What are design tokens?

Tokens are a design concept introdced by Shopify’s “Polaris” design system. They are meant to be a flexible way to manage graphicaldesign elementsacross an ecosystem of products and platforms. In short, they help keep designs consistent.

Shopify uses Polaris as its official design system, which means that tokens play a big role in the look and feel of the company’s products. By creating a set of core values and principles, Shopify can ensure that its products maintain a consistent look and feel across all touchpoints.

Tokens also offer designers and developers more flexibility when it comes to customizing applications or themes. For example, let’s say you want to create a button with slightly different colors for each stage of the purchase funnel. With tokens, you can easily create different variations of the same button using the same code base. This makes iterating on designs much faster and easier.

Design tokens overview

Shopify’s design system is called Polaris. It’s a collection of design tokens, guidelines, components, and nuclides (patterns) that power Shopify’s user interface.

Design tokens are the visual design atoms of the design system—they represent specific design attributes like color or typography. Tokens can be applied to both CSS and JS code. In JavaScript, they’re accessed as values on a theme object exported by @shopify/polaris-tokens.

Guidelines are documents that explain how to best use Shopify’s products and services. The Polaris style guide is one example of a guideline; it provides information about typography, iconography, voice and tone, and writing for the web.

Components are reusable UI elements that can be composed together to build complex interfaces. They adhere to Shopify’s WCAG 2 AA accessibility standards out of the box, so you don’t have to worry about adding extra accessibility features when using them in your app or website—but you can if you need to! There are over 30 components available in React format today with more planned for release later this year. Nucleus is our living pattern library which contains usage examples for every component alongside guidance around when each component should be used.”

What are design tokens?

Design tokens are variables that store design attributes such as colors, fonts, and spacing. These values can be applied to multiple UI elements across an application to create a consistent look and feel. Design tokens are often used in CSS-in-JS libraries like styled-components and emotion.

Shopify’s Polaris design system uses Sass variables for its design tokens. All of the design token values for Shopify themes are stored in a single _theme file. This makes it easy for developers to access and use these values in their theme templates and components.

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How to create design tokens

If you’re working on a design for Shopify’s Polaris UI, one of the first things you’ll need to do is create some design tokens. Design tokens are bits of code that represent color values, typographic styles, and other design elements. They can be used in CSS or HTML to make sure your designs are consistent across different browsers and devices.

Creating your own design tokens is relatively simple. Start by picking a few colors that you want to use throughout your design. These can be brand colors, accent colors, or just general background colors. Once you have your colors picked out, open up a text editor and create a new file called “tokens.scss.”

In this file, you’ll want to define all of the color variables that you created earlier. For example:

Once you have all of your color variables defined, it’s time to start using them in your CSS rules. To do this, simply replace the hex values with the variable names:

body { background-color : $ primary – color ;}

h1 { font – size : 2rem ; font – weight : 700 ; line – height : 1 . 25 ; letter – spacing : 0 . 05 em ; color : $ tertiary – color }

Where to use design tokens

Using design tokens helps to unify a brand’s identity across digital touchpoints. By maintaining one set of code, you can make changes to your visual style in one place and see those updates seamlessly propagate throughout your app or site. For example, if you want to increase the size of all buttons by 2px, you only need to make that change in one place: the button token. All instances of button—whether they’re in your header, footer, product detail pages, or elsewhere—will inherit that update.

Design tokens also help teams work more efficiently because they can be sure they’re always using the latest version of the code. When multiple people are working on a project with many different digital assets (such as an ecommerce website), it becomes difficult to keep track of who is using which asset and when it was last updated. Design tokens solve this problem by making it easy for everyone on the team to use the same assets—the most recent version of them, at that. This way, there is no confusion about which asset should be used where; everyone is always working with and seeing the same thing.

