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CSS Grid Challenge: Winners and Templates

Quick Summary

CSS Grid is becoming the new layout standard for the web, and we are all still experimenting with what we can achieve with it.

Table of Contents

CSS Grid is the new layout standard for the web, but we still are just getting started with new layout ideas. Many assume that CSS Grid is just a replacement for table layouts, but that’s simply not true. Others might think that we can use CSS Grid to replicate more advanced print layouts, which brings us closer to what’s possible.

One of the main reasons behind the idea of the CSS Grid Challenge was to have some starting points for layouts, and show what can be achieved with CSS Grids today. Well, we received some many great submissions that it was really hard to choose the one winner — there are so many submissions who deserve to win first place.

While the browser support for CSS Grid is really good already, it isn’t supported in the older browser versions. That’s why we challenged you to implement fallbacks for browsers that don’t support CSS Grid just yet, and most of the submissions were doing fine in that regard. Falling back to floats and Flexbox isn’t hard, but still not all submissions were providing fallbacks for browsers that don’t support CSS Grid. We had to deduct some points in these cases, unfortunately.

So without a further ado, let’s look at the submissions which we think are the most impressive ones:

? The Winner Of The CSS Grid Challenge 2017 Is… James Clarke!

James Clarke’s CSS-only The Deck (download the template, ZIP, 1.3MB) is particularly well suited for a linear narrative that you might find in presentations or marketing pages. What we think was particularly interesting is the cross-horizontal way to navigate between the different pages. Also, we like the use of lots of whitespace, so that the focus of each page remains perfectly obvious.

Please keep in mind: This template isn’t keyboard-accessible and we’re working with James to improve it.

The Deck by James Clarke
View the submission

On smaller devices, the template turns into a regular layout, and it falls back graciously on browsers that don’t support CSS Grid. Ladies and Gents, a big round of applause for the winner of the CSS Grid challenge!

Insights from James himself:

"As CSS grid layout is new technology and sits atop many other advances that have been built into CSS, I chose to limit myself to see what I could build with HTML and CSS alone. I elected to rebuild an old website from about 10years ago that was built using the then-popular "MooTools" javascript library. That library opened up the ease of cross-browser javascript development at the time, and the advance in CSS's capabilities seemed to offer a similar possibility. The result of my efforts I call "Deck". It is a format that is particularly well suited to the sort of linear narrative that you might find in a power-point presentation, or marketing pages. The standard these days is a long-scrolling page. That format works well of course, but it is undifferentiated, and we've been stuck with it for years now. I wanted to explore something a bit different, in hopes of finding a new way." Features: CSS only, no javascript. All interactions flow from native browser functions and CSS pseudo-selectors like :checked, :target. CSS Grid Layout: horizontal and vertical positioning, source re-ordering, adaptation to different viewports. Progressive-enhancement, responsive layouts: Smaller screen devices and older browsers receive a format catered to their needs and technologies. Touch friendly: All UI functions play well with touch-screen laptops/tablets/phones. Back/Forward button navigation: Back and forward buttons remain functional where browser support exists (current issues with MS Edge repainting when not initiated by javascript 'hash-change' event).

But Wait… There’s More!

We received a number of really impressive submissions and so we decided to give out a silver as well as a bronze medal, too!

? Second Place: Frida Nyvall

The second place goes to The Daily Prophet, a fictional newspaper for wizards built with Grid. It’s a great example for multi-column layouts that respond to smaller screen sizes. You can tell that the creator put a lot of effort into building this page with its subtle animations, using CSS Shapes, and a very thoughtful transformation of layout throughout all the different screen sizes. The only downside here is that the submission is not working in browsers that don’t support CSS Grid.

A screenshot of the Daily Prophet, a phantasy, multi-column layout website built with CSS Grid
A screenshot of the Daily Prophet, a phantasy, multi-column layout website built with CSS Grid. Go to the project: link
Click to see how the site transforms over various screen sizes.
#### ? Third Place: Victor Janin The third place goes to [Victor Janin](https://codepen.io/victorjanin/full/oGYvjK/): A great example of a demo that moves elements around in the grid from mobile to desktop. Victor's aim was to better accommodate the needs of the user in each viewport, and we think he did a brilliant job doing that! The CodePen code doesn’t include all the prefixes and adjustments for Edge and IE but [this live page](http://victorjan.in/boarding/) has all the prefixes and works on Edge and IE 11 in place. The content is available down to IE8.
CSS Grid by Victor Janin
View on CodePen

The winners have already been contacted. For those who didn’t receive an email from us — please stay tuned! We’ll be launching another challenge very soon!

