Cloudinary Blog

Adding borders to images

Graphic designers often contemplate whether to add borders to their website elements. The decision of whether to add borders around frames, buttons and text elements really depends on the feeling the designer is trying to convey through the design. 
In this blog post we wanted to tell you about a new cloud-based transformation available through Cloudinary - adding borders to images. Yes, you can use CSS3 or image masks to simulate borders around images, but the first is supported only on modern browsers and the latter clutters the HTML. In addition, if you plan on embedding images in emails or documents you can pretty much say goodbye to borders (certainly for images with rounded corners). For such cases, you can use Cloudinary's extremely simple image transformation API to add borders directly to the original image.
Consider the following photo. It was uploaded to Cloudinary using 'autumn_leaves' as its public ID:
Adding a border around the image is straightforward. Simply specify the 'border' parameter ('bo' for URLs) using a CSS-like format. In the following example '4px_solid_black' means a 4 pixels wide black border.
Same example in Ruby on Rails:
<% cl_image_tag("autumn_leaves.jpg", :width => 0.15, :crop => :scale, 
                :border => { :width => 4, :color => 'black' }) %>
The border's color component also accepts RGB format. The following example rounds the corners of the image using the 'radius' parameter ('r' for URLs) and adds a 6 pixels solid green border ('#00390b').
Same example in PHP:
<?php echo cl_image_tag("autumn_leaves.jpg", array("width" => 0.15, "crop" => "scale", 
       "radius" => 20, "border" => array("width" => 6, "color" => "#00390b"))) ?>
Cloudinary also supports adding semi-transparent borders. This is accomplished using the RGBA color format. The Alpha hex value ranges between 00 (fully transparent), to FF (opaque). The following example generates a semi transparent 10 pixels wide green border. We also use Cloudinary's chained transformations to make the image elliptic ('max' radius), rotate the image by 5 degrees and add an underlay blue background image (while resizing it and increasing its brightness).
Same example in Django:
import cloudinary
img = cloudinary.CloudinaryImage("autumn_leaves.jpg")
          dict(width=0.15, crop='scale', radius='max', 
               border=dict(width=10, color='#00390b60')), 
          dict(underlay='site_bg', width=250, height=200, effects='brightness:50')])
And one last example - the following URL generates an image based on a Facebook profile picture that was automatically fetched by Cloudinary. The image is resized and rounded, and a black border is added. We then use an overlay to add Cloudinary's logo with a semi-transparent wide border. As with all of the Cloudinary managed images, the resulting image is persistently stored in the Cloud and then delivered and cached through a fast CDN.
By the way, you can also add the border as an incoming transformation so the original image is stored in the cloud already with the border. Here's such an incoming transformation, this time in Node.js:
cloudinary.image("itail.jpg", { type: 'facebook', transformation: [
                 { crop: 'fill', width: 150, height: 180, radius: 10, 
                   border: { width: 2, color: 'black'}},
                 { overlay: 'cloudinary_logo_white', width: 90, 
                   gravity: 'south_east', radius: 5, y: 7, x: 7, 
                   border: { width: 6, color: '#afcee990'}}]})


If you are a regular reader of our blog, you know that Cloudinary keeps enhancing on various fronts. One of these fronts is our ever increasing set of image manipulation capabilities. In this blog we introduced a cool new enhancement that you might find useful. We have more in our pipeline. If you want to see a new image manipulation capability added to Cloudinary, just drop us a line.

Recent Blog Posts

Using smart-cropping for automatic art direction

Note: this article was originally published in Smashing Magazine.

Four years ago, Jason Grigsby asked a surprisingly difficult question: How do you pick responsive images breakpoints? A year later, he had an answer: ideally, we’d set responsive image performance budgets to achieve “sensible jumps in file size”. Cloudinary built a tool that implemented this idea, and the response from the community was universal: “Great! Now – what else can it do?” Today, we have an answer: art direction!

Read more
As video use and requirements grow - so do the challenges
Video is an increasingly important component for websites and apps, as consumer demand for and consumption of video content is growing. It’s not only for wired devices, though. More and more, consumers are accessing video where they want it, when they want it, on whatever device that happens to be nearby.
Read more
An interview with Jason Grigsby about Responsive Images

In the conclusion of this three-part interview the Jason Grigsby, we examine what the future may hold for images on the web. Previously: Part 1, Part 2.

EP: I want to go back to the idea that we started with, that images are fundamentally complicated; that they’ll always present us with problems. What do you think we are going to be working on and talking about in five-to-10 years with regard to images?

Read more
Improve user experience with responsive websites and applications
This article originally appeared on Inc. Magazine and is reprinted with permission.

Back in the day, responsive website design wasn't the business imperative that it is now. In fact, just having a functioning website was all that it took to set you apart, and if it had images that loaded correctly within a few minutes, then that was a nice bonus. Needless to say, but I'll say it anyway, those days are long gone.
Read more