Grid System

Figuration includes a powerful mobile-first grid system for building layouts of all shapes and sizes. It’s based on a 12 column layout and has multiple tiers, one for each media query range. You can use it with Sass mixins or our predefined classes.

Contents

How It Works

At a high level, here’s how the grid system works:

  • There are three major components—containers, rows, and columns.
  • The grid is built with flexbox and is fully responsive.
  • Containers provide a means to center and horizontally pad your site’s contents. Use .container for a responsive fixed width or .container-fluid for width: 100% across all viewport and device sizes.
  • Rows are wrappers for columns. Each column has horizontal padding (called a gutter) for controlling the space between them. This padding is then counteracted on the rows with negative margins. This way, all the content in your columns is visually aligned down the left side (right side in rtl mode).
  • In a grid layout, content must be placed within columns and only columns may be immediate children of rows.
  • Thanks to flexbox, grid columns without a specified width will automatically layout as equal width columns. For example, four instances of .col-sm will each automatically be 25% wide from the small breakpoint and up. See the auto-layout columns section for more examples.
  • Column classes indicate the number of columns you’d like to use out of the possible 12 per row. So, if you want three equal-width columns across, you would use .col-4.
  • Column widths are set in percentages, so they’re always fluid and sized relative to their parent element.
  • Columns have horizontal padding to create the gutters between individual columns.
  • You can remove the margin from rows and padding from columns with .no-gutters on the .row.
  • To make the grid responsive, there are five grid breakpoints, one for each responsive breakpoint: all breakpoints (extra small), small, medium, large, and extra large.
  • Grid breakpoints are based on minimum width media queries, meaning they apply to that one breakpoint and all those above it (e.g., .col-sm-4 applies to small, medium, large, and extra large devices, but not the first xs breakpoint).
  • You can use predefined grid classes (like .col-4) or Sass mixins for more semantic markup.

If you need a reference for working with flexbox, there is an excellent resource over at CSS Tricks with A Complete Guide to Flexbox.

Also, be aware of the limitations and bugs around flexbox, like the inability to use some HTML elements as flex containers.

Sounds good? Great, let’s move on to seeing all that in an example.

Quick Start Example

This example creates three equal-width columns on small, medium, large, and extra large devices using our predefined grid classes. Those columns are centered in the page with the parent .container.

Examples further down the page add some color, padding, and borders, to the rows and columns to give a better visual example of their relationship. These do not appear in the base Figuration grid.

Fisrt column
Second column
Third column
<div class="container">
  <div class="row">
    <div class="col-sm-4">
      Fisrt column
    </div>
    <div class="col-sm-4">
      Second column
    </div>
    <div class="col-sm-4">
      Third column
    </div>
  </div>
</div>

Grid Options

See how aspects of the Figuration grid system work across multiple devices with this handy table.

The example pixel values are calculated based upon assumption where the average user has a 16px root font size.

Extra small
<576px
<36em
Small
≥576px
≥36em
Medium
≥768px
≥48em
Large
≥992px
≥62em
Extra large
≥1200px
≥75em
Max container width None (auto) 544px (33.75rem) 720px (45rem) 960px (60rem) 1152px (72rem)
Class prefix .col- .col-sm- .col-md- .col-lg- .col-xl-
# of columns 12
Gutter width 2rem / 32px (16px on each side of a column)
Nestable Yes
Offsets Yes
Column ordering Yes

Auto-Layout Columns

Utilize breakpoint-specific column classes for easy column sizing without an explicit numbered class like .col-sm-6.

Equal Width

Equal-width columns are easliy done by adding any number of .col-{breakpoint}s for each breakpoint you need and every column will be the same width.

For example, here’s are some grid layouts that apply to every device and viewport possible, from xs to xl.

1 of 2
1 of 2
1 of 3
1 of 3
1 of 3
Columns
with no
gutters
<div class="row">
    <div class="col">
        1 of 2
    </div>
    <div class="col">
        1 of 2
    </div>
</div>

<div class="row">
    <div class="col">
        1 of 3
    </div>
    <div class="col">
        1 of 3
    </div>
    <div class="col">
        1 of 3
    </div>
</div>

<div class="row no-gutters">
  <div class="col">Columns</div>
  <div class="col">with no</div>
  <div class="col">gutters</div>
</div>

Controlling One Column Width

Auto-layout for flexbox grid columns also means you can set the width of one column and have the sibling columns automatically resize around it. You may use predefined grid classes (as shown below), grid mixins, or inline widths.

Note that the other columns will resize no matter the width of the center column.

