This week Marie and Chris get together to chat about what’s been hot hot hot on CodePen lately. We’ve discovered there is a really taking to the creamy cardstock look, for one thing. Typography is always great, but we’re seeing more typographic trickery often including variable fonts. While not new, there are still loads of really wonderfully creative Pens using Three.js and p5.js. Neon-on-dark is a fresh look. We get into those and more, a bit sneakily as we can take an internal look at what the Top 100 might look like this year, but we can’t share those details too early!

Time Jumps

  • 00:24 Trending episode
  • 01:34 The web3 aesthetic
  • 03:33 Pen and ink on cardstock
  • 06:44 Variable fonts
  • 10:18 Ask the database what’s popping?
  • 11:42 Celebrating follower number
  • 12:49 ThreeJS and P5 processing
  • 20:08 Public documentation on what it takes to get picked
  • 26:33 CodePen Challenges


[Radio channel adjustment]

Announcer: Today, on CodePen Radio.

Chris Coyier: Hey, everybody. CodePen Radio #372. We're going to do--

Let's see. January, February, March, April, May, June... It's the 6th month and, last I checked, there's 12 months in a year, so it's kind of like the half-a-year check-in on CodePen trends. The person with the finger on the pulse of CodePen trends, Marie. How ya doin', Marie? Been a minute.

Marie Mosley: Hey, everybody. Yeah, it's been a while since I've been on the show. I think this is the third year in a row that we've done the halfway trend lookback.

Chris: Nice!

Marie: It's becoming a tradition here.

Chris: Yeah. It's nice to look at - I don't know - just to think about it for a little bit. You might recognize a trend subconsciously, or you might like a Pen and not know why exactly. Then when somebody mentions it out loud, you'd be like, "Oh, yeah. That is a bit of a thing going on right now."

I'm actually really quite the sucker for graphic design trend posts wherever they may be posted. Some of them are extra hot right now.

You have a bunch. We'll go through everything you have listed here, and we have identified some trends, so keep listening, for sure. You have some algorithmic ways of doing it and database query ways of doing it, which is pretty interesting.

Marie: Mm-hmm.


Chris: But here's an example of what I mean that you pointed out. It's one of these -- it's actually an article you pointed to called "The Web 3 Esthetic."

Marie: Yes.

Chris: Which is funny because, you know, what the hell does that mean?

Marie: It's not monkeys with baseball caps on. [Laughter]

Chris: No.

Marie: It's something else entirely.

Chris: Yeah, it's kind of like the homepages of Web 3-ish companies do, right?

Marie: Uh-huh.

Chris: There literally is an esthetic. I mean there's an esthetic to NFTs, but we'll just say let's skip that for a moment. We're talking about landing pages for other types of things.

Marie: Yeah.

Chris: One of them on here -- I think this transcends Web 3 a little bit, or has escaped it, or something because I think of how Tailwind really embraces this look. It's the gradient background of text.

Marie: Mm-hmm.

Chris: Not like a gradient and then you'll do knockout text on top of it. The text is the knockout revealing gradient behind it. It just got really popular. I think we're a little bit into this trend but, man, it was flippin' everywhere for a while.

Marie: Yeah. It looks cool. I like it. Yeah, and when I say Web 3, I also kind of mean that neon-y dark, you know, or like the blobby dark where it's like the deep purples, you know. It looks really cool. I like it a lot.

Also, it's interesting. A lot of the text is large blocky chunks of text, you know, high contrast. It's a cool look.

Chris: Well, when you don't really have that much to say, you've got to say it really big so it looks like you do.

Marie: [Laughter] Come on.

Chris: You know? Just saying. [Laughter]


Chris: Yeah, but I like the embrace of dark mode is cool, you know.

Marie: Mm-hmm.

Chris: Especially because CodePen did it first, you know.

Marie: Of course, yeah. That is one thing that's worth pointing out here. The dark neon, the dark gradient, all of that, where did you see that first, everybody?

