Taking the next step of our responsive layout coverage (we recently published the articles Responsive WordPress Themes and jQuery Plugins to help with Responsive Layouts), today we are taking a look at responsive CSS frameworks that we feel are worth your consideration.
Just like most CSS frameworks, all of the frameworks below will help you rapidly develop sites by eliminating the need to write basic CSS styles yourself, as you would expect. But, on top of that, they also come with a responsive layout helping you to quickly and easily create mobile-specific sites.
The Less Framework contains 4 adaptive layouts and 3 sets of typography presets, all based on a single grid, composed of 68 px columns with 24 px gutters. The idea is to first code the Default Layout (992 px), and then use CSS3 media queries to code several child layouts: 768, 480, and 320 px. The Default Layout will be served to any browsers that do not support media queries, whereas the child layouts will be served, as appropriate, to browsers that do.
Less Framework 4GitHub
Foundation is a a 12-column, future-friendly responsive grid framework that includes dozens of styles and elements to help you quickly put together clickable prototypes, that can then be adapted and styled into polished production code.
Foundation lets you quickly put together page layouts for mobile devices and the desktop. You don't need two different sites – the Grid is built to create a rock-solid experience on all kinds of devices with the exact same markup.
The responsive MQFramework, based on a 12 column grid, has been structured to suit different needs, be it from a new project to fitting into an existing project with very little changes to the code. One CSS file imports the framework files and a custom stylesheet for the design of your site. It utilises the @media property to allow you to design your sites for browsers of all sizes.
The Golden Grid System is a folding grid system for responsive design. It splits the screen into 18 even columns. The leftmost and rightmost columns are used as the outer margins of the grid, which leaves 16 columns for use in design. The 16 columns can be combined, or folded, into 8 columns for tablet-sized screens, and into 4 columns for mobile-sized ones. This way GGS can easily cover any screen sizes from 240 up to 2560 pixels.
It comes with folding columns, elastic gutters, a zoomable baseline grid, and the Golden Gridlet a little script that adds a button into the upper right corner of the page. When clicked or tapped, it overlays the GGS grid and a baseline grid of 1.5em onto the page, making it easy to visually check that design elements align up.
Golden Grid System HomeGitHub
Fluid Baseline Grid
The Fluid Baseline Grid system was built with typographic standards in mind and combines the key principals of fluid-column layouts, baseline grids and mobile-first responsive design into a resolution independent and device agnostic framework.
It is packed with CSS normalization, beautiful typographic standards, corrected bugs and common browser inconsistencies.
Fluid Baseline Grid HomeGitHub
Columnal, a 1140px wide grid system, has been inspired by the cssgrid.net and 960.gs. It makes web design easier by making your grids fluid, dynamically changing based on the browser size and switching to a mobile-style layout if the width is small enough. The grid is divided horizontally into a series of 12 columns, and vertically into rows. 12 columns divide nicely into equal columns of two, three, four, or six columns.
The Semantic Grid System is a responsive grid system that lets you set column and gutter widths, choose the number of columns, and switch between pixels and percentages without any ugly .grid_x classes in your markup.
The Semantic Grid System Home
The 1140px CSS Grid has been designed to fit perfectly with a 1280px screen, becoming fluid for smaller screens, beyond a certain point it uses media queries to serve up a mobile version.
The actual grid consists of twelve columns, evenly divided by either two, three, four or six. It works with all major browsers, with the exception of IE6, which does not support max-width (it will span the full width of the browser).
The 1140px CSS Grid System Home
Skeleton is a small collection of CSS & JS files that has a lightweight 960 grid as its base that seemlessly scales down to downsized browser windows, tablets, mobile phones (in both landscape and portrait).
320 and Up prevents mobile devices from downloading desktop assets by using a tiny screen’s stylesheet as its starting point. It starts with a tiny screen stylesheet that contains only reset, colour and typography styles. Media Queries then load assets and layout styles progressively and only as they’re needed.
320 and Up HomeGitHub
The Goldilocks Approach
The Goldilocks Approach uses a combination of Ems, Max-Width, Media Queries and Pattern Translations to consider just three states that allow your designs to be resolution independent.
It is a minimal framework that includes well commented CSS files that consider 3 CSS Media Query increments (multi column, narrow column and single column) and an HTML boilerplate file to get you started.
The Goldilocks Approach HomeGitHub
inuit.css is a lightweight, responsive and constantly updated CSS framework which gives you a pragmatic and feature-rich starting point for all your projects. It is crammed full of useful snippets and has additional plugins to extend its usefulness further.
BluCSS is a lightweight CSS framework designed with ease of use and simplicity in mind. It is also extremely responsive with four distinct stages: Desktop screen, laptop, tablet, and mobile.
There are 10 columns in BluCSS, and each has a width specified in percentages. Because of this, they resize automatically to fit into their parent container. In this way, you aren't restricted to just using the built-in "container" div. You can create smaller containers, and use BluCSS inside them with no changes whatsoever.
Gridless is an HTML5 and CSS3 boilerplate for making future-proof responsive websites. You can easily create responsive, cross-browser websites with beautiful typography. It is simple and straightforward and doesn’t come with any predefined grid systems or non-semantic classes.