1 of 3
2 of 3 (wider)
3 of 3
1 of 3
2 of 3 (wider)
3 of 3
<div class="row">
    <div class="col">
        1 of 3
    </div>
    <div class="col-6">
        2 of 3 (wider)
    </div>
    <div class="col">
        3 of 3
    </div>
</div>

<div class="row">
    <div class="col">
        1 of 3
    </div>
    <div class="col-5">
        2 of 3 (wider)
    </div>
    <div class="col">
        3 of 3
    </div>
</div>

Variable Width Content

Use col-{breakpoint}-auto classes to size columns based on the natural width of their content. Use these classes in conjunction with horizontal alignment classes for centering layouts with uneven column sizes as viewport width changes.

1 of 3
Variable width content
3 of 3
1 of 3
Variable width content
3 of 3
<div class="container">
    <div class="row flex-md-center">
        <div class="col-lg-2">
            1 of 3
        </div>
        <div class="col-md-auto">
            Variable width content
        </div>
        <div class="col-lg-2">
            3 of 3
        </div>
    </div>
    <div class="row">
        <div class="col">
            1 of 3
        </div>
        <div class="col-md-auto">
            Variable width content
        </div>
        <div class="col-lg-2">
            3 of 3
        </div>
    </div>
</div>

Equal Width with Multiple Rows

Create equal-width columns that span multiple rows by inserting a .w-100 where you want the columns to break to a new line. Make the breaks responsive by mixing the .w-100 with some responsive display utilities.

Note there was a Safari flexbox bug that prevented this from working without an explicit flex-basis or border. Our example works thanks to the border being set; you can do the same with .col { border: 1px solid transparent; }. Alternatively, you can set the flex-basis to the width of the column (e.g., .col { flex: 1 0 50%; }).

These workarounds have been documented in a reduced test case, though if the browser is up to date this shouldn’t be necessary.

1 of 4
2 of 4
3 of 4
4 of 4
<div class="row">
  <div class="col">1 of 4</div>
  <div class="col">2 of 4</div>
  <div class="w-100"></div>
  <div class="col">3 of 4</div>
  <div class="col">4 of 4</div>
</div>

Responsive Classes

Figuration’s grid includes five tiers of predefined classes for building complex responsive layouts. Customize the size of your columns on extra small, small, medium, large, or extra large devices however you see fit.

All Breakpoints

For grids that are the same from the smallest of devices to the largest, use the .col and .col-* classes. Specify a numbered class when you need a particularly sized column; otherwise, feel free to stick to .col.

col
col
col
col
col-8
col-4
<div class="row">
  <div class="col">col</div>
  <div class="col">col</div>
  <div class="col">col</div>
  <div class="col">col</div>
</div>
<div class="row">
  <div class="col-8">col-8</div>
  <div class="col-4">col-4</div>
</div>

Stacked to Horizontal

Using a single set of .col-sm-* classes, you can create a basic grid system that starts out stacked on mobile and tablet devices (the extra small to small range) before becoming horizontal on desktop (medium) devices.

.col-sm-8
.col-sm-4
.col-sm-4
.col-sm-4
.col-sm-4
<div class="row">
  <div class="col-sm-8">.col-sm-8</div>
  <div class="col-sm-4">.col-sm-4</div>
</div>
<div class="row">
  <div class="col-sm-4">.col-sm-4</div>
  <div class="col-sm-4">.col-sm-4</div>
  <div class="col-sm-4">.col-sm-4</div>
</div>

Mix and Match

Don’t want your columns to simply stack in some grid tiers. Use a combination of different classes for each tier as needed. See the example below for a better idea of how it all works.

.col .col-md-8
.col-6 .col-md-4
.col-6 .col-md-4
.col-6 .col-md-4
.col-6 .col-md-4
.col-6
.col-6
<!-- Stack the columns on mobile by making one full-width and the other half-width -->
<div class="row">
  <div class="col col-md-8">.col .col-md-8</div>
  <div class="col-6 col-md-4">.col-6 .col-md-4</div>
</div>

<!-- Columns start at 50% wide on mobile and bump up to 33.3% wide on desktop -->
<div class="row">
  <div class="col-6 col-md-4">.col-6 .col-md-4</div>
  <div class="col-6 col-md-4">.col-6 .col-md-4</div>
  <div class="col-6 col-md-4">.col-6 .col-md-4</div>
</div>

<!-- Columns are always 50% wide, on mobile and desktop -->
<div class="row">
  <div class="col-6">.col-6</div>
  <div class="col-6">.col-6</div>
</div>

Alignment

Use Flexbox alignment utilities to vertically and horizontally align columns.

