Primer vs Vuetify

When building web applications, developers often turn to CSS frameworks to accelerate the development process and ensure consistency in design. Among the myriad of CSS frameworks available, Primer and Vuetify stand out for their unique features and design philosophies. Primer is GitHub’s internal CSS framework, while Vuetify is a Vue.js framework that adheres to Material Design principles. In this article, we will delve into a detailed comparison of Primer and Vuetify, covering everything from their core concepts, installation processes, to code samples and third-party addons.

Primer: GitHub’s CSS Framework

Primer is the CSS framework developed by GitHub for its own platform. It is designed to be a scalable and accessible system that provides a cohesive look and feel across GitHub’s web presence. Primer is built on top of a solid foundation of system fonts and modular CSS components, making it a great choice for those looking to create websites with a clean and professional look.

Primer Documentation and Installation

The documentation for Primer can be found on its official website at Primer Documentation. It offers a comprehensive guide on how to use the framework, including the styles and components available.

To install Primer, you can use npm:

npm install --save primer

Alternatively, you can also include Primer directly in your HTML via a CDN:

<link rel="stylesheet" href="">

Popular Third-Party Addons for Primer

While Primer is quite extensive, there are also third-party addons that can complement its use:

  • Octicons: GitHub’s icon set, Octicons, can be used alongside Primer to add scalable vector icons to your web projects.
  • Primer Utilities: This collection of utility classes can be used to quickly style elements without writing custom CSS.

Primer Code Samples

Here’s a simple example of a button component in Primer:

<button class="btn">Default button</button>
<button class="btn btn-primary">Primary button</button>
<button class="btn btn-danger">Danger button</button>

Vuetify: Material Design Framework for Vue.js

Vuetify is a Vue.js framework that follows Google’s Material Design specifications. It provides a rich set of components and tools for developers to create responsive and mobile-first applications with a Material Design look.

Vuetify Documentation and Installation

Comprehensive documentation for Vuetify is available on its homepage at Vuetify Documentation. It includes detailed instructions on how to get started, as well as a full list of components and their usage.

To install Vuetify with Vue CLI, you can run:

vue add vuetify

Or, if you prefer to install it manually using npm:

npm install vuetify

And then, you need to import Vuetify in your main.js file:

import Vue from 'vue';
import Vuetify from 'vuetify';


export default new Vuetify({});

Popular Third-Party Addons for Vuetify

Vuetify has a vibrant ecosystem of third-party addons:

  • Vuetify Loader: This webpack plugin automatically imports Vuetify components as you use them.
  • Vue CLI Plugin Vuetify: This plugin for the Vue CLI provides a quick setup and configuration for your Vuetify projects.

Vuetify Code Samples

Here’s a simple example of a Vuetify application with a navigation drawer and a floating action button:

    <v-navigation-drawer app>
      <!-- Content for the navigation drawer -->

    <v-app-bar app>

      <v-container fluid>
        <!-- Your content goes here -->

    <v-footer app>
      <span>&copy; 2023</span>


export default {
  methods: {
    onClick() {
      // Handle the click event

This code snippet showcases the use of Vuetify’s layout components, such as v-app, v-navigation-drawer, v-app-bar, and v-main, to create a basic layout structure with a floating action button.

Customization and Flexibility

Both Primer and Vuetify offer extensive customization options, allowing developers to tailor the look and feel of their applications to match their brand or design requirements.

Primer Customization

Primer’s customization is primarily achieved through SCSS variables and mixins. It is designed to be overridden so that developers can apply their own styles to match their design language. Here’s an example of how you might customize Primer’s color variables:

// Customizing Primer SCSS variables
$blue: #0366d6;
$red: #d73a49;
$green: #28a745;

@import "primer/index.scss";

By setting these variables before importing the Primer SCSS files, you can theme the framework to your preferences.

Vuetify Customization

Vuetify, on the other hand, offers a robust theming system that can be configured through the Vuetify object. You can define your own themes and switch between them dynamically. Here’s an example of setting up a custom theme in Vuetify:

import Vue from 'vue';
import Vuetify from 'vuetify/lib';


export default new Vuetify({
  theme: {
    themes: {
      light: {
        primary: '#3f51b5',
        secondary: '#b0bec5',
        accent: '#8c9eff',
        error: '#b71c1c',

This configuration within the Vuetify object allows you to specify custom colors for different aspects of your UI components.


Accessibility is a critical factor in web development, and both frameworks have made efforts to ensure their components are accessible.

Primer Accessibility

Primer is designed with accessibility in mind. GitHub aims to make its platform inclusive, and by extension, Primer adheres to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). The framework provides accessible components out of the box, with features like keyboard navigation and screen reader support.

Vuetify Accessibility

Vuetify also prioritizes accessibility and follows the Material Design guidelines, which include accessibility by default. Vuetify components are built with ARIA attributes and other accessibility features to ensure that applications are usable by as many people as possible.

Community and Support

The success of a framework is often influenced by the strength of its community and the support available.

Primer Community and Support

As a GitHub product, Primer benefits from a strong community of developers who contribute to its development. GitHub’s own use of Primer means the framework is well-maintained and regularly updated. Developers can seek support through GitHub issues or by contributing to the project directly.

Vuetify Community and Support

Vuetify has a large and active community. The framework is open-source, and contributions are welcome. Developers can get support through the official Discord channel, GitHub issues, or Stack Overflow. Vuetify’s documentation also provides a wealth of resources for troubleshooting and learning.


Both Primer and Vuetify are powerful CSS frameworks with their own strengths. Primer offers a simple, GitHub-flavored style that is easy to integrate into projects, while Vuetify provides a comprehensive suite of Vue.js components that adhere to Material Design.

When choosing between Primer and Vuetify, consider the following:

  • If you are working with Vue.js and prefer Material Design, Vuetify is the clear choice.
  • If you want a framework that is simple and closely integrated with GitHub’s design system, Primer might be more suitable.

Ultimately, the decision will depend on your specific project requirements, design preferences, and development environment.

For more information, visit the official websites and documentation for Primer and Vuetify, and explore their GitHub repositories to see how the community is contributing to each framework.

Remember, the best framework is the one that aligns with your goals and helps you build great user experiences efficiently and effectively. Whether you choose Primer or Vuetify, both have the potential to accelerate your development process and enhance the quality of your web applications.

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