Ever since its introduction to the world in 1996, CSS has been the staple of web page decoration and visual presentation. It has lasted until today, controlling aspects such as layout, typography, and colors of a web page or site. As a web designer, knowing key CSS tricks can help you enhance your work, producing web pages with a better look and feel, and making them more responsive and user-friendly.

If you’re a web designer, it’s up to you to create pages that leave a lasting impression. In this article, we’ll cover 5 CSS tricks designers as you should know. These techniques will help you create beautiful and responsive websites that will be sure to stand out from the crowd.

Essential CSS Tricks for Designers 

1. Grid Layout

Grid layout is a powerful tool that allows designers to easily create complex layouts. You can define rows and columns and then place elements within them. They are especially useful when dealing with many similar items that should be arranged spatially logically, such as a photo gallery.

To use the grid layout, you first define a container element as a grid with the display: grid property. You can then specify the size and placement of each row and column using the grid-template-rows and grid-template-columns* properties, respectively. Finally, you can place elements within the grid using the grid-column and grid-row properties.

Here’s a simple example of how to use a grid layout:

.container {
  display: grid;
  grid-template-columns: repeat(3, 1fr);
  grid-gap: 20px;

.item {
  grid-column: 1 / 3;
  grid-row: 2;

In this example, we’re using a grid to create a container with three columns and a 20px gap between them. We’re also placing an item within the second row and spanning it across two columns.

2. Flexbox

Flexbox is another powerful layout tool that allows designers to create responsive layouts with ease. With Flexbox, you can define a flexible container and then place items within that container.

To use Flexbox, you first define a container element as a flex container with the display: flex property. You can then specify how items should be distributed along the main and cross axes using properties like justify-content and align-items. You can also set the size of each item using the flex-basis property.

Here’s an example of how to use Flexbox:

.container {
  display: flex;
  justify-content: space-between;
  align-items: center;

.item {
  flex-basis: 30%;

In this example, we’re using a flexbox to create a container with items that are spaced evenly and centered vertically.

3. Transitions and Animations

Both transitions and animations are great tools for adding interactivity and visual interest to your website. With transitions, you can specify how properties should change over time, while animations allow you to create animated content with the help of keyframes.

To use transitions, you first define an element’s starting and ending states using properties. You can then use the transition property to specify which properties should transition and how long the transition should take. When the element’s state changes (for example, when the user hovers over it), the transition will occur.

Here’s an example of how to use transitions to create a hover effect on a button:

.button {
  background-color: #333;
  color: #fff;
  padding: 10px 20px;
  border-radius: 5px;
  transition: background-color 0.5s ease;

.button:hover {
  background-color: #fff;
  color: #333;

In this example, the background-color property of the button is set to transition over 0.5 seconds with an ease of timing function. When the user hovers over the button, the background-color changes to white, creating a simple but effective hover effect.

4. Custom Fonts

Custom fonts allow designers to create unique and memorable typography for their websites. Using custom fonts, designers can set their websites apart from the competition and create a more consistent and immersive experience.

To use custom fonts, you’ll first need to find a font you like and download it. You can then upload the font files to your website and use CSS to apply the font to your text. You can either use the @font-face rule to define the font, or you can use a service like Google Fonts to host the font files and provide a simple way to add the font to your website.

Here’s an example of how to use custom fonts with the @font-face rule:

@font-face {
  font-family: ‘My Custom Font’;
  src: url(‘my-custom-font.woff2’) format(‘woff2’),
      url(‘my-custom-font.woff’) format(‘woff’);

h1 {
  font-family: ‘My Custom Font’, sans-serif;

In this example, we’re defining a custom font called “My Custom Font” using the @font-face rule. We’re then applying that font to an h1 element using the font-family property.

5. Variables

Variables, also known as custom properties, allow designers to define reusable values that can be used throughout their CSS. This can make it easier to create consistent and modular styles and can also make it easier to update styles in the future.

To use variables in CSS, you first define them using the — prefix. You can then use that variable throughout your CSS by referencing it with the var() function. You can also update the value of the variable dynamically using JavaScript.

Here’s an example of how to use variables in CSS:

:root {
  –primary-color: #007bff;

button {
  background-color: var(–primary-color);
  color: #fff;
  padding: 10px 20px;
  border-radius: 5px;

button:hover {
  background-color: #fff;
  color: var(–primary-color);

In this example, we’re defining a primary-color variable and setting it to a blue tone. We’re then using that variable to set the background color of a button. When the user hovers over the button, the background-color changes to white, and the color changes to the primary color, which we set using the variable.

Empower Your CSS Skills

By using these 5 essential CSS tricks, you can create beautiful and responsive websites that stand out from the competition. They are all powerful tools that can help you take your designs to the next level.

Remember, these are just a few of the many CSS tricks that are available to web designers. A good designer should keep experimenting and learning new techniques to stay at the top of their game. Happy Web Designing!

Featured image by Christina Morillo on Pexels

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