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Get started

Welcome to Carbon! If you’re just starting out designing with Carbon, you’re in the right place. Here’s a checklist of everything you need to get up and running.

First steps

Install your design kit

Our primary design kit is Sketch and we also have Adobe XD and Axure kits available. Head on over to the Design kits section and follow the install instructions to get set up.

These kits come with Carbon components so you don’t have to build them. By using the kits you automatically get any updates made by the Carbon team so you don’t need to go back and change any designs to match the latest release. And when handing off to your developers there won’t be confusion about the component and its behaviors.

Check out other tools and resources

In Other resources, you’ll find links to the IBM Design Language and icon libraries, color palettes, grid and shell templates, the IBM Plex font, and the Github repos.

Additional guidance

Understand the IBM Design Language

Carbon expresses the IBM Design Language in product and delivers it through tools for designers and developers including guidance, tooling, components, and support. Take the time to read the design language site so that you fully understand what drives IBM’s design philosophy and principles, and can make informed decisions in your product work.

Review our detailed usage guidance

Our usage guidance is detailed and thorough, and you’ll learn a lot about the system by reading through the components and patterns documentation.

  • Components: Carbon provides in-depth design usage and style guidance for all components. It’s important to be familiar with this additional UX and visual guidance when you are designing with our components.

  • Patterns: We also offer a range of key patterns—best practice solutions for how a user achieves a goal. These design patterns have been harvested from products built with Carbon, and have been reviewed and approved for use by the Carbon governance team.

Connect with us

Join us and the Carbon community

For IBMers only: If you have a question about any aspect of the kits or tools, you can reach out to us on Slack and use that as a way to connect with your fellow designers. Chances are someone has had a similar problem to you and will jump in to help you out.

And be sure to sign up for the latest Carbon news at #carbon-announcements.

Learn about what we’re doing

You can find out about Carbon’s latest changes and future plans on the Changelog and roadmap page.

If you have questions, here are all the ways to contact us.

Join us at a meetup

Attend one of our meetups to connect with us and level up your skills. The weekly design playback is great for getting feedback on work in progress from a group of designers and design leaders dedicated to your success.

If there’s something in particular you’re interested in, we’d love to hear from you.