Ja! by Andreas Samuelsson

code | May 5, 2014

See the Pen Ja! by Andreas Samuelsson by Katy DeCorah (@katydecorah) on CodePen.

Ja! by Andreas Samuelsson

I stumbled upon “Ja!” on Pinterest over the weekend. The bright colors and striking shadow drew me in. I decided to code it out with a Sass function.

Getting started

I started by grabbing the code from my first ever Sass function, DotMama. I striped it down and adjusted the values to output for text-shadow. The new function, shadow(), generates many, cascading shadow rules and gives the appearance of one chunky shadow.

@include text-shadow(shadow(#ff5c31, 0, 0.1em));

The function accepts the color of the shadow, the position that the shadow should start, and the width of the shadow.

Spinning with @while

I started by using a @for loop to spin out the shadow values, but it limited my desired output. I wanted the shadow to stop at specific point allowing for customized shadow thickness. With a little digging, I found that @while is much more suitable for this situation. I altered my function to stop adding shadow values once the x value of the shadow equals the value of the shadow width.

Start shadow

I can also tell the function where I want the shadow to start. This value provides an interesting degree of depth, but I have it set to 0.

Below is a demonstration of the shadow start in use.

start shadow demo

(Please laugh in a Spanish accent in cadence with the animation above before continuing with this post.)

Pixels vs ems

I started out by using relative units because an 1px increment will result in the smoothest shadow. I wanted the project to scale proportionately based on font-size, so I shifted the values to allow for ems.

Below, I blew up the project to show the difference between the two units. The left uses pixels and the right uses ems.

px-em

While the ems are less smooth, it will generate significantly less code than pixels.

ja-px-em-values

Using ems looks a little less romantic because the function values must be teeny decimals, but slimer, scalable code is ace.

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