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How Carbon works

The Carbon team encourages adoption through guidance and training, community development, maintenance, and support. The system is primarily maintained by a core team and governed by a board of design advisors.

Code of conduct

The core team’s promise

Carbon is funded and built by IBM. Although that means we build for the company’s business needs, it also means we have a brilliant team of engineers and designers working full time to make Carbon better. As one of the world’s largest companies, IBM has thousands of people across the globe using and contributing to Carbon.

We use what we build, and we’ve made it open source for anyone to use and contribute back to.

Who is the Code of conduct for?

The Carbon Design System is built for everybody and if you use or contribute to Carbon, you are part of this community and we expect you to adhere to our community standards.

Feedback and critique

Building great products isn’t easy, and there’s usually more than one right answer. If you’re taking part in any discussion, whether on Slack, Twitter, Gitter, GitHub, or even in person, please respect one another. Keep the mission in mind, and help us make Carbon better.

Be understanding

Differing needs and differing perspectives make Carbon comprehensive. Be welcoming, be understanding, and be kind. If one user expresses frustrations or complications, there are likely dozens of others who feel the same way. Encourage community members to speak up.


We conduct training classes and offer certifications. These cover introductions to Carbon and participating in this community. Each program is piloted internally and available upon release externally. We teach at conferences, bootcamp labs, and wherever else we’re needed.

We engage the community. We strive to be one of the world’s best design systems and we’re always open to feedback. We communicate with you about Carbon’s state and roadmap through GitHub support, blog posts, and Twitter.

Contributed components and patterns include a list of maintainers. The Carbon team triages and supports maintenance requests that do not have a maintainer.

We provide support for users of the design system. The Carbon team engages with users primarily through GitHub. A member of the Carbon team responds to all issues and pull requests.


We maintain a set of Sketch libraries containing Carbon components and patterns. There is a funnel of contribution for rigorous Sketch symbols before they are made available in Sketch libraries.

Carbon supports multiple code implementations. These reflect the production-level design libraries. The frameworks are listed below with their primary maintainers:

Design patterns are harvested from products built with Carbon. These become part of the design system. Teams can use these well-defined patterns in their work and contribute patterns back to the system.

Contact us

Have questions? Found a bug? Learn where to go and what to do by visiting the Contact us page.