Transparent JPG (With SVG)

Let's say you have a photographic image that really should be a JPG or WebP, for the best file size and quality. But what if I need transparency too? Don't I need PNG for that? Won't that make for either huge file sizes (PNG-24) or weird quality (PNG-8)? Let's look at another way that ends up best-of-both-worlds.


Creating Non-Rectangular Headers

Over at Medium, Jon Moore recently identified "non-rectangular headers" as a tiny trend. A la: it's not crazy popular yet, but just you wait, kiddo.

We're talking about headers (or, more generally, any container element) that have a non-rectangular shape. Such as trapezoids, complex geometric shapes, rounded/elliptical, or even butt-cheek shaped.

SVG Squircle

Amelia Bellamy-Royds:

I wondered if I could come up with an easy formula to create a "squircle" type curve with SVG bezier curves. It wouldn't be the exact shape, but it could be close. The idea:

The "end points" of the curve segments are the mid-points of each side of the rectangle, where everything should be perfectly straight. The control points then stretch out along the edges until the curvature at the corners is about right.

Rogie took a crack at it with CSS a few years ago, as well.

An Introduction to the Reduced Motion Media Query

The open web's success is built on interoperable technologies. The ability to control animation now exists alongside important features such as zooming content, installing extensions, enabling high contrast display, loading custom stylesheets, or disabling JavaScript.

Sites all too often inundate their audiences with automatically playing, battery-draining, resource-hogging animations. The need for people being able to take back control of animations might be more prevalent than you may initially think.


A Couple SVG Icon Links

  • WordPress' new TwentySeventeen default theme uses an SVG icon system. It was contributed by Sami Keijonen who had some prior experience in that, and wrote up a bit about it here. The theme has functions that spit out correct/accessible markup for them.
  • Webpack now has a SVG sprite loader, which allows you to import myGreatIcon from './my-great-icon.svg'; like you do with other resources in webpack.
  • Both aforementioned projects note IE/Edge's lack of ability to <use> from a file path and thus recommend svgxuse and svg4everybody respectively.
  • I still haven't seen anyone talk about an SVG icon system where they say, screw it, we're running HTTP/2, we're just going with <img src="icon-x.svg" alt="">. I've also never seen an SVG icon system that utilized fragment identifiers (Safari and Android are problematic here, so that's not terribly surprising).

Align SVG Icons to Text and Say Goodbye to Font Icons

Elliot Dahl:

At Pivotal we've created an SVG icon system with React for use on our suite of products. This article is about my approach to styling the SVG icon system with CSS to make it easy and effective to use.

Alignment and icons (of any sort) will probably always be a bit tricky. It depends on two things that will be different on every site: the font and the icons. Elliot was able to get perfect alignment with Arial by pulling the icons down with bottom: -0.125em; because Arial sites right along the baseline and the icons themselves were designed with a 12.5% ring of white space around the edges. It's a fairly common practice to design SVG icons with space along the edges (as annoying as it might be for alignment) because without the space, you might get awkward clipping on the edges with certain browsers/resolutions/zooming/etc (sorry I don't have more detail handy).

SVG Map Rollovers

Over on the Media Temple blog, I take Wikipedia's SVG map of the United States, add a written list of the state names, and make hover/tap states. Hover/tap the name of the state, highlight the state on the map. Hover/tap the state on the map, highlight the name of the state. Demo.

The Road to SVG and Custom Elements in Clarity Icons

Another day, another design system deciding an SVG icon system is the way to go.

Everybody has their own set of considerations when making a choice like this. Scott Mathis documents the major considerations for Clarity: Opting-out, sizing, multi-colors, interactivity, scale, and the future. Based on these, they actually ended up on a custom element (<clr-icon>, which is inline <svg> under the hood), just like Etsy.

Etsy’s Evolving Icon System

Etsy moves away from an icon font in production to using SVG. It's going to be an inline <svg> system, but abstracted as a <etsy-icon> custom element for ease of use.

Two cents:

  • I could see the need for that abstraction going away if we had a more convient syntax for <use> available, like: <svg use="icons.svg#cart" />
  • I like how dedicated they are to icon consistency. I struggle with this a lot. An SVG icon process can be so easy to work with, and new icons so easy to find and drop in, that consistency can suffer. That grid, with the examples, is gold.
  • They are still building an icon font as part of the build process, for the designers to use in design software.

That last one is surprising to me, as I would think it would be a pain in the butt to find the right icon to design with when the one you need is assigned to some random character in the font. I would think the concept of "Symbols" in Sketch or Illustrator would make the way to make those icons super easy to find and use for designers. Which makes me think what the font actually has to offer is interoperability between design software. I wonder if software like Lingo or Iconjar would be helpful here.