Chris: [Laughter] Heck yeah!

Marie: Klare Frank, the Web 3 pioneer, right?


Chris: Yeah, indeed. Here's another one that you identified that I was like, "Ooh, she write!" which is this pen and ink esthetic over a creamy cardstock look.

Marie: Yes. Yeah, it looks like a card, and it's funny because it's almost the exact opposite of what we were just describing, the Web 3 look. It's brighter, but it's not ultrabright. It's very soft, very inviting. It looks like, you know, the fancy business cardstock or something like that. And it's got a pen and inky vibe, too.

Chris: Yeah.

Marie: It's strong blacks on a creamy soft color. Also, very nice looking. In fact, of the two, I think I'd say I like that one better, but they both look great.

Chris: Yeah! They do look great. I think it's kind of hard to pull off, too. There's some technical challenge to it because it's light mode, but you're using no white.

Marie: Mm-hmm. Yeah, exactly.

Chris: So, you have to be really considerate about what you're doing. Make sure white doesn't creep in because white would stand out on it and probably in an undesirable kind of way. You want the lightest color to be the lightest tones you pick.

Marie: Like ivory and very light grays and then regular dark black and then soft blacks, grays, things like that too.

Chris: Yeah.

Marie: A really nice look.

Chris: Sometimes there's texture, it looks like, but almost not usually. It almost implies texture or something.

Marie: Mm-hmm.

Chris: Which is cool because I think the texture might be too much of a throwback because there was definitely times of heavy texture on the Web, background-repeat image with some little paper squiggles or something.

Marie: Mm-hmm.

Chris: You'd be like, "Look! Texture! Soak in it."

Marie: Yeah. [Laughter]

Chris: This doesn't have that.

Marie: Yeah.

Chris: If there's any texture used, it's almost in the ink part, not the background part.


Marie: Yeah. Yeah, that's true. Yes, and some of it is almost like a Risograph style of printing too. It has elements of print, but it has its own digital identity, too. I think that's very cool.

Chris: Yeah. Good word, Risograph. That could be an alternate life for me, I feel like, because those machines are so cool. I could almost see being like, "Forget it. I'll just open my own Risograph business."

Marie: [Laughter]

Chris: You know? You run jobs for people and make your own zines and stuff.

Marie: Yeah. Totally.

Chris: It's like a photocopier, but it has real ink rollers in it, so there's--

Marie: Yes.

Chris: It's capable of producing kind of layers, which I'd like to see the Web embrace that even more so. We have all the tools. We have background blend mode. We have mixed blend mode. We have opacity, and all this stuff that invites a layered look.

Marie: Yeah, it borrows a little bit from screen print, Risograph, all that type of printing.

Chris: Uh-huh.

Marie: Yeah, you see it, like you said, blend modes and things like that. I'm really interested in seeing this emerge, and that one, the one that we were just talking about, the cardstock-y one, I don't know if it has a name yet, and I'm just starting to see it emerge. Maybe I just named it. It's cardstock style. [Laughter]

Chris: Cardstock. It's good. It's a good word for it.

Marie: Yeah.

Chris: Yeah.

Marie: Yeah.

Chris: Cardstock style.

Marie: I love it.

Chris: Marie coined it.

Marie: It looks great. Maybe....


Chris: Maybe. Yeah, but the first one you listed was a typography thing embracing the concept of variable fonts.

Marie: Mm-hmm.

Chris: Personally, I love to see it because variable fonts, they're not even that new, but support has deepened, and it's almost a thing in variable fonts where we've been waiting for -- I don't know if this is the right word -- the watershed moment or to go over the summit, like something is about to bust and people will actually start using variable fonts more. The technology is great, but for some reason, it hasn't really taken hold on the day-to-day front-end development yet.

Marie: Right.

Chris: But it's coming. Maybe it is now because I think Google Fonts has really -- and that's just such a big deal for Web type, like whatever they do is going to have a massive influence over what people do for Web typography. They have embraced variable fonts.

