# Color Design Tokens

Colors are easily one of the most complex things about your site. When choosing and working with colors there are so many things to consider in order to make an effective user interface including:

  • Trying to capture your brand and make sure it is well represented in your design
  • Using the right colors to convey the right message (because colors have meaning)
  • Ensuring your site is accessible to all users

Kickstand UI is designed to help you with all of that! It will generate a color palette based on the colors you specify in the SASS tokens as well as creating contrasting color values to ensure your applications are accessible for all of your users.

# Color Palette

primary lighterprimary lightprimary baseprimary darkprimary darker
secondary lightersecondary lightsecondary basesecondary darksecondary darker
success lightersuccess lightsuccess basesuccess darksuccess darker
info lighterinfo lightinfo baseinfo darkinfo darker
warning lighterwarning lightwarning basewarning darkwarning darker
success lightersuccess lightsuccess basesuccess darksuccess darker
danger lighterdanger lightdanger basedanger darkdanger darker
light lighterlight lightlight baselight darklight darker
dark lighterdark lightdark basedark darkdark darker

# Colors


$colors: (
    "primary": #2c5374,
    "secondary": #ac3f00,
    "success": #669c1f,
    "info": #509bce,
    "warning": #e1a900,
    "danger": #c70000,


The light and dark color value (which make up the grayscale colors of your palette) are created based on your primary color by default. You do have the option of overriding that by defining your own light and dark colors.


:root {
    --ks-color-primary-base: 44,83,116;
    --ks-color-primary-base-text: 255,255,255;
    --ks-color-primary-light: 55,104,146;
    --ks-color-primary-light-text: 255,255,255;
    --ks-color-primary-lighter: 66,125,175;
    --ks-color-primary-lighter-text: 0,0,0;
    --ks-color-primary-dark: 33,62,86;
    --ks-color-primary-dark-text: 255,255,255;
    --ks-color-primary-darker: 22,41,57;
    --ks-color-primary-darker-text: 255,255,255;
    --ks-color-secondary-base: 172,63,0;
    --ks-color-secondary-base-text: 255,255,255;
    --ks-color-secondary-light: 213,78,0;
    --ks-color-secondary-light-text: 0,0,0;
    --ks-color-secondary-lighter: 254,93,0;
    --ks-color-secondary-lighter-text: 0,0,0;
    --ks-color-secondary-dark: 131,48,0;
    --ks-color-secondary-dark-text: 255,255,255;
    --ks-color-secondary-darker: 90,33,0;
    --ks-color-secondary-darker-text: 255,255,255;
    --ks-color-success-base: 79,130,26;
    --ks-color-success-base-text: 255,255,255;
    --ks-color-success-light: 100,164,33;
    --ks-color-success-light-text: 0,0,0;
    --ks-color-success-lighter: 120,198,40;
    --ks-color-success-lighter-text: 0,0,0;
    --ks-color-success-dark: 58,96,19;
    --ks-color-success-dark-text: 255,255,255;
    --ks-color-success-darker: 38,62,12;
    --ks-color-success-darker-text: 255,255,255;
    --ks-color-info-base: 80,155,206;
    --ks-color-info-base-text: 0,0,0;
    --ks-color-info-light: 112,173,215;
    --ks-color-info-light-text: 0,0,0;
    --ks-color-info-lighter: 144,191,224;
    --ks-color-info-lighter-text: 0,0,0;
    --ks-color-info-dark: 54,136,192;
    --ks-color-info-dark-text: 0,0,0;
    --ks-color-info-darker: 45,113,160;
    --ks-color-info-darker-text: 255,255,255;
    --ks-color-warning-base: 225,169,0;
    --ks-color-warning-base-text: 0,0,0;
    --ks-color-warning-light: 255,194,11;
    --ks-color-warning-light-text: 0,0,0;
    --ks-color-warning-lighter: 255,204,52;
    --ks-color-warning-lighter-text: 0,0,0;
    --ks-color-warning-dark: 184,138,0;
    --ks-color-warning-dark-text: 0,0,0;
    --ks-color-warning-darker: 143,108,0;
    --ks-color-warning-darker-text: 255,255,255;
    --ks-color-danger-base: 179,46,46;
    --ks-color-danger-base-text: 255,255,255;
    --ks-color-danger-light: 205,61,61;
    --ks-color-danger-light-text: 255,255,255;
    --ks-color-danger-lighter: 213,93,93;
    --ks-color-danger-lighter-text: 0,0,0;
    --ks-color-danger-dark: 147,38,38;
    --ks-color-danger-dark-text: 255,255,255;
    --ks-color-danger-darker: 114,29,29;
    --ks-color-danger-darker-text: 255,255,255;
    --ks-color-light-base: 197,209,218;
    --ks-color-light-base-text: 0,0,0;
    --ks-color-light-light: 222,229,234;
    --ks-color-light-light-text: 0,0,0;
    --ks-color-light-lighter: 247,248,250;
    --ks-color-light-lighter-text: 0,0,0;
    --ks-color-light-dark: 172,189,202;
    --ks-color-light-dark-text: 0,0,0;
    --ks-color-light-darker: 147,169,187;
    --ks-color-light-darker-text: 0,0,0;
    --ks-color-dark-base: 55,68,79;
    --ks-color-dark-base-text: 255,255,255;
    --ks-color-dark-light: 72,89,103;
    --ks-color-dark-light-text: 255,255,255;
    --ks-color-dark-lighter: 89,109,127;
    --ks-color-dark-lighter-text: 255,255,255;
    --ks-color-dark-dark: 39,47,55;
    --ks-color-dark-dark-text: 255,255,255;
    --ks-color-dark-darker: 22,27,31;
    --ks-color-dark-darker-text: 255,255,255;