Other Submissions

Again, we’re sorry that we only had to choose a limited amount of winners, and want to thank everyone who participated in this challenge — we sincerely appreciate your time and efforts! Another round of applause for the rest of the talented participants and their submissions:

Sam Beckham

Sam Beckham is a fan of Penguin Books and their marber grid. His CSS take on the subject lets you change the colors, font sizes, and everything else you fancy on individual books using BEM notation. You can also view a version that works in IE8 (apart from the SVGs) here.

CSS Grid by Sam Beckham
View on CodePen

Ren Aysha

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A thumbnail presentation with CSS Grid, inspired by Polygon.com’s bevel treatment on some of their thumbnails. Older browsers get a fallback with a conservative thumbnail look instead. Apart from her contest submission, you’ll find more CSS Grid experiments on Ren’s CodePen.

CSS Grid by Ren Aysha
View on CodePen

Trang B. Nguyen

This layout features some lovely sea creatures, a bottom navigation, as well as an different way to navigate through the various sections of the site. Also, it falls back really good in browsers that don’t support CSS Grid.

See the Pen CSS Grid Layout by Trang B. Nguyen (@Trangbnguyen) on CodePen.

Click to see how the layout behaves on bigger screens.
#### Charles Wong Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” as a responsive sheet music page. It consists of two CSS grid layouts - one for positioning the bars within the rows of sheet music, and one for positioning musical notes within the bars. Charles shares more insights into the project [here](https://sejikco.github.io/CssGridSheetMusic/).
CSS Grid by Charles Sejikco
View on Github
#### Dannie Vinther A Marvel poster made with CSS and Clip-path. A sprinkle of JavaScript helps avoid layout reflow when images are fully loaded.
CSS Grid by Dannie Vinther
View on CodePen
#### Erik Davidsson

A great one for football fans! A layout featuring the upcoming football game between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. Erik brought it to life with many different techniques with fallbacks to make the website usable in older browsers such as IE8 and IE9.

CSS Grid by Erik Davidsson
(CodePen) (GitHub)
#### Mathieu Inspired by [Justin Avery’s CodePen](https://codepen.io/justincavery/pen/yaRLYE/), Mathieu submitted a dynamic periodic table built with CSS Grid.
CSS Grid by Mathieu
View on Github
#### Amy DeVoogd Inspired by the works of Jen Simmons and Rachel Andrew, [Spacebar](https://amydevoogd.github.io/product-showcase/) is a product showcase for a completely invented product that Amy branded and designed, i.e. all imagery is copyright-free.
CSS Grid by Amy DeVoogd
View on GitHub
#### Ieva Ozolīte A mobile-first semantic web page for a [band poster](https://www.swissted.com/products/the-cure-at-canterbury-odeon-1979). Quite impressive for a first experiment with CSS Grid, don't you agree?
CSS Grid by Ieva Ozolīte
View on CodePen

Ethan Horger

The goal here was to try out a blog entry layout that Ethan has always wanted to try, in which the author’s bio would always be displayed on the top-left of the article, legal notices at the bottom, and some kind of quote or supplemental material pinned in the middle of the article. With CSS Grid, the layout degrades to using floats in IE 8 and 9, and doesn’t maintain the article quote in the middle of the article, but is otherwise fully readable.

CSS Grid by Ethan Horger
View on CodePen

Tanya Syrygina

Tanya Syrygina used Grid to built a fresh, card-style blog layout.

CSS Grid by Tanya Syrygina
View on CodePen

Nelson Leite

For an e-commerce project, Nelson Leite needed to showcase a product listing with some other content in the middle of the products, displayed differently. His solution: CSS Grid.

CSS Grid by Nelson Leite
View on CodePen

Robert Mion

Robert Mion combined CSS Grid and Flexbox to build a responsive supermarket add.

CSS Grid by Robert Mion
View on CodePen

Arturo Ríos

A CSS Grid that can be used comfortably in full-screen mode comes from Arturo Ríos.

CSS Grid by Arturo Ríos
View on CodePen

Bob Mitro

A simple, responsive blog theme based on CSS Grid layout.

CSS Grid by Bob Mitro
View demo

Kev Bonett

Kev Bonnet created a mobile-first e-commerce template with fallback to Flexbox, then fallback to basic 2-column inline-block.

CSS Grid by Kev Bonett
View on CodePen

Sven Rothe

Sven Rothe’s grid has equal heights over several rows. So if you add more content in a tile in the first row, the second row will increase, too.

CSS Grid by Sven Rothe
View on CodePen

Ismail Ghallou

With his To-Do app layout, Ismail Ghallou proves that CSS Grid can handle even the weirdest layouts. And it’s responsive, too.

