seeing a lot more usage, we’re seeing people want more from grid.

Michelle Barker lists hers wants (and I’ll put my commentary after):

  • Styling row and column gaps. I’ve also heard requested styling grid cells directly, rather than needing to place an element there and style that element.
  • Multiple gap values. I wanted this just the other week, and I was told to use an empty column or row instead of a gap. The size of that column can be controlled, and things are placed accordingly to treat it like a gap. Sort of OK, except that isn’t particularly friendly to implicit grids.
  • Autoflow patterns. This is clever. Check out Michelle’s use case and proposal.
  • calc() with the fr unit. This is a mindbender. I can see wanting to do something like calc(1fr - 100px), but then isn’t the leftover space 100px short and 1fr recalcuated to fill that space? Seems infinite loopy.
  • Aspect ratio grid cells. I suspect, if we get this, it’ll be a generic aspect ratio solution that will work on any element, including elements placed onto a grid.

Subgrid is also starting to be hotly requested, and I can see why. While building the last page layout I did using grid, I found myself strongly wishing I could share the overall page grid lines within sub-elements.

Rachel Andrew talked about its status about six months ago in CSS Grid Level 2: Here Comes Subgrid. I’m not sure where it’s at now, but I don’t think any browser is supporting it quite yet. (I’m not even sure if the spec is technically done.)

Brad put a point on the desire here:

Look Ma, No Media Queries! Responsive Layouts Using CSS Grid

Not only has CSS Grid reshaped the way we think and build layouts for the web, but it has also contributed to writing more resilient code, replacing “hacky” techniques we’ve used before, and in some cases, killing the need to rely on code for specific resolutions and viewports. What’s so cool about this era in web development is that we’re capable of doing more and more with fewer lines of code.

In this article, we’ll start dipping our toes into the power of CSS Grid by building a couple of common responsive navigation layouts. It’s easier than what you may think, and since CSS Grid was built with responsiveness in mind, it’ll take less code than writing media queries all over the place. Let’s do this!

Layout #1: Hero content and list of articles

See the Pen
Hero Content and List of Articles
by Juan Martín García (@imjuangarcia)
on CodePen.

We’ll kick off this set of examples by creating a common website layout: A full-width hero section, with a grid of cards below.

Both elements will respond to window resizing and adapt accordingly. Though this might seem like a lot of code at first glance, the responsive behavior is done with only six lines of CSS Grid code, and without writing a single @media rule. Let’s break down the code to see what’s going on:

The hero section

Let’s take a look at the code for the .hero element:

<section class="hero">
  <h1>You thirsty?</h1>
  <article>
    <p>Explore local breweries with just one click and stirred by starlight across the centuries light years great turbulent clouds circumnavigated paroxysm of global death.</p>
    <a href="#breweries">Browse Breweries</a>
  </article>
</section>
.hero {
  /* Photo by mnm.all on Unsplash */
  background: url('https://images.unsplash.com/photo-1518176258769-f227c798150e') center;
  background-size: cover;
  padding: 4rem 2rem;

  /* Grid styles */
  display: grid;
  align-items: center;
  grid-template-columns: repeat(auto-fit, minmax(240px, 1fr));
}

We have a bunch of background styles to enable the beer background, a bit of padding to separate the content from the edge of the screen, and then three lines of grid styles:…

The World Of Data

Whether big or small, data is undoubtedly a big part of our lives. And in this highly technologically-savvy world, data has become digital and proliferates the world both online and offline. With the growing number of data being shared on a daily basis, the issue on storage is a problem we always face especially if the storage capacity of your device can’t keep up with your data use. Gone were the days when devices have so little storage capacity, storage is much bigger now and you can always buy a secondary storage device if your device does not have enough storage space.

The use of flash drives and external hard drives have become the norm now. People usually purchase them for additional storage, so they can clear their device and add more files that will eventually be transferred to a secondary storage much later. Most tech users are always on the lookout for the best secondary storage at a reasonable price because it can free them of their constant worries of running out of storage space. Most external hard drives (EHDs) have bigger storage space now and they are generally reasonably priced too. They are fairly easy to use, so you won’t have any difficulty transferring your files from one device to the other.

The Seagate 8TB USB 3.0 desktop external hard drive is down to $129.99 on Amazon. This hard drive has been selling for around $150 since a drop in late September. Before that, it regularly sold for as much as $180. Today’s deal is the best price we’ve ever seen.

Seagate’s drive is meant to be as easy to use as possible. It has plug-and-play compatibility, so you can just immediately start using it, as well as drag-and-drop utility so it’s easy to get your data where you want it. It transfers at USB 3.0 speeds and is backwards compatible with USB 2.0. You’ll need to reformat it to get it to work with Mac. Users give it 4.6 stars based on 99 reviews.

(Via: https://www.windowscentral.com/thrifter-deal-grab-8tb-storage-130-seagate-desktop-hard-drive)…

Responsive Designs and CSS Custom Properties: Building a Flexible Grid System

Last time, we looked at a few possible approaches for declaring and using CSS custom properties in responsive designs. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at CSS variables and how to use them in reusable components and modules. We will learn how to make our variables optional and set fallback values.

