Created: 2012-03-21 02:20
Updated: 2017-03-01 18:55


Colonnade is a simple-but-beautiful responsive grid built on SASS. See it in action.

It's also what I use on all my web design/development projects.

Why should you use it?

That's a good question. Use it because it's simpler than adding all of Twitter Bootstrap to your project. Use it because it's SASS-based, and because it's customizable. Don't use it because there's a lot of other great options out there. It's up to you.

Why 'Colonnade'?

My grandfather was an architect. I never was able to meet him, so I'm always trying to do work in his honor. A colonnade is a long series of columns joined by an entablature. They're beautiful. They're classical.



The easiest way to let Colonnade power your site is to place the colonnade.scss file in the same folder as the rest of your SASS files.

Once you've done that, including Colonnade's responsive grid into your design is a simple as writing the following in your main SASS file:

@import "colonnade";

It will be compiled with the rest of your styles. That's the beauty of SASS.

If you don't want larger grids (that is, anything bigger than 960px) via media queries, you can disable them by setting the bigGrids variable to false.


If you don't know what SASS is, this is what you want.

Put the colonnade-min.css file in the same folder as your other CSS files. Then, add the following to the head section of your page:

<link href="/path-to-CSS-files/colonnade.css" media="screen, projection" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" />

When you refresh the page, your site will be Colonnade-powered.

You can also copy the contents of colonnade-min.css into the top of your main CSS file. Remember that the less HTTP requests you make, the faster your page loads. Hence, this is often the better solution.

"What about the colonnade.css file?" you might ask. Don't worry about it too much. It's mostly so that curious viewers can see what the CSS code looks like after it's been processed by SASS. For the sake of keeping file sizes down, try to use the colonnade-min.css file whenever possible.


  • Support for media query break points at a user's specifications (perhaps).



I actually used a stripped-down version of Skeleton (grid only) for a long time. Colonnade is based rougly around that experience, so I feel a shout-out is appropriate.

Twitter Bootstrap

I didn't use any code from Twitter Bootstrap, but I did do a compare-and-contrast between it and Colonnade to ensure it has the features people are looking for.


I'm using the GPL license, which means that this bit of software can be forked to your heart's content. Have at it.

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