Hello 👋

Welcome to Phenotypes—Amino’s design system. Phenotypes is a repository of principles and modules that we use to design and build our products. It’s a central source of truth that facilitates clear communication and efficient workflows for designers and developers.

The design system is built from the foundation up, starting with abstract principles—like brand attributes and modular scale—and applying them consistently to everything from our color palette to complex interactive components.

Phenotypes often draws inspiration from and even borrows ideas and syntax from ambitious projects like Google’s Material Design and Bootstrap. Many talented people have put an incredible amount of effort into these and other projects. Whenever we borrow, we make a note of it for attribution and further reading.

By its nature, Phenotypes is and always will be a work in progress. Use it in good health!


Phenotypes treats the following topics as first-class concerns:

  • Alignment with Amino’s brand attributes (see below)
  • Aesthetics and principles of good design (e.g. consistency)
  • Usability and accessibility
  • Technology considerations like devices and web browsers
  • Longevity and maintainability
  • Balancing philosophical purity with implementation pragmatism


Amino’s brand attributes are:

  • Confident
  • Optimistic
  • Clear
  • Clever ← this replaces Inventive and Human and is still being discussed…

Although they can seem abstract, the brand attributes affect nearly every aspect of the design system. For example, the word “confident” guides us to set headlines in bold type and “optimistic” suggests lively, colorful graphics rather than muted pastels. “Clear” guides us to simplify concepts, craft tight copy, and use a font that’s highly legible.

The brand attributes are intended to align our collective thinking while allowing plenty of room for creative interpretation. That room can be empowering, but it can also be overwhelming. Try to keep the attributes in mind as you learn about Phenotypes modules and create Amino products and assets.

The core elements of our branding are detailed in the foundational sections that follow: modular scale, typography, color, and logo.

Quick start