Marie: Yes.

Chris: And so, now that that's there, it's like, yeah, people are going to start using the crap out of it now.

Marie: Yeah, definitely. Actually, a couple of weeks back, in the Spark, one of the first Pens in the Spark was from Rob DiMarzo, and it's a thing where you can play with Roboto Flex, which is one of Google Fonts' variable fonts. It's really cool because, as you hover on the Pen, you can see the change in the font and it's playing along. I think it was eight axes of the font, so it really is a good way to visualize what's going on there.

I think you're right. We're just hitting a point where it's becoming more mainstream. But people have been working with variable fonts for years on CodePen, like Mandy Kerr was showing--

Chris: Yeah.

Marie: --very cool variable fonts things--

Chris: Yeah.

Marie: --like, what, five years ago?

Chris: Right.

Marie: So, a lot of the groundbreaking work happened here on CodePen. Now it's coming into mainstream, and so people are making even more stuff and making very interesting experiments, so it's really cool to see.

Chris: Yeah.

Marie: That's really growing this year. It's an area of expanded interest, definitely. People are really enjoying those types of Pens.


Chris: Yeah. Little things have to happen for it to break. Roboto Flex, I think, is one of those moments that people will look back on because Roboto used to ship as the Android. That was just the font on Android.

Marie: Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Chris: And so, now that it's what people reach for because it's super nice, it's battle-tested. I don't know if it's the font for Android anymore, but certainly evokes that feel. Yeah, it's just nice looking, so if there's a font that you already use because, back in those Mandy Kerr days of her showing off amazing demos, there were only a handful of fonts doing it.

Marie: Mm-hmm.

Chris: Some of them were like, "This font grows leaves out of its butt," or whatever.

Marie: Yeah. [Laughter]

Chris: You're like, "That's amazing, but that's very not day-to-day stuff."

Marie: Yes, very specific use. I do think there are broader use cases for variable fonts now.

Chris: Anyway, that'll be cool. Typography trickery beautifulness is not isolated to variable fonts.

Marie: Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Chris: We've mentioned the gradient behind it and stuff. Sure, that's cool, but anything cool typography-wise is a little hot right now. I hate to say it's a trend now because cool type stuff has always been cool.

Marie: Yeah, but it's been popular this year, and people are really doing interesting work.

Chris: Yep. Yep. One of the things we can do that we can't share with you, but we can do it, is ask our database for what's poppin' this year. The reason we won't share it with you because we'll share it a little bit on this show, but we do an end-of-year.

Marie: Yeah.

Chris: We can't break quorum here - or whatever - and tell you.

Marie: Well, we're also only at the six-month mark. We wouldn't want to disappoint someone by saying, "Oh, this is number one," and it's June.

Chris: Then they get blown out.

Marie: Then hit January and they're just blasting away. Exactly.

Chris: It's almost surely going to happen. You know? I would think half of this list -- I mean we should export it and compare just for fun.


Marie: Yeah, you're right. We should. Yeah. I think, looking at it, obviously having known what's popular and seen what's popular and what gets into Spark and all that type of thing--

Chris: Yeah.

Marie: --I do have a feeling for the things that probably will still be on this list by the end of the year. But, yeah, we've got six full months left for people to make a play for the list if they want to get on.

Chris: Yep. It looks like some classics in here. Any time there's kind of an obviously above and beyond effort, like, "Oh, my God. This looks like a complete website kind of vibe."

Marie: Mm-hmm.

Chris: Yeah, those are always going to have a ton of hearts because you can see your own, like, "What if our landing page was like this?"

Marie: Yes. Yeah.

Chris: That's what it sort of makes it feel like. Pretty cool.

I see a couple of "celebrating your follower number" Pens.

Marie: Mm-hmm.

Chris: For some reason, that always inspires people, doesn't it?

Marie: Yeah, and those are really fun. That kind of falls into the--

What's funny is it kind of falls into the type category because a lot of the time those are representing the number, animating it, and saying however many followers. "Thank you," and stuff like that.