Vertical Alignment

One of three columns
One of three columns
One of three columns
One of three columns
One of three columns
One of three columns
One of three columns
One of three columns
One of three columns
<div class="container">
  <div class="row flex-items-start">
    <div class="col">
      One of three columns
    </div>
    <div class="col">
      One of three columns
    </div>
    <div class="col">
      One of three columns
    </div>
  </div>
  <div class="row flex-items-center">
    <div class="col">
      One of three columns
    </div>
    <div class="col">
      One of three columns
    </div>
    <div class="col">
      One of three columns
    </div>
  </div>
  <div class="row flex-items-end">
    <div class="col">
      One of three columns
    </div>
    <div class="col">
      One of three columns
    </div>
    <div class="col">
      One of three columns
    </div>
  </div>
</div>
One of three columns
One of three columns
One of three columns
<div class="container">
  <div class="row">
    <div class="col flex-self-start">
      One of three columns
    </div>
    <div class="col flex-self-center">
      One of three columns
    </div>
    <div class="col flex-self-end">
      One of three columns
    </div>
  </div>
</div>

Horizontal Alignment

One of two columns
One of two columns
One of two columns
One of two columns
One of two columns
One of two columns
One of two columns
One of two columns
One of two columns
One of two columns
<div class="container">
  <div class="row flex-start">
    <div class="col-4">
      One of two columns
    </div>
    <div class="col-4">
      One of two columns
    </div>
  </div>
  <div class="row flex-center">
    <div class="col-4">
      One of two columns
    </div>
    <div class="col-4">
      One of two columns
    </div>
  </div>
  <div class="row flex-end">
    <div class="col-4">
      One of two columns
    </div>
    <div class="col-4">
      One of two columns
    </div>
  </div>
  <div class="row flex-around">
    <div class="col-4">
      One of two columns
    </div>
    <div class="col-4">
      One of two columns
    </div>
  </div>
  <div class="row flex-between">
    <div class="col-4">
      One of two columns
    </div>
    <div class="col-4">
      One of two columns
    </div>
  </div>
</div>

No Gutters

The gutters between columns in our default, predefined grid classes can be removed with .no-gutters. This removes the negative margins from .row and the horizontal padding from all immediate children columns.

Here’s the source code for creating these styles. Note that column overrides are scoped to only the first children columns and are targeted via attribute selector. While this generates a more specific selector, column padding can still be further customized with spacing utilities.

Need an edge-to-edge design? Drop the parent .container or .container-fluid.

.no-gutters {
    margin-right: 0;
    margin-left: 0;

    > [class*="col-"],
    > .col {
        padding-right: 0;
        padding-left: 0;
    }
}

In practice, here’s how it looks. Note you can continue to use this with all other predefined grid classes (including column widths, responsive tiers, reorders, and more).

.col-12 .col-sm-6 .col-md-8
.col-6 .col-md-4
<div class="row no-gutters">
  <div class="col-12 col-sm-6 col-md-8">.col-12 .col-sm-6 .col-md-8</div>
  <div class="col-6 col-md-4">.col-6 .col-md-4</div>
</div>

Column Wrapping

If more than 12 columns are placed within a single row, each group of extra columns will, as one unit, wrap onto a new line.

.col-9
.col-4
Since 9 + 4 = 13 > 12, this 4-column-wide div gets wrapped onto a new line as one contiguous unit.
.col-6
Subsequent columns continue along the new line.
<div class="row">
  <div class="col-9">.col-9</div>
  <div class="col-4">.col-4<br>Since 9 + 4 = 13 &gt; 12, this 4-column-wide div gets wrapped onto a new line as one contiguous unit.</div>
  <div class="col-6">.col-6<br>Subsequent columns continue along the new line.</div>
</div>

Column Resets

Resetting, or breaking, columns to a new line in flexbox requires a small hack: add an element with width: 100% wherever you want to wrap your columns to a new line. This can also be accomplished with multiple .rows. You may need to try both implementation methods to see which works best for your layout.

.col-6 .col-md-3
.col-6 .col-md-3
taller
.col-6 .col-md-3
.col-6 .col-md-3
<div class="row">
  <div class="col-6 col-md-3">.col-6 .col-md-3</div>
  <div class="col-6 col-md-3">.col-6 .col-md-3<br>taller</div>

  <!-- Force next columns to break to a new line -->
  <div class="w-100"></div>

  <div class="col-6 col-md-3">.col-6 .col-md-3</div>
  <div class="col-6 col-md-3">.col-6 .col-md-3</div>
</div>

You can also apply a break at specific breakpoints with our responsive display utilities.

