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Papier Logo

Papier -> Demo

a minimal, pretty semantic, responsive CSS library

Design Decisions

  • Responsiveness Everything is responsive: alerts, panels, grids - everything!
  • Lightweight: ~ 2.5kb minified and gzipped last time I checked
  • Intrusiveness: While other frameworks force you to be very explicit about the intended styling of your elements by adding lots of classes (<button class="btn">Click</button>), Papier is very semantic and simply styles e.g. all buttons as Papier-buttons (no need to add additional classes, <button>Click</button> works just fine). This is especially handy for rapid prototyping.
  • normalize.css makes browsers render all elements more consistently and in line with modern standards. It's the foundation of papier.
  • Readability over semantic: Papier sacrifices readability and expressiveness over semantic. In Bootstrap you would create a blue button by adding the btn-primary and btn classes. Papier takes a different approach: Instead of expecting you to know that every primary button is blue, it allows you to simply add a background to it, by adding the bg-blue class. While this is obviously less semantic, it is much easier to understand, since who knows that btn-primary means "make this button blue".
  • Prototyping: Papier is perfect for rapid prototyping. This is also an area where it sacrifices readability over everything else. This means you have access to a ton of utility classes that aren't necessarily very semantic, but very handy and expressive - in short, perfect for hackathons.
  • Smart defaults: When setting the background of an element via .bg-red, the color of links and text within it will automatically set to #fff.
  • No custom styles for checkboxes, radio-buttons etc. - Users have a certain expectation how a radio button or checkbox needs to look like. Applying custom styles would ruin the assumption. Further, it's nearly impossible to make them look good on all browsers.
  • Maximum possible browser support: Everything above IE7 should work fine - nice CSS3 animations excluded.
  • CSS preprocessor: Stylus - CSS still looks like CSS, but should also be mostly valid in SCSS and Less

Utility classes

Material design-like depth classes


Rounded corners


Selectively setting margin and padding (responsive)




Setting text-align


They do exactly what you expect them to do


Vertically centering elements

For some reason 2014 2015 and vertically centering elements is still a pain.

<div class="full-height vertical-center-container">
    <div class="vertical-center">

Background colors


When applying a background color (e.g. .bg-brown) to an element, the color of links and other text within it will automatically be set to #fff to maintain the contrast.

If you prefer a more semantic approach, the utility classes are still useful, since you can use them in order to extend your own custom classes if needed.


@require 'util.styl';

.danger {
  @extend .bg-red;

Getting started

  • npm: npm i papier --save
  • bower: bower i papier --save
  • CDN (preferred): <link rel="stylesheet" href=""> or <link rel="stylesheet" href=""> for the latest version
<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<meta charset="utf-8">
<title>Papier CSS</title>

<!-- FONT -->
<link rel="stylesheet" href=",600">

<!-- ICONS -->
<link rel="stylesheet" href="">

<!-- MAGIC -->
<link rel="stylesheet" href="{{PATH TO PAPIER}}/dist/papier.min.css">

<body class="bg-subtle">

<button class="bg-indigo"><i class="icon ion-ios-cart"></i> Icon button</button>

<div class="row">
<div class="col-2 bg-lime"><strong>col-2</strong><br> bg-lime</div>
<div class="col-3 bg-yellow"><strong>col-3</strong><br> bg-yellow</div>
<div class="col-4 bg-amber"><strong>col-4</strong><br> bg-amber</div>
<div class="col-3 bg-orange"><strong>col-3</strong><br> bg-orange</div>


Papier is built with Stylus. Customizing it is therefore very easy:

  • Install Stylus: npm i stylus -g
  • Create your stylesheet using stylus:


@require 'node_modules/papier/src/panel.styl';

.my-panel {
  @extend .panel;

.introduction {
  @extend .my-panel;
  width: 500px;

Important Make sure to to require instead of import to avoid duplicate classes in the compiled CSS.

You can also customize colors and other variables by overriding config.styl. E.g. Papier features a 12-column grid layout by default, but you can also set the $columns variable to 36 or whatever you prefer.

Help, Bugs, Issues

File an issue if you find a bug or have a question. Feel free to send PRs! I'm also hanging out on Freenode all the time (alexandergugel). You can also find me on Twitter: @alexanderGugel.

The easiest way to support this project is to star it. Thanks.



📎 Just another CSS framework







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