Chris: Right.

Marie: The ones that get the most attention obviously, they kind of have a built-in audience because they've already got a lot of followers, which means that people already like their work. But also, it's attention-getting, and they're text choice is their font choices, and the design of it all play into this because we do see actually quite a lot of those types of Pens. It's kind of becoming a tradition to make a milestone Pen when you hit a follower mark.

Chris: I love that. You know so it's like, you're celebrating, and you're happy about it. Then I think that emotion kind of spreads into people seeing it, too. You know?

Marie: Yeah.

Chris: At least on CodePen, the vibe is to be excited for them.

Marie: Mm-hmm. Definitely.

Chris: Not to be like, "Meh!"

Marie: [Laughter] Yeah.

Chris: Jerky about it.

Marie: Well, if people are, they're keeping it to themselves.

Chris: What else are you seeing?


Marie: Another thing, this was big last year, too. I mean it's been big for quite some time, but Three.js is really big this year, and P5.js (processing) is kind of making a bit of a comeback, I'd almost say. It's always been part of CodePen, what people were with in the CodePen community, but it's starting to make a resurgence.

I think more people are experimenting with generative art, generative design, and I think that this is coming from that field. We have some newcomers who are doing some really interesting things with Three.js and P5, and then we also have people who have been with us for years and years who are just only getting better as they go. Some of our most talented people who have been on the list in previous years, I can tell they're going to be on again, and it's because they're doing even better stuff now.

Chris: Yeah? Yeah. That's cool. Yeah, generative has certainly taken hold a bit, isn't it?

Marie: Mm-hmm. Yeah.


Chris: I've done what I can to encourage it because I feel like any time you do something where you're producing art in the style of CodePen - or whatever - where it's just - I don't know - sometimes art for art sake, in a way.

Marie: Mm-hmm.

Chris: But you're like, "Oh, I'm going to programmatically put my Pen here and draw it 100 pixels to the right," or whatever. You're like, "Hmm. What if it was random pixels between 50 and 200 to the right instead?" You know? Or "What if this color was randomatically generated?"

Randomatically? Is that--?

Marie: [Laughter] I like that one.

Chris: Yeah. [Laughter] But designed to be pleasing in some way. It's almost for you. Even if you are happy with one particular final look, maybe while you were building it, you left it programmatic so that rather than you editing JavaScript necessarily to change the color, that it was either randomized or you gave yourself a little knob, slider, or something to control the numbers so that you're giving yourself this opportunity for serendipity. You know? I don't know.

Marie: Yeah.

Chris: I always felt strongly about that, like, make it random or make it controllable because you never know what you're going to get.

Marie: Yeah. We see that a lot with popular Three.js Pens. A lot of the time people will put in that dat.gui, the little controller thingy.

Chris: Yeah. Right.

Marie: And so what's neat about that is that not only is it flexible for you, the creator, but also anybody checking it out can also just play with it and really customize things. Then they can kind of start to understand what they're looking at and what they're working with.

If you're thinking about getting into these things, like Three.js and all of that, taking a look at these Pens that have these controls on them really helps you get a picture of how this all works because you are manipulating things just with a slider, but that is represented in the code, too. The things that you are manipulating through this UI, you could start to understand, okay, this does this inside of this design. This does this inside of this animation. That's what I would change if I were writing this in code.


Marie: Another thing that I think is interesting here is that, in the past, one of the biggest trends on CodePen was CSS Illustration. A lot of the time, people would really enjoy the CSS illustrations, but then you'd also see people getting feedback where it was like, "Why would you do this in CSS?"

Chris: [Laughter] Yeah.

Marie: Our perspective on that was always, first of all, why not? Because you can. But also, because when you do something like that in CSS, you learn how it works. It's not necessarily practical to draw a flower with CSS when you could, of course, do it with SVG or draw it on a piece of paper if you really wanted to. But you learn in that way.

