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CSSInstaglam is a CSS library (compiled from LESS) that creates a simple API for using and animating CSS filter effects in your projects.


You can see the CSSInstaglam live demo here. Additionally, you can clone the repo and look at the demo inside of the src directory. See the "Development" section below.

Adding CSSInstaglam to your project

CSSInstaglam can be installed using npm:

$ npm install css-instaglam --save

There is also legacy support for Bower, but it is not being actively maintained for this project:

$ bower install css-instaglam --save

From the package, you can use either dist/cssinstaglam.css or the minified dist/cssinstaglam.min.css. If you wish to compile the LESS files yourself in the project, you can grab all the files inside of the src/less directory. Then include the file in your project in whatever way your prefer-- the simplest ways will be either via a HTML link element, or a CSS @import statment.

HTML link element:

<link rel="stylesheet" href="{PATH_TO_YOUR_CSS_ASSETS}/cssinstaglam.min.css">

HTML link element

@import url("{PATH_TO_YOUR_CSS_ASSETS}/cssinstaglam.min.css");

Using CSSInstaglam

CSSInstaglam works by providing classes that correlate to CSS filters, as well as some syntactic sugar for handling hover states, intensity of effect and animation of the effect.

FX Classes

Classes that correlate to filter effects-- intensity defaults to medium (insta-medium)

  • insta-blur
  • insta-brighten
  • insta-darken (inversion of brighten-- sub 100%)
  • insta-contrast
  • insta-decontrast (inversion of contrast-- sub 100%)
  • insta-grayscale
  • insta-invert
  • insta-opacity (inverted class)
  • insta-saturate
  • insta-desaturate (inversion of saturate-- sub 100%)
  • insta-sepia

FX Intensity Classes

Classes that control the intensity of the applied effect (reversed for the only inverted class-- insta-opacity)

  • insta-none
  • insta-small
  • insta-medium
  • insta-large
  • insta-mega

Hover/Unhover Classes

Used to force effect to be applied or unapplied based on hover.

  • insta-hover - no effect is applied until the element or elements are hovered over by the cursor
  • insta-unhover - effect is applied only when the element or elements are not being hovered over by the cursor

Animation Classes

When present, effect will animate when changing at speed chosen. Generally to be used in conjunction with insta-hover/insta-unhover classes

  • insta-reallyfast
  • insta-fast
  • insta-slow
  • insta-lazy

Pending implementation

The hue and drop-shadow filter values have not yet been implemented by this library-- they are somewhat different then the other filter effects, and deserve their own approach and implementation. If you have ideas for how this should be done, please feel free to leave a comment or clone the repo and give it a shot. You can learn more in the Development section below.

Best Practices

While the insta- classes can be used directly on a target element, it is the recommendation of CSSInstaglam to use "wrapper-elements"-- divs or spans whose sole purpose is to wrap target HTML and apply CSSInstaglam filter effects to the target.


<div class="insta-blur insta-mega">
    <p>Some mega-blurry text.</p>
    <img src="myblurrypicture.jpg" />

Multiple Effects

When using the "wrapper-elements" approach as described above in the Best Practices section, multiple effects is as simple as adding additional wrapper elements-- each wrapper element can have a unique intensity of effect, hover/unhover/nonhover state and animation. Using multiple FX classes on a single element will not work. Because additional filter property values replace instead of behaving in an additive manor, generating a CSS file to account for every possible combination of classes would have become prohibitively large.

The below example shows an image that is 100% grayscale and medium blurry when not hovered over by the cursor; when hovered over, color will return to the image quickly but the blurring effect will dissapate more slowly:

<span class="insta-grayscale insta-mega insta-fast insta-unhover">
    <span class="insta-blur insta-medium insta-unhover insta-slow">
        <img src="img/rocket_blimp_launch.png"/>

Browser Support

-moz, -webkit, -ms and -o browser-prefixes are included for all filter rules. Testing is not fully completed, but this library is expected to work in all the major browsers except for Internet Explorer. Because of Microsoft's circuitous history with support of the CSS filter property, IE support is not particularly easy nor straightforward; in fact, it may not be possible. It is my goal to continue to research the topic and see if there is anyway that some of the library effects can be achieved in IE browsers utilizing Javascript, the canvas element and/or SVG effects. In the meantime, plan on graceful degradation for IE browsers. Research on IE implementation will eventually be pushed into a branch for development-- if anything is pushed into the master branch, it will be accompanied by an update to the as well as an incrementation of the version number.


If you want to get involved directly in development, you can fork and/or clone this repo and get started. Run npm install to install dev dependencies. You will also need to install http-server globally. In two seperate terminal windows at the top level domain of your cloned repo you will run two persistent commands:

  • grunt - this will start the default watch job, which will recompile the LESS into CSS everytime a .less file is saved
  • npm start - this will start a server for local development (check the terminal for the port) You can then work in the LESS files, and test changes in index.html.

Pending Features

Here are a few of the features that are slated for further research and development:

  • Internet Explorer support
  • Implementation of hue filter
  • Implementation of drop-shadow filter
  • Sass version of the library
  • More nuanced intensity controls
  • Class-controlled timing functions

Comments and Suggestions

If you have tweaks or suggestions or issues for CSSInstaglam, please feel free to leave comments or log issues here on the repo page. Thanks!




CSS Framework that provides a simple API for added filter effects to your HTML. Built in LESS.







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