Learn How to Create Rounded and Circular Images with CSS

In today’s web design, visual elements play a crucial role in captivating the audience. Rounded and circular images are popular design choices as they add a touch of elegance and modernity to websites. With the power of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), creating rounded and circular images has become easier than ever. In this article, we will explore step-by-step how to achieve this effect using CSS, along with illustrative code snippets.

1. Introduction to Rounded and Circular Images

Rounded and circular images are aesthetic design elements that can transform the overall look and feel of a website. Instead of the usual sharp-edged rectangular images, rounded and circular images offer a soft and friendly appearance, making them suitable for various contexts, including user avatars, product thumbnails, and decorative elements.

2. The CSS Border-Radius Property

The CSS border-radius property is the key to creating rounded and circular images. It allows us to control the curvature of an element’s corners, giving it a circular or rounded shape.

Creating Rounded Images

To create rounded images, set the border-radius property to a specific value. The value defines the curvature of the corners, and the higher the value, the rounder the image becomes.

.rounded-image {
  border-radius: 50%;

Achieving Perfect Circles

To achieve a perfect circular image, set the border-radius property to 50%. This value ensures that all four corners have an equal radius, forming a circle.

.circular-image {
  border-radius: 50%;

3. Adding Styling to Circular Images

To enhance the visual appeal of circular images, you can add additional styling using CSS.

Adding Shadows and Borders

To create a subtle shadow effect and add a border around the circular image, you can use the following CSS:

.circular-image {
  border-radius: 50%;
  box-shadow: 0 0 5px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.3);
  border: 2px solid #fff;

Hover Effects for Enhanced Interactivity

Adding hover effects can make your circular images more interactive. For example, when a user hovers over the image, it can change color or scale up slightly.

.circular-image {
  /* ... */
  transition: transform 0.2s ease-in-out;

.circular-image:hover {
  transform: scale(1.1);

4. Responsive Design Considerations

As the web is accessed from various devices with different screen sizes, it’s essential to ensure that rounded and circular images adapt gracefully.

Using Media Queries for Different Devices

To make circular images responsive, use CSS media queries to adjust the image size based on the device’s screen width.

.circular-image {
  /* ... */

@media (max-width: 768px) {
  .circular-image {
    width: 80px;
    height: 80px;

5. Implementing Rounded and Circular Images in a Real-World Example

Let’s see how to put the knowledge into action by incorporating rounded and circular images into a website’s design.

6. Common Mistakes to Avoid

When working with CSS to create rounded and circular images, some mistakes are commonly made. Be mindful of these pitfalls to ensure your design looks flawless.

Incorrect Use of Border-Radius

A common mistake is setting an incorrect value for border-radius, resulting in an undesired shape.

Image Distortion

Stretching non-square images can lead to image distortion when creating circular images.

7. Best Practices for Optimal Performance

To optimize the performance of your website, follow these best practices when using rounded and circular images:

  • Use appropriately sized images to reduce page load time.
  • Compress image files without compromising quality.
  • Prefer SVG format for simple shapes and icons.


In conclusion, CSS provides a powerful way to create rounded and circular images, adding a touch of elegance and modernity to your web design. By using the border-radius property, you can easily customize the appearance of images and make them responsive for various devices. Remember to follow best practices and avoid common mistakes to ensure your design looks seamless and performs optimally.


Can I apply the border-radius property to other elements besides images?

Yes, the border-radius property can be applied to various HTML elements, such as divs, buttons, and even tables, to create rounded corners.

Is it necessary to use CSS to achieve circular images?

While CSS is a popular method, there are other ways to create circular images, such as using SVG or JavaScript libraries.

How can I create circular images without losing image quality?

To maintain image quality, use images that are already square-shaped, and set the border-radius to 50% to form a perfect circle.

Are there any performance implications of using rounded and circular images?

Rounded and circular images, especially when used with large image files, can affect page load times. Optimize images and consider using CSS sprites to improve performance.

Can I animate circular images with CSS?

Yes, you can apply CSS transitions and animations to circular images, creating engaging hover effects and other interactive elements.

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