And so, I think what's happening now is that a lot of people are beginning to experiment with Three.js in a way to understand JavaScript, to do something that is visually interesting with JavaScript and get visually brought into using JavaScript. So, we're seeing a lot of newcomers come in who are trying JavaScript for the first time. Sometimes they were people who were good with CSS, or sometimes they're just brand new newcomers, just in general. This is their toe into the world of JavaScript.

We are seeing not necessarily practical creations. A lot of the time it's just very psychedelic visual or just change in color, blobs moving around, whatever. But it's a learning experience for people that's fun, and it's also very cool for people to look at so they become popular.

I do find it funny, though, that nobody is ever, "Why did you do this with JavaScript?" [Laughter] You know? Because it's not practical.

Chris: Yeah.

Marie: You know. But I guess the difference is that people--

Chris: As long as there's JavaScript involved, it's okay.

Marie: Right. It's serious enough. Exactly, yeah. I do kind of think that's funny, just the dichotomy there.

Chris: Yeah.


Marie: But I also think it's fun to see people doing this. To see people come into the world of programming from a very artistic perspective is really fun. We're seeing artists that were just traditional visual artists, people who were doing things even in the physical world, were doing things with Procreate, Photoshop, or anything like that, starting to experiment with JavaScript through these means, through Three.js, through P5, through all these kind of more visual versions of JavaScript. So, it's a really cool new thing - in the last couple of years, a new thing. Then in this past year, I think we've seen a new wave and a new resurgence. Like I said, P5 seems to be coming back. So, there's growth there, and it's a really exciting time to be around that.

Chris: Yeah. I've always liked the idea that if you do this type of experimentation -- whatever it is -- that your skill level goes up.

Marie: Yes, exactly.

Chris: You know?

Marie: Yeah.

Chris: You already said that, so I'm not trying to resay what you said, but I've talked to people on this show who defend it in that way, CodePen users, and I love that because it feels like -- I don't know. Shut up. I'm trying to find the right words for it.

Marie: [Laughter]

Chris: You're like, "Who do you think is better at CSS, like objectively, the person who is experimenting and doing "impractical things," having fun, and writing code, or is it the person going, "Meh"? Guess what. It's the former.

Marie: [Laughter] Exactly. It's always the person who is down in the thing doing it. The hater, you know, that's very easy. [Laughter] It's the easiest thing in the world. You know?

Nothing is easier than a mean tweet.

Chris: [Laughter] Yeah.

Marie: When you actually get in there and get your hands dirty and work with something, even if you make something goofy, the whole thing is you were working with it the whole time. You understand better what you're working with, even if you made something goofy. So, keep making goofy stuff. I love it.

Chris: Goof it up.

Marie: And I'm the one who makes picks on CodePen, so keep it up. [Laughter]


Chris: Yeah. Speaking of that, we have public documentation on what it takes to get a Pen picked. If this is the first show that you're listening to on this podcast where we -- I don't know -- you haven't heard us talk about that before, let me just quickly say that having picked Pens on CodePen is, I guess, in our opinion, not the world's highest bar. If you put some effort and time behind your thing and try to do a good job and such, the chances of your Pen getting picked is pretty high, right?

Marie: Mm-hmm.

Chris: It's not this mountain to climb, and that's on purpose. We like showcasing new people's work. There's just all kinds of stuff, right?

To make the top 100 or something for the year, those Pens definitely there's a bit of a higher bar there, especially as CodePen grows. But the pick thing is meant to be a wider array of stuff. So, please, let us know about Pens that you make, if you want to.

For example, sharing it on Twitter and tagging #codepen. We literally see every single tweet that's hashtagged that, or even just shares a CodePen link in it.

Marie: Mm-hmm. Yep. Yeah.

Chris: That's a pretty good way. It used to be almost bigger than it is now. I feel like we are tooling for finding pickable stuff is different than just tweet it, these days.

Marie: Right. Yeah. We used to be kind of vague with how to get picked because the fact was we were kind of vague on how we picked things.