As you can see, a large number of design tokens are generated to build your color palette. For every color in the palette there will be a complementary text color generated to meet the WCAG 2.0 AA color contrast requirement. You can override the CSS variables, but please be sure to update the complementary colors to ensure your application can be used by all of your users.

# Additional Settings

There will be two additional values added to the palette - light and dark. These colors will be automatically generated based on the primary color. If you would like to specify your own light or dark color, you can add them to the map and the compiler will pick up your colors rather than auto-generate them.

There are additional settings available that will allow you to tweak the default colors depending on the brightness and saturation of your primary color.

$light-saturation: 0%;
$light-lightness: 50%;
$dark-saturation: 0%;
$dark-darkness: 5%;

If you already have a bright primary color, you may want to decrease the $light-lightness and increase the $dark-darkness.

# Variation

The color variation value determines the difference between the variations of each color (lighter, light, dark, and darker). If you would like the lights to be lighter and the darks to be darker, increase that number or do the opposite to have the reverse effect.

$color-variation: 8%;

# Usage

You may have noticed that the values for the CSS variables do not look like color values. They are actually the rgb (red/green/blue) values for the rgb() CSS function. This is done so that you can easily specify the opacity or alpha of the color. So, in order to use your color values in CSS, make sure you wrap the value in an rgb() or rgba() function.


.primary-button {
    color: rgb(--ks-color-primary-base-text);
    background-color: rgb(--ks-color-primary-base);

/* specify `alpha` value to create transparency in your colors */
.modal-background {
    background-color: rgba(--ks-color-dark-base, 0.75);

# SASS Mixins

There are number of SASS mixins and functions available to allow you to quickly access your color tokens.

# Color Mixin

// signature - color($name: 'primary', $variant: 'base', $opacity: 1, $important: false)
// returns   - color: rgba({selected font CSS variable}, opacity) !important (if set to "true")

a {
    @include color(primary);

    &:hover {
        @include color(primary, darker);

# Background Color Mixin

// signature - bg-color($name: 'primary', $variant: 'base', $opacity: 1, $important: false)
// returns   - background-color: rgba({selected font CSS variable}, opacity) !important (if set to "true")
//             color: rgba({selected font CSS variable}, opacity) !important (if set to "true")

button {
    @include bg-color(primary);

    &:hover {
        @include bg-color(primary, darker);

.modal-background {
    @include bg-color(dark, base, 0.75);

    /* there is also a short-hand syntax if you are using the `base` color */
    @include bg-color(dark, 0.75);

# SASS Functions

In order provide greater flexibility with your color tokens you can access the color values using the color-value() function and the text color using the text-color-value() function.

* {
    &:focus {
        outline: 2px dotted color-value(primary);

.menu {
    @include bg-color(primary);

    button {
        &:focus {
            /* update the color so it doesn't blend in with the background */
            outline-color: text-color-value(primary);