Slopy Elements with CSS3

It's always a delight to see some non-straight elements in web design. Angled shapes and diagonal lines can create an interesting visual flow and add some unexpected excitement. Inspired by many superb designs that use non-straight elements, I want to show you some simple examples and ways how to create slopy, skewed elements with CSS only.

SlopyElements

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It’s always a delight to see some non-straight elements in web design. Angled shapes and diagonal lines can create an interesting visual flow and add some unexpected excitement. Inspired by many superb designs that use non-straight elements, I want to show you some simple examples and ways how to create slopy, skewed elements with CSS only.

So, let’s begin!

Example 1

SlopyElements_01

In our first example, we want to have a pretty normal layout with a little twist: we want a diagonal separation between the elements. We will achieve that by rotating the wrappers of the content articles. But, since we don’t want the content itself to be rotated, we’ll simply rotate each article back.

The Markup

Let’s create a section for our whole content and inside we’ll add some divisions with the class se-slope. Each one is going to have an article with some headline and text:

<section class="se-container">
	<div class="se-slope">
		<article class="se-content">
			<h3>Some headline</h3>
			<p>Some text</p>
		</article>
	</div>
	<div class="se-slope">
		<!-- ... -->
	</div>
	<!-- ... -->
</section>

Now, let’s check our the style.

The CSS

The body will have the same background color like all the even se-slope elements, which is pink. This will “hide” some edges of the rotated elements:

body{
	background: #e90089;
}

The main wrapper will have the overflow hidden because we will want to pull the rotated elements in a way that they would stick out, so let’s not show that:

.se-container{
	display: block;
	width: 100%;
	overflow: hidden;
	padding-top: 150px;
}

The divisions will all be rotated: the odd ones will be black and rotated 5 degrees and the even ones will be pink and rotated -5 degrees. Because of the rotation, we’ll need to adjust the positioning of the odd elements in order to fit as we want them to. So, we’ll add a negative top margin in order to pull them up:

.se-slope{
	margin: 0 -50px;
	transform-origin: left center;
}
.se-slope:nth-child(odd){
	background: #000;
	transform: rotate(5deg);
	margin-top: -200px;
	box-shadow: 0px -1px 3px rgba(0,0,0,0.4);
}
.se-slope:nth-child(even){
	background: #e90089;
	transform: rotate(-5deg);
	box-shadow: 0px 2px 3px rgba(0,0,0,0.4) inset;
}

Let’s center the article:

.se-content{
	margin: 0 auto;
}

Let’s give the headline a special look. We’ll add the :before and :after pseudo element in order to create some asymmetric triangles on both sides using the transparent border trick:

.se-content h3{
	font-size: 60px;
	position: relative;
	display: inline-block;
	padding: 10px 30px 8px 30px;
	height: 80px;
	line-height: 80px;
	margin-bottom: 20px;
	font-family: 'Bitter', 'Trebuchet MS', Arial;
	text-shadow: 1px 1px 1px rgba(0,0,0,0.9);
}
.se-slope:nth-child(odd) .se-content h3{
	background: #e90089;
	color: #000;
}
.se-slope:nth-child(even) .se-content h3{
	background: #000;
	color: #e90089;
}
.se-content h3:before{
	content: '';
	width: 0;
	height: 0;
	border-top: 38px solid transparent;
	border-bottom: 60px solid transparent;
	border-right: 60px solid black;
	position: absolute;
	left: -59px;
	top: 0px;
}
.se-content h3:after{
	content: '';
	width: 0;
	height: 0;
	border-top: 38px solid transparent;
	border-bottom: 60px solid transparent;
	border-left: 60px solid black;
	position: absolute;
	right: -59px;
	top: 0px;
}

Let’s adjust the color for the odd elements:

.se-slope:nth-child(odd) .se-content h3:before,
.se-slope:nth-child(odd) .se-content h3:after{
	border-right-color: #e90089;
	border-left-color: #e90089;
}

The style for the paragraph will be the following:

.se-content p{
	width: 75%;
	max-width: 500px;
	margin: 0 auto;
	font-style: italic;
	font-size: 18px;
	line-height: 24px;
	padding-top: 10px;
}

With the :first-letter selector we can style the first letter differently:

.se-content p:first-letter{
	font-size: 40px;
	font-family: 'Adobe Garamond Pro', Georgia, serif;
}

Let’s rotate the article back to 0 and adjust the paddings to fit the content nicely:

.se-slope:nth-child(odd) .se-content{
	transform: rotate(-5deg);
	color: #e90089;
	padding: 130px 100px 250px 100px;
}
.se-slope:nth-child(even) .se-content{
	transform: rotate(5deg);
	color: #000;
	padding: 150px 100px 250px 100px;
}

And that was the first example! Let’s look at the second one.

Example 2

SlopyElements_02

In the second example, we’ll only use the transparent border trick and some pseudo elements in order to create an arrow-shaped, alternating structure.

