The page navigation is complete. You may now navigate the page content as you wish.
Skip to main content

Getting started for designers

Many resources and links on this page are only available to HashiCorp employees.

The Design Systems Team maintains and publishes Figma libraries which contain foundational styles, components, patterns, and icons.

For documentation around broader Figma best practices within HashiCorp design teams, reach out to the Design Ops team or visit the #design-ops slack channel.

Enabling Helios libraries

  1. Open the Library modal via one of the following methods:

    • Click the Assets panel in the left sidebar, then click the book icon to open the modal.

    Opening the library modal via the assets panel

    • Click the Figma icon in the top toolbar, then click "Libraries".

    Opening the library modal via the menu

    • Or use the keyboard shortcut:

      • Mac: ⌥ option+3
      • Windows: alt+3
  2. Enable the libraries by locating the HDS Design System UI Kit team and toggling on the following:

    Opening the library selection menu

If you are not a member of the HDS Design System UI Kit team, you will need to look under the Other teams tab. If you’re having trouble finding these, search for "HDS" to find the Foundations and Components libraries and "Flight" to find the Icon library.

Once the libraries are enabled, you can access the components from the assets panel or via the resources menu (shift+i) in the toolbar. In contrast, styles published by the Foundations library are available in the design panel within the right sidebar.

Foundational styles

Styles, sometimes referred to as Tokens, allow consistent application of color (as a fill or stroke), typography, and effects within Figma. You can find these in the Product Foundations library.

Because the usage of Helios Foundations reinforces consistency across the products, we don’t recommend detaching from these styles within your designs.

Using styles in your project

  1. Select the object(s) to which you want to add a style (e.g., text layer, shape, or frame).

  2. In the properties panel, click the style icon (looks like four dots) next to the appropriate property (e.g., text, color, stroke, or effect).

  3. Select the style you wish to apply from the list of options. Ensure you choose styles within the HDS - Product Foundations library.

Applying styles to a text layer

To learn more about how to use the foundational styles, visit:


Adding icons to your project

To use icons within your project, first ensure the Icons library is enabled for your project (see enabling Helios libraries).

  1. Open your project file within Figma.

  2. Navigate to the assets panel by clicking "Assets" at the top of the left sidebar.

  3. Search or scroll to find the icon you need and drag it into your file.

In Helios, icons are technically components. This means you can swap instances, sizes, and colors quickly within Figma’s design panel in the right sidebar.


A component inserted from a library into a project is called an instance. Instances maintain a link to the main component in the library, which has significant benefits for deploying updates and iterating quickly on designs.

Adding components to your project

Add Helios components to your design project by inserting them directly from the assets panel or resources menu or copying the component from the stickersheet and pasting it into your project.

Inserting from the assets panel

  1. Open the assets panel by clicking "Assets" at the top of the left sidebar.

  2. Scroll through the list or use the search feature to locate the component you’d like to use.

    • Figma’s search feature returns results based on the component’s name, category, and description.
  3. Click and drag the component into the canvas or frame.

  4. Configure the component properties as necessary in the right sidebar.

Inserting components from the assets panel

Inserting from the resources menu

Open the resources menu (shift+i) in the toolbar to expose a list of recently used components, plugins, and widgets enabled in your project. Use this method to access your more commonly or recently used components quickly.

Inserting components from the resources menu

Copying from the stickersheet

If you prefer to select a component visually, the Product Components library has a stickersheet for each component displaying the available variants and properties. Just like when using the direct inserts, this method maintains the link to the main component in the library, which means it will receive updates as they become available.

  1. Open the Product Components library.

  2. Navigate to the relevant component page.

  3. Select and copy the component variant from the stickersheet.

  4. Navigate back to your project file and paste the component wherever needed.

Copy from the stickersheet

Working with components

Detaching components

Our Figma components are tightly coupled with their code counterparts to maintain API and design language consistency. Therefore, we don’t recommend detaching a component from the library in most scenarios.

When you detach a component, it no longer receives updates from the library, which can cause designs and production applications to drift out of sync quickly.

Contact us for support or to request a new component if a component doesn’t meet your needs.

Overriding component styles

While you can technically override the styles within a component without detaching it, we recommend against doing so without consulting the Design Systems Team first.

Changing a component's color or font size may seem simple, but this can have trickle-down effects in code. Overriding styles forces engineers to create custom classes and styles to implement the changes. Overriding styles can have unexpected long-term effects within the CSS cascade and lead to tech debt. In addition to being difficult to scale, overrides nudge the design language of your product out of sync with Helios and the rest of the HashiCorp product suite.

Resizing components

Helios components are built to be layout-agnostic, meaning laying out components in a design is left to the consumer.

Unless specifically mentioned in the documentation, the implemented component will fill the parent container. For designers, it’s helpful to use auto layout wherever possible. Auto layout closely mimics CSS Flexbox and other browser layout mechanisms. Setting a Helios component to fill container within an auto layout frame typically replicates the experience of a development environment.

Fixed width components

Setting a component to a fixed width in Figma is the same as setting a width value on a component or element in code. Setting a fixed width generally goes against fluid and responsive best practices and should be avoided in Figma. Instead, use auto layout wherever possible.

Designing local components

Components and patterns unique to your product should be designed and built locally, extending Helios components and foundations.

Local component patterns

When creating local components for your product, it’s helpful to separate them from your main project files and house them in their own Figma library file. Using a dedicated library creates a consistent location for your product’s local components so that other designers on your team can access and use them.

Consider using Atomic Design methods when designing and building local components. Helios components generally correspond with atoms and molecules, while more complex components correspond to organisms.


Helios Figma libraries

HashiCorp product teams can use the Helios libraries published under the HDS Design System UI Kit team within Figma.

We don’t recommend tying core design functionality to third-party plugins because Figma doesn’t directly supported them. That said, we find the following plugins to be useful support mechanisms:

The Figma community contains other useful resources for documenting your designs, wireframing, and collaborating with your team. Access Figma's community by clicking the organization switcher in the dashboard and selecting "Community" or by clicking "Explore Community" in the toolbar.

Navigating to the Figma community from the desktop app

Figma documentation

Explore more content about libraries, components, and styles directly from Figma.


If you have questions or need assistance using Helios libraries, reach out for support.