Introducing Pollen

The CSS variables build system

Pollen is a highly configurable, responsive library of style-agnostic CSS variables for your next design system. It lets you write faster, more consistent, and more maintainable styles.

Made and maintained with ❤️ by the fine people at Bokeh.


  • Robust library of well-considered, style-agnostic CSS variables (see Modules)

  • Fully configurable and extensible with CLI build tool (see Configuration)

  • Zero setup required to get started (see Getting started)

  • Easy responsive design with support for configuring CSS queries (see Media & Supports)

  • Lightweight, human-readable output if you ever want to move away from Pollen

What it looks like

Pollen's design tokens can be used to build any project. They're easy to completely customise and extend and they don't require preprocessors, class naming conventions, or non-standard syntax. Generate an entirely custom design system with a simple config file.

.button {
   font-family: var(--font-sans);
   font-size: var(--scale-00);
   font-weight: var(--weight-medium); 
   line-height: var(--line-none);
   padding: var(--size-3) var(--size-5);
   background: var(--color-blue);
   border-radius: var(--radius-xs);
   color: white;

How it works

1. Configure your design system

module.exports = (pollen) => ({
  output: './pollen.css',
  modules: {
    color: {
      bg: 'white',
      text: 'var(--color-black)'
  media: {
    '(prefers-color-scheme: dark)': {
      color: {
        bg: 'var(--color-black)',
        text: 'white'

2. Build your CSS

$ pollen

3. Use the CSS

:root {
  --color-bg: white;
  --color-text: var(--color-black);

@media (prefers-color-scheme: dark) {
  :root {
    --color-bg: var(--color-black);
    --color-text: white;

Last updated