.col-6 .col-md-4
.col-6 .col-md-4
taller
.col-6 .col-md-4
.col-6 .col-md-4
<div class="row">
  <div class="col-6 col-md-4">.col-6 .col-md-4</div>
  <div class="col-6 col-md-4">.col-6 .col-md-4<br>taller</div>

  <!-- Force next columns to break to a new line at md breakpoint and up-->
  <div class="w-100 d-none d-md-block"></div>

  <div class="col-6 col-md-4">.col-6 .col-md-4</div>
  <div class="col-6 col-md-4">.col-6 .col-md-4</div>
</div>

In addition to column clearing at responsive breakpoints, you may need to reset offsets, pushes, or pulls. See this in action in the grid example.

.col-sm-5 .col-md-6
.col-sm-5 .offset-sm-2 .col-md-6 .offset-md-0
.col-sm-6 .col-md-5 .col-lg-6
.col-sm-6 .col-md-5 .offset-md-2 .col-lg-6 .offset-lg-0
<div class="row">
  <div class="col-sm-5 col-md-6">.col-sm-5 .col-md-6</div>
  <div class="col-sm-5 offset-sm-2 col-md-6 offset-md-0">.col-sm-5 .offset-sm-2 .col-md-6 .offset-md-0</div>
</div>

<div class="row">
  <div class="col-sm-6 col-md-5 col-lg-6">.col-sm-6 .col-md-5 .col-lg-6</div>
  <div class="col-sm-6 col-md-5 offset-md-2 col-lg-6 offset-lg-0">.col-sm-6 .col-md-5 .offset-md-2 .col-lg-6 .offset-lg-0</div>
</div>

Reordering

Flex Order

Use flexbox order utilities for controlling the visual order of your content.

First, but unordered
Second, but last
Third, but first
<div class="container">
  <div class="row">
    <div class="col">
      First, but unordered
    </div>
    <div class="col flex-last">
      Second, but last
    </div>
    <div class="col flex-first">
      Third, but first
    </div>
  </div>
</div>

Order utilities are also available in column counts.

First, but second
Second, but last
Third, but first
<div class="container">
  <div class="row">
    <div class="col flex-order-2">
      First, but second
    </div>
    <div class="col flex-order-12">
      Second, but last
    </div>
    <div class="col flex-order-1">
      Third, but first
    </div>
  </div>
</div>

Offsetting Columns

Move columns to the right using .offset-* classes. These classes increase the left margin of a column by * columns. For example, .offset-md-4 moves a column over four columns on medium and larger devices.

.col-md-4
.col-md-4 .offset-md-4
.col-md-3 .offset-md-3
.col-md-3 .offset-md-3
.col-md-6 .offset-md-3
<div class="row">
  <div class="col-md-4">.col-md-4</div>
  <div class="col-md-4 offset-md-4">.col-md-4 .offset-md-4</div>
</div>
<div class="row">
  <div class="col-md-3 offset-md-3">.col-md-3 .offset-md-3</div>
  <div class="col-md-3 offset-md-3">.col-md-3 .offset-md-3</div>
</div>
<div class="row">
  <div class="col-md-6 offset-md-3">.col-md-6 .offset-md-3</div>
</div>

Push and Pull

Easily change the order of our built-in grid columns with .push-* and .pull-* modifier classes.

.col-md-9 .push-md-3
.col-md-3 .pull-md-9
<div class="row">
  <div class="col-md-9 push-md-3">.col-md-9 .push-md-3</div>
  <div class="col-md-3 pull-md-9">.col-md-3 .pull-md-9</div>
</div>

Nesting

To nest your content with the default grid, add a new .row and set of .col-sm-* columns within an existing .col-sm-* column. Nested rows should include a set of columns that add up to 12 or fewer (it is not required that you use all 12 available columns).

Level 1: .col-sm-9
Level 2: .col-8 .col-sm-6
Level 2: .col-4 .col-sm-6
<div class="row">
  <div class="col-sm-9">
    Level 1: .col-sm-9
    <div class="row">
      <div class="col-8 col-sm-6">
        Level 2: .col-8 .col-sm-6
      </div>
      <div class="col-4 col-sm-6">
        Level 2: .col-4 .col-sm-6
      </div>
    </div>
  </div>
</div>

Customizing the Grid

Using our built-in grid Sass variables and maps, it’s possible to completely customize the predefined grid classes. Change the number of tiers, the media query dimensions, the container widths, and the grid gutter widths—then recompile.

