Animated Text and Icon Menu with jQuery

Today we want to show you how to create a slick menu with a nice animation feature on hover. The idea is to make some elements slide out, change and animate the background color of the item and then slide the elements back in with a different color.

From our sponsor: Get started on your Squarespace website with a free trial

Today we want to show you how to create a slick menu with a nice animation feature on hover. The idea is to make some elements slide out, change and animate the background color of the item and then slide the elements back in with a different color.

The inspiration for this menu comes from the website of the Pelican Miami Beach Hotel:

The icons are taken from the incredible Noun Project that “collects, organizes and adds to the highly recognizable symbols that form the world’s visual language, so we may share them in a fun and meaningful way”. Visit the website of The Noun Project.

So, let’s get started!

The Markup

Our HTML will be an unordered list where each list item will contain an anchor element with the three elements inside that we’ll animate:

<ul id="sti-menu" class="sti-menu">
	<li data-hovercolor="#37c5e9">
		<a href="#">
			<h2 data-type="mText" class="sti-item">
				Some text
			<h3 data-type="sText" class="sti-item">
				Some more text
			<span data-type="icon" class="sti-icon sti-icon-care sti-item">

The data-hovercolor will be used to set the color of the text on hover. Also, we’ll give some data-type attribute to each heading and the icon span. We’ll use that later in our JavaScript.

Now, let’s make it stylish!


Remember, we always reset our CSS with a reset.css that we’ll add to our main style.
First, we’ll style the unordered list and give it a fixed width so that we can center it on the page:

	margin:60px auto 0 auto;

The list elements will be floating and a little margin:

.sti-menu li{

Now we’ll style the anchor. We’ll hide all the overflow because we want to animate the elements outside of the anchor:

.sti-menu li a{
	-moz-box-shadow:1px 1px 2px #ddd;
	-webkit-box-shadow:1px 1px 2px #ddd;
	box-shadow:1px 1px 2px #ddd;

The headings will be positioned absolutely and we’ll define the width and the top position:

.sti-menu li a h2{
	font-family: 'Wire One', arial, serif; 
	text-shadow: 0px 1px 1px black;
.sti-menu li a h3{
	font-family: Baskerville, "Hoefler Text", Garamond, "Times New Roman", serif; 
	color: #111;

Each icon span will have the following general class and also a specific one, where we’ll add the right background image. The images will have both, the black and the colored version of the icon. We’ll change the background position in the JavaScript once we animate the icon out of the anchor element.

	background-position:top left;

And that’s all the style! Let’s move to the fun part!

The JavaScript

Since we are doing a plugin out of this, let’s define the default settings first:

var settings = {
	// configuration for the mouseenter event
	animMouseenter		: {
		'mText' : {speed : 350, easing : 'easeOutExpo', delay : 140, dir : 1},
		'sText' : {speed : 350, easing : 'easeOutExpo', delay : 0, dir : 1},
		'icon'  : {speed : 350, easing : 'easeOutExpo', delay : 280, dir : 1}
	// configuration for the mouseleave event
	animMouseleave		: {
		'mText' : {speed : 300, easing : 'easeInExpo', delay : 140, dir : 1},
		'sText' : {speed : 300, easing : 'easeInExpo', delay : 280, dir : 1},
		'icon'  : {speed : 300, easing : 'easeInExpo', delay : 0, dir : 1}
	// speed for the item bg color animation
	boxAnimSpeed		: 300,
	// default text color (same defined in the css)
	defaultTextColor	: '#000',
	// default bg color (same defined in the css)
	defaultBgColor		: '#fff'

For each one of our elements we’ll have the animation speed, the easing effect, the delay time and the direction (1 is for up and 0 for down).
We also have the animation speed for the background color animation of the menu item and the text and background color which we also have in our CSS.

return this.each(function() {
	// if options exist, lets merge them with our default settings
	if ( options ) {
		$.extend( settings, options );
	var $el 			= $(this),
		// the menu items
		$menuItems		= $el.children('li'),
		// save max delay time for mouseleave anim parameters
	maxdelay	= Math.max( settings.animMouseleave['mText'].speed + settings.animMouseleave['mText'].delay ,
							settings.animMouseleave['sText'].speed + settings.animMouseleave['sText'].delay ,
							settings.animMouseleave['icon'].speed + settings.animMouseleave['icon'].delay
		// timeout for the mouseenter event
		// lets us move the mouse quickly over the items,
		// without triggering the mouseenter event
	// save default top values for the moving elements:
	// the elements that animate inside each menu item
	$menuItems.find('.sti-item').each(function() {
		var $el	= $(this);
		$'deftop', $el.position().top);
	// Events

Let’s define the mouseenter event for each menu item:

