Getting started

Get started with Primer Primitives


To get started using Primer Primitives, install the package with your package manager of choice:


npm install @primer/primitives


yarn add @primer/primitives


Primer Primitive design tokens are available to consume as CSS variables. Import the desired token files into the root of your project.

For sizing, spacing and typography tokens, import the following files:

@import '@primer/primitives/dist/css/base/size/size.css';
@import '@primer/primitives/dist/css/base/typography/typography.css';
@import '@primer/primitives/dist/css/functional/size/border.css';
@import '@primer/primitives/dist/css/functional/size/breakpoints.css';
@import '@primer/primitives/dist/css/functional/size/size-coarse.css';
@import '@primer/primitives/dist/css/functional/size/size-fine.css';
@import '@primer/primitives/dist/css/functional/size/size.css';
@import '@primer/primitives/dist/css/functional/size/viewport.css';
@import '@primer/primitives/dist/css/functional/typography/typography.css';

Color tokens are grouped by individual theme files:

@import '@primer/primitives/dist/css/functional/themes/light.css';
@import '@primer/primitives/dist/css/functional/themes/light-tritanopia.css';
@import '@primer/primitives/dist/css/functional/themes/light-high-contrast.css';
@import '@primer/primitives/dist/css/functional/themes/light-colorblind.css';
@import '@primer/primitives/dist/css/functional/themes/dark.css';
@import '@primer/primitives/dist/css/functional/themes/dark-colorblind.css';
@import '@primer/primitives/dist/css/functional/themes/dark-dimmed.css';
@import '@primer/primitives/dist/css/functional/themes/dark-high-contrast.css';
@import '@primer/primitives/dist/css/functional/themes/dark-tritanopia.css';

Utilizing CSS variables in SCSS or CSS files:

.Text {
color: var(--fgColor-default);

Utilizing CSS variables in React with Primer React (styled components):

<Text sx={{color: 'var(--fgColor-default)'}}></Text>

Note: legacy variables in Primer React from the theme object all resolve to CSS variables under the hood. While the new naming convention is not available as a JS object, you can continue using the legacy variables in your React components or switch to using CSS variables directly (recommended).


Primer color design tokens are made available within data-attribute selectors on the body tag or other high level dom element. There are three distinct data-attributes used to handle theming: data-color-mode, data-light-theme, and data-dark-theme.

Color mode

The data-color-mode attribute is used to set the color mode of the theme. The value of the attribute should be either auto, light, or dark. When set to auto, the theme will automatically switch between light and dark based on the user's system preferences.

Color theme

The data-light-theme and data-dark-theme attributes are used to set the theme. The value of the attribute should be the name of the theme file, replacing dashes - with underscore _. For example, to use the light theme, set the data-light-theme attribute to light.

<body data-color-mode="light" data-light-theme="light" data-dark-theme="dark">

To see theming in action, toggle between the theme in the following example:

View in Storybook

Available themes

  • light: light
  • light-tritanopia: light_tritanopia
  • light-high-contrast: light_high_contrast
  • light-colorblind: light_colorblind
  • dark: dark
  • dark-colorblind: dark_colorblind
  • dark-dimmed: dark_dimmed
  • dark-high-contrast: dark_high_contrast
  • dark-tritanopia: dark_tritanopia

CSS variables

To see all available tokens, reference the following guides: