#36 - Subatomic Design Systems

Hey folks,

Here are a few things I thought were worth sharing this week.

Block Element Modifier, then what? #

Grandchild elements in BEM takes a look at some best practices for dealing with the complexities of markup which can’t be solved with vanilla BEM.

Subatomic Design Systems #

“These systems are designed to change over time and as an organisation or product grows—to be restrictive enough to represent a whole, but flexible enough to easily evolve and meet divergent needs.”

Dan Eden sharing his theory of Subatomic Design Systems.

Better Typography with Font Variants #

Jonathan Harrell on using font variants (not to be confused with variable fonts) to create ligatures, caps, numerals and alternate glyphs and improve your web typography.

Sketch Library vs. Design System #

“…at the heart of any great design system is a reusable set of UI components that product teams can reach for to build actual software.”

Your Sketch Library is Not a Design System is another important read from Atomic Design Methodlogy’s Brad Frost.

I’ve written a fair amount on using Sketch Libraries to build better design systems but having read Brad’s article I realise how easily this can be misconstrued. Building component libraries in Sketch is essentially just another piece in the puzzle of design systems. The end goal is always a ‘living component Library’ which you can use in production. At AIN we use Fabricator and Netlify to handle regular deployments to AIN Labs, which then updates our live codebases. It’s nothing fancy but it gets the job done and it’s easy to manage as a small team.

Perhaps my next series of articles should be From Sketch to Living Component Library?.

Medium partner with Unsplash #

Every photo on Unsplash now available in Medium. This is big news for writers and photographers looking for exposure. Medium and Unsplash are giants, their reach is huge. Write more, take more pictures.

For your ears #

Night Sky by Australia Pianist Sophie Hutchings is a phenomenal album. If you like Nils Frahm or Max Richter then you will enjoy this.

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