8 CSS & JavaScript Snippets for Creating Complex Gradients

Gradients are a true staple of web design. Their beauty lies in their versatility. Use them to make a big, bold statement. Or use them as an accent piece to create a mood.

The possibilities have never been greater. Modern CSS and JavaScript allow us to do more than mimic print design. We can use them to add movement and interactivity to the mix. But it goes deeper.

Gradients are no longer limited to container backgrounds. They can also style text content. It’s an opportunity to enhance headlines and calls to action.

So, what kinds of things can you do with gradients? We scanned the archives of CodePen to find eight great examples.


Grainy & Gradients Text Using color-mix by LukyVJ

This snippet uses the recent CSS color-mix property. The property simplifies the process of darkening, lightening, and desaturating colors. The result is a beautiful text gradient that allows the page background to come through. We don’t often associate gradients with graininess. But it works to perfection here.

See the Pen Grainy & Gradients text by LukyVJ

Single Element Gradient Background Patterns by Ana Tudor

Conic gradients add a unique twist to the element. The color transitions rotate around a center point. You can see it on display in this example. Each card sports a unique and intricate pattern.

See the Pen 1 element card background patterns (see description) by Ana Tudor

Animated Radial Gradient Pattern by Loktar

Gradients still make great backgrounds. And this animated presentation demonstrates how far they’ve come. It looks amazing. The relatively few lines of code that powers it are equally impressive.

See the Pen Moving Radial Gradient Pattern by Loktar

Single DIV Radial Gradient Swirl by Adam Argyle

How can a single div element contain so many colors? The magic is in multiple radial gradients. Four gradients start at the edges and meet in the middle. The result is a colorful delight.

See the Pen 4 Corner Radial Gradient Swirl by Adam Argyle

AI Prompt UI with Subtle Gradient by Vincent Durand

Check out the subtle gradient on this artificial intelligence (AI) interface. It cleverly mixes with glassmorphism to produce a unique aesthetic. The effect brings life to the page.

See the Pen Imagica – AI prompt UI by Vincent Durand

Radial Gradient Cursor Trailer by Uzo Awili

Here’s an example of gradients shining a light on a background image. Move your cursor and watch as it casts a bright pink hue. A tiny bit of CSS and JavaScript makes it work.

See the Pen Radial Gradient Cursor Trailer – Using Gradient Positioning by Uzo Awili

Magical CSS Blossoming Flowers at Night Md Usman Ansari

Gradients play a sizeable role in this “magical” snippet. They add dimension and allow the virtual plant life to fade into black. The CSS repeating-linear-gradient function simplifies the effect’s usage.

See the Pen CSS Blossoming Flowers at Magical Night by Md Usman Ansari

Complex Gradient Examples by Drew McConville

Combining multiple gradients into a CSS background can produce compelling results. Scroll through this snippet to see four such examples. You’ll find a mix of colors and gradient types. It may even convince you to do some experimentation.

See the Pen Complex Gradient Examples by Drew McConville

A Fresh Look at a Design Staple

There was a time when designers shied away from gradients. The era of flat design encouraged the use of solid colors. But we rightfully came back to them.

The examples above show that gradients are still a valuable tool. They add flavor to all sorts of design elements. And it seems like designers are constantly finding creative uses.

That speaks to their flexibility. You can tweak gradients in endless ways. Make them as simple or complex as you like.

Want to see even more CSS and JavaScript gradient ideas? Be sure to check out our CodePen collection!

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