As an example, we will build a simple grid system based on flexbox. Grid systems play a vital role in responsive designs. However, building a grid system that is flexible and lightweight at the same time can be a tricky task. Let’s see what the common approaches towards grid systems are and how CSS custom properties can help us build them.

Article Series:

  1. Defining Variables and Breakpoints
  2. Building a Flexible Grid System (This Post)

A simple CSS grid system

Let’s start with a 12-column grid system:

.container {
	max-width: 960px;
	margin: 0 auto;
	display: flex;
}

.col-1 { flex-basis: 8.333%; }
.col-2 { flex-basis: 16.666%; }
.col-3 { flex-basis: 25%; }
.col-4 { flex-basis: 33.333%; }
.col-5 { flex-basis: 41.666%; }
.col-6 { flex-basis: 50%; }
/* and so on up to 12... */

See the Pen
#5 Building responsive features with CSS custom properties
by Mikołaj (@mikolajdobrucki)
on CodePen.

There’s quite a lot of repetition and hard-coded values here. Not to mention how many more will be generated once we add more breakpoints, offset classes, etc.

Building a grid system with Sass

To make our grid example more readable and maintainable, let’s use Sass to preprocess our CSS:

$columns: 12; // Number of columns in the grid system

.container {
	display: flex;
	flex-wrap: wrap;
	margin: 0 auto;
	max-width: 960px;
}

@for $width from 1 through $columns {
	.col-#{$width} {
		flex-basis: $width / $columns * 100%;
	}  
}

See the Pen
#6 Building responsive features with CSS custom properties
by Mikołaj (@mikolajdobrucki)
on CodePen.

This is definitely much easier to work with. As we develop our grid further and, let’s say, would like to change it from 12 columns to …

Moving a Self-Hosted WordPress Site to WordPress.com

I have a habit of getting some hosting when I need a new WordPress site. That is, a self-installed, self-hosted WordPress.org site. That’s served me well over the years. I like my control. But along with that control comes a certain level of extra responsibility that sometimes just isn’t worth it.

That’s the case for me now with my little blog Email is Good.

Right from the get-go, I knew I wanted Email is Good to be as absolutely simple as could be. At the moment, I can’t prioritize a fancy custom design or really any specialized functionality at all. All I want is a simple, clean blog in which to publish blog posts. And as powerful and flexible as WordPress is, it’s still extra good at that use case.

Email is Good uses an untouched, stock copy of the TwentySixteen theme.

I’d like to move it over to WordPress.com, so that I don’t have to deal with hosting, upgrades, backups, security… it’ll just host my simple blog and I can unburden myself of that little spoonful of technical debt.

Their docs for this are there, but a little on the light side, so I’ll document my process here.

Set up the WordPress.com side first

There is a nice clean URL for kicking off a new WordPress.com site:

https://wordpress.com/start/

There isn’t really a one-click just suck everything over in one shot system. Instead, you set up the site on WordPress.com, deal with the domain, and import the content. It might feel a little weird, but this first step is just kinda re-setting up the basics:

Deal with the domain

By “domain”, I mean the URL that you may already own. I own “email-is-good.com” which is what I want to continue to use.

During setup you can buy a domain (or get a free one! They’ll give you a wordpress.com or .blog subdomain), but since I’m moving a site here, I’ll select the option that I already own the domain.

My domain name is already registered on GoDaddy.com. I …

9 top tips for drawing in black and white

This may seem like an odd way to start an article on black and white drawings, but when I was a kid, my favourite drawing tool was a blue crayon. I drew everything in that one colour – the sky, the sea – and things that weren’t even blue, like my neighbour’s cat, our house, and my family. These monochrome drawings helped me develop the skills to know how to draw in black and white.

Ballpoint pens are readily accessible and easy-to-use drawing tools for black and white pictures. They also present their own challenges and limitless possibilities, which we'll explore in these drawing tips.

You might prefer to draw your black and white artworks in pencil or with marker pens, which we'll explore too. And if you need to stock up your pencil case, don't miss our roundups of the best pencils and best pens.

Have a look at the video below, then read on for nine tips for how to draw beautiful black and white drawings – or blue and white, if that's your thing…

01. Watch out for excess ink

image of a person and a hand with some lines on the right

The right isn’t a drawing; it’s excess ink from my pen

Ballpoint pens are great to draw with because we can make beautifully thin lines with them and create a lot of contrast. However, pens can also be very unforgiving: every mark is permanent – and so is every errant ink blotch! A big ink blotch could suddenly form and ruin your drawing forever. 

To prevent this, periodically roll the sides of your pen tip on a scrap sheet of paper to remove ink buildup.

02. Use various tones of black

some markers with a picture of a gorilla

A variety of markers = a variety of tones

When drawing with markers, try to get a variety of black tones to work with in order to create a maximum range of values. Markers draw really quick and clean but can be a little difficult to work with if you're not used to the starkness and graphic nature of marker work. 

