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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-large 6 2.0rem 1.5rem
Greater than $breakpoint-large 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

Common patterns

On top of the regular row and column classes, we provide shortcut classes to help you build often used layouts. Instead of specifying columns at each breakpoint, use one of these classes on the grid container, and the child elements will be arranged automatically as long as they have the col class.

N.B.: the shortcut classes are not nestable. If you need further subdivision inside a shortcut class, please use the regular grid classes. Take care to specify a number of columns that is available (e.g. 3 columns in a 25% container, 6 columns in a 50% container, etc). Specifying more columns than are available leads to misalignemnts.

Large screens Medium screens Small screens
.row--50-50 50/50 50/50 100/100
.row--50-50-on-medium - 50/50 -
.row--50-50-on-large 50/50 - -
.row--25-75 25/75 33/66 100/100
.row--25-75-on-medium - 33/66 -
.row--25-75-on-large 25/75 - -
.row--25-25-50 25/25/50 50/50/100 100/100/100
.row--25-25-25-25 25/25/25/25 50/50/50/50 100/100/100/100

These common patterns are meant for top level rows only and are not intended to be nested. You should not nest row--50-50 inside another column. For nested rows, use the standard .row class, as described in section about nested columns later on this page.

25/75 split changes in Vanilla 4.6.0

Vanilla 4.6.0, with introduction of responsive variants of row changed previous responsive behaviour of .row--25-75. The is-split-on-medium variant class was removed, as .row--25-75 by default uses split layout on medium screens. See responsive 50/50 and 25/75 section below for more details.


The default variant of 50/50 split sets the layout on large and medium screens, stacking both columns on top of each other on small screens.


The default variant of 25/75 split sets the layout on large and medium screens, stacking both columns on top of each other on small screens.

Responsive 50/50 and 25/75

The default .row--50-50 and .row--25-75 splits provide the most common default layouts for all screen sizes, as described in the table above. To have more direct control over the layout on different screen sizes, you can use the responsive variants of these classes: .row--50-50-on-medium and .row--25-75-on-medium, will only apply given layout on medium screens, while .row--50-50-on-large and .row--25-75-on-large will only apply given layout on large screens.

For example, to only have 25/75 split on large screens, you can use .row--25-75-on-large. This is usually useful when main large column splits further with nested grid that would require full width of the page on medium screens.

By utilising the responsive variants, you can also create mixed layouts with 50/50 splits on medium screens and 25/75 on large screens, without the need to nest grids.

Removed The .is-split-on-medium class has been removed in Vanilla 4.6.0 as .row--25-75 how implements same responsive behaviour by default. If you want to only use 25/75 split on large screens, use .row--25-75-on-large.


The row with 25/25/50 split sets this layout on large screens only, switching to 50/50 stacked on top of full width column on medium screen, and stacking all 3 columns on top of each other on small screens.


The row with 25/25/25/25 split sets this layout on large screens only, switching to 50/50 stacked on top of 50/50 columns on medium screen, and stacking all 4 columns on top of each other on small screens.

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 Vanilla and include base mixins
// this only needs to happen once in a given project
@import 'vanilla-framework';
@include vf-base;

@include vf-p-grid;

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


You can use grid in React by installing our react-component library and importing Row and Col components.

See the documentation for our React Row component

See the documentation for our React Col component