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Design Tokens Community Group

The Design Tokens Community Group's goal is to provide standards upon which products and design tools can rely for sharing stylistic pieces of a design system at scale.


Group's public email, repo and wiki activity over time

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Status update (February 2021)

Hello, world! This is the first monthly Design Tokens Community Group (DTCG) update, where we’ll publish a summary of our activities and progress. If you have questions, comments, or ideas, please get in touch with us on GitHub, Twitter or by leaving a comment in this blog.

Draft specification

After months of research and discussions, the core team is now drafting the format specification. We’ll share it and request feedback with a small set of invited experts and design tool vendors at first, and open it up to the wider community shortly after. Watch this space!


As design systems folks are fond of saying: “Naming is hard”! What, exactly, is a “design token”? Is an “alias” the same thing as a “reference”? What do we mean by the “type” of a token? To answer these questions and more, the DTCG has begun writing a glossary of terms.

The initial motivation was for the core team to agree upon and document some of the terminology that will be used in the specification, but we realized this will be a useful resource for the wider community too. Therefore, we are planning to publish our glossary on the website once it’s ready.

Vendor roundtable meeting

Finally, the DTCG is organizing a meeting with representatives from design tool makers around mid March. This will be an opportunity for us all to get to know each other, clarify key use-cases and hopefully get some of the vendors to contribute to our format specification.

Look out for news from that meeting in our future updates!

Call for specification editors

Dear group members, today we’re excited to start our first call for editors 🎉

One of the DTCG’s main goals is to produce a specification.

The specification is broken into multiple modules:

  • Format (the language and its grammar)
  • Colors
  • Spacing
  • Easing
  • (more to come!)

We need 2 to 3 editors per module, ideally representing various interests: design tool makers, design system creators and maintainers, users of design systems, as well as design token tool makers.

Read the full call for editors (in Google Docs) to learn more and apply to become an editor.

Looking forward to hearing from y’all!

@jina & @kaelig
Follow the discussion on GitHub

Actions required for contributors: join the group and watch the repository

(the content below was also sent as an email to everyone who showed interest in the design tokens community group and posted as a GitHub issue)


You’re receiving this message because you’ve shown an interest in the Design Tokens W3C Community Group.
Its goal is to provide standards upon which products and design tools can rely for sharing stylistic pieces of a design system at scale.

To make substantive contributions to specifications, you must either join the Design Tokens W3C Community Group or make a non-member patent licensing commitment.

[Action required 1]
Join the community group (it’s free, and doesn’t require a W3C membership).

[Action required 2]
Watch the repository to be notified of all conversations:

  1. Go to design-tokens/community-group
  2. In the top right-hand corner (on large screens), click “Watch”
  3. Select the “Watching” option

As per the group’s charter, contributions happen in GitHub and can be made in the form of pull requests, issues, or comments:

Community Group participants agree to make all contributions in the GitHub repo the group is using for the particular document. This may be in the form of a pull request (preferred), by raising an issue, or by adding a comment to an existing issue.

All documents in the repository are licensed by contributors under the W3C Document License.

For more information, read the full charter .

Please also read the code of conduct . It will be enforced with a zero-tolerance policy to ensure the community group is an open and welcoming environment.

Next steps (choosing a chair and specification editors, workshops, meet-and-greet) will be communicated soon on the GitHub repository.

If you have any questions about this process and the community group, please ask it publicly in the dedicated GitHub issue or get in touch with me directly:

Thank you!

Kaelig Deloumeau-Prigent, Co-chair

Call for Participation in Design Tokens Community Group

The Design Tokens Community Group has been launched:

The Design Tokens Community Group’s goal is to provide standards upon which products and design tools can rely for sharing stylistic pieces of a design system at scale.

In order to join the group, you will need a W3C account. Please note, however, that W3C Membership is not required to join a Community Group.

This is a community initiative. This group was originally proposed on 2019-07-31 by Kaelig Deloumeau-Prigent. The following people supported its creation: Kaelig Deloumeau-Prigent, Caleb Williams, Brian Glover, Christopher Schmitt, Julian Julian Kovalsky. W3C’s hosting of this group does not imply endorsement of the activities.

The group must now choose a chair. Read more about how to get started in a new group and good practice for running a group.

We invite you to share news of this new group in social media and other channels.

If you believe that there is an issue with this group that requires the attention of the W3C staff, please email us at

Thank you,
W3C Community Development Team