Hopefully these next tips will …

The best computer for graphic design in 2019

If you're searching for a new computer for graphic design, you're in the right place. Creating great work is all about having the right skills. But it also helps to have a machine with sufficient specs – making it faster to produce designs that will please your clients and take pride of place in your portfolio. There's a lot of choice out there, though, which is why we've put together this guide. 

While you could choose a graphic design laptop, if you need better ergonomics, a bigger display and more power for less cash, then you're better off choosing a desktop. 

Here, we've selected what we think are the best computers for graphic design right now. Whether you're a Mac user or a Windows wizard, you'll find something in this list that suits your needs. 

There’s a small caveat for Apple users. As of early 2019, the iMac is nearing two years since its last update, meaning a new model is (probably) imminent. It may surface at Apple’s predicted March event, or WWDC in June, no doubt with an updated processor that will most definitely mean better graphic design performance. So it’s no longer top of out list. If you’re considering an iMac desktop for graphic design, we’d suggest waiting just a bit longer.

Generally speaking though, the more you pay the better the machine. But don't worry if you're on a tighter budget – we've picked the best cheap computers for graphic design, too. Read on for our selection of the best desktops out there…

Microsoft's Surface Studio 2 now takes occupies the top slot as the best computer for graphic design. As a fierce rival to Apple’s iMac (number 2 on our list), which badly needs an update, the Surface Studio 2 is an all-in-one that can do a few things the iMac cannot. Its high resolution 28-inch display (4,500 x 3,000) is touch-sensitive, which means it can be used like a giant graphics tablet when …

The Period Game is Dream Phone with ovaries

If periods could ever be said to be having a 'moment', this must be it. A documentary about menstruation – Period. End of Sentence – has just won an Oscar, and the stigma surrounding periods is being challenged left right and centre, as advertisers shake things up with new types of period product ads, and issues such as period poverty are discussed in Parliament. 

New educational board game The Period Game aims to engage the next generation with menstruation, and it's currently well on the way to meeting its Kickstarter target. It's designed by Daniela Gilsanz and Ryan Murphy – two industrial designers who have spent years testing out the game at schools – and has already won a Red Dot Design award.

The game is designed to teach players about puberty and the menstrual cycle, including topics such as PMS and different flows. There's pretty much no way you could play it without engaging with the topic, and the idea is not just to educate, but to make talking about the subject more natural.

The centrepiece of the game is two giant ovaries, which the player has to twist to release a marble. This is probably the oddest part of the game, as we don't think anyone should be advocating twisting organs.

Different coloured marbles denote whether the player has their period or not, and which card they get to play as they move round the four sections of the board – corresponding to a typical monthly cycle. The counters are also pretty cool, there's a pad, two tampons, menstrual cup and a pair of period pants, and we like the fact that it's not just all pads and tampons.

period game cards

The Period Game’s bright and fun approach encourages players to ‘go with the flow’

Overall, this looks like a fun game to teach people about menstruation, and we applaud that. We also like the bold design and clear illustrations, despite the colour scheme being very pink and red, as products about periods are want …

100+ Logo PSD & Vector Mockup Templates

Logo designs play a crucial role when it comes to the success of a business. For designers, it’s always about how they present their work to their clients or audience. Good mockups not only enhance design presentations but also help in saving time and making work processes more streamlined and efficient.

In order to help you present your logo designs to your clients with the strongest possible impact, we have gathered more than 100 logo design mockup templates. All of these mockups are of extremely high quality and will help you streamline your work process in no time. Some are free to use, while others cost only a few dollars.

10 Logo & Badge Mockups

10 Logo & Badge Mock-Ups

This is a bundle of 10 photorealistic logo mockups that allows you to showcase your logo and badge designs in various signage and shop environments.

  • Price: Envato Elements Subscription

25 Hip Logo Overlay Mockups

25 Hip Logo Overlay Mock-Ups

A collection of hipster-themed logo mockups featuring modern-vintage designs. It includes 25 different mockups made up of real photos.

  • Price: Envato Elements Subscription

Signage & Logo Mockup

Signage & Logo Mock-up

A set of 8 unique signage and logo mockup templates. The templates in this pack feature smart objects for easier editing as well.

  • Price: Envato Elements Subscription

Logo & Label Mockups

Logo & Label Mock-ups

This bundle of mockups templates including 10 different mockups in PSD formats for presenting your logo and label designs in a professional way.

  • Price: Envato Elements Subscription

Metallic Logo Mockups

Metallic Logo Mockups

Featuring metallic designs, this pack of mockup templates is perfect for showcasing your logo designs in a unique way with an engraved look and feel.

  • Price: Envato Elements Subscription

Creative Logo Mockup

Creative Logo Mock-Up

A simple yet elegant logo mockup for presenting modern logo designs. The template comes with smart objects and in a layered PSD file.

  • Price: Envato Elements Subscription

Photorealistic Wood Craft Logo Mockups

Photorealistic Wood Craft Logo Mockups

This collection of logo mockups feature 6 wood-based designs for showcasing your logo designs with a realistic engraved look.

  • Price: Envato Elements Subscription

3D Logo Mockups V3

3D Logo Mockups V3

A stylish logo design mockup you can use to showcase your design …