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What is a token?

Design tokens are a limited set of discrete options, just like a scale of musical notes is drawn from the spectrum of all possible frequencies. Or like the presets on a car radio — not every option, just a specific selection.

  • A token is a set of name and value pairs.
  • The names are the words we use in our design that make it easier to understand and apply those discrete options.
  • For example, instead of describing our type using pixel sizes, we use t-shirt sizes, like sm, md, and lg. When describing colors, we use palettes based on their function, like primary-dark or warning-light.
  • The value of the pair is set to a default, but it can be changed if needed.