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11.27.0 • Public • Published


Typography for digital and software products using the Carbon Design System

Getting started

To install @carbon/type in your project, you will need to run the following command using npm:

npm install -S @carbon/type

If you prefer Yarn, use the following command instead:

yarn add @carbon/type


@carbon/type provides a variety of ways to work with typography from the IBM Design Language. You can use all of these features either in JavaScript or Sass. These features include:

Feature Description
Font face Include IBM Plex™ font faces in your application. Uses Akamai CDN
Type classes Helpers to use type styles directly. Not included by default
Font family Defines the font stack for IBM Plex™ in your application, provides helpers for working with font definitions
Reset Provides a high-level CSS Reset to use in your project
Scale Provides the type scale. Can access the size at any given step (step 1, 2, 3, etc)
Styles Provides type styles for your application (heading-01, body-long-01, etc)

The @carbon/type package enables you to use typography from the IBM Design Language, including the type scale and fonts, along with typography design tokens from the Carbon Design System. It also comes with opinionated defaults for type styles on common elements like h1, h2, p, etc.

You can use this package by writing the following:

@use '@carbon/type';

// Include type reset
@include type.reset();

// Include default type styles, targets h1, h2, h3, etc
@include type.default-type();

// Include utility classes for type-related properties
@include type.type-classes();

.selector {
  // Include a type style
  @include type.type-style('productive-heading-01');

This should include the default type reset from the project, in addition to font-face definitions for IBM Plex Mono and IBM Plex Sans that come from Google Fonts.

If you are using @carbon/react, the import paths become:

@use '@carbon/react/scss/type';

Type styles

Instead of using a type scale, @carbon/type provides tokens that represent what we call type styles. These tokens have a variety of properties for styling how text is rendered on a page.

You can find a full reference of the type styles that are available on the Carbon Design System website .

You can include a token in your Sass file by writing:

@use '@carbon/type';

@include type.type-style('token-name');

In addition, if the type style you are using has a fluid style then you can pass in true as the second argument to type-style to enable fluid styles. For example:

@use '@carbon/type';

@include type.type-style('token-name', true);

Type classes

The recommended way to style your application will be to use our type styles. However, we also offer helper CSS classes for specific use-cases. These are also helpful when quickly prototyping a project.

You can include type classes in your project by writing the following in your Sass file:

@use '@carbon/type';

:root {
  @include type.type-classes();

And then add the appropriate classes to the element you want to style

<span className="cds--type-mono">Test sentence</span>
Selector Description
.cds--type-mono Specify the font face as IBM Plex Mono
.cds--type-sans Specify the font face as IBM Plex Sans
.cds--type-serif Specify the font face as IBM Plex Serif
.cds--type-light Specify the font weight as light (300)
.cds--type-regular Specify the font weight as regular (400)
.cds--type-semibold Specify the font weight as semibold (600)
.cds--type-italic Specify the font style as italic
.cds--type-<type-style> Set styles for the given type style

Font family

@carbon/type provides the font stacks for all the IBM Plex fonts available. You can access the font family information by including the following import in your Sass file:

@use '@carbon/type';

The font stacks are available under the $font-families variable. You can also access a specific font family by using the font-family function by doing:

.my-selector {
  font-family: type.font-family('mono');

You can also use the font-family mixin to automatically set the font-family property for you:

.my-selector {
  @include type.font-family('serif');

You can see all the available font families in $font-families .


An optional type reset is provided under the reset mixin. You can include this mixin by writing the following in your Sass file:

@use '@carbon/type';

:root {
  @include type.reset();

This reset sets some top-level properties on html and body, namely font-size, font-family, and some text-rendering options. We also map the strong tag to the semibold font weight.

Type scale

A type scale is provided through the $type-scale variable and corresponding type-scale function and mixin. However, for specifying type styles, the recommendation is to use type styles .

If you are looking to use the type scale, you can include all the scale-related utilities and variables by writing the following in your Sass file:

@use '@carbon/type';

You can access a specific step in the type scale by using the type-scale function:

.my-selector {
  font-size: type.type-scale(1);

There is also a type-scale mixin that will set font-size for your directly:

@use '@carbon/type';

.my-selector {
  @include type.type-scale(4);

📚 Examples

If you're looking for more examples on how to use @carbon/type, we have some examples that you can check out:

You can also see more documentation regarding the available tokens here

🙌 Contributing

We're always looking for contributors to help us fix bugs, build new features, or help us improve the project documentation. If you're interested, definitely check out our Contributing Guide! 👀

📝 License

Licensed under the Apache 2.0 License.

IBM Telemetry IBM Telemetry

This package uses IBM Telemetry to collect metrics data. By installing this package as a dependency you are agreeing to telemetry collection. To opt out, see Opting out of IBM Telemetry data collection. For more information on the data being collected, please see the IBM Telemetry documentation.

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