Open Props — Supercharged CSS Variables

Adam Argyle released a new project named Open Props. Similar to the aforementioned Pollen, it’s a library that offers nothing but CSS Custom Properties.

Open source CSS custom properties to help accelerate adaptive and consistent design. Available from a CDN or NPM, as CSS or Javascript.

Once included, you can use the Custom Properties the library provides: colors, margins, paddings, gradients, shadows, font properties, aspect-ratios, … even some basic animations or a conditional border-radius — they’re all there, exposed as Custom Properties!

@import "";

.card {
  border-radius: var(--radius-2);
  padding: var(--size-fluid-3);
  box-shadow: var(--shadow-2);

  &:hover {
    box-shadow: var(--shadow-3);

  @media (--motionOK) {
    animation: var(--animation-fade-in);

💡 That’s CSS Nesting you see there, soon a built-in feature.

I like this very much. Very, very much. Unlike Other Projects™, Open Props nails the “We need Design Tokens” problem by simply making them available in CSS (or via JS if that’s your thing). It doesn’t require you to set up a build pipeline, nor does it enforce you to discard CSS for a re-implementation in another language. You can keep on using what you already know: CSS.

Open Props →


Projects like this make me even more convinced of my statement that Custom Properties are the best thing that happened to CSS over the past 20 years.

Published by Bramus!

Bramus is a frontend web developer from Belgium, working as a Chrome Developer Relations Engineer at Google. From the moment he discovered view-source at the age of 14 (way back in 1997), he fell in love with the web and has been tinkering with it ever since (more …)

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