Styled System


Variants can be useful for applying complex styles to a component based on a single prop. Styled System includes built-in variants for textStyle, colorStyle, and buttonStyle.

To use variants, first define styles in your theme object.

// example theme with variants
import colors from './colors'

export default {
  textStyles: {
    caps: {
      textTransform: 'uppercase',
      letterSpacing: '0.1em',
  colorStyles: {
    inverted: {
      color: colors.background,
      backgroundColor: colors.text,
  buttons: {
    primary: {
      color: colors.white,
      backgroundColor: colors.primary,
    secondary: {
      color: colors.text,
      backgroundColor: colors.secondary,

NOTE: the objects defined in the theme are CSS style objects, not component props. Styled system props will not work here to avoid conflating CSS style objects with component props.

Next, add variant utilities to your components.

// example Button with variants
import styled from 'styled-components'
import { buttonStyle } from 'styled-system'

const Button = styled('button')(
    appearance: 'none',
    fontFamily: 'inherit',

The Button component can now use the variant prop to change between a primary and secondary style.

<Button variant='primary'>Primary</Button>
<Button variant='secondary'>Secondary</Button>

The built-in variants use the following props and theme keys:

Function NamePropTheme Key

Custom Variants

Creating custom variants allows you to extend this API in many ways. To create a custom variant, import the variant utility to create a style prop function.

import styled from 'styled-components'
import { variant } from 'styled-system'

const buttonSizes = variant({
  // theme key for variant definitions
  scale: 'buttonSizes',
  // component prop
  prop: 'size',

const Button = styled('button')(buttonSizes)
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Custom Props