Typography systems in Figma

Typography forms the foundation of a design just as much as colors and components do. As a result, you'll need to establish patterns for consistent, legible typography early in the process of creating your design system. Doing so will make it easier for you to scale typography across multiple applications and devices, without complicating the handoff between designers and developers.

In this article we cover what you should think through when it comes to working with type in Figma. We'll offer workflow suggestions to make the process of using and implementing text styles more efficient for both designers and developers.

Text style basics

The text styles functionality in Figma makes it easy to repeatably apply a collection of properties (like line height and size) to text objects in Figma. You can put these styles into a library, then easily share them within your team or across your organization.

Text styles remove much of the guesswork and variability from the design process. If one of the text parameters needs to change as part of an improvement or redesign, then you can push updates to these styles across all files where they have been used (simply by publishing an update to their original Figma library).

Before we continue, I'll briefly outline which properties are part of Figma's text styles, and which aren't.

Properties defined in a Figma text style

  • The font family, weight, size
  • Line height
  • Letter spacing, paragraph spacing, and indentation
  • Decoration (strikethrough and underline)
  • Transform (uppercase, lowercase, and capitalization)
  • Other Open Type features (tabular figures, small caps, etc.)

Properties not included in a Figma text style

  • Color
  • Justification (left, right, center, or justified)
  • Text box alignment (top, middle, or bottom)
  • Text box resizing (horizontal, vertical or fixed)

If you're used to working in another design tool, you may find it strange that your text styles in Figma don't include traits like color or justification. Although it could take some getting used to, hopefully the benefits of this approach will quickly become clear.

When you maintain styles in a simpler format, it reduces the amount of time you have to spend creating them — you no longer have to account for all possible combinations of text, color, alignment, and so on. It also reduces the work required to maintain them, because you ultimately have less styles you have to update if something changes in your system. If you need right, left, and center aligned text, you can configure these properties separately from the style.