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Set your type in Ems with modular scale, vertical rhythm, and responsive ratio based headlines using Sass. Why create another type toolkit in Sass? I wanted to and I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for. Typesettings uses techniques from many different amazing tools while trying to keep it simple.

  • Its only dependency is Sass
  • It uses Ems not REMs or pixels
  • Handles all the math for Ems including the compounding
  • It maintains vertical rhythm with pixel based borders using padding set in Ems
  • It comes with a default 6px baseline to maintain rhythm on all block elements
  • It relies more on using Sass functions combined with vanilla CSS rules rather than mixins to style
  • It uses modular scale values to set font-size
  • It has optional default type styles that includes settings for adjusting headlines based on screen width

How to setup

There are four ways you can download Typesettings.

  • Download the latest release
  • Clone the repo: git clone
  • Install with Bower: bower install typesettings --save
  • Install with npm: npm install typesettings --save

To start using Typesettings @import the _typesettings.scss partial into your Sass project after your CSS reset.

There is also the bundled single file versions. For example, using Typesettings on Codepen or you are looking to simply copy and paste Typesettings into your project. You can also start by @import the _typsettings.bundle.scss into your Sass project after your CSS reset.

 @import "path/your-reset";

 // Your settings for Typesettings :)
 $font-sans: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;
 $font-serif: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;
 $font-mono: 'Lucida Console', Monaco, monospace;
 $text-color: #000;
 $base-vertical-unit: 6px;
 $base-line-multi: 4;
 $base-font-size: 16px;
 $ms-ratio: 1.414;
 $paragraph-indent: true;
 $paragraph-justify: true;
 $load-typesetted: true;
 $global-init: false; // By default set to false, loaded with typesetted

 @import "path/typesettings"; // Here is the _typesettings.scss partial

 @import "path/your-styles";

Advanced Usage

You have the ability to easily import Typesettings' mixins, functions, and internal variables separately and use them how you see fit within your project. For example:

 @import "path/your-reset";

 // Your settings for Typesettings :)
 $font-sans: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;
 $font-serif: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif;
 $font-mono: 'Lucida Console', Monaco, monospace;
 $text-color: #000;
 $base-vertical-unit: 6px;
 $base-line-multi: 4;
 $base-font-size: 16px;
 $ms-ratio: 1.414;

 // Import only the functionality of Typesettings you want
 @import "path/typesettings/settings";
 @import "path/typesettings/internal";
 @import "path/typesettings/functions";
 @import "path/typesettings/mixins";

 @include typesettingsInit();

 @import "path/your-styles";

How to use

After Typesettings is setup in your project the default type styles should be looking good. However I bet you want to use modular scale and vertical rhythm in the rest of your project. Here is an example of how to do that:

The Scss:

// This example is using Typesettings' default settings
// [1] 3 times the baseline grid value for margin-bottom.
// The second argument is the context font-size. In this case it is 1 step down in
// the modular scale.
// [2] Using an optional mixin, a 2px border bottom is set with padding bottom
// set to 3 times the baseline grid with 2px subtracted. By subtracting the 2px from
// the padding bottom, vertical rhythm is maintained.
// [3] Using an optional mixin, the line-height is set to 3 * baseline grid. Then
// the font-size is passed using our modular scale value.
.your-module {
   margin-bottom: emRhythm(3, $ms-down1); // [1]
   border-color: #000;
   border-style: solid;
   @include rhythmBorderBottom(2px, 3, $ms-down1); // [2]
   @include setType(3, $ms-down1); // [3]

The outputted CSS:

.your-module {
    margin-bottom: 1.59075em; /* 18px */
    border-color: #000;
    border-style: solid;
    border-bottom-width: 2px;
    padding-bottom: 1.414em; /* 16px */
    font-size: 0.70721em;
    line-height: 1.59075; /* 18px (Okay, not pixel perfect, 17.9999999999px) */

You can also look at the source code of the document site to see how it was made using Typesettings.


Sass or Stylus, that's it.


Typesettings uses relative units and many of the values outputted are a result of dividing and multiplying. So a computed pixel value like 17.999999px will sometimes happen.

Thanks and Resources

Please ask questions on Gitter and use GitHub issues for bugs.


The MIT License (MIT)