Introduction to Design Systems

Adding utilities

So this looks great! But it isn't extensible. Now let's build a set of utilities to help us build our components.

Let's create a utils/ folder inside of src/ which will hold all of our foundational design system elements.

Inside of the utils/ folder create three new files: colors.js, themes.js, and typography.js.

Design Tokens

Design tokens were created prior to 2014 by Jina Anne (you can watch the conference talk here) and they allow you to 'capture low-level values and then use them to create styles for your product or app.'

Inside colors.js add your color palette. Even though we called the primary color swatches primary-100, primary-200, we're going to name the colors by color name (we'll get to the primary color themes in the next section).

The color tokens will be an object containing the values in increments of 100 which will allow us to access them using the syntax blue[100].

export const blue = {
  100: "#3a36e0",
  200: "#0804b8",
  300: "#030086",
  400: "#5f25a4",
  500: "#050449"

export const green = {
  100: "#529e66",
  200: "#367b48",
  300: "#276738"

export const yellow = {
  100: "#e1c542",
  200: "#cab23f",
  300: "#b49e35"

export const red = {
  100: "#d0454c",
  200: "#b54248",
  300: "#95353a"

export const neutral = {
  100: "#ffffff",
  200: "#f4f5f7",
  300: "#e1e1e1",
  400: "#737581",
  500: "#4a4b53",
  600: "#000000"

Next let's add our typography.

Inside typography.js create and export a variable with your font family of choice.

export const primaryFont = '"Roboto Mono", monospace';

Let's also add our typescale. There are many ways to structure these utilities but for this project we'll use an object.

export const typeScale = {
  header1: "1.8rem",
  header2: "1.6rem",
  header3: "1.4rem",
  header4: "1.2rem",
  header5: "1.1rem",
  paragraph: "1rem",
  helperText: "0.8rem",
  copyrightText: "0.7rem"

Now that we have the individual tokens, let's create a theme. Themes are great if you need to support a high contrast mode or dark and light theme.