Columns and Gutters

The number of grid columns and their horizontal padding (aka, gutters) can be modified via Sass variables. $grid-columns is used to generate the widths (in percent) of each individual column while $grid-gutter-widths allows breakpoint-specific widths that are divided evenly across padding-left and padding-right for the column gutters.

$grid-columns: 12;
$grid-gutter-width: 2rem;
$grid-gutter-widths: (
    xs: $grid-gutter-width,
    sm: $grid-gutter-width,
    md: $grid-gutter-width,
    lg: $grid-gutter-width,
    xl: $grid-gutter-width
);

Grid Tiers

Moving beyond the columns themselves, you may also customize the number of grid tiers. If you wanted just four grid tiers, you would update the $grid-breakpoints, $container-max-widths, and $grid-gutter-widths to something like this:

$grid-breakpoints: (
  xs: 0,
  sm: bp-to-em(480px),
  md: bp-to-em(768px),
  lg: bp-to-em(1024px)
);

$container-max-widths: (
  sm: rem-calc(420px),
  md: rem-calc(720px),
  lg: rem-calc(940px)
);

$grid-gutter-widths: (
    xs: 1.5rem,
    sm: 1.5rem,
    md: 2rem,
    lg: 2rem
);

Save your changes and recompile to have a brand new set of predefined grid classes for column widths, offsets, pushes, and pulls. Responsive visibility utilities will also be updated to use the custom breakpoints.

Sass Variables and Mixins

When using Figuration’s source Sass files, you have the option of using Sass variables and mixins to create custom, semantic, and responsive page layouts. Our predefined grid classes use these same variables and mixins to provide a whole suite of ready-to-use classes for fast responsive layouts.

Variables

Variables and maps determine the number of columns, the gutter width, and the media query point at which to begin floating columns. We use these to generate the predefined grid classes documented above, as well as for the custom mixins listed below.

Some Sass functions are in use here. Simply put bp-to-em() converts a pixel value to em assuming 16px root font size, while rem-calc() converts a pixel value to rem, but checks the defined $font-size-root variable in the Sass and uses that for conversion.

$grid-columns:      12;

$grid-breakpoints: (
  // Extra small screen / phone
  xs: 0,
  // Small screen / phone
  sm: bp-to-em(576px),
  // Medium screen / tablet
  md: bp-to-em(768px),
  // Large screen / desktop
  lg: bp-to-em(992px),
  // Extra large screen / wide desktop
  xl: bp-to-em(1200px)
);

$container-max-widths: (
  sm: rem-calc(544px),
  md: rem-calc(720px),
  lg: rem-calc(940px),
  xl: rem-calc(1140px)
);

$grid-gutter-width: 2rem;
$grid-gutter-widths: (
    xs: $grid-gutter-width,
    sm: $grid-gutter-width,
    md: $grid-gutter-width,
    lg: $grid-gutter-width,
    xl: $grid-gutter-width
);

Mixins

Mixins are used in conjunction with the grid variables to generate semantic CSS for individual grid columns.

// Creates a wrapper for a series of columns
@include make-row($gutters: $grid-gutter-widths);

// Make the element grid-ready (applying everything but the width)
@include make-col-ready($gutters: $grid-gutter-widths);
@include make-col($size, $columns: $grid-columns);

// Get fancy by offsetting, or changing the sort order
@include make-col-offset($size, $columns: $grid-columns);
@include make-col-push($size, $columns: $grid-columns);
@include make-col-pull($size, $columns: $grid-columns);

Example Usage

You can modify the variables to your own custom values, or just use the mixins with their default values. Here’s an example of using the default settings to create a two-column layout with a gap between.

.example-container {
  width: 800px;
  @include make-container();
}
.example-row {
  @include make-row();
}
.example-content-main {
  @include make-col-ready();

  @include media-breakpoint-up(sm) {
    @include make-col(6);
  }
  @include media-breakpoint-up(lg) {
    @include make-col(8);
  }
}
.example-content-secondary {
  @include make-col-ready();

  @include media-breakpoint-up(sm) {
    @include make-col(6);
  }
  @include media-breakpoint-up(lg) {
    @include make-col(4);
  }
}
Main
Secondary
<div class="example-container">
  <div class="example-row">
    <div class="example-content-main">Main</div>
    <div class="example-content-secondary">Secondary</div>
  </div>
</div>