A powerful toolkit for building websites with beautiful design.


npm install typography




Typography is a complex system of interrelated styles. 100s of style declarations on dozens of elements must be in harmonious order. Trying one design change can mean making dozens of tedious recalculations and CSS value changes. Creating new Typography themes with CSS feels hard.

Typography.js provides a vastly simpler way to define and explore typography designs.

You provide configuration to the Typography.js JS api and it uses its Typography engine to generate CSS for block and inline elements.

Typography.js makes it easy to create designs that are unique, personal, and custom to your project.

Themes & Plugins

  • themes: Typography.js themes are simple Javascript objects. As such they’re easy to share across projects or even open source and share via NPM.
  • plugins: Plugins are functions that extend or modify the core Typography engine. They can change how headers are styled or add specialized styles e.g. for code or tables.

Sites that use Typography.js

Javascript usage

import Typography from 'typography'

const typography = new Typography({
  baseFontSize: '18px',
  baseLineHeight: 1.666,
  headerFontFamily: ['Avenir Next', 'Helvetica Neue', 'Segoe UI', 'Helvetica', 'Arial', 'sans-serif'],
  bodyFontFamily: ['Georgia', 'serif'],
  // See below for the full list of options.

// Output CSS as string.

// Or insert styles directly into the <head> (works well for client-only
// JS web apps.


We maintain 30 (and counting) themes that are ready to use on your next project. These are each published as seperate NPM packages. Explore themes at http://kyleamathews.github.io/typography.js.

Using themes

Here’s an example of how to use the Funston theme.

  1. First save the package to your project npm install --save typography-theme-funston
  2. Then import and pass into Typography when initializing.
import Typography from 'typography'
import funstonTheme from 'typography-theme-funston'

const typography = new Typography(funstonTheme)

Customizing themes

Themes are just javascript objects so it’s easy to modify them as needed. For example, if you’re using the Funston theme but want to increase the base font size slightly:

import Typography from 'typography'
import funstonTheme from 'typography-theme-funston'
funstonTheme.baseFontSize = '22px' // was 20px.

const typography = new Typography(funstonTheme)

Or you can use the imperative API overrideThemeStyles to directly set/override styles on a theme:

import Typography from 'typography'
import funstonTheme from 'typography-theme-funston'
funston.overrideThemeStyles = ({ rhythm }, options) => ({
  'h2,h3': {
    marginBottom: rhythm(1/2),
    marginTop: rhythm(2),

const typography = new Typography(funstonTheme)

Published Typography.js Themes


Plugins are functions that extend or modify the core typography engine. they can change how headers are styled or add specialized styles e.g. for code or tables. Currently there’s one plugin available, typography-plugin-code.

To use the Code plugin, first install using NPM.

npm install --save typography-plugin-code

Then add to your theme before creating a new typography object.

import Typography from 'typography'
import CodePlugin from 'typography-plugin-code'
import sternGroveTheme from 'typography-theme-stern-grove'

sternGroveTheme.plugins = [
  new CodePlugin(),

const typography = new Typography(sternGroveTheme)

React.js helper components.

Typography.js includes two helper components for your React.js projects, TypographyStyle and GoogleFont. These are ideal for server-rendering.

  • TypographyStyle creates a style element and inserts the generated CSS for your theme.
  • GoogleFont creates the link element to include the Google Fonts & weights specified in your theme.

To use, first install the package npm install --save react-typography then import them into your html.js file.

import { TypographyStyle, GoogleFont } from 'react-typography'
// Best practice is to have a typography module
// where you define your theme.
import typography from 'utils/typography'

// Inside your React.js HTML component.
    <TypographyStyle typography={typography} />
    <GoogleFont typography={typography} />
    // stuff



When creating a new instance of Typography, you can pass in an configuration object. All configuration keys are optional.

  • title: The theme title.
  • baseFontSize: The base font size in pixels, defaults to 16px.
  • baseLineHeight: The base line height using the css unitless number, defaults to 1.5.
  • scaleRatio: The “scale ratio” for the theme. This value is the ratio between the h1 font size and the baseFontSize. So if the scale ratio is 2 and the baseFontSize is 16px then the h1 font size is 32px.
  scaleRatio: 2,
  • googleFonts: An array specifying Google Fonts for this project.
googleFonts: [
    name: 'Montserrat',
    styles: [
    name: 'Merriweather',
    styles: [
  • headerFontFamily: An array of strings specifying the font family stack for headers e.g. ['Helvetica', 'sans-serif']. Defaults to a system UI font stack.
  • bodyFontFamily: An array of strings specifying the font family stack for the body, defaults to ['georgia', 'serif'].
  • headerGray: The “lightness” value for headers (set in hsl). Defaults to 20.
  • headerGrayHue: The “hue” value for headers (set in hsl). Defaults to 0. Also accepts three named hues, cool, slate, and warm.
  • bodyGray: The “lightness” value for body text (in hsl). Defaults to 20.
  • bodyGrayHue: The “hue” value for body text (in hsl). Defaults to 0. Also accepts three named hues, cool, slate, and warm.
  • headerWeight: Specify the font weight for headers. Defaults to bold.
  • bodyWeight: Specify the font weight for body text. Defaults to normal.
  • boldWeight: Specify the font weight for “bold” (b, strong, dt, th) elements. Defaults to bold.
  • blockMarginBottom: Specify the default margin-bottom for block elements. Defaults to one “rhythm unit” (i.e. the height of the base line height).
  • includeNormalize: Include normalize.css. Normalize.css is an excellent project which works to normalize the base browser CSS across browsers and serves as an excellent foundation for Typography.js. We include normalize.CSS by default but if you’re already including it elsewhere in your project, you can disable including it here by passing false.
  • overrideStyles: Imperative API for directly adding to or overriding auto-generated styles. It’s called with a Vertical Rhythm object, the options object, and the algorithmically generated styles.
overrideStyles: ({ adjustFontSizeTo, rhythm }, options, styles) => ({
  h1: {
    fontFamily: ['Montserrat', 'sans-serif'].join(','),
  blockquote: {
    color: gray(41),
    fontStyle: 'italic',
    paddingLeft: rhythm(13/16),
    marginLeft: rhythm(-1),
    borderLeft: `${rhythm(3/16)} solid ${gray(10)}`,
  'blockquote > :last-child': {
    marginBottom: 0,
  • overrideThemeStyles: This has the same function signature as overrideStyles but should be used in place of overrideStyles when using a 3rd-party theme so as to not delete the theme’s own overrideStyles function.
overrideThemeStyles: ({ rhythm }, options, styles) => ({
  'h2,h3': {
    marginBottom: rhythm(1/2),
    marginTop: rhythm(2),


Developing Typography.js

Typography.js is a monorepo facilitated by Lerna.

TODO: document constants + compass-vertical-rhythm + using typography.js for inline styles.