Finally, design tokens improve flexibility and enable greater control over a user interface. By setting certain properties (like colors) as variables instead of hard-coding them into stylesheets, it becomes possible to change those values dynamically at runtime. That opens up a whole world of possibilities for customizing interfaces based on user preferences or other conditions external to the application itself

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Design token benefits

1. Design tokens offer a number of benefits to Shopify theme developers. By abstracting design away from code, they make it easier to develop themes that are consistent with the Polaris guidelines. This means that themes can be developed more quickly and with fewer errors.

2. In addition, design tokens make it easier to manage change across multiple themes. When a change is made to a design token, it will automatically propagate to all themes that use that token. This can save a lot of time when making changes to a large number of themes.

3.Finally, by using design tokens, developers can create shop-specific designs that are easily portable between different Shopify stores. This allows for greater flexibility when creating and managing Shopify themes

Best practices for working with design tokens

When working with design tokens, there are a few best practices to keep in mind. First, it’s important to use name-spaced variables. This helps to prevent collisions and makes it easier to find the variable you’re looking for. Second, be sure to document your design tokens. This will help others understand what the variables are for and how to use them. Finally, test your design tokens before using them in production. This will ensure that they work as intended and don’t cause any unexpected issues.

Frequently Asked Question

  1. What are design tokens?

  2. All the necessary values to create and maintain design systems are called Design Tokens. They include color, font styles, animations, spacing, typography, objects, style, and object styles. Data can be represented. They can be used to represent any design element, such as color, opacity, or animation ease.

  3. What is modal in Shopify?

  4. Modals require that merchants take action in order to continue shopping on Shopify. Modals can cause disruption and should not be used in excess.

  5. What is a UI design system?

  6. What’s a UI Design System? A UI Design system is a collection of design standards and code, along with the components which unify them. This allows them to complement each other and produce the desired result. It is an instruction manual.

  7. What is Polaris system?

  8. Polaris, the name of the library automation software developed by Polaris Library Systems in Syracuse, New York is Polaris. Polaris uses the Windows operating system as a client/server platform. Microsoft Internet Explorer is the preferred browser, however Polaris can be used with all other browsers.

  9. Why are design critique sessions held?

  10. Two major advantages of design critiques sessions that are well conducted include: Design improvement feedback and motivation for designers to improve their designs. Designers should be able to feel happy after the session even though they realize they have much more to do.

  11. Is Shopify Polaris open source?

  12. Shopify Polaris: An open-source project. The Shopify team stated that Polaris was one of Shopify’s open source projects. This gives them confidence that they can use this for products that work with other platforms, such as. This is not just for shopify.

  13. Who uses design systems?

  14. Design Systems, in conclusion, are crucial elements of website design. These systems make it easy to establish a foundation for the site’s elements and speed up the designing phase. Each Web Designer, UX/UI Strategist and every web designer should own one.

  15. What is Shopify dawn?

  16. Shopify’s new OS 2.0 theme Dawn, which is free to download and use for your store, features many exciting new features. This flexible theme is suitable for any store, no matter how large or small. Dawn makes it easy to quickly open a shop and get selling.

  17. Can I use react in Shopify?

  18. Shopify uses React as the default language to build both web- and mobile apps. Shopify Admin is powered completely by React and GraphQL. All of our mobile apps are built using React Native.

  19. What is design system?

  20. Definition: A design program is an integrated set of guidelines that allows you to design on a large scale with reusable patterns and components.

  21. What is Shopify design?

  22. Shopify gives you complete control of the design and appearance of your website. Shopify allows you to use any text editor for editing all templates and assets. You can easily sync all your changes with your live store to test your design.

  23. Is it worth buying Shopify theme?

  24. Shopify’s paid themes offer the most value if you are serious about making sales on Shopify. Although they do come at a price, the cost of paid themes is negligible compared with what you get in return. While free themes can be a great starting point, you will eventually need to upgrade to Shopify’s paid theme.


In conclusion, Design Tokens are a great way to keep your design consistent across different platforms and devices. By using Shopify’s Polaris token library, you can easily create responsive designs that look amazing on all screen sizes.

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