What is <hr />? Basically, it is an old HTML-tag which has been used since the very beginning of the Web. hr stands for the horizontal rule and represents exactly what you would expect — a horizontal line or a horizontal divider. By default, web browsers render hr as a simple horizontal line. In terms of semantics the tag is supposed to clearly separate content blocks. This is often used in design of footers, but also makes sense in other situations — for instance, if you want to separate two blog posts or make the divisions within the content structure sharper.
However, the design of horizontal lines is quite simple and not really appealing by default. HTML offers designers four styling attributes:
size. This is the reason why designers often use CSS to make hr’s look a little bit more attractive. Alternatively, one can replace hr’s completely with an image using the
background-property in CSS.
Some designers consider horizontal rule to be unnecessary — after all, you can simple assign some border styling to the container which contains the block. However, hr’s offer more possibilities as you can do whatever you want with a single, standalone HTML-tag. And here is where our contest comes into play.
Similar to our blog header contest we’d like to create a smashing gallery of freely available <hr /> graphics which every designer could use without any restrictions whatsoever. To achieve this we need the help of our creative readers. Which is why we decided to announce the <hr /> contest.
Is there a reward?
Of course. We’ll select 15 most beautiful dividers, present them in a post and ask our readers to rate them in a poll. The winner will get a Wacom Intuos3 9X12 USB Tablet — Metallic Gray. It is worth to participate, since we’ll also mention your name and your URL in the article which will contain the smashing examples of contest entries.
What is required?
In order to participate, your design should
- be unusual, creative and attractive,
- be designed for the contest and shouldn’t be in use already
- be recognizable as a divider or a line and has to serve its function — separate content blocks from each other,
- be in the format PNG, JPG, GIF (if possible, please provide us with the source file as well — such as PSD, EPS, AI etc.)
- no Flash or Gif-animations, please.
Apart from that,
- every file must be titled with your name. Samples: hr-john-doe.gif or hr-jane-doe.jpg
- each image should have the max. size of 30 Kb/each.
Each participant can send up to 5 different graphics (do not use ZIP, RAR etc.) and you must own the copyright for the designs you submit.
Send your designs via e-mail at sven at smashingmagazine.com with the subject line [Hr Contest Entry]. Please mention your name, your URL and the country you are from. If possible, please also provide us with the brief description of the ideas which have been the driving force behind your designs. Be creative, use unusual techniques, explore your skills, do whatever it takes — we’d like you to get really excited about it.
We’ll consider all designs we’ll receive until the 1st of September 2008. The best entries will be published briefly after the contest has ended.
To spark your creativity we present some excellent examples of how visually appealing <hr /> graphics may look like. The images are clickable and lead to the sites from which they’ve been taken.
Our examples show that a number of creative approaches are possible. The Web needs a creative library of fresh <hr>-dividers. Vignettes and ornaments may be a nice idea, uneven and handwritten elements are also used sometimes. However, the possibilites offered to designers are rarely used. You can definitely risk some unusual design approaches. What are you capable of?
You can also get some inspiration from our previous showcase Footers In Modern Web Design: Creative Examples and Ideas.
Get creative, folks! And good luck!