Get Started

A minimalist CSS framework.

Browser resets and beautifully designed HTML elements out of the box, in only 3.2kb.

...Another CSS framework? #

Yes, but hopefully not for long! The goal of chisel.css is to provide the out of the box experience that HTML elements should have been given.

Our goal with chisel is to call attention to the need for improving the default style of HTML elements. If we succeed, browsers will focus more effort on default element styles and chisel will be whittled down to an empty CSS file.

Getting Started #

Download #

Install with NPM (or yarn, or pnpm)

npm i -S chisel.css

or from CDN

<link href="" rel="stylesheet" />

CSS Variables #

chisel.css uses CSS variables for all our colors making it dead simple to change themes, add your own dark mode, etc.

:root {
--chisel-primary: #325476;
--chisel-secondary: #0b70ba;
--chisel-neutral-50: #f9fafb;
--chisel-neutral-100: #f3f4f6;
--chisel-neutral-200: #e5e7eb;
--chisel-neutral-300: #d1d5db;
--chisel-neutral-400: #9ca3af;
--chisel-neutral-500: #6b7280;
--chisel-neutral-600: #4b5563;
--chisel-neutral-700: #374151;
--chisel-neutral-800: #1f2937;
--chisel-neutral-900: #111827;

--chisel-primary is the primary brand color used, by default it is the same blue color as chisel.css's logo. --chisel-secondary is used as an accent color for things like links. The --chisel-neutral colors are shades of gray used out of the box for backgrounds, text color, borders, etc.

Because these are native CSS variables, you can override them globally on your page or scope color changes for particular sections of your site.

Dark Mode #

Dark mode support is added by default!

prefers-color-scheme #

chisel.css will use dark mode automatically based on browser's built-in prefers-color-scheme media query.

data-chisel-theme="dark" #

Themes can also be changed dynamically by adding a data-chisel-theme attribute to the any HTML element.

<html data-chisel-theme="dark">
<!-- Dark mode enabled -->

Because chisel is built on CSS variables, portions of a page can actually use different themes. This can be particularly helpful when a section of content on a page needs to be themed differently for emphasis.

<!-- normal theme -->

<section data-chisel-theme="dark">
<!-- emphasised block of content in another theme -->

<!-- back to the normal theme -->

WIP We plan to add multiple color pallettes into chisel.css in the future. Star the GitHub repo to follow the latest updates. Even better, create your own themes and file a PR to have them included out of the box!

Typography #

Proper type scaling can make all the difference in a design. chisel.css defaults headers to scale based on on the Major Third type scale, see for more details.

:rotating_light: Before the Github issues start piling up...yes we purposely chose to go with h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6 for naming both the CSS variables and helper classes for type scaling. If that rubs you the wrong way, first consider how much easier to understand class="h1" is compared to class="text-4xl".

Typography CSS Variables #

Type scaling is also exposed with CSS Variables. Do you prefer the larger range of header sizes with the Perfect Fourth scale? No problem, override these variables in your CSS and you're all set.

:root {
--chisel-h1: 3.052rem;
--chisel-h2: 2.441rem;
--chisel-h3: 1.953rem;
--chisel-h4: 1.563rem;
--chisel-h5: 1.25rem;
--chisel-h6: 0.8rem;

Typography font-size Classes #

DOM heirarchy is important for both SEO and accessibility. Sometimes you just need a visually smaller header before a visually larger one - chisel.css has you covered.

.h1 {
font-size: var(--chisel-h1);
.h2 {
font-size: var(--chisel-h2);
.h3 {
font-size: var(--chisel-h3);
.h4 {
font-size: var(--chisel-h4);
.h5 {
font-size: var(--chisel-h5);
.h6 {
font-size: var(--chisel-h6);

Add the h4 class to your <h1> for the best of both worlds. Symantically your <h1> comes before the subheaders while visually the other headers are emphasized.

Prism Support #

Do you use Prism for syntax highlighting? We've got you covered!

Installed from NPM #

If you installed from NPM, just include chisel.css/chisel-prism.css (or chisel-prism.min.css). Depending on your build setup you may need to include the stylesheet directly from chisel.css/dist/chisel-prism.min.css.

Including from CDN #

Including chisel's Prism theme can also be handled from the CDN.