Jon's Programming Blog

CSS Media Object

I just finished attending the RockIt Bootcamp (12 week program). It’s a program that teaches the LAMP full stack development (Linux, Apache, mySQL, PHP). In the next little while I will be going over some of the things which I learned.

The css media object was first coined by Nicole Sullivan in 2010. It is still one of the most basic constructs to learn and understand in created good CSS content.

The media object is basically a box with two other boxes side by side in the main box. Typically the box to the left is a picture and the box to the right is content, but can be anything.

<div class="media">
  <img src="/images/my-cool-mug.png" alt="A pic of me">
    <p>Some written content in the media object.</p>
    <p>Look, another paragraph in the media object!</p>

The media object css gives padding and margins to the objects that make them look nice and make the picture fit correctly. It also does a clearfix so the outside box doesn’t collapse to a smaller area than its content.

Some of the code I made specifically for this example, but in practice you would not put everything in the media class. E.g., the width of the media element would be decided somewhere else, make the media class more reusable.

/* Give the media object a shape. Add */
/* padding just to make it look nice. */
.media {
  padding: 10px;
  width: 300px;
/* clearfix */
.media::after {
  content: '';
  display: block;
  clear: both;
.media > * {
  padding: 0;
  margin: 0;
.media > *:first-child {
  float: left;
/* Make all content be past the picture. */
.media > *:last-child {
  margin-left: 110px;
/* The following is just to make */
/* the paragraphs look nice. */
.media > *:last-child > * {
  margin: 0 0 10px 0;
.media > *:last-child > *:last-child {
  margin-bottom: 0;
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