Chris: Yeah. Sure.

Marie: Yeah, it used to be much more Twitter driven than it is now. Now, and we've put this in the public documentation because we want people to know, if you want to be seen by the people who pick Pens on CodePen, here's what to do.

Giving your Pen a title is right off the bat it makes it easier for us to find it. Adding a description makes it even easier. Then we also have tagging, which you can do in your settings of your Pen. If you add a relevant tag to your Pen, it'll come up for us when we're looking for Pens in that category, and we do that a lot.

Chris: Mm-hmm.

Marie: We have the CodePen topics section, which has lots of curated collections that have Pens that fit different tags, and I'm in there all the time looking for stuff that fits. It doesn't have to be brand new. You can tag older things. We'll see it.

Chris: Yeah. You don't even know all the ways. I'm just saying, for people listening, Marie might write a query where just having a tag at all happens to be part of the query. I don't even know if that's 100% true, but I think it is.

Marie: Mm-hmm. Yes.

Chris: Right?

Marie: Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Chris: You're not just saying, "Oh, do they really look at tags?" or whatever. You don't even know. We might change this stuff all the time.

Marie: [Laughter]

Chris: We might make a little internal dashboard that says, "Show me all Pens that have X, Y, and Z, and Z has at least one tag."

Marie: Mm-hmm. Exactly. It used to be that we had a real haystack here and absolutely no way to find needles.

Chris: Yeah.

Marie: Now I've got a metal detector.


Marie: We're finding all of them needles now.

Chris: Yeah.

Marie: We are working harder to surface better work. We are working harder to surface more work. We're also trying to make it easier for people who want us to see their work to show it to us without a need to post elsewhere. Although, what I will say is that if you do post elsewhere, and you develop an audience in other places, you do have a better shot -- if it's a goal of yours -- of getting onto the top 100 because people who drive traffic and hearts to their Pens have a tendency to get up onto the top 100 because they do things like repeatedly share their content. People see it again and maybe heart it when they drop in.

Chris: Mm-hmm.

Marie: You don't have to be promoting your work elsewhere, but it does help if being on the top 100 is your goal. If all you want to do is get picked, you've just got to help us find it, and so a title, description, tags - that all helps.

Also, if you want to get seen by the people who pick, participating in a challenge is very helpful because we look very closely at the work that's done for every challenge. Those are very, very easy ways to get seen.

If you don't get picked, it doesn't mean that it's not good work. Sometimes things happen and we miss stuff. We have a lot of work coming our way these days, but we are getting better at finding more stuff and surfacing more stuff for everybody to see because it's important that the community gets to see what's being made on CodePen, to see what's new.


Chris: Yep. If you also didn't realize this or have been away from CodePen for a long time - or something - there used to just be a section where you could just look at picks only, and that's just not there anymore. But that was on purpose. The picks are still very heavily surfaced. They just happen to be in the trending tab on the homepage when you are logged in. It's basically just two feeds: on algorithmic and one picked. They're smooshed together, and that's what trending is.

Marie: Mm-hmm.

Chris: Pretty much every page, there are one or two picked Pens on it as you scroll through. That's our way of surfacing it. But if you're looking for just picks, we actually don't deliver that anymore.

Marie: No, but there is the Spark, and that's where the top of the top is.

Chris: Yeah. It's like the best-picked Pens of the week, in a way.

Marie: The super picks, yeah.

Chris: Yeah.

Marie: That's the Spark, and so we have the Spark archive going all the way back to the very beginning of the Spark. It's just You can see what's hot this week and every week past.

Chris: Yeah. You can paginate through those. Those are kind of super picks. Yeah, that's a very good point. We even have for kind of a slower-picked thing.

Marie: Mm-hmm.

Chris: There's no regularity to it. It's basically when Marie or I feel like putting some stuff on there.

Marie: Yeah, when we have the time. I always think of that as more of like our museum feed.

Chris: Yeah.

Marie: That's the really visually stunning stuff. That's the stuff you put over there.

