Vanilla has a responsive grid with the following columns and gutters:

Screen size (px) Columns Grid gap (gutters) Outer margins
Less than $breakpoint-small 4 1.5rem 1.0rem
$breakpoint-small - $breakpoint-medium 6 2.0rem 1.5rem
Greater than $breakpoint-medium 12 2.0rem 1.5rem

  • The page structure must be laid out using rows (.row)
  • All content must be within columns (.col-*)
  • Only columns should be direct children of a row

Layouts can be created combining rows with different number of columns to an ideal maximum of 4 columns per row. Each column containing text should span a minimum of 3 columns.

Read also: Breakpoints

Fixed width containers

If you only want to constrain content so it matches the grid's fixed width, you can use the utility .u-fixed-width. It behaves as a grid .row with a single 12 column container inside:

Nested columns

Columns can be nested infinitely by adding .row classes within columns. When nesting, remember to: • keep track of the context (available columns), which is equal to the number of columns spanned by the parent element. • Ensure .col-* classes are direct descendants of .row classes. Failing to do so will result in a broken layout.

Empty columns

To leave gap columns, use col-start-{breakpoint}{index}, e.g.: col-start-large-2.

{breakpoint} options: "small", "medium", "large".

{index} options: an integer between 1 and the available columns.

Please note, specifying a value that exceeds the available number of columns will result in incorrect offsets. This happens because the grid implicitly creates additional columns to accommodate the grid-column-start property. You should always keep track of how many available columns you have, especially when nesting. In the example below, we are indicating we want a div to span 3 columns, and start at position 7. This requires 10 total columns inside a div spanning only 4.

Breaking out of the grid

In some cases, there might be a good reason to break out of the constraints of a 12 column grid and allow content to bleed into the page margins. Vanilla provides a separate fluid breakout layout for this purpose.


To import just this component into your project, copy the snippet below and include it in your main Sass file.

@import 'patterns_grid';
@include vf-p-grid;

For more information see Customising Vanilla in your projects, which includes overrides and importing instructions.


For more information view the grid design spec, which includes the specification in markdown format and a PNG image.