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2. Building pages

Now that we have a Vue app using the UI Shell, it’s time to build a few static pages. In this step, we’ll become comfortable with the Carbon grid and various Carbon components.


A preview of what you’ll build:

Fork, clone and branch

This tutorial has an accompanying GitHub repository called carbon-tutorial-vue that we’ll use as a starting point for each step. If you haven’t forked and cloned that repository yet, and haven’t added the upstream remote, go ahead and do so by following the step 1 instructions.


With your repository all set up, let’s check out the branch for this tutorial step’s starting point.

git fetch upstream
git checkout -b vue-step-2 upstream/vue-step-2

Note: This builds on top of step 1, but be sure to check out the upstream step 2 branch because it includes the static assets and fixes required to get through this step.

Build and start app

Install the app’s dependencies (in case you’re starting fresh in your current directory and not continuing from the previous step):


Then, start the app:

yarn serve

You should see something similar to where the previous step left off.

Install grid

In our last step we added our styles, component and icon packages. Now that we’re building the pages with grid, we need to install one more Carbon package. Stop your development environment (CTRL-C) and:

yarn add @carbon/grid

In _carbon.scss, we need to configure our grid to use 16 columns instead of the default 12 columns. We do this by adding grid-columns-16: true in our $feature-flags.

$feature-flags: (
grid-columns-16: true

Note: Like before, the feature flag still needs to come before the Carbon styles.scss import.

Run yarn serve so we can begin building.

Add landing page grid

Let’s add our grid elements to LandingPage.vue.

In order to use the grid, we need to wrap everything in a <div class="cds--grid">. We can continue to make rows by adding a <div class="cds--row"> inside the grid, as well as make columns within those rows by adding <div class="cds--col-[breakpoint]-[size]">.

Our column sizes are specified by the number of columns they’ll be spanning. If we use cds--col-lg-4, it means it’ll span 4 of the 16 columns. If we use cds--col-lg-8 it means it’ll span 8 of the 16 columns, and so on.

We’ve included the designs for this tutorial app in the design.sketch file found as a top-level file in the carbon-tutorial-vue repository. But, if you don’t have Sketch installed and available to inspect the design, we’ll provide screenshots.

Landing page grid

Landing page grid

Pro tip: CTRL-L toggles the layout in Sketch.

We’ll break this down into three rows. The first row with the gray background doesn’t appear to need any columns. The second row with the white background looks like it has two columns of different widths. The third row with the gray background looks like it has four columns of equal width.

We’ll make rows like so:

<div class="cds--grid cds--grid--full-width landing-page">
<div class="cds--row landing-page__banner">
<div class="cds--col-lg-16">1</div>
<div class="cds--row landing-page__r2">
<div class="cds--col-md-4 cds--col-lg-7">7/16</div>
<div class="cds--col-md-4 cds--offset-lg-1 cds--col-lg-8">8/16</div>

We added a class of cds--grid--full-width to the grid container since our rows need to expand the whole page without any margins. We also added some custom classes like landing-page, landing-page__banner, landing-page__r2, etc., which we will use later.

Also, take notice of the second row. The tab content only covers 7 columns at this large viewport to prevent overly-large line lengths, so we needed to add a 1 column offset cds--offset-lg-1 to second column to fill the full 16 columns in the grid. Then, both of those columns have cds--col-md-4 classes so they are of equal width at medium-sized viewports.

Build landing page

We’ll start adding HTML elements and components by row.

First row

In our first row we’ll use a CvBreadcrumb component.

We can now add our component to the first row, along with a header, like so:

<div class="cds--row landing-page__banner">
<div class="cds--col-lg-16">
<cv-breadcrumb noTrailingSlash>
<cv-link href="/">Getting started</cv-link>
<h1 class="landing-page__heading">Design &amp; build with Carbon</h1>

You may notice that the styles look off. Don’t worry, we’ll fix these later.

Second row

In our second row we’ll use CvTabs and CvButton components.

Modify the second row to use the Tab component.

<div class="cds--row landing-page__r2">
<div class="cds--col cds--no-gutter">
<cv-tabs selected="0">
<cv-tab label="About">
<div class="cds--grid cds--grid--no-gutter cds--grid--full-width">
<div class="cds--row landing-page__tab-content">
<div class="cds--col-md-4 cds--col-lg-7">7/16</div>
<div class="cds--col-md-4 cds--offset-lg-1 cds--col-lg-8">8/16</div>

Note: We’re using the grid for the page layout, but we also need to apply the grid within the tab content. When doing so, make sure the nested grid has the expected grid > row > col DOM structure.

Hold up! If you were to run DAP to check for accessibility violations, you’d see Multiple navigation landmarks must have unique labels specified with aria-label or aria-labelledby because both the CvBreadcrumb and CvTabs components use <nav> elements. To fix, add aria-label to the CvBreadcrumb opening tag:

<cv-breadcrumb noTrailingSlash aria-label="Page navigation">

Same goes for the CvTabs opening tag:

<cv-tabs selected="0" aria-label="Tab navigation">

Give yourself a pat on the back if you actually ran the DAP tool. We’ll install the DAP tool in a later step, so don’t worry if you didn’t.

Next, we’ll need to add a styling override to move the tabs to the right on large viewports. Create a file _carbon-overrides.scss in src/views/LandingPage with this declaration block.

