The theme’s main.css stylesheet is built from several SCSS partials located in /_sass/ and is structured as follows:

minimal mistakes
├── _sass
|  ├── vendor               # vendor SCSS partials
|  |   ├── breakpoint       # media query mixins
|  |   ├── font-awesome     # Font Awesome icons
|  |   ├── magnific-popup   # Magnific Popup lightbox
|  |   └── susy             # Susy grid system
|  ├── _animations.scss     # animations
|  ├── _archive.scss        # archives (list, grid, feature views)
|  ├── _base.scss           # base HTML elements
|  ├── _buttons.scss        # buttons
|  ├── _footer.scss         # footer
|  ├── _masthead.scss       # masthead
|  ├── _mixins.scss         # mixins (em function, clearfix)
|  ├── _navigation.scss     # nav links (breadcrumb, priority+, toc, pagination, etc.)
|  ├── _notices.scss        # notices
|  ├── _page.scss           # pages
|  ├── _print.scss          # print styles
|  ├── _reset.scss          # reset
|  ├── _sidebar.scss        # sidebar
|  ├── _syntax.scss         # syntax highlighting
|  ├── _tables.scss         # tables
|  ├── _utilities.scss      # utility classes (text/image alignment)
|  └── _variables.scss      # theme defaults (fonts, colors, etc.)
├── assets
|  ├── css
|  |  └── main.scss         # main stylesheet, loads SCSS partials in _sass


The variables and settings found in /_sass/_variables.scss can be used to modify the following aspects of the theme:

Paragraph Indention

To mimic the look of type set in a printed book or manuscript you may want to enable paragraph indention. When $paragraph-indent is set to true indents are added to each sibling and the margin below each paragraph is removed.

indented paragraph example
Example of indented paragraphs.

The size of the indent can also be customized by changing the value of $indent-var.

Font Stacks

By default the theme uses system fonts for all of the font stacks (serif, sans-serif, and monospace). This is done in part to provide a clean base for you to build off of and to improve performance since we aren’t loading any custom webfonts1 by default.

/* system typefaces */
$serif      : Georgia, Times, serif;
$sans-serif : -apple-system, ".SFNSText-Regular", "San Francisco", "Roboto", "Segoe UI", "Helvetica Neue", "Lucida Grande", Arial, sans-serif;
$monospace  : Monaco, Consolas, "Lucida Console", monospace;

Sans-serif fonts have been used for most of the type, with serifs reserved for captions. If you wish to change this you’ll need to poke around the various SCSS partials and modify font-family declarations.

ProTip: To use webfonts from services like Adobe TypeKit or Google Fonts simply update the font stacks and then add their scripts to _includes/head/custom.html.

Typography from Older Versions

Not a fan of the refreshed typography of the theme and want to revert back an older version? Easy enough.

1. Add this Google Fonts script to _includes/head/custom.html:

<link href=",700|PT+Serif:400,700,400italic" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css">

2. Update the following variables in /_sass/_variables.scss:

$serif              : "PT Serif", Georgia, Times, serif;
$sans-serif-narrow  : "PT Sans Narrow", $sans-serif;

$global-font-family : $serif;
$header-font-family : $sans-serif-narrow;

Type Scale

Wherever possible type scale variables have been used instead of writing out fixed sizes. This makes updating much easier by changing values in one file, _variables.scss.


.page__lead {
  font-family: $global-font-family;
  font-size: $type-size-4;

Type sizes are set in ems to proportional scale as the screen size changes. Large headlines that look great on desktop monitors will shrink ever so slightly as to not be too big on mobile devices. To adjust this hierarchy simply edit the default values:

/* type scale */
$type-size-1 : 2.441em;  // ~39.056px
$type-size-2 : 1.953em;  // ~31.248px
$type-size-3 : 1.563em;  // ~25.008px
$type-size-4 : 1.25em;   // ~20px
$type-size-5 : 1em;      // ~16px
$type-size-6 : 0.75em;   // ~12px
$type-size-7 : 0.6875em; // ~11px
$type-size-8 : 0.625em;  // ~10px


Change the mood of your site by altering a few color variables. $body-color, $background-color, $text-color, $link-color, and $masthead-link-color will have the most affect when changed.

Breakpoints and Grid Stuff

Probably won’t need to touch these, but they’re there if you need to. Width variables are used with the @include breakpoint() mixin to adapt the design of certain elements.

And $susy is used for setting the grid the theme uses. Uncommenting the lines under debug can be useful if you want to show the columns when adjusting the layout.

Susy grid overlay for debugging
Susy grid debug overlay enabled.
  1. Apart from Font Awesome icon webfonts.