CSS Grid by Ismail Ghallou
View on CodePen

Juan Garcia

A page of a video game platform comes from Juan Garcia.

CSS Grid by Juan Garcia
View on CodePen

Mark McMurray

A multi-column layout as a CV requires it is a perfect CSS Grid project as Mark McMurray proves.

CSS Grid by Mark McMurray
View on CodePen

Marissa Douglass

Ever thought of building an interactive cookbook with CSS Grid? Marissa Douglass did.

CSS Grid by Marissa Douglass
View on CodePen

Melissa Bogemanns

A photo showcase made with CSS Grid. Available as .zip (6MB)

CSS Grid by Melissa Bogemanns

Tyler Argo

Tyler Argo re-built the Google Play Store layout from scratch using CSS Grid with fallbacks. It works all the way back to IE9 and is even more responsive than the original site.

CSS Grid by Tyler Argo
View on CodePen

Mauricio Mantilla

This layout is based on a website that was designed by the company where Mauricio works at. He took part of the layout, which is based on Packery (Masonry) and port it to grid with just a few lines of CSS Grid.

CSS Grid by Mauricio Mantilla
View on CodePen

Katherine Kato

A portfolio website layout made with CSS Grid and Flexbox as a fallback.

CSS Grid by Katherine Kato
View on CodePen

Donny Truong

A minimalistic blog layout comes from Donny Truong.

CSS Grid by Donny Truong
View demo

Anenth Vishnu

A responsive app layout based on Grid.

CSS Grid by Anenth Vishnu
View on CodePen

Amy Carney

A basic layout (with IE fallbacks and web accessibility in mind) that may be useful for getting projects started or migrated.

CSS Grid by Amy Carney
View on CodePen

Nurçin Özer

Nurçin Özer submitted a basic blog layout.

CSS Grid by Nurçin Özer
View on CodePen

Remy Oleszczuk

Inspired by the BBC SPORT landing page.

CSS Grid by Remy Oleszczuk
View on CodePen

Patryk Kalwas

CSS Grid by Patryk Kalwas
View on CodePen

Jesús Olazagoitia

CSS Grid by Jesús Olazagoitia
View on CodePen

Dóra Pölöskei

CSS Grid by Dóra Pölöskei
View on CodePen

Vivek Singh

CSS Grid by Vivek Singh
View on CodePen

Pranjal Nadhani

CSS Grid by Pranjal Nadhani
View on CodePen

Mathias Herrebaut

CSS Grid by Mathias Herrebaut
View on CodePen

Noel Tekiri

CSS Grid by Noel Tekiri
View in action

Aurélie Deschacht

CSS Grid by Aurélie Deschacht
Download project ZIP file

Jonathan Harrell

CSS Grid by Jonathan Harrell
View in action
Name Submission
Amy DeVoogd Preview template
Anenth Preview template
Tyler Argo Preview template
Arturo Ríos Preview template
Aurélie Deschacht Download template
Kev Bonett Preview template
Bob Mitro Preview template
Amy Carney Preview template
Dannie Vinther Preview template
Donny Truong Preview template
Dóra Pölöskei Preview template
Erik Davidsson Preview template
Ethan Horger Preview template
Jonathan Harrell Preview template
Ieva Ozolīte Preview template
Ismail Ghallou Preview template
Jesús Olazagoitia Preview template
Juan Garcia Preview template
Katherine Kato Preview template
Marissa Douglass Preview template
Mathias Herrebaut Preview template
Mauricio Mantilla Preview template
Melissa Bogemanns Download template
Robert Mion Preview template
Nelson Leite Preview template
Patryk Kalwas Preview template
Pranjal Nadhani Preview template
Mathieu Preview template
Nurçin Özer Preview template
Remy Oleszczuk Preview template
Ren Aysha Preview template
Mark McMurray Preview template
Sven Rothe Preview template
Sam Beckham Preview template
Charles Sejikco Preview template
Tanya Syrygina Preview template
Noel Tekiri Preview template
Trang Nguyen Preview template
Vivek Singh Preview template

Getting Started With CSS Grid

Last but not least, before you dive right into the challenge, here are some helpful resources to kick-start your CSS Grid adventure.

Resources and References

Ever thought of building an interactive cookbook with CSS Grid? Marissa Douglass did.

CSS Grid by Marissa Douglass
View on CodePen

Melissa Bogemanns

A photo showcase made with CSS Grid. Available as .zip (6MB)

CSS Grid by Melissa Bogemanns

Tyler Argo

Tyler Argo re-built the Google Play Store layout from scratch using CSS Grid with fallbacks. It works all the way back to IE9 and is even more responsive than the original site.

