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Welcome and thank you for contributing! The Carbon team is committed to maintaining consistent, quality guidelines. We welcome all feedback, designs, or ideas in order to produce the best possible experience for our users. Below are our contribution models and best practices.

Contribution models

Carbon has three different levels of contribution. Click on the contribution level name to read more details about the workflow process for that particular level of contribution.

  • Light: A small design tweak (i.e. changing a border color)
  • Medium: Adding to/or changing guidelines, or contributing an icon
  • Heavy: Contributing a whole new component to the system

Submitting an issue

If you are not sure which model your contribution fits into, open an issue in one our repos and we will figure out which model it falls into.

Not sure where to open an issue?

All contribution proposals should be opened in the carbon-contribution repo. This includes light, medium, and heavy contributions (all components, icons, guideline updates, etc.).

Not sure how to submit an issue?

It's not so bad, we promise! You can read a tutorial on GitHub to get familiar with best practices.

Before you start

Every contribution must meet the same standards as Carbon assets before it may be added to the system. Follow the guidelines below to ensure a smooth contribution process:


Visual style and UX patterns

  • Is your design consistent with the default visual style established for the core Carbon library?
  • Do your interaction patterns (hover, focus, motion) match Carbon styles?
  • Does it use the same color and spacing tokens, as well as type styles and scale?
  • Does your design follow basic UX best practices?
  • Does your design promote clear language, correct grammar, and support globalization?


The components we accept into the global library need to work universally across products.

  • Have you tested this design for multiple use cases? It needs to be a pattern that all teams can utilize and global enough to fit use cases for other teams.
  • Is there a similar component in the library that already exists?
  • What are the advantages of this pattern over alternative patterns?

Production guidelines

Once your contribution has been approved by Carbon and you are making assets for the website, we recommend taking a look at our website production guidelines for imagery specifications.