Learn which scale step is the most appropriate for each use case.
There are 12 steps in each scale. Each step was designed for at least one specific use case.
This table is a simple overview of the most common use case for each step. However, there are many exceptions and caveats to factor in, which are covered in further detail below.
|3||UI element background|
|4||Hovered UI element background|
|5||Active / Selected UI element background|
|6||Subtle borders and separators|
|7||UI element border and focus rings|
|8||Hovered UI element border|
|10||Hovered solid backgrounds|
2 are designed for app backgrounds and subtle component backgrounds. You can use them interchangeably, depending on the vibe you're going for.
Appropriate applications include:
Main app background
Striped table background
Code block background
Canvas area background
5 are designed for UI component backgrounds.
3 is for normal states.
4 is for hover states.
5 is for pressed or selected states.
Even if your component has a transparent background in its default state, you should skip Step
3 and use Step
4 for its hover state.
For call-to-action components that you want to draw particular attention to, you can bump each color one step higher to steps
For complex components where you need many subtle colors to communicate different meanings, you can get creative and do something like:
3 for hovered backgrounds.
4 for selected / pressed backgrounds.
5 for "unread" backgrounds.
6 for hovered "unread" backgrounds.
8 are designed for borders.
6 is designed for subtle borders on components which are not interactive. For example sidebars, headers, cards, alerts, and separators.
7 is designed for borders on interactive components, but can also be used for focus rings.
8 is designed for borders on interactive components in their hover state.
10 are designed for solid backgrounds.
9 has the highest chroma of all steps in the scale. In other words, it's the purest step, the step mixed with the least amount of white or black. Because
9 is the purest step, it has a wide range of applications:
Website section backgrounds
10 is designed for component hover states, where step
9 is the component's normal state background.
12 are designed for text.
11 is designed for low-contrast text.
12 is designed for high-contrast text.