Origami Frontend Components & Services

Readme: o-spacing

A styling utility component to aid projects and component with consistent spacing, according to the baseline grid within the design guidelines.


Check out how to include Origami components in your project to get started with o-spacing.

For Build Service users, o-spacing provides CSS classes for vertical space and CSS Custom Properties (CSS Variables) for other usecases. For Sass users o-spacing also provides a number of Sass functions and mixins for applying space to a project.


Visual representation of spaces defined below.

The above illustration is taken from the UXD Sketch Toolkit.


Our baseline grid defaults to 4px. Any multiple of this default may be applied to a project. We recommend using our named spaces for consistency.

Named Spaces

Named spaces are the sizes we use to layout a component or page consistently. Each space is based on the 4px baseline. Small sizes such as s1 or s2 are ideal for space within a component; use medium sizes m12 and m16 for related content on a page; and large sizes l18, l24 for separating distinct areas within a project.

name value
s1 4px
s2 8px
s3 12px
s4 16px
s6 24px
s8 32px
m12 48px
m16 64px
l18 72px
l24 96px

To apply named spaces see o-spacing markup and Sass documentation.


o-spacing provides utility classes to help space Origami components vertically within your project.

<!-- Add a 48px vertical margin between elements. -->
<div class='o-spacing-m12'></div>
<div class='o-spacing-m12'></div>

To apply spaces to other properties o-spacing provides CSS Custom Properties (CSS Variables).

CSS Custom Properties

Named Space Custom Properties

o-spacing outputs a CSS Custom Property (CSS Variable) for each named space. E.g. --o-spacing-s1. These may be used to apply spaces in custom CSS if your project supports CSS Custom Properties. This is particularly useful for Build Service users who do not have access to o-spacing's Sass functions.

.example {
    margin: var(--o-spacing-s1);

Baseline Custom Property

We recommend using a named space, but for more granular control a project may output any space which is a multiple of our baseline value. For users who do not have access to Sass, o-spacing outputs a --o-spacing-baseline CSS variable.

.example {
    padding: calc(var(--o-spacing-baseline) * 1); // A small padding (4px).
    margin-bottom: calc(var(--o-spacing-baseline) * 4); // A large space (16px).


Relative Units

For compatibility with existing Origami projects, o-spacing outputs px values by default. To use relative rem values, set $o-spacing-relative-units: true before importing @financial-times/o-spacing/main.

    $o-spacing-relative-units: true;

    .example {
        padding: oSpacingByName('s1');  // Small padding (0.24rem).
        margin-bottom: oSpacingByName('m12'); // Medium margin (3rem).

If using o-typography set $o-typography-relative-units also.

Named Space

We recommend Sass users apply space to their project using the oSpacingByName function. It accepts a space name and returns a px value (or rem value, if relative units are enabled).

    .example {
        padding: oSpacingByName('s1');  // Small padding (4px).
        margin-bottom: oSpacingByName('m12'); // Medium margin (48px).

Baseline Space

We recommend the use of named spaces, but any space that multiplies our baseline is allowed. To apply a multiple of the baseline value use oSpacingByIncrement. It accepts a value to multiply the baseline by and returns a px value (or rem value, if relative units are enabled).

    .example {
        margin-bottom: oSpacingByIncrement(4);

Custom Properties & Utility Classes

We recommend users apply named spaces using the Sass function oSpacingByName, but Sass users may output all o-spacing CSS including utility classes and CSS custom properties using the oSpacing mixin.

@include oSpacing($opts: (
    'margin-bottom-utilities': true, // Output CSS classes such as `o-spacing-s1`
    'custom-properties': true // Output CSS variables


State Major Version Last Minor Release Migration guide
✨ active 3 N/A migrate to v3
⚠ maintained 2 2.1 migrate to v2
╳ deprecated 1 1.0 N/A


If you have any questions or comments about this component, or need help using it, please either raise an issue, visit #origami-support or email Origami Support.


This software is published by the Financial Times under the MIT licence.

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GitHub: o-spacing@3.2.3

Install o-spacing

If using the Build Service, add o-spacing@^3.2.3 to your link tag.

If using the npm package manager for a Manual Build, run npm install --save-peer "@financial-times/o-spacing@^3.2.3".

Help & Support

o-spacing is maintained directly by the Origami team. If you have any questions about o-spacing or Origami in general, we are happy to help. 😊

Slack: #origami-support
Email: origami.support@ft.com

Feedback / Issues

To report a bug or request features please create an issue on Github. For support or general feedback please get in touch 😊

Slack: #origami-support
Email: origami.support@ft.com