.landing-page__r2 .cds--tabs__nav {
right: 0;

Then in LandingPage.vue add a style section with this import.

<style lang="scss">
@import "./carbon-overrides";

Note: We don’t have to include this in a separate file, but it’s nice to keep overrides separate from your application’s styling so when migrating to future Carbon versions and if there are breaking changes via different class names, you have a consolidated list of styling declaration blocks to review. We can now add our images and text for each column in the first CvTab in LandingPage.vue.

<cv-tab label="About">
<div class="cds--grid cds--grid--no-gutter cds--grid--full-width">
<div class="cds--row landing-page__tab-content">
<div class="cds--col-md-4 cds--col-lg-7">
<h2 class="landing-page__subheading">What is Carbon?</h2>
<p class="landing-page__p">
Carbon is IBM’s open-source design system for digital
products and experiences. With the IBM Design Language as
its foundation, the system consists of working code, design

Now let’s set the image size in the style section of LandingPage.vue:

.landing-page__illo {
max-width: 100%;

Assuming that the second and third tab would have a similar design, we would set them up in the same way. However, since our design specs don’t show those tabs, we’ll leave the code as is.

Third row

The third row will be created in a later tutorial, so we’ll just add the headers for now.

<div class="cds--row landing-page__r3">
<div class="cds--col-md-4 cds--col-lg-4">
<h3 class="landing-page__label">The Principles</h3>
<div class="cds--col-md-4 cds--col-lg-4">Carbon is Open</div>
<div class="cds--col-md-4 cds--col-lg-4">Carbon is Modular</div>
<div class="cds--col-md-4 cds--col-lg-4">Carbon is Consistent</div>

Style landing page

We’ve added basic layout styles in LandingPage.vue, so now let’s add type, color and spacing styles to match the design. We’ll be using our spacing tokens. In a new file src/styles/_carbon-utils.scss, add these imports at the top of the file so we can use Carbon breakpoints, tokens, and typography Sass mixins and functions:

@import 'carbon-components/scss/globals/scss/vendor/@carbon/type/scss/font-family.scss';
@import 'carbon-components/scss/globals/scss/vendor/@carbon/layout/scss/breakpoint.scss';
@import 'carbon-components/scss/globals/scss/typography.scss';
@import 'carbon-components/scss/globals/scss/vars.scss';

Adding these tokens, mixins etc. here means we can import them with a single line into any component that needs them.

Banner vertical spacing

Banner vertical spacing

Pro tip: CTRL-G toggles the grid in Sketch.

Back to LandingPage.vue, we need to add space above the breadcrumb and below the heading. For that, add:

@import '../../styles/carbon-utils';

with the other imports and

.landing-page__banner {
padding-top: $spacing-05;
padding-bottom: $spacing-07 * 4;

Referencing the spacing token table, 16px can be set with the $spacing-05 token. The design calls for 128px of space below the heading and that’s not in the spacing scale, we can achieve that in Sass by multiplying 32px ($spacing-07) by 4. We could use 128px or 8rem directly in our styling, but using our tokens preserves consistency should the token values get updated in the future.

Looking at the design, we need a wall-to-wall light gray background behind the banner and also behind the third row. This is a great opportunity to use a Sass mixin. We could put this at the top of LandingPage.vue, but it’s best practice to place mixins in a dedicated file, so create a _mixins.scss file in src/views/LandingPage.

Add the following in _mixins.scss. Per the design we need to use Gray 10 for our banner background color, which can be set with the $ui-01 color token. Also, we want the background to extend into the grid’s outermost gutters to go the full width of the viewport, so given the DOM structure, we can achieve that by setting the background in an absolutely positioned pseudo element.

@mixin landing-page-background() {
background-color: $ui-01;
position: relative;
&::before {
content: '';
position: absolute;
left: -$spacing-06;
top: 0;

After you have created _mixins.scss, import it at the top of LandingPage.vue. By now you should have three imports:

@import '../../styles/carbon-utils';
@import './carbon-overrides';
@import './mixins';

Now to use the new mixin, update the .landing-page__banner declaration block to:

.landing-page__banner {
padding-top: $spacing-05;
padding-bottom: $spacing-07 * 4;
@include landing-page-background;

Next, we can see that the h1 is using the heading-05 type token.

Banner heading type

Banner heading type

The Sketch symbol naming is consistent with the development Sass tokens to help translate design to development. So, looking up the type token, we know to use productive-heading-05:

.landing-page__heading {
@include type-style('productive-heading-05');

Row two

For our second row, we need to fix the tabs vertical positioning to match the design. By inspecting the tabs component, you can see that the tab height computes to 40px. We can use that to create our negative top margin in rem units.

.landing-page__r2 {
margin-top: rem(-40px);

We also need to adjust our vertical spacing and type treatment. Like before, it’s a matter of using spacing and type tokens like so:

Row 2 vertical spacing

Row 2 vertical spacing

Note: You may be wondering why there are vertical gaps between the type and spacers. Each type token has a line height that’s suited for its font size. The vertical spacers adjacently touch the line height boundaries and not the baseline, for consistency as well as development ease so margins and paddings don’t need to offset line heights.

.landing-page__tab-content {
padding-top: $layout-05;
padding-bottom: $layout-05;
.landing-page__subheading {
@include type-style('productive-heading-03');
@include font-weight('semibold');

Row three