CSS Grid by Tyler Argo
View on CodePen

Mauricio Mantilla

This layout is based on a website that was designed by the company where Mauricio works at. He took part of the layout, which is based on Packery (Masonry) and port it to grid with just a few lines of CSS Grid.

CSS Grid by Mauricio Mantilla
View on CodePen

Katherine Kato

A portfolio website layout made with CSS Grid and Flexbox as a fallback.

CSS Grid by Katherine Kato
View on CodePen

Donny Truong

A minimalistic blog layout comes from Donny Truong.

CSS Grid by Donny Truong
View demo

Anenth Vishnu

A responsive app layout based on Grid.

CSS Grid by Anenth Vishnu
View on CodePen

Amy Carney

A basic layout (with IE fallbacks and web accessibility in mind) that may be useful for getting projects started or migrated.

CSS Grid by Amy Carney
View on CodePen

Nurçin Özer

Nurçin Özer submitted a basic blog layout.

CSS Grid by Nurçin Özer
View on CodePen

Remy Oleszczuk

Inspired by the BBC SPORT landing page.

CSS Grid by Remy Oleszczuk
View on CodePen

Patryk Kalwas

CSS Grid by Patryk Kalwas
View on CodePen

Jesús Olazagoitia

CSS Grid by Jesús Olazagoitia
View on CodePen

Dóra Pölöskei

CSS Grid by Dóra Pölöskei
View on CodePen

Vivek Singh

CSS Grid by Vivek Singh
View on CodePen

Pranjal Nadhani

CSS Grid by Pranjal Nadhani
View on CodePen

Mathias Herrebaut

CSS Grid by Mathias Herrebaut
View on CodePen

Noel Tekiri

CSS Grid by Noel Tekiri
View in action

Aurélie Deschacht

CSS Grid by Aurélie Deschacht
Download project ZIP file

Jonathan Harrell

CSS Grid by Jonathan Harrell
View in action
Name Submission
Amy DeVoogd Preview template
Anenth Preview template
Tyler Argo Preview template
Arturo Ríos Preview template
Aurélie Deschacht Download template
Kev Bonett Preview template
Bob Mitro Preview template
Amy Carney Preview template
Dannie Vinther Preview template
Donny Truong Preview template
Dóra Pölöskei Preview template
Erik Davidsson Preview template
Ethan Horger Preview template
Jonathan Harrell Preview template
Ieva Ozolīte Preview template
Ismail Ghallou Preview template
Jesús Olazagoitia Preview template
Juan Garcia Preview template
Katherine Kato Preview template
Marissa Douglass Preview template
Mathias Herrebaut Preview template
Mauricio Mantilla Preview template
Melissa Bogemanns Download template
Robert Mion Preview template
Nelson Leite Preview template
Patryk Kalwas Preview template
Pranjal Nadhani Preview template
Mathieu Preview template
Nurçin Özer Preview template
Remy Oleszczuk Preview template
Ren Aysha Preview template
Mark McMurray Preview template
Sven Rothe Preview template
Sam Beckham Preview template
Charles Sejikco Preview template
Tanya Syrygina Preview template
Noel Tekiri Preview template
Trang Nguyen Preview template
Vivek Singh Preview template

Getting Started With CSS Grid

Last but not least, before you dive right into the challenge, here are some helpful resources to kick-start your CSS Grid adventure.

Resources and References

Demos

Tutorials

Talks

Inspiration

Finally, to get your ideas flowing, some inspiring CodePen experiments that illustrate the magic of CSS Grid:

Responsive Magazine Layout
Responsive Magazine Layout by Heather Buchel
Minimalistic CSS Grid Layout
Minimalistic CSS Grid Layout by Nate Green
CSS Grid Layout and Comics
CSS Grid Layout and Comics by Envato Tuts+
Auto Hexagonal CSS Grid Layout
Auto Hexagonal CSS Grid Layout by Kseso
CSS Grid Layout with @support Flexbox Fallback
CSS Grid Layout with @support Flexbox Fallback by Gustaf Holm
Image Areas in CSS Grid Layout
Image Areas in CSS Grid Layout by Michael Gehrmann
Mondrian Art in CSS Grid
Mondrian Art in CSS Grid by Jen Simmons
CSS Grid Layout Slideshow
CSS Grid Layout Slideshow by Manoela Ilic

Are You Ready For The Next Challenge?

That’s right! There will be more challenges coming up very soon, and even more prizes to win! Keep an eye on the magazine or follow us on Twitter so you don’t miss out next time.

Smashing Editorial (ms, vf, il)