$menuItems.bind('mouseenter', function(e) {
	var $item		= $(this),
		$wrapper	= $item.children('a'),
		wrapper_h	= $wrapper.height(),
		// the elements that animate inside this menu item
		$movingItems= $wrapper.find('.sti-item'),
		// the color that the texts will have on hover
		hovercolor	= $'hovercolor');
	t_mouseenter	= setTimeout(function() {
		// indicates the item is on hover state
		$movingItems.each(function(i) {
			var $item			= $(this),
				item_sti_type	= $'type'),
				speed			= settings.animMouseenter[item_sti_type].speed,
				easing			= settings.animMouseenter[item_sti_type].easing,
				delay			= settings.animMouseenter[item_sti_type].delay,
				dir				= settings.animMouseenter[item_sti_type].dir,
				// if dir is 1 the item moves downwards
				// if -1 then upwards
				style			= {'top' : -dir * wrapper_h + 'px'};
			if( item_sti_type === 'icon' ) {
				// this sets another bg image position for the icon
				style.backgroundPosition	= 'bottom left';
			} else {
				style.color					= hovercolor;
			// we hide the icon, move it up or down, and then show it
				setTimeout(function() {
					// now animate each item to its default tops
					// each item will animate with a delay specified 
					// in the options
						 .animate({top : $'deftop') + 'px'}, speed, easing);
				}, delay)
		// animate the bg color of the item
			backgroundColor: settings.defaultTextColor
		}, settings.boxAnimSpeed );
	}, 100);	


And then we define the mouseleave event which is basically everything in reverse:

// mouseleave event for each menu item
.bind('mouseleave', function(e) {
	var $item		= $(this),
		$wrapper	= $item.children('a'),
		wrapper_h	= $wrapper.height(),
		$movingItems= $wrapper.find('.sti-item');
		return false;		
	$movingItems.each(function(i) {
		var $item			= $(this),
			item_sti_type	= $'type'),
			speed			= settings.animMouseleave[item_sti_type].speed,
			easing			= settings.animMouseleave[item_sti_type].easing,
			delay			= settings.animMouseleave[item_sti_type].delay,
			dir				= settings.animMouseleave[item_sti_type].dir;
		setTimeout(function() {
			$item.stop(true).animate({'top' : -dir * wrapper_h + 'px'}, speed, easing, function() {
				if( delay + speed === maxdelay ) {
						backgroundColor: settings.defaultBgColor
					}, settings.boxAnimSpeed );
					$movingItems.each(function(i) {
						var $el				= $(this),
							style			= {'top' : $'deftop') + 'px'};
						if( $'type') === 'icon' ) {
							style.backgroundPosition	= 'top left';
						} else {
							style.color					= settings.defaultTextColor;
		}, delay);

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

Tagged with:

Mary Lou

ML 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.

Stay up to date with the latest web design and development news and relevant updates from Codrops.

CSS Reference

Learn about all important CSS properties from the basics with our extensive and easy-to-read CSS Reference.

It doesn't matter if you are a beginner or intermediate, start learning CSS now.

Feedback 72

Comments are closed.
  1. Loving the script but am having issues with placing the script in a menu. Once I put them in my menu, the animation positions change and I can’t seem to solve it!! The layers are stacked on top of each other and I suspect they can’t get the ‘top’ reference. Any help pls?

  2. This is beautifully done, and my first foray into this kind of effect. I have one question if you might be so kind:

    what if I just wanted the icon image in each to just nudge up like 7px upon hover, and then nudge back down upon exit? or even better, just expand by like 7px, then shrink back down?

    i assume it has something to do with this line in the moving items:

    // if dir is 1 the item moves downwards
    // if -1 then upwards
    style = {‘top’ : -dir * wrapper_h + ‘px’};

    any hints or points in the right direction? I’ve replicated everything in your tutorial but would love to make that one small change for our use?


  3. Wonderful!

    QUESTION: It always ends on white. I’d like when the black slides away to reveal the images I’ve placed in the background of the s.

    How do I get rid of the defaultBgColor?

  4. pls. i love this example. i have already incorporated it into a project am working on right now. i need ur help on how to bind click event to the menu items. pls help its urgent!!!!!!

  5. How can i add this to my wordpress site? I use Sufussion theme. I would love an answer because this menu is impressive work!

    Best Regards

  6. It’s really great tutorial.

    I want to ask something, how to add sliding feature with left and right arrow ?

  7. WOW!! amazing – THANK YOU!

    just one question. Is it possible to change the color it fades to? – I tried changing everything I could to #FFF that was #000, but no luck.


  8. This is awesome! I’m wondering how we can add an “active” state to this menu in a WordPress theme.

    I call this menu only once in the header.php file

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you

  9. is there a way to have the mouseleave event return the div background to a transparent one?