The Markup

In the second example we’ll have the same structure, except for some classes: we’ll be adding the class sl-slope-black or sl-slope-pink, depening on which color we want the division to be:

<section class="se-container">
	<div class="se-slope sl-slope-black">
		<article class="se-content">
			<h3>Some headline</h3>
			<p>Some text</p>
		</article>
	</div>
	<div class="se-slope sl-slope-pink">
		<!-- ... -->
	</div>
	<!-- ... -->
</section>

Let style ‘em!

The CSS

The container will have the same style as before and the body will have a pink background, again:

body{
	background: #e90089
}
.se-container{
	display: block;
	width: 100%;
	overflow: hidden;
	box-shadow: 0px 0px 10px #000;
}

The slope divisions will be floating and we’ll stack two next to each other, so let’s set the width to 50%:

.se-slope{
	width: 50%;
	height: 300px;
	position: relative;
	float: left;
	overflow: hidden;
}

Let’s add some padding to the content:

.se-slope .se-content{
	margin: 50px 100px 0px 100px;
}

Let’s give the background colors to the black and pink divisions:

.se-slope-black{
	background: #000;
}
.se-slope-pink{
	background: #e90089;
}

So, each black element is going to have a :after pseudo element style for the arrow shape. The odd black elements will have it pointing to the left and the even ones will have it pointing to the right:

.se-slope-black:nth-child(odd):after,
.se-slope-black:nth-child(even):after{
	content: '';
	position: absolute;
	bottom: 0px;
	width: 0px;
	height: 0px;
	border-top: 150px solid transparent;
	border-bottom: 150px solid transparent;
}
.se-slope-black:nth-child(odd):after{
	border-right: 60px solid #e90089;
	right: 0px;
}
.se-slope-black:nth-child(even):after{
	border-left: 60px solid #e90089;
	left: 0px;
}

Let’s style the headlines and give them the respective background color:

.se-content h3{
	z-index: 10;
	font-size: 30px;
	margin-top: 60px;
	position: relative;
	display: inline-block;
	padding: 15px 20px;
	line-height: 40px;
	font-family: 'Bitter', 'Trebuchet MS', Arial;
	text-shadow: 1px 1px 1px rgba(0,0,0,0.9);
}
.se-slope.se-slope-black h3{
	background: #e90089;
}
.se-slope.se-slope-pink h3{
	background: #000;
}

Let’s add some skewed shape to the ends of the heading using :after and :before:

.se-slope.se-slope-black h3:after,
.se-slope.se-slope-black h3:before,
.se-slope.se-slope-pink h3:after,
.se-slope.se-slope-pink h3:before{
	content: '';
	width: 0px;
	height: 0px;
	top: 0px;
	position: absolute;
}
.se-slope.se-slope-black h3:after{
	border-top: 70px solid transparent;
	border-left: 30px solid #e90089;
	right: -30px;
}
.se-slope.se-slope-black h3:before{
	border-bottom: 70px solid transparent;
	border-right: 30px solid #e90089;
	left: -30px;
}
.se-slope.se-slope-pink h3:after{
	border-top: 70px solid transparent;
	border-right: 30px solid #000;
	left: -30px;
}
.se-slope.se-slope-pink h3:before{
	border-bottom: 70px solid transparent;
	border-left: 30px solid #000;
	right: -30px;
}

We’ll use the paragraph as a decorative element. The ones on the left side will be rotated 15 degrees and the ones on the right side will be rotated -15 degrees:

.se-content p{
	position: absolute;
	z-index: 9;
	opacity: 0.3;
	font-size: 50px;
	text-align: left;
	transform-origin: top center;
}
.se-slope:nth-child(even) .se-content p{
	transform: rotate(-15deg);
	top: -100px;
	right: -50px;
	text-align: left;
	width: 95%;
}
.se-slope:nth-child(odd) .se-content p{
	transform: rotate(15deg);
	top: -100px;
	left: -50px;
	text-align: right;
	width: 90%;
}
.se-slope.sl-slope-pink .se-content p{
	color: #000;
}

And that’s it! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and find it useful!

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Mary Lou (Manoela Ilic) is a freelance web designer and developer with a passion for interaction design. She studied Cognitive Science and Computational Logic and has a weakness for the smell of freshly ground peppercorns.

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Website: http://tympanus.net/

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  1. 10

    Gr8 work… not only the work is nice, but the way you explain it is also really nice… thank U :-)

  2. 16

    Hello,

    Very nice.
    I use this element, in out my first scrollto div is good, but impossible scrollTo the body.
    It’s normal ?

    Thank you.

  3. 17

    my code :

    $(‘.col3 li a’).click(function(){
    $(“body”).scrollTo(this.hash,700,{axis: “y”});return false;
    });

  4. 18

    Hi,

    I am using this on the site I am designing, however I have tried to implement some images with a simple javascript hover but for some reason when it is within one of the sections that the css is applied to it breaks the javascript hover. Out with this div the javascript hover works perfectly so I know it’s something to do with the slopy elements. Any help on this would be much appreciated as I can’t work it out at all!

    Great work though Mary Lou, your tutorials are fantastic!

    Emily

Comments are closed.