Chris: Yeah. Yeah. There's no science to it.

Marie: No, not at all.

Chris: It's just like, "This looks fun right now." [Laughter]

Marie: This is, "I like this one, and I can cut a clean loop of it. I'm going to put it up." [Laughter]


Chris: Yeah. Totally. That's cool.

Yeah, you glossed over it, but I'll underscore it again that, Marie, you also run challenges as well. The challenges are not to solve this algorithm - that kind of challenge. The point is, challenge yourself to make something with the prompt that you're given.

We have a monthly theme, and then there is a sub-theme each week. Each week also has resources and ideas for you to tackle. We give you all of that. Sometimes, there's even a base Pen that you can start with, so there's just as much as we can possibly give you to start flexing some code creative muscles, and lots of people do it every week.

Marie: Yes.

Chris: You'll be in good company, and you can follow along on that tag. There's a collection built at the end of the week showcasing all of the best ones. And it's just fun.

There's enough value in just doing it, I think, alone. But interesting statistic, right?

Marie: Mm-hmm. Yes.

Chris: Ten percent.

Marie: Ten percent of last year's top 100 were challenge pens.

Chris: Wow!

Marie: Lots of people who see and do follower celebrations have been part of the challenge community. We've seen multiple people rise from absolute beginners to top of the top, making the top 100, spending a lot of time in the Spark because they got themselves going with challenges. I think that's super awesome. That's very exciting for me, in part because I wrote a lot of these challenges, but also just because it's so cool to see people really grow over time and get to know their work as they're just blossoming as developers. It's really cool.

Chris: Yep. That is cool. I mean come on. That can be a true path to success is starting with CodePen challenges.

Marie: Mm-hmm.

Chris: Why don't we wrap up. Can we identify another trend or two before we do, because that's kind of what the show is about?


Marie: I don't know. What are you seeing? I've named off everything I saw.


Chris: Okay. I mean there are just so many high-quality things. Certainly, geometric stuff I'm seeing. I don't know. I don't want to just pull stuff out of the air if I can't corroborate it with lots of good details, but I think we covered plenty of stuff anyway.

Marie: Oh, yeah. I could say that my favorite is the cardstock style, as I named it earlier in the show.

Chris: Yeah.

Marie: I'd love to see more of that, that pen and ink, juicy cardstock. I love it. Show me more. [Laughter]

Chris: When I interview people on the show, the thing I find myself homing in on is when a Pen really does above and beyond good, it's usually for some reason where they just go the extra mile. There's just a little something that's like, "Oh, man. This doubled the amount of time it took me to do this, but it added just a little something that takes it to the next level."

Marie: Yes.

Chris: You know?

Marie: Yes, je ne sais quoi factor, which you can't always put your finger on.

Chris: Yeah, like there's a little animation, but you're like, "Oh, this animation actually has a really custom cubic Bezier on it that gives it this special feel or something.

Marie: Mm-hmm.

Chris: We see Pens that are really good that somehow still miss that last little spark.

Marie: Yeah, and one thing that's worth mentioning there, when you talk about that, when you talk about working on something for a while, kind of perfecting it before you put it out there, if you start working on a Pen and it's private, when you turn it to public, that's when it goes out to the feeds. That's when it's visible to us as pickers. That's when it's visible to your followers, so take your time. Feel free to take your time and put it out there when it's ready because that's when it becomes available to the world, and it won't be buried.

In the past, a couple of years ago now -- I mean it's been a few years -- it used to be that a private Pen was just pinned to its creation date, and it would not really show up in the current feed.

Chris: Right.

Marie: But now it's when you flip the switch to public, that's when it becomes something that people can see, so keep that in mind.

Chris: Wow! That's a pretty reason to go pro on CodePen.

Marie: You know you're right. That is a good reason to go pro because then you can use privacy.

Chris: I'll say. All right. Thanks, Marie.

Marie: All right. Thanks